iFi Audio is a fascinating brand, focusing (almost) exclusively on portable personal audio. Audio-Head‘s Brian Hunter took a look at some of their earliest offerings for Part-Time Audiophile last year and has another stack of their components in for review right now. They are, in short, really nifty.
The hottest thing off the iFi press are the new DSD components. There’s the Nano iDSD, a palm-sized battery-powered DSD256-capable device. And there’s the even-newer Micro iDSD, about 2x the size of the Nano, that can be driven via USB and can natively decode up to DSD512. I’m pretty sure that the latter just set some kind of record.
I haven’t had a chance to sit down with the new DACs as they’re brand spanking new, but stay tuned as I think we’ll be getting that chance sooner rather than later.
The iFi lineup right now is rather robust. There are solutions for headphone amplifiers, portable DACs, preamplifiers, cables, USB converters and “scrubbers”, and more. Happily, not a single component falls anywhere near $1,000, so I suppose all of these components fall on the “high-value” side of the audiophile line, which give me a happy.
Interesting side note, many of these components are best run in serial — a scrubber into a converter into an amp, &c. Which means a lot of little components scattered across the desk. But wait! They now sell a mini shelf system for keeping all these little dudes organized.