Review: iFi Audio iUSB3.0

ifi_iUSB3.0_010_HiFi Philosophy   ifi is setting new standards and is doing so in many aspects at the same time. The first – probably the most important, but not mentioned by the company itself – is the pace of changes. New devices pop up one after another, not giving the competition a chance to catch their breath. Other novelties, which also make the competition struggle for breath, are innovative solutions produced on a massive scale and widely implemented, and in the case of ifi they are packed into small boxes that cost next to nothing, at least for audiophile standards. Almost everything is in the price range between one and two thousands, only rarely considerably exceeding the two thousands, so everyone can enjoy this flurry of innovations. And let’s be clear – ifi has built a worldwide career. The decision to switch the emphasis from large-size, stationary devices, sold under the name AMR (Abbingdon Music Research) to small, mobile devices has earned them a really impressive success, the sweetest fruits of which are harvested in Asia and America, but Europe is also not to be sniffed at. The sales are skyrocketing everywhere, and this means proportional profit which opens the door to new technological possibilities, which, in accordance with the principle of positive feedback, is the driving force for even greater success. It is therefore, a real perpetual motion machine, which so far works like a charm. Apart from that, they are gaining and reinforcing prestige, and the company is already recognized by everyone, which of course has a double impact on their success: clients buy things more readily when the brand is well known, and even potentially the best novelties with unknown name are approached with caution.

So when it comes to the new iUSB3.0, the only thing you can worry about is whether they haven’t put too many novelties there at once, instead, for example, of adding new upgrades every six months or so and adding some number next to the name. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be entirely fair, and those who bought the device six month earlier could feel somewhat duped. Such practices, however, are known in the area of computer technologies and no one is complaining that things bought six months ago are already outdated. What is more, such quick innovativeness is admired, and the companies that have been often caught on the act of purposefully dosing their innovations in small portions, are doing just great. However, ifi hasn’t chosen this path, or at least there are no clues that would indicate such an approach. Quite the contrary – it seems that they even overdid with applying all the innovations at once by packing the device with all these upgrades.

All of them will be listed and discussed in a moment, but first let me add that ifi has decided to use its success also in reverse, that is moving backward. What else than moving backward can you call the news, which sparked great stir, especially across the ocean, that soon ifi’s offer will include three larger devices, what in a way flies is the face of their usual activities. But it seems there is nothing to worry about, and it shouldn’t be taken as a sign of a reversing trend. These devices won’t be extra large and should cost about fifteen hundred dollars. One of them has already been shown during the last Can Jam as a pre-production showpiece, which caused great excitement. I’m talking about a new, tube (or rather hybrid to be precise) headphone amplifier, offering balanced and unbalanced outputs, which, according to its users, makes redundant all the headphone amps costing less that six thousand dollars that are currently available on the market. It was designed to go in pair with a transducer, serving also the function of an interface and USB signal repeater. Later all this is going to be supplemented with a separate battery which is to provide perfect power. All this should cost in Poland about twelve thousands, with the quality that kills all the competitors, and the first two pieces of this set will possibly be available before Christmas.

For now, however, lets stick to the lower price range, smaller size and to the stage of improving and amplifying USB signal, which commercially comes under the name iFi Audio iUSB3.0 Micro.

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2 komentarzy w “Review: iFi Audio iUSB3.0

  1. Piotr Ryka pisze:

    Ponieważ nie ma jeszcze forum, pozwolę sobie w tym miejscu napisać coś całkiem nie na temat, ale za to o najbardziej bieżącej sprawie muzycznej. Posłuchałem przez odrobinkę , dosłownie po kilkanaście sekund, dziesiątki finalistów Konkursu Chopinowskiego. Moim zdaniem najlepiej prezentują się Dymitr Szyszkin (różnie jego nazwisko piszą), Georgijs Osokins i Eric Lu.

  2. Maciej pisze:

    My z żoną rano słuchaliśmy za to Anne-Sophie Mutter z sonatami Mendelssohna w TVP Kultura (na marginesie czasem dobrze mieć podłączony DAC do TV) na wieczór za to już zabrakło sposobności czasowej.

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