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iFi Audio GO pod Wearable HD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp

As the perfect playing partner for high-quality in-ear headphones, iFi Audio recommends the new iFi Audio GO pod Wearable HD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp, a solution that is said to be suitable for a wide range of headphone models thanks to connections in MMCX, 0.78 2 pin, Pentaconn, T2 and A2DC formats.

It is truly a special solution that iFi Audio is now presenting with the new iFi Audio GO pod Wearable HD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp, especially because the manufacturer has decided to offer the first 1,000 units of this solution alone together with selected in-ear headphones, namely from Meze Audio, craft ears, Westone Audio, 64 Audio or Symphonium Audio.

Only then will the iFi Audio GO pod Wearable HD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp be available for purchase separately, primarily for in-ear headphones with MMCX connector or 0.78 2 pin connector. Solutions for Pentaconn, T2 and A2DC will also be offered as an option.

Hi-res audio via Bluetooth for almost any in-ear headphone

The new iFi Audio GO pod is designed to make almost any wired in-ear headphone “wireless”, i.e. to enable signal transmission via Bluetooth. Of course, this presupposes that the in-ear headphones have a detachable cable, but this applies to almost all models from established manufacturers, especially in the premium and high-end segments.

What makes the new iFi Audio GO pod stand out is that it does so at a particularly high level of quality, as iFi Audio promises, whereby the manufacturer speaks of a solution that is clearly superior to conventional Bluetooth headphones.

The reason for this is to be found in the special construction of the iFi Audio GO pod, the latest technologies used by iFi Audio and strictly selected components. The English company promises to set the same high standards here as it has always done for the various solutions from iFi Audio.

Separate components instead of SoC

According to iFi Audio, conventional true wireless in-ear headphones rely on highly integrated solutions, known as SoC, or system on a chip, in order to fit as many functions as possible into the smallest possible space.

In the case of the iFi Audio GO pod, a different strategy is used: all relevant components are built separately in order to always be able to use the best technology and thus achieve the best overall result.

Bluetooth from the specialist Qualcomm Inc.

Of course, the heart of the iFi Audio GO pod comes from the specialist Qualcomm Inc. and relies on a Bluetooth module that complies with the Bluetooth 5.2 standard. The Bluetooth stage is a Qualcomm QCC5144 module with 32-bit quad-core architecture that is certified for Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound and supports SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive, LHDC and LDAC.

The product carries the HWA logo for Hi-res Wireless Audio, as LDAC and LHDC (HWA) are each supported at their maximum resolution of 32 bits and 96 kHz, with the highest LDAC bit rate of 990 kbps available for users of Google Android devices with Snapdragon Sound support. For LDAC-enabled devices, the data rate is “only” 660 kbps.

It should also be mentioned that the new iFi Audio GO pod also supports Qualcomm TrueWirless Mirroring, guaranteeing optimal signal transmission at all times.

Separate converter and balanced output stage

iFi Audio explicitly points out that the aforementioned platform from Qualcomm Inc. could in principle also function as a D/A converter and output stage, but in order to guarantee the best possible quality, the iFi Audio GO pod relies on a separate converter and a separate output stage.

Two 32-bit Cirrus Logic MasterHiFi DACs are used, one for each channel, as well as a highly precise master clock for minimal jitter and particularly low distortion with a high dynamic range.

The output stage with analogue volume control is symmetrically designed and delivers a power of 120 mW at 32 ohms or an output voltage of 4 V at an impedance of 300 ohms, as the manufacturer states in the data sheet as essential key data.

To ensure that the output is perfectly matched to the headphones used, the impedance is automatically detected and the power is adjusted accordingly. There are four settings – 16 ohms, 32 ohms, 64 ohms and 300 ohms – with the most appropriate setting for the connected IEM being automatically selected.

It should also be mentioned that the iFi Audio GO pod has an integrated microphone, which means it can also be used as a hands-free device. The microphone uses Qualcomm cVc Noise Supression Technology to guarantee perfect speech intelligibility at all times.

The iFi Audio GO pod is IPX5 certified and weighs just 12 g per channel. The integrated battery is charged via the case included in the scope of delivery, which in turn offers a 1,500 mAh lithium polymer battery. The case is charged via Qi wireless charging or USB-C. One charge is sufficient for up to seven hours of playing time, and the case has a charging capacity for a total of 35 additional hours of playing time.

Prices and availability

As mentioned in the introduction, iFi Audio plans to offer the first thousand units of the new iFi Audio GO pod solely in combination with selected in-ear headphones from renowned manufacturers.

The following options are currently available: 64 Audio U4s, Craft Ears Aurum, Meze Advar and Meze Rai Penta, Symphonium Meteor as well as Westone Mach 60. Depending on the model, the price ranges from € 799,- to € 1.399,-.

Only when the first thousand units have been sold in this way will the iFi Audio GO pod also be offered separately, although the manufacturer has not yet indicated a price for this.

Getting to the point

The sales strategy of iFi Audio around the new iFi Audio GO pod seems a little strange. After all, the first thousand units of this very exciting solution will be sold only with selected in-ear headphones from long-term partners of iFi Audio. Only then will the iFi Audio GO pod be offered separately, so that users can make any wired in-ear headphones “wireless”.

Pricedepending on IEM between € 799,- and € 1.399,-
ManufacturerIFI AUDIO
DistributionWOD Audio
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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