The new GO blu, by iFi Audio, is a pocket-rocket portable HD DAC / headphone amp.
Diminutive enough to take with you wherever you go, it gives you great sound from wired headphones, but the convenience of wireless as you no longer need to have a cable connection to your smartphone. Whether you are exercising at the gym with your Apple watch clocking your every step, or catching up on your MacBook at your favourite coffee shop, the GO blu is the perfect companion.
GO blu pairs wirelessly with your source device via Bluetooth, with no need to worry about whether you have got the right cable for your Android or Apple device - just pair and GO!
While wireless headphones or earphones integrate the required Bluetooth processing, D/A conversion and amplification onto one, standard chip, there remains a ceiling to the sound quality that can be achieved. Use good corded headphones or in-ear monitors with a separate, high-quality portable DAC/headphone amp (like the GO blu), and your sound quality will beat any pair of wireless headphone or earphones hands down. Using GO blu means no compromise on sound quality.
Pair your GO blu to your Apple/Android device. Connect your favourite corded headphones, then tuck it away – it is so petite and light it will slip into your running gear or suit pocket - and it's also gorgeous enough to show off by leaving it on the table at your favourite coffee shop.
With its lightweight, soft-touch polymer enclosure (great for Bluetooth reception, unlike signal-blocking metal), copper-coloured trim and ChronoDial watch crown-style control, the GO blu is a pleasure to use wherever you go. iFi has even incorporated a high-quality chip-based (CMOS-MEMS) microphone, enabling hands-free calls, voice chat for gaming and access to voice assistants such as Apple Siri and Google Assistant.
Further flexibility is provided by the USB-C charging port, which doubles as an audio input enabling USB connection from source devices that don’t offer Bluetooth connectivity. Hi-res PCM audio data up to24-bit/96kHz.
The way iFi implements Bluetooth is anything but ‘run of the mill’ and despite its diminutive size the GO blu is no exception.
The use of Qualcomm’s latest four-core QCC5100 Bluetooth processing chip ensures that every current high-definition Bluetooth audio format is supported. This means that every possible source device is handled at the highest audio resolution its Bluetooth specification allows – no other pocket-size DAC/amp delivers such comprehensive codec support, or such high-quality sound over Bluetooth.
The GO blu is Bluetooth v5.1-compliant, ensuring the best possible range, stability and performance, and its Bluetooth Engine can be updated over the air.
Whether you use balanced or non-balanced headphones, you get the least noise and best channel separation for the most enjoyable music. GO blu boasts a Pentaconn 4.4 mm output enabling headphones equipped with balanced connectivity to take full advantage of the GO blu’s balanced amp design. In addition, the 3.5 mm output benefits from iFi’s proprietary S-Balanced circuitry. This cuts crosstalk and related distortion in half when used with regular, single-ended headphone connections, this is especially beneficial with high-sensitivity in-ear monitors.
Both outputs are gold-plated to resist tarnishing and thereby maintain optimum contact quality.
iFi GO Blue is the winner of a 5-Star What Hi-Fi Review, November 2021
- HD Bluetooth 5.1 Wireless DAC.
- Weighs only 26 g
- Superior sound quality.
- Non-metal enclosure (non-signal blocking).
- Double-function USB-C charging port / audio input.
- OTA-updatable Bluetooth Engine.
- 10-hour battery life!
- Three-stage signal processing - Bluetooth / DAC / Amplififer.
- Precision-engineered components.
- Balanced or unbalanced operation.
- XBass and XSpace for immersive soundstage and added bass boost.
- Chipset: Qualcomm QCC 5100 Series
- Input: USB-C / Bluetooth 5.0 ( AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec)
- Headphone Outputs: Balanced 4.4 mm, Unbalanced 3.5 mm
- Power Output: Balanced 245 mW @ 32 Ω, 5.6 V @ 600 Ω, Unbalanced 165 mW @ 32 Ω; 2.8 V @ 600 Ω
- Output Impedance: Balanced: <1 Ω, Unbalanced <1 Ω
- SNR: Balanced 111 dBA, Unbalanced 106.5 dBA
- DNR: 120 dB(A) (Balanced/Unbalanced)
- THD + N: Balanced <0.009 % (6.5 mW / 2.0 V @ 600 Ω), Unbalanced <0.03 % (100 mW / 1.27 V @ 16 Ω)
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 45 kHz (-3 dB)
- Battery: Lithium-polymer 450 mAh approx 10 hours
- Power System: Charging via USB-C, BC V 1.2 compliant up to 1000 mA charging current, 6.3 V
- Dimensions: 55 x 34 x 13 mm
- Weight: 26 g
- Warranty period: 12 months
- Charging cable.
- Soft carrying pouch.
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