When In Manila, transporting desktop quality audio has been almost impossible due to the size and weight of desktop amplifiers and DACs. Thankfully though, newcomer iFi-audio has created an entire line of desktop audiophile products that are transportable in size, yet full in capabilities. The entire iFi Micro product line includes the iCan headphone amplifier – $249, the iDAC USB DAC – $299, the iPhono phono preamp – $399, and the iUSB – $199.
Packaging: If there would be a brand I could directly find iFi to have a similar packaging with, it would be Apple. Pretty similar both in and out which is actually cool since Apple goes well with their packaging.
Build: For the build quality and design, I find the iFi products to have a slightly weird shape. I would have preferred a flatter surface for easier stacking. What I do like about the iFi build though is that the casings our made out of aluminum, very sturdy and durable. I also like the included RCA cables and standard 3.5mm cables due to their respective designs, not be much worth to mention, but still a pretty cool extra quirk specially for those who don’t find upgrading cables anytime soon.
iCan headphone amplifier: the iFi iCan headphone amplifier isn’t what something you could really call a portable for its size. The footprint is pretty big for a portable, but this is fairly understandable since it was more of on the idea on being able to transport a desktop amplifier. The size is slighlty smaller and more compact compared to the Triad-Audio L3. What I primarily love about the iCan is its “3D Holograpdic Sound” setting. Basically this is iFi audio‘s own crossfeed setting. I love crossfeed settings, with the iCan, it definitely gets the job done when needed. Going into the sound signature of the iCan, I can say that it is detailed, soundstage is naturally above average, and the timbre is accurate. There is also the “Xtra Bass” setting for bassheads and for headphones that lack bass. I didn’t find much need to use this setting though since I found the iCan to have enough bass and the bass of the iCan could actually need more control. Mid-range is smoothened out and laid-back. The iCan is generally bright, but not that bright due to the smooth mids and the hefty bass.