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iFi Audio iNano iCan Review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've had the iNano iCan for roughly three weeks. I am not really much of a reviewer, but I will try my best to state the pros and cons of the device.

 

Background:

I mostly listen to desktop gear (mostly speakers), so my inventory of portable gear is not very large. My previous most used portable amplifier was a Fiio e17 (another solid state amplifier, with an added DAC function).

 

The current setup I use with the amplifier is iTouch 4 > (line out) to iFi iNano iCan > UE Triple Fi 10 Reshelled into custom mold and added 1 mid driver (TF10x4) (1 High 1 Mid 2 Low) OR Westone 4R OR Audio Technica M50s.

 

Overview:

I bought the iNano iCan for 200SGD in Singapore. It comes with the amp itself, 2 rubber bands for holding it with your source device, rubber feet, power supply/charger, a sheet of rubber to prevent scratches and movement from your source device and amp, a pair of male to male RCA wires, and a 3.5mm male to male wire. 1 year warranty for the amp.

 

Review:

 

I found that the overall sound was transparent, balanced and clean. I could not detect any colour being added from the amp, or it was so insignificant that I could not hear it. The bass was punchy and had impact, but did not muddy out the midrange. The physical build of the amp is excellent, with it being sturdy and made of metal. The audio jacks were also well built. The amp is quite powerful, and I hardly turn the volume knob further than 1/4. Battery life is excellent as well, with me being able to go at least a week on one charge (avg 2hrs of listening each day). There are two excellent features built into the amp as well, XBASS and 3D sound. The XBASS extends the range of the lows. I do not use this function most of the time, because my headphones already have plenty of bass. I found that the 3D feature helps the positioning of the instruments, and makes songs seem to have a surrounding effect, while still maintaining the integrity of the sound. I really liked the 3D feature, and I keep it on most of the time.

 

However, I also found that this amp had a slight hiss on sensitive iems. This should not bother you too much because it will become almost unnoticeable when music is being played. Also, the amp was quite vulnerable to radio noise. I would not recommend using it with a phone as the noise can be quite loud and annoying at times. Although well built, the amp is quite bulky, compared to other amps which are sleeker and more compact. You may not want this amp if you are bothered by holding a device that is bulky.

 

In all, I would recommend this amp as it is a great buy. The price per performance ratio is outstanding, and the amp itself comes with plenty of accessories. Although bulky, I find that it is a small sacrifice to carry a device that can improve the sound of my iTouch 4 to such extent.

 

Personal Rating of Amp: 8.5/10

post #2 of 5

Thanks for the review. I may be trying one soon to compare it to my larger iCAN amp, that I reviewed here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/654405/ican-amp-review-a-new-amp-that-gives-you-more-more-bass-more-soundstage-and-more-detail

post #3 of 5
post #4 of 5

Hi,

 

I couldn't really find the Nano iCan thread so i'm just gonna post here and see if anyone replies.

 

My current setup is aurdirvana plus on a macbook air, USB out to an iPurifier, then nano iDSD (volume knob set to max), then RCA out to nano iCan. I'm using a pair of Philips Fidelio X1 headphones.

 

My issue is that the volume is too loud by the time i turn the nano iCan's volume knob to equalise both Left and Right side. As mentioned on a post somewhere, the nano iCan's sound comes in from the Left then the Right when you slowly the volume knob from 0.

 

I know that there are iFi attenuators around, but is that the only solution?

 

Are there any other brands of attenuators that i can get? I live in Singapore by the way.

 

Thanks for the help guys.

post #5 of 5

I have a pair of RCA attenuators that work well also: http://www.amazon.com/Harrison-Labs-Line-Level-Attenuator/dp/B0006N41B0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404740573&sr=8-1&keywords=rca+attenuators

 

And the iCAN attenuators are very clean sounding and definitely generally help with just this problem. I don't know if they are out yet.

 

I will say that I have a couple of larger headphones that distort at high volumes when I am using the iFi attenuators. This is only when the volume control on the Nano has to be turned way up, so I do not think that you would have this problem given how low you are currently using the volume control.

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