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.
Swiss Chronograph design & implementation
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:
- Brass supporting column with anti-corrosion
- Brass locking nut with anti-corrosion
- Precision 304 stainless steel bearing
- 304 stainless steel main dial with beryllium cobalt copper coating
- High-purity nickel push-button spring
- Precision CNC machined AL6063 aluminium push button
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.
X-factor. Inside and out.
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.
We use 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.
- Advanced 32-bit oversampled multi-bit modulator with mismatch shaping technology
- Dynamic Range of 130dB
- THD+n of -115dB
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 our 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 our 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.