Our new GO blu, pocket-rocket portable HD DAC/amp, is diminutive enough to take with you wherev… More details
HD Bluetooth DAC. Apple Music, Spotify, every song on the GO!
iFi's new GO blu, pocket-rocket portable HD DAC/amp, is diminutive enough to take with you wherever you go! It gives you best sound from wired but the convenience of wireless as you no longer need to have a cable connection to your smartphone. Whether you’re 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. It pairs wirelessly with your source device via Bluetooth with no need to worry about whether you’ve got the right cable for your Android or Apple device. Just pair … and GO! Every day is a GO blu day!
That’s less than an AA battery!
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.
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.
That’s Paris to New York +
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. Here’s how it’s constructed:
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 Balanced 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.
iFi uses Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth IC in combination with the Cirrus Logic 43131 as DAC to to create an audibly superior ‘Bluetooth engine’. All the current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported – Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, Sony’s LDAC and HWA’s LHDC, regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC (Apple iOS devices) and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec). Of the 24-bit-capable codecs, aptX Adaptive and aptX HD support up to 48kHz, while LDAC and LHDC reach 96kHz. iFi’s ‘Bluetooth engine’ can also be updated over-the-air, so future codecs may be added.
The latest Cirrus Logic CS43131 is an advanced ‘minature’ DAC that is at the heart of the newest range of iFi mobile devices.
It is a superior method to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. Less Interference – clearer sound. You normally find this set-up in products at the higher end of the price spectrum such as the Pro iCAN Signature but iFi is now using this across its range to produce the best quality audio for all iFi customers.
An important aspect of the circuit design is its direct-coupled nature (no coupling capacitor is present), achieved without a conventionally applied DC servo. DirectDrive® equals a direct signal path which means less signal degradation. This direct signal path is unequalled in audio and is the reason why the sound is so ‘true’.
XSpace is the iFi analogue signal improvement circuitry to get that ‘music’ back outside of your head for much better headphone enjoyment.
XBass is an analogue headphone spatialiser. It opens up your music to give you the feeling of spaciousness experienced at a live concert.
TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications. Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels. They are pricey but are a perfect addition to iFi products.
muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors. The ‘ESR control’ aspect of the Murata is something special. Their noise suppression abilities are impressive.
|Chipset||DAC Cirrus Logic CS43131|
|Bluetooth Qualcomm QCC 5100|
|Inputs||Wireless Bluetooth 5.1 ( AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD,|
|aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec)|
|Wired USB-C (24/96)|
|Headphone Outputs||Balanced 4.4mm|
|Power Output||Balanced 245mW @ 32Ω; 5.6v @ 600Ω|
|SE 165mW @ 32Ω; 2.8v @ 600Ω|
|Output Impedance||Balanced <1Ω|
|SNR||Balanced 111dB(A) @ 0dBFS|
|SE 116.5dB(A) @ 0dBFS|
|THD + N||Balanced <0.009% @ (6.5mW/[email protected]Ω)|
|SE <0.03% @ (100mW/[email protected]Ω)|
|Frequency Response||20Hz - 45kHz (-3dB)|
|Battery||Lithium-polymer 450mAh approx. ~8 hours (depending upon volume and headphones)|
|Power System||Charging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up to|
|1000mA charging current and 6.3 volts|
|Dimensions||54 x 34 x 13 mm|
|2.1' x 1.3' x 0.5'|
|Weight||27g (0.95 oz)|
|Warranty period||12 months|