- The new iFi Audio uno from iFi Audio is said to be a particularly compact solution that functions as a D/A converter and headphone amplifier.
With the new iFi Audio uno, the company iFi Audio is expanding its product range with a particularly exciting product. Of course, what is really exciting here is not that the new iFi Audio uno is a combination of a D/A converter and headphone amplifier; on the contrary, such concepts are already widely used and thus defacto a kind of standard. It is above all the size that iFi Audio has chosen here, one can even speak of a particularly tiny solution, and this despite the fact that it is not a portable product, but one that is clearly designed as a desktop audio solution.
The new iFi Audio uno even fits easily in the palm of your hand, so it should find a place anywhere you want to use a D/A converter and headphone amplifier.
iFi Audio uno with ESS Sabre DAC
For signal processing, the new iFi Audio uno relies first and foremost on a D/A converter from ESS Technology Inc., namely an ESS ES9219MQ/Q DAC, which is capable of processing signals in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, but also DSD up to DSD256. Content encoded in lossy MQA can also be processed in the new iFi Audio uno with the help of this DAC.
The manufacturer promises highly precise signal processing with extremely low distortion, outstanding clarity and a particularly wide dynamic range thanks to the high-quality D/A converter of the ESS Sabre DAC Series with Time Domain Jitter Elimination Technology and a special clock circuit developed by iFi Audio itself.
Not quite as flexible with the connections
The new iFi Audio uno can be connected directly to a PC or Mac, but also to smartphones and tablets via a USB-C interface. Incidentally, the device is also powered via this USB interface.
There is a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack for connecting headphones and a pair of cinch jacks for integration into an audio system, but that’s it for the connections. The compact dimensions mean that this solution is not as flexible in terms of connections.
High-quality output stage
However, the quality of the output stage has not been compromised in any way, as the manufacturer himself expressly emphasises, because a so-called S-Balanced circuit from iFi Audio is used here, as well as the iFi Powermatch technology, which has three special modes – film, music and games – for an optimal performance at all times.
It’s worth noting that the output stage has a power rating of 211 mW at 32 ohms, which is still 39 mW for 600-ohm headphones.
With dimensions of only 11 x 10 x 4 cm, the new iFi Audio uno weighs around 200 g and is presented in a discreet, dark anthracite colour.
On the front, there is a rotary encoder with an LED ring to indicate the current resolution or type of digital signal. Here you will also find two buttons and the connection for the headphones, the USB port and the pair of cinch sockets as analogue output can be found on the back. On the upper side, there is another status LED that visualises the respective operating mode.
Prices and availability
The new iFi Audio uno should be available in specialist shops within the next few days. The manufacturer states a recommended retail price of € 79,-.
Getting to the point
The new iFi Audio uno from iFi Audio is said to be a particularly small solution that nevertheless offers the finest signal processing. Hi-res audio can only be played via sources connected to USB-C, but the D/A converter processes their signals in all relevant formats. The integrated headphone amplifier is also supposed to score with good quality, so that you will find a very versatile solution in the smallest possible form.
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