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iFi iCAN headphone amplifier Reviews

ClieOS

Excellent sound, power, authority, and a well implemtened EQ system

Posted

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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bedlam inside

The little Amp that can do any CAN...

Posted

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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AxelCloris

A fun, small form amp

Posted

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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Vartan

My short review :)

Posted

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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DigitalFreak

Review: The iFi iCAN Amp

Posted

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

 
CraftyClown

A cracking little amp, with some fantastic extra features

Posted

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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tdockweiler

Near perfect and good with everything

Posted

Pros: Small, Transparent but not cold/analytical, Smooth treble, RCA AND 1/8" input

Cons: No power switch, Somewhat narrow soundstage, Price could be $50 lower, Weird switch labels

This will be a short review based on maybe on 12-15 hours of use. If you think that's not long enough you can skip it.   I was a bit worried that this would be some cheap gimmicky toy amp because of the name. This is instead a seriously good amp! I love it.   Sounds great with ALL my headphones and does not add any major coloration to any of them. It works equally well with the HD-598, HD-650, K400, DJ100 and modded Q701. It sounded especially good with the hard to drive K400! All my headphones and music sounds as it should. Sounds transparent but it's not cold/analytical/thin sounding. There is a subtle touch of warmth in there. It will be nice for even a DT-990 or...
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hrene

Amazing detailed amp!!!

Posted

Pros: Detailed, Exciting, Awesome Bass and Soundstage. Sounds much more than £225, feels like much more than £225

Cons: No on/off switch

    In Audiophile world most people think then more expensive its better, iCAN proves its not always true. iCAN is a great performing small desktop amp with amazing features at its price point of £225. Anyone who wants more bass or more space and detail from their headphones will be happy.   headphones used: HD650 HD800   Amp used: Graham Slee Novo £255 Graham Slee Solo SRG II £377 Lehmann Rhinelander £349 Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear £649 good sound but compare to price 3 times as iCAN Sennheiser HDVD-800 (but that the other story, I almost cry!!!) clear perfection!! £1499   Comparing to amps in the same price range and...
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mrinspire

iFi Audio iCAN : Here Come the New Beast

Posted

Pros: Sound quality and price, performance and features.

iFi iCAN reached Earmass! iFi Audio stunned me from the very first time that I saw local distributor E1-AKG posted info regarding their products line-up in our local forum. Why? Because the line-up is quite special,and for me they are innovative enough and offer audiophiles line-up that is really important and useful in everyone setup,and those often been forgotten,such as iUSB and iDAC. I am actually interested to know more on the other products in the line-up,but start from the iCAN,I feel nothing but impressed from head to toe,what iFI have been produced here,at least iCAN (I have not yet experienced with iDAC and iUSB),is really...
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TheGame21x

Plenty of Power, a Warm Sound, Sound Enhancements and a Reasonable Price Make this a Great Amplifier

Posted

Pros: Flat Frequency Response, Warm Sound, Excellent Sound Enhancements, Well Built, Plenty of Power

Cons: Slight Interference at Lowest Volume, High Gain Not Suited for IEMs,

Introduction I’d like to thank the folks at iFi Audio and Avatar Acoustics for the review sample.   iFi Audio is something of a newcomer in the mainstream consumer audio market, but one that has had its roots firmly planted in the professional audio industry for years, British firm Abbingdon Music Research, which produces a range of audiophile grade (read: expensive) sources, amplifiers and whatnot. iFi Audio was created with the promise of offering top quality products at much lower prices and has created a number of products since their inception. Up for review today is the iFi Micro iCAN headphone amplifier.   Does the iCAN measure up to the stiff competition...
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