iFi audio Pro iCAN

General Information

The Pro iCAN will for many, be used as a top-of-the-line, headphone amplifier that drives anything and everything – from CIEMs through to the most difficult to drive headphone ever made, the AKG K-1000.
The first product in the range is the Pro iCAN – a studio-grade headphone amplifier AND audiophile line-stage. Inside beats ‘two hearts’ as there is are two individual Solid-State and Tube amplification sections – selectable on the go.

Latest reviews

Pros: Phenomenal performance at lowest (0dB) gain, especially with XLR4 out
Excellent solid state mode
Best implementation of iFi's XBass and 3D modes
Compact design compared to other full-featured desktop amps
Cons: 3.5mm outs have automatic IEMatch and don't provide the best sound quality
9dB and 18dB gain modes have significantly more noise
Tube modes are gimmicky
Runs hot
MICRO IDSD BLACK LABEL'S BIG BROTHER
iFi's Micro iDSD Black Label (shortened to the MiDSD BL for the rest of the review) is perhaps iFi's most popular product. It's a portable combo DAC/amp unit that packs a comprehensive feature set, along with a ridiculous amount of power, at a price ($600 USD) that doesn't break the bank. What's very notable is its analog tweak features, XBass and 3D+. I own the MiDSD BL, and used it as my everyday desktop DAC/amp, but there were a few things I found frustrating about it. It didn't provide enough power on eco (lowest) gain for my headphones. If I raised it to normal gain, there would be hissing. And using the IEMatch feature to eliminate the hissing resulted in a less airy sound.

The only upgraded model from iFi that has the analog tweak features, and has more power, is the Pro iCAN, but it's triple the price. As I loved the 3D+ tweak on the MiDSD BL, upgrading to the Pro iCAN for me was a no-brainer. Those who aren't as enthralled with the analog tweak features may wonder if the Pro iCAN is worth it for them.

The unit itself is a very nice size, as it's reasonably compact compared to the rackmount widths of beefier amps. It's as wide as the 8.5" length of a letter-size paper sheet. The front panel looks very symmetrical in its design. The iFi logo on the top left will change color depending on its current status. There's no way to disable this LED, but it's small enough to not be too obtrusive.

This is a Class A amp, which means it runs hot. It won't burn your hand when you immediately touch it, but it's very warm, and you wouldn't want to put your palm on the chassis for more than half a minute. If you're coming from the MiDSD BL like I did, this might be a bit of a shock to you.

INPUTS AND OUTPUTS (4 IN, 5 HEADPHONE OUT, 2 PREAMP OUT)
For inputs, there's a dual XLR3 in for the left and right channels, as well as 3 RCA ins. This is a bit of overkill, as for my purposes, I've never needed more than two inputs at the same time. But it's nice that the option is there. For this review, I mainly used the XLR3 input fed from a Topping D90 DAC, which at the time of this review was Topping's flagship DAC ($700 USD) using the AKM AK4499 chip. Other reviews have used iFi's own Pro iDSD ($2500 USD). I think $2500 for a DAC is a colossal waste of money, especially when the DAC has superfluous parts such as its own headphone amp and tubes. The Pro iDSD also uses the same DAC chip (TI PCM1793) as the MiDSD BL, and doesn't have the analog tweaks that the MiDSD BL has, so I couldn't justify it at all. Headphone amps affect the sound far more than the DAC, so by going with the Topping D90, I saved a lot of money.

As for outputs, there's an XLR4 headphone out, dual XLR3 headphone outs that double as 6.35mm outs, a single-ended 3.5mm out, and a balanced 3.5mm out. The Pro iCAN's vintage is 2016, so no balanced 2.5mm or 4.4mm outs. But you could plug up to a whopping 5 headphones into this unit. At the back is a dual XLR3 out and 1 RCA out, in which the iCAN may act as a preamp. Plugging headphones in at the front doesn't disable the rear outputs.

For this review, I mainly used the XLR4 headphone out with the Grado GS3000e, which has 40 ohm impedance and 97dB/mW sensitivity. (Grado's marketing states 32 ohm and 99.8dB/mW but measurements at RAA state otherwise.) At the time of this review, it was Grado's flagship wooden headphone ($1800 USD). Using XLR4 out over 6.35mm out provides a considerable advantage in that it doubles the power output without affecting the noise floor. This is very important as we'll see later.

The 3.5mm outs are disappointing. They automatically have iFi's IEMatch feature applied to them. Unlike the MiDSD BL, in which you had to determine the IEMatch strength yourself, the Pro iCAN detects the headphone's impedance and applies the appropriate IEMatch level. I don't like IEMatch and think it's a flawed solution to a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place. Users have reported that while it does remove hissing, it also reduces the overall volume, decreases the dynamic range, and makes things sound less airy. I agreed with these findings, and always had IEMatch off on the MiDSD BL, even though without it, I could hear a very faint amount of hissing. Instead of using IEMatch, it's better to just design an amp for ultra-sensitive headphones and IEMs that works. For moderately sensitive 3.5mm headphones, a 6.35mm adapter should be used in order to avoid IEMatch.

GAIN (0dB, 9dB, 18dB)
0dB gain mode was fantastic. Using the XLR4 out, 0dB gain mode outputs as much power as the MiDSD BL on normal gain, but without all the noise and distortion! It was plenty loud with my GS3000e at just 10 o'clock on the dial. ASR measurements state that 0dB gain mode is very clean, and excels with low to moderate impedance headphones. Most importantly, my GS3000e was finally dead silent when there's no output, even with the volume knob turned all the way to the maximum 5 o'clock position.

9dB gain mode introduced a very small amount of floor hiss on my GS3000e, about as much as I got on the MiDSD BL on normal power. Some users have reported that 9dB gain mode sounds more neutral than 0dB gain mode, but with no way to really do a fast comparison, I couldn't determine whether what I heard was placebo. Going to my Grado SR225i, 9dB was ideal for it, as it was a less efficient headphone (32 ohm, 93.5dB/mW) than the GS3000e (40 ohm, 97dB/mW), and was using the 6.35mm out, which provides half the power compared to XLR4.

18dB gain mode wasn't tested. I didn't have any headphones that required that much power. Attempting to use it on the GS3000e resulted in very audible hissing. ASR measurements state that distortion and noise are considerably higher, so if you have headphones that actually need this, you really should look at another amp.

AMPLIFICATION MODES (SOLID STATE, TUBE, TUBE+)
Unique to the Pro iCAN is its three different amplification modes. The solid state and tube modes run on separate circuits, so this isn't some halfhearted hybrid design. It's literally two amplifiers in one. Note that the temperature of the unit stays hot regardless of whether you use solid state or tube mode.

Solid state mode is what I use most of the time. It provides the best clarity and dynamics, and I use a software EQ to remove the harshness from my GS3000e anyway.

The tube modes are more of a gimmick, and I wouldn't really miss them if they were gone from the next iteration of this unit. Tubes have a limited lifespan, and the tubes in the Pro iCAN aren't easily replaceable. Some day, I'd like to resell this unit, so I'd rather minimize my tube usage if possible. Tube mode doesn't sound too much different than solid state mode on most recordings. Maybe it removes a bit of harshness, but I couldn't barely tell a difference, if at all. I wouldn't recommend using tube mode over solid state mode.

Tube+ mode, on the other hand, noticeably changes the sound signature, as the increased harmonic distortion really takes the edge out of any harsh treble. This means there's some detail and dynamics loss, but if you're not feeling analytical and want a more relaxing sound, this mode will work for you.

ANALOG TWEAKS (XBASS, 3D)
Here we go. This is what I consider to be the primary selling point of the Pro iCAN: getting the "best" version of iFi's analog tweaks.

XBass comes in 3 flavors: 10hz/20hz/40hz. Note that these are poorly named. "10hz" starts with a +9.5dB boost @ 10hz and slopes down towards 0 @ 200hz. "20hz" has a +10.5dB boost @ 20hz and slopes down towards 0 @ 500hz. "40hz" has a +10.5dB boost @ 40hz and slopes down towards 0 @ 1khz. The "20hz" boost is about the same as the XBass+ boost on the MiDSD BL, though I typically never used it when I had the MiDSD BL because I thought there was too much lower-mids bleed. "40hz" was even worse, and I switched out of it after about 30 seconds of listening. However, there was a plus: the "10hz" boost is much more subtle, and I greatly enjoyed this on my GS3000e.

The 3D mode is interesting. For those who haven't used iFi's 3D, I need to debunk a misconception. It is not just crossfeed. Simple crossfeed reduces the soundstage width. What iFi's 3D does is mess around with the phase at various frequencies, sending some sound from one channel to the other, but this is done in such a way that it increases the soundstage width, not reduce it. It also preserves the bass, unlike a simple "out of phase" filter. Therefore, iFi's 3D tweak is superior than simple crossfeed, and it's something that I have turned on all the time for increased immersion. Different headphones will vary in the amount of benefit that iFi's 3D provides, but it really shines on my GS3000e.

Note that the Pro iCAN was launched before the MiDSD BL, about 8 months earlier, in the first half of 2016, while the MiDSD BL was launched in the beginning of 2017. The MiDSD has an updated 3D mode that's called "3D+". 3D on the Pro iCAN comes in 3 flavors: 30°, 60°, and 90°. 30° and 60° provide a lesser effect than the MiDSD BL, and so they're not worth using if you've been used to the MiDSD BL.

90° provides about as much width as 3D+. However, 3D+ introduced some extra airiness and brightness by increasing the amount of perceived treble. This is all done with phase voodoo, as measurements have shown that the frequency response doesn't change. 90° on the Pro iCAN doesn't do this. Some may feel the MiDSD BL might exhibit a "stronger" effect due to the treble lift.
When I used the MiDSD BL, I had to reduce the treble via software EQ to offset this. With the Pro iCAN, I adjusted my software EQ so that it was back to having the appropriate amount of brightness. Overall, I'd give a slight edge to the Pro iCAN because it keeps the heft of the mids, but I could totally see someone preferring the 3D+ of the MiDSD BL.

So to compare, for the MiDSD BL, I had XBass+ off and 3D+ on. On the Pro iCAN, I have XBass at "10hz" and 3D at 90°. I feel this is a slight improvement over the MiDSD BL's tweaked sound.

CONCLUSION
The Pro iCAN is a considerable upgrade, especially if you already enjoy the MiDSD BL and frequently use the XBass and 3D analog tweaks. It measures significantly better, provides more clean power, and is definitely worth triple the asking price ($1800 USD vs. $600 USD) if you can take advantage of its strengths. However, it's not a universal recommendation, as I feel it's best used specifically with balanced headphones with moderate sensitivity and impedance.

Those with sensitive IEMs should look elsewhere, as the forced IEMatch is a letdown. The marketing states that there's a monster amount of power on tap, and there is, but it's not clean. Those with low-sensitivity headphones have cleaner amp options at this price range, as moving to 9dB or 18dB gain results in worse performance. And finally, if you're a purist and think the XBass and 3D knobs are sacrilege, and won't take advantage of the preamp function, then don't get this amp. There are cheaper amps that will provide what you need.
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Pros: Detail
Power
Clarity
Flexibility (Tube mode & Solid-state mode)
Cons: The pad on the bottom isn't as stable as possible when not stacking with other iFi Pro components.


My Review of the iFi Pro iCAN




ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Many thanks to Lawrance over at iFi - who has been patient and supportive of getting me info and started with product the past few years.

This is my purely subjective review – based on my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please consider and respect this - especially if my impressions do not match your own.


I have used the iFi Pro iCAN extensively over the past 6 months, and I have clocked a lot of hours with the amplifier in the last 3 months in particular.

You can read specs anywhere, so for the sake of brevity, I will stick to how my experience went and how the Pro iCAN fit into my stable of audio devices and headphones.

REVIEW

Setup

For this review, I used the PRO iCAN PRIMARILY from PRO iDSD (Also on loan from iFi) Opus #1S, and iBasso DX90. I tested against other amps, (iFi xCAN, iDSD Micro, iCAN SE, Massdrop Liquid Carbon X +SDAC, & Schiit Asgard II) to see differences in performance with various headphones.





Pro iCAN (Bottom) with the Pro iDSD and assorted headphones


WHAT IT IS
The Pro iCAN is the combo solid-state and tube amp section of iFi’s PRO line of products which also includes the dedicated DAC and multimedia hub (Pro iDSD), and the transformer/energizer (Pro iESL) which is specifically for electrostatic headphones.

POWER TO SPARE (0db LOW, 9db MEDIUM, 18db HIGH)

The Pro iCAN is iFi’s flagship headphone/speaker amp blessed with a surplus of power, (Up to 14W for headphones and its 20V mode can output up to 100W into 40 Ohm speakers!) allowing for the proper driving of the most power-hungry headphones. I never felt the need to raise the volume dial past 10 o’clock in HIGH gain or noon in LOW gain with my hardest to drive 300 or 600 Ohm headphones.

BUILD

SOLID. 213(l) x 192.5(w) x 63.3(h) mm metal casing and weighing 1.93kg (4.3lbs) indicates that this is a sturdy and substantial desktop component that was designed to last.







AMP PERFORMANCE




My planar magnetic headphones respond well to the Pro iCAN



Of particular note: The widened soundstage on my Sendy Aivas!



Solid-State - The PRO iCAN was able to drive my old Sennheiser HD-650s to louder volume levels than I am comfortable with even on LOW gain, and both MEDIUM and HIGH gain drove them ridiculously louder! This is my preferred way to listen to the HD-650s. The brighter sound and tighter dynamics of the solid-state mode perfectly balances the HD-650s darker tuning and eradicates any veiling tendencies. While the balanced connection offered more power, the single-ended connections also sounded full and well-rounded.


Tube Mode - I really enjoyed the first tube mode, finding it the ideal balance of “tubey goodness” to enrich slightly thinner sounding headphones and tracks. I especially enjoyed listening to AKG 550s, Thieaudio Phantoms, and (on LOW gain) my Etymotic ER4XR extended response iems. Classical and orchestral pieces found their stride in this mode, filling-in the sound signature without muddying or dulling the performances.



Tube+ Mode – I enjoyed this mode the most on my Beyerdynamic T1 (2nd ver.) and the Sennheiser HD-800. While taming the most punishing tones and ringing in the highs, it simultaneously filled-out the mids to lessen to purely clinical and sterile natures of their presentations while adding a bit of weight to the low end. Just what I want when I want to just relax and enjoy, and I love that I have the option to turn the tube+ mode off if I want to dig-in and examine a piece or a component’s effect on the audio chain.





AMP SOURCE RESULTS BREAKDOWN


In order of performance:

1. Phones – (RCA input) Each sounds about the same.. (Apple or Android) Basic, low detail and flat sounding unless you play with DSP apps. Plenty of volume with low distortion if you adjust your phone’s volume to its particular “sweet spot”.

2. Tablets - (RCA input) Same as phones, but a little more source power. Louder, but still need to adjust volume to prevent distortion.

3. Fiio e17 DAC - (RCA input) Adds a bit of “fullness” to the sound and increased detail over early model phones. Newer phones (iPhone 7 and newer, Note 8) sound about equal with tradeoffs for and against each. The Pro iCAN reveals the strengths and weaknesses easily.

4. iBASSO DX90 DAP - (RCA input) The player offers better detail and resolution than any of the previous choices in the list, and the Pro iCAN easily demonstrates this.

5. Radsone E100 - (RCA input/2.5mm to XLR) The E100’s app gives you great customization choices, EQ, Crossfeed, Filters, etc.. I didn’t feel the need to alter the signature much, but the Pro iCAN handled changes across the full EQ range with no evident distortion. More dependent on original Bluetooth source quality than I wanted, but has plenty of innate resolving capability and clean clarity of sound if the source has it to begin with.

6. iFi iDSD Micro - (RCA input) Increased clarity and resolution due to the DAC improvement over all my previous choices. Additions of XBass and 3D were easily-tolerated with no sense of distortion, but the Pro iCAN’s onboard XBass and 3D settings sound a bit cleaner and more refined.

7. Opus #1S DAP - (RCA input/2.5mm to XLR) Best mobile source I have, and the PRO iCAN really shines with it. The player has a little darker coloring than the DX90 does, which the PRO iCAN displays transparently and perfectly.

8. iFi Pro iDSD – (RCA input/2.5mm to XLR/& XLR to XLR) Clearly made to match the Pro iCAN. A good bit of clarity, fullness, and detail added to music which demonstrates my first REAL experience with higher-grade audio equipment.
SONIC COMPARISONS (Solid-State mode only - No tube options to compare against)


l iFi xCAN - Do you want fun or accuracy? The xCAN is bouncy, robust, energetic, and just plain enjoyable to listen to. Not nearly as accurate, detailed, nuanced, or balanced as the Pro iCAN. Think top of consumer-grade (xCAN) vs hi-end grade (Pro iCAN).

l iFi Micro iDSD – The Micro has a more congested sound than the Pro iDSD does. The Pro iDSD has better presentation, placement, and more “space” between sounds. It’s clearly easier to place instruments within the soundstage. The Pro iDSD has a wider stage and manages to place vocals in front of you better than both the Micro iDSD and Micro iCAN amps do. Vocals sound clearer and more nuanced on the Pro.

l iFi Micro iCAN SE - Out of all my amp choices, only the Micro iDSD & iCAN SE output close to the amount of power the Pro iCAN is capable of. (Though still less than 1/3 of the balanced and only 80% of the single-ended capabilities.) Same as the others, narrower soundstage, less instrument separation, and more of a “wall of sound” than a dynamic soundscape than the Pro iCAN provides. Still, excellent showings for portable amps!

l Schiit Audio Asgard II - This, in the beginning, was my reference for benchmarks. Along with slightly elevated bass, the Asgard II is slightly less neutral and analytical than the Pro iCAN. The exact opposite of the Micro iCAN & iDSD, which I consider more enjoyable for daily driver roles. Narrower soundstage. The lowest dynamic range of the desktop amps compared.

l Liquid Carbon X +SDAC – Closest match I own to the Pro iCAN when run in solid-state mode. MUCH less power, and slightly less detail revealed by the Liquid Carbon. Also, the bass range is much looser than found on the Pro iCAN, but the amp still works as an option for the enjoyment of relaxed and smooth sound signatures. A narrower soundstage, and oddly-offset instrument placements in the soundscape. Not offensive, but inaccurate.

l Pro iDSD – Closest match of all. Truly, the differences are very subtle and require very resolving headphones to really demonstrate the differences. To my ear, the Pro iCAN’s overall presentation seems a bit smoother, but with no actual loss in detail. The soundstage is also slightly wider when listening to certain tracks on the Pro iCAN.




REFERENCE MUSIC BY GENRE

Rock –


1. “Kryptonite” – 3 Doors Down

2. “Du Hast” – Rammstein

3. “Why Me?” – Planet P

4. “Hotel California” – The Eagles

5. “Money For Nothing” – Dire Straits

6. “Amaranth” – Night Wish

7. “Money” – Pink Floyd

8. “Lucy” – Skillet

9. “Layla” – Eric Clapton

10. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – Jeff Healey



Blues/Jazz –


1. “Round Midnight” – Thelonious Monk

2. “Smoking Gun” – Robert Cray

3. “A Night In Tunisia” – Dizzy Gillespi

4. “Mood Indigo” – Duke Ellington



Pop/Rap/Electronica –


1. “Lose Yourself” – Eminem

2. “When Doves Cry” – Prince

3. “Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga

4. “No One” – Alicia Keys

5. “Royals” – Lorde

6. “Ride On Time” – Black Box

7. “O Fortuna” – Apotheosis

8. “Obsession” – See-Saw

9. “Guren No Yumia” – Linked Horizon



CONCLUSION

The Pro iCAN is a truly amazing product that has afforded me my first REAL exposure to “the next level” of audio. Just a few years ago, I was blown away by the performance of expensive devices that are now collecting dust because inexpensive devices easily-surpass their capabilities. So, for me, this is a great product that I can’t recall another amp that I’ve heard beating outside of tradeshow booths or swap-meets. Certainly, nothing that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to with my own gear, and in the comfort of my own home. I can easily HIGHLY recommend it!

To me, there are 3 main benefits:

l Great sound – This amp simply stomps any other device that I’ve reviewed.

l Clean power – While I didn’t go into detail about this, the Pro iCAN has great power conditioning built-in. When I connected all devices to bare power mains, there was clearly-discernable audio noise in my Liquid Carbon X and especially my Asgard II that remained until I put them behind an iFi PowerStation that was also on-hand for review. The Pro iCan’s power supply removed all signal interference no matter how I plugged it to mains power.

l Flexibility – The Tube, 3D, and XBass offerings aren’t just “gimmicks” or cheesy afterthoughts. They legitimately offer options to cater to what I want to hear no matter the characteristics of the source, headphones, or just my mood. It’s like getting 2 equally implemented and customizable amplifiers in one device. The Pro iCAN is not a tube amp with an okay solid-state section bolted on. Both flavors are equally capable and very powerful.
iBo0m
iBo0m
Good choice of earphones to test out iCAN :)

Relaxing with Milo

Hey Guys,

Today we are talking about an absolute Swiss army knife of an amplifier, the iFi Audio Pro iCAN. Not only does this amp sound great, it can do pretty much….everything!

iFi Audio is a British company that was founded in 2012. It is a subsidiary of AMR Audio, which has a long history of making stereo equipment. iFi has always struck me as a company that focuses more on headphone and personal audio, but that does seem to be changing lately, and they are branching out into other areas (see the iFi “Aurora” all in one for an example of this.) Their products are innovative, and seem to prioritise functionality as well as sonic performance.

The “Pro” line up launched with Pro iCAN that we are talking about today, but has since seen the introduction of the iESL (for electrostatic headphones) and the Pro iDSD DAC (which I will be talking about in a new review in a few days, another great bit of gear.)

The Pro iCAN, which I will just refer to as the iCAN from here on out, is a small desktop sized amplifier. It features, not one, but two true tube modes, as well as a fully solid state mode. Talk about flexibility! You can switch between these modes on the fly with a flip of the switch, and it takes about 5 seconds for each mode to engage. The iCAN also features the best implementation I have heard of iFi’s “XBass” feature, as well as their take on crossfeed, the “3D” feature. I didn’t use the “3D” feature too often, but it does work well on some tracks, and the “XBass” feature is a tasteful boost at three different levels. I think it really depends on the headphones you are using when it comes to determining which of these levels and features you will want to use, and of course, your personal preference will play a role as well.


Almost every connection you can think of!
The iCAN is a bit of a mini powerhouse, it doesn’t take up much space, but it puts out 14,000mw at peak output levels, and with its 3 gain settings, can run everything from sensitive IEMs, to the Hifiman Susvara and HE6. Not many amps can boast such flexibility. Now, if you try to listen at enthusiastic levels, with both the “XBass” and “3D” features on with the Susvara or HE6, the amp will likely go into protection mode as it is starting to struggle, but apart from that it will have no troubles driving them.

I think the iCAN has a similar sound signature across its three output modes, SS, Tube, and Tube +. The two tube modes are noticeably different from the SS mode, but they seem to maintain a similar sound signature and are not warm and gooey as some people expect tubes to be. The two tube modes seem to round off the edges of notes and make things a bit easier to listen to, but it will really depend on your headphones and preferences as to which mode you will prefer. I ended up using Tube mode with my Abyss, but SS mode with the Susvara. With something like the Focal Utopia, I could see Tube mode being used, and with the ZMF Eikon, maybe SS mode. The flexibility the iCAN offers, again, is tremendous.


I would describe the Pro iCAN as a fairly neutral sounding amp, perhaps leaning to colder and clinical at times, but not in a bad way, its just not a warm, fuzzy, and thick sounding amp.

The iCANs technical performance was quite impressive, from dynamic swings to detail rendering. It perhaps doesn’t make the Susvara and hard to drive headphones slam as hard as a speaker amp, but it has no troubles powering them, and does more than an acceptable job at bringing out the positive qualities of said headphones.

I tried comparing the iCAN to my iDSD Black Label, which is also made by iFi. The Micro iDSD BL is a fantastic transportable all in one unit, I really love it. However, perhaps it is not fair to compare it to a standalone desktop amp, but as both units are made by iFi I gave it a shot. As an amp only, the Pro iCAN, apart from being what seemed like infinitely more powerful, was more detailed and neutral sounding. The Micro iDSD seemed to have a tiny bit bloom that the Pro iCAN did not, as well as less detail. I still hold the Micro iDSD BL in very high regard as a transportable all in one, but its amp section was indeed beaten quite handily by its big brother. No surprises there I suppose.

iFi Audio has come up true Swiss army knife of an amp with the Pro iCAN, and it really doesn’t do anything wrong! It can power sensitive IEMs without hiss, it can power most of the hardest to drive headphones on the market, it has bass enhancement and crossed implementations, and is both a SS *and* tube amp. I think it sounds fantastic, especially for the sale prices I have seen it available at on occasion (about $1299USD, and about $1000USD used.) I have even seen one unit sell for $850USD! At these prices, this amp is not only an excellent recommendation, but is a very solid value compared to some of the other options on the market.


With a tower of planar goodness!
The iFi Pro iCAN gets a very thorough recommendation from me, especially if you are looking for “one amp to rule them all.” I could see this amp being a reviewers dream come true, as it is so truly flexible. Great job and congratulations to the team at iFi for creating such a stand out product. I really enjoyed my time with the Pro iCAN, and to this day, consider purchasing one on occasion, even though I don’t truly need it!

Thanks for taking the time to read this review.

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