iFi audio iEMatch4.4 - Want to Optimize Your Balanced Listening to the Full?
Nov 26, 2021 at 2:54 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11
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The new iEMatch4.4​

Optimise your balanced listening with the iEMatch4.4.

It works with all 4.4mm balanced devices. The iEMatch4.4 has both ultra (-24db) and high gain (-12db) sensitivity adjustment to help you get the most out of even your most sensitive headphones and IEMs.
Benefit from better sound, increased dynamic range, reduced background hiss and clearer vocals
Once tried, your listening won’t be the same.

ieMatch_1-7.jpg


Simple. Instant. Improved.​

As with our previous iEMatch devices, just add between your headphones/IEMs and the output of your smartphone, DAP (digital audio player) or music source to simply and instantly improve playback.

  • Regains 24/16 Bit audio resolution
  • 12/24dB noise reduction
  • 0% frequency loss
Change the desired volume level ‘on-the-go’ to ensure a safe, comfortable listening whilst enjoying lower background noise and maximum dynamics.

ieMatch_1-17.jpg

Sensitive solution​

The iEMatch4.4 gives you two sensitivity settings:
  • High – for high sensitivity headphones (reduces gain by 12dB)
  • Ultra – for ultra sensitivity headphones (reduces gain by 24dB)
We suggest trying both to see which listening level works best with your headphones and your listening preferences.
Read our Tech Note on impedance comparisons here.

ieMatch_1-3.jpg

Clever custom cable​

The minZ™ cable construction is a custom helix design. It is minimised in both capacitance and inductance.

This helix design also provides intrinsic shielding and protects the cable from RFI and EMI noise to ensure the cleanest possible transfer medium.

Do you know that you normally lose at least 2Bits of resolution when listening to your favourite tracks at normal listening levels?

This is because you can’t listen at full volume. Well, you can but you run the risk of damaging your hearing.

Using the iEMatch enables you to turn up the digital volume and get those 2Bits back safely.

Read our tech note to discover more.

iEmatch 4.4 launches 26th Nov, €69 (incl VAT of 20%) US$69 (ex-tax)

Web Version
 
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Nov 26, 2021 at 3:21 PM Post #2 of 11
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Isn't that helix just a standard eight braid? I've seen a lot of those, and that's what it looks like.
 
Nov 27, 2021 at 5:23 PM Post #5 of 11

h1f1add1cted

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8 ohm output impedance is a complete fail. Was waiting for 4.4 IEMatch for years and that's what we got.

Literally the reason to use IEMatch is very sensitive IEMs which at the same time have low impedance with most of the multi driver IEMs being 10+-3 ohm. Damping factor of ~2 is a joke

It's 3,6 ohms at ultra sensitivity, but still too high, especially compared to the 0,9 ohms of the 3.5 iEMatch. So it will color the frequency response of many sensitive IEMs.
 
Nov 28, 2021 at 1:42 PM Post #6 of 11

PhonoPhi

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Just got myself the the 3.5 version yesterday. Luckily I'm able to return it.

Edit : Saw the huge output impedance, nevermind. I'm keeping the 3.5 this time.
IEMatch 3.5 can actually work balanced (amazed me), so with the two balanced adaptors (cost of $20 to $40 total) - the balanced world is yours :)
 
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Dec 2, 2021 at 2:29 AM Post #7 of 11

bryaudioreviews

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Hey iFi,

May I know what is the reason behind making the OI this huge?

Being an IEMatch3.5 user myself, I can't help but get super excited for this launch. Was going to purchase it instantly until......

I saw the output impedance (OI).

The OI of the IEMatch4.4 is < 8.4 Ohms (High-Sensitivity) and < 3.6 Ohms (Ultra-Sensitivity) respectively.

Isn't <3.6Ohm OI still too high for most IEMs use? Since the standard impedance for most IEMs is 16Ohms, and based on the 1/8th rule, OI should be <2Ohms to be optimal.

iFi did address this by releasing tech note explaining the reason behind this.

In their tech note, they claimed that "the effect on the frequency response of the IEM will be minimal", they even claimed that it may be "beneficial" as "the diagphram and magnetic system of some IEMs can be overdamped by driving them from too low an impedance"

But from what I know, a lower OI is better than having a high OI that will skew with the IEM's FR.

Any thoughts on this?

Here is the link to the technotes if anyone is interested - https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/iEMatch-4.4mm-vs-iEMatch3.5mm.pdf

link to IEMatch4.4 - https://ifi-audio.com/products/iematch4-4/
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 2:32 PM Post #8 of 11

h1f1add1cted

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I did some messurements with different DAPs, DACs and so on (incl. original 3.5 IEMatch).

Here an example with a source of 5 ohms output impedance using my Custom Art Harmony 8.2 IEM and a modded Etymotic ER-4 IEM with low impedance mod:

example2.png


The graph looks ugly but in details the baseline difference is "only" +/- 1 dB and peak +/- 1,5 dB. This is audible yes, but not that huge impact.

But using a other IEM the result on the same soruce can be much more worse, for example a more senstive IEM like a good old Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 - the baseline difference would already 3.5 dB and would mess up the sound signature of this IEM in a bad way.

Other example, I did messurements of a other source with with a toggle switch for the damping setting.

example1.png


Damp on high = 1,8 ohms output impedance
Damp on low = 40 ohms output impedance

The IEMs I have used here, are the same as before and they kept even at heavy 40 ohms output impedance pretty "stable" with peaks of + 3 dB to - 4 dB, of course it sounds bad using this high output impedance, but still impressive this IEMs still kept in this range. Would you add again a more senstive IEM like the example before with a Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 the result is much worse and would sound terrible (over 6 dB difference).

Some IEM vendors (64 Audio and Custom Art for example) have flat impedance design, so even you use a crappy high output impedance source, the sound signature will not change, but this is not a typical behavior.

On the other end using the original 3.5 IEMatch with swith setting to "ultra", I was able to correct the first source with 5 ohms output impedance and lowered it to only 1 ohms and had the perfect results. Now with new 4.4 IEMatch it would only lower this source only to 3,6 ohms. The noise from the source would be less sure like with orignal 3.5 IEMatch, but to me a ability to lower the output impedance to only 1 ohms, of "less optimal" sources with a range of i.e. 5-10 ohms output impedance was a big improvement to me.
 
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Dec 5, 2021 at 12:34 AM Post #10 of 11

amarkabove

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I would have to imagine that when iFi started developing this, 4.4mm was predominantly found in desktop set ups with much higher OLs and power output, which would account for the need to increase the output load from the 3.5mm version originally intended for phones and DAPs.
 
Jan 12, 2022 at 11:54 AM Post #11 of 11
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I would have to imagine that when iFi started developing this, 4.4mm was predominantly found in desktop set ups with much higher OLs and power output, which would account for the need to increase the output load from the 3.5mm version originally intended for phones and DAPs.

This, for the most part, is correct.

Please read the second review by @goodyfresh for an accurate explanation of why this discussion is a common misunderstanding of IEMatch:

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/ifi-audio-iematch-headphone-travel-accessory.22072/reviews
 

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