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iFi iCAN headphone amplifier Reviews


[PMReviews] iFi iCAN (Standard And SE)


Pros: Clean Sound, Great Features, Excellent Build

Cons: Light, Volume Pot, Buzzing

iFi iCAN (Standard and SE) Power in a small package.  << PREVIOUS REVIEW | REVIEW INDEX | NEXT REVIEW >>   GENERAL NOTES For those who have read some of my past reviews, you'll notice that I've changed up the format slightly.  Graphically, this new review format looks more appeasing to the eye, while writing wise, I find that it is more fluid and natural.  Hope you don't mind it too much, and feedback is appreciated!     INTRODUCTION As a somewhat regular visitor to Stereo (audio store here in Singapore), I’ve caught more than a few glimpses of iFi’s sleek product lineup.  Svelte metal enclosures, tactile switches,...
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iCAN micro SE (Special Edition) UPDATE


Pros: Improved sound at each end of the spectrum Better separation of images

Cons: Need to add another layer to the iRack

Hi there this is by way of an initial impression only as I'm supposed to be putting up our Christmas tree but instead I am listening to music!!! UPDATE is down in the last paragraphs below.   Anyhow I got the chance to borrow a new iCAN micro SE from those kind ifi Audio folks to add into my desk top ifi based computer system and to see how it compares with the amp section of my pre existing micro iDSD.   The system now stands at elderly Toshiba laptop to ifi Mercury to iPurifier2 to iUSB power to Gemini cables to micro iDSD to iCAN micro SE to Sennheiser HD700s.   As I understand it the key differences between the iCAN and iCAN SE are upgraded components and...
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iCan really can do what you expect from it


Pros: Versatility from IEMs to Planars, excellent body to the sound, XBass and 3D switches, quality fun sound with authority

Cons: sound could be more opened and airy, hiss at some worse quality recordings

 I do not have much experience with many gears, but here is the short story of an amateur in the hobby, how he get to the Micro iCan.   I used Fiio X3 first gen. to listen to music with a Schiit Vali. (And HD600) I liked the line out of the X3, as it was much cleaner, more detailed superior sound over the headphone out. However I used the headphone out sometimes if needed some extra bass. (Hardware bass eq on X3 works just via hp out, not line out. And yes, I know it is double amping.) Anyway, as a first gen X3 owner I had the offer from Fiio to upgrade to the second one with 40% off. So I did it, as I was curious. :) The sound of X3ii is much better than the first gen. I...
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bedlam inside

The little Amp that can do any CAN...


Pros: Good sound, sane price, drives pretty much everything you throw at it, 3D sound and XBass work well to help out otherwise deficient headphones

Cons: Not portable/battery power, could sound a touch warmer and more tubey for me

When you listen from the loudspeakers, your right ear not only hears the sound from the right loudspeaker, it hears the sound from your left loudspeaker too and the same for left. When using headphones, you right ear ONLY hears the sound from the right headphone, nothing from the left headphone and the same reverse.  That’s why the music is always inside your head when listening through headphones.  But with loudspeakers, you hear sound coming from the front and around you just like inside a concert hall. To me this is a major problems with headphones and makes me listen to them as little as possible, until recently. At the recent National Audio Show in September I came...
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A fun, small form amp


Pros: 3D sounds, bass boost, small form factor

Cons: No power switch, could use more power

There’s an amp that’s been making its rounds on Head-Fi for a while now, the iFi iCan. I’ve seen it pop up around various threads and I’ve always been curious but I never saw myself really wanting it.   The iCan’s 3D HolographicSound system is what intrigued me most about this amp. It’s nothing new, by any means, as it’s a ­variable crossfeed switch. It’s the execution that makes this little guy so impressive. There are three stages to the crossfeed: no crossfeed, a mild crossfeed, and a more liberal crossfeed. Per the user’s guide, iFi recommends using the first crossfeed level for recordings with “excessive” stereo effect and the second level for more flat recordings.   I...
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iCAN is a keeper. Paired with iDSD Micro you have got a winner combo. Highly recommended!!!


Pros: Very musical and smooth sounding. Great XBass and 3D implementation. Gain setting is very useful.

Cons: would be cool to have internal battery and an off button

Have been listening to my new iCAN Micro for couple weeks now. Before that I use the headphone output directly out of my iDSD Micro.   First of all i just want to say that iDSD Micro is great. One of the best gears i have ever bought. I buy and sell headphone gears pretty often just to try different things. that's what this hobby is all about, right? iDSD Micro is one thing i think i will never let go. It is just so flexible and good looking. Not to mention that it sounds great. I don't know how iFi guys were able to pack so many great features in such a small and beautiful package and sell it for a very reasonable price. Btw, they weren't joking about using iDSD Micro to drive the...
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Excellent sound, power, authority, and a well implemtened EQ system


Pros: Top notch SQ + EQ, transparency.

Cons: No gain control (*see 'update'), shape of housing.

iFi Audio is a new comer in the headphone amp scene, but it does share the same bloodline as the renowned U.K. based premium audiophiles brand AMR. While AMR already has some top end gears to offer to the speaker and full rig owner, its little sister brand seems to aim toward mainly the computer based headphone user as well as minimalist audiophiles. Their current ‘Micro’ line of devices includes the iDAC (headphone amp + USB DAC with line-out), iCAN (headphone amp), iUSB Power (USB isolator), iPhono (phone preamp) and the recently released iLink (USB to S/PDIF converter). We will cover the former three here, which are priced at US$299, US$249 and US$199 respectively (*price do vary...
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My short review :)


Pros: Excellent warm sound, Powerful, Detailed, Transparent, Black silent background, Form factor and design

Cons: I don't know why they didn't design the amp with an on/off switch, Slight interference at lowest volume

 There were many amps in 250$ range to choose from, but I liked iCAN's unique design and the shape. I don't have many headphones to do a comparison. I'm not a big fan of bass boost and 3D, but sometimes I do use bass boost on one dot position (by the way, I'd like the one dot setting to come after the direct setting).  The bass boost works perfectly and doesn't bleed to mid range (in one dot setting). The 3D holographic effect works fine with some tracks, you have to figure out on your own.  I'm very much pleased with this amp, if you are looking for an amp in 250$ range, do consider the iCAN micro, because it's very powerful and very smooth sounding amp.    ✔...
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Review: The iFi iCAN Amp


Pros: Fun settings to play with, good amp for the new enthusiast looking for his/her first amp,

Cons: can sound a little hot in the treble with some headphones when 3D boost is used, slight bleed into lower mids when max bass boost is used


A cracking little amp, with some fantastic extra features


Pros: Powerful, transparent, fantastic soundstage

Cons: No power button

Let me first make it clear that I am using a demo version of the ICan, sent to me by Vince at IFi. The reason for this is that as well as being a part time audiophile, I also run a video production company and we will be working with IFi to produce some videos later this year. Vince sent me the unit to get an understanding of how their technology works.    So onto the device itself... Wow! I must confess I was expecting this to be a fairly standard amp, and that the extra features (X-Bass and 3D) would be nothing more than gimmicks... I am happy to be proved very wrong. The amp itself is powerful enough to run both my IEMs (Heir 8as) and my full size cans...
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