If you listen to alot of music on the go, then you owe it to yourself to take a listen to the new iFi Audio GO Blu. A portable Bluetooth DAC allows you to free yourself from wires and get a full HD audio experience form your music collection or favourite streaming service. Compact, portable and easy to use, the GO Blu continues iFi's honest and sensibly priced products that far outperform their price points.
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.
- aptX Adaptive and aptX HD
- LDAC and HWA/LHDC
- regular aptX and aptX Low Latency
- SBC (plain vanilla Bluetooth)
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.
Qualcomm QCC 5100
|Bluetooth 5.1 ( AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD,
aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec)
|245mW @ 32Ω; 5.6v @ 600Ω
165mW @ 32Ω; 2.8v @ 600Ω
|111dB(A) @ 0dBFS
116.5dB(A) @ 0dBFS
|THD + N
|<0.009% @ (6.5mW/2.0v@600Ω)
<0.03% @ (100mW/1.27v@16Ω)
||20Hz - 45kHz (-3dB)
||Lithium-polymer 450mAh approx. ~8 hours (depending upon volume and headphones)
||Charging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up to
1000mA charging current and 6.3 volts
||54 x 34 x 13 mm
2.1' x 1.3' x 0.5'
||27g (0.95 oz)
Wireless headphones or earphones of any kind integrate Bluetooth processing, D/A conversion and amplification onto one, standard ‘off the shelf’ chip. There is a ceiling to the sound quality that can be achieved.
Team good corded headphones or in-ear monitors, with a separate, high-quality portable DAC/headphone amp, and your sound quality will beat any pair of wireless headphone or earphones hands down.
Using the GO blu means no compromise on sound quality.
Pair the GO blu to your Apple/Android. Connect your favourite corded headphones to the GO blu and then tuck it away – it’s so petite it will slip into your running gear or suit pocket. 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 is supported when the GO blu is connected in this way.
Bluetooth. DAC. Amplifier.
Most pocket-size Bluetooth DAC/headphone amps incorporate all-in-one ‘system on a chip’ solutions to deliver input processing, digital-to-analogue signal conversion and amplification. These are simple and cost-effective, but they cannot compare with expertly designed, individually optimised circuit stages when it comes to sound quality.
Uniquely for a device of this type and size, the GO blu’s clever design packs in separate Bluetooth + DAC + Amp stages, each engineered in distinct blocks to deliver the ideal combination of cutting-edge specification and superb sound. Others just don’t this level of execution.
The Bluetooth stage makes full use of Qualcomm’s latest four-core QCC5100 Bluetooth chip and supports every current high definition format.
This then feeds the DAC stage with a Cirrus Logic 32-bit DAC chip at its heart. This is coupled with a customised digital filter to minimise pre-echoes and ringing artefacts, and a precision clock system to ensure ultra-low jitter, thus reducing errors and distortion in the digital audio signal.
The amp circuitry benefits from symmetrical twin-mono signal paths and utilises iFi’s Direct Drive design concept – direct-coupled to ensure a clean signal path without distortion-inducing output coupling capacitors. The amp stage delivers up to 5.6V (twice the voltage of others) – considerably more power than other similarly sized devices – handling even relatively tough headphone loads with ease. To ensure signal strength suits the sensitivity of the connected headphones or earphones, auto-gain adjusts output up or down by 6dB.
GO blu‘s ChronoDial is a masterpiece of precision engineering and, just like a Chronograph, it gives you precise, analogue volume control. You can use it to play, pause, and skip tracks forward and backwards and even activate the voice assistant on your Bluetooth-connected smart device.
Whether you use balanced or non-balanced headphones, you get the least noise and best channel separation for the most enjoyable music.
The GO blu boasts a Pentaconn 4.4mm output enabling headphones equipped with balanced connectivity to take full advantage of the GO blu’s balanced amp design.
In addition, the 3.5mm 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.
With XBass to add back lost low-end grunt and XSpace to widen the soundstage, the GO blu is small on the outside but mighty on the inside. You will be immersed in its majestic musicality.
Even phone calls are ‘clear Voice capture’ using Qualcomm’s ANC technology. Clear, crisp and no annoying echo.
The X-factor doesn’t stop with the sound. The GO blu has a watch crown-style control and is made with hi-tech components. It weighs in at a super featherlight 26grams or 0.06lbs.
It will be your ‘go-to’ music device.