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Many thanks our good man! Great piece!
I have the micro black, the pro idsd and the xDSD, but in the beauty department the xDSD get’s my vote.
Sound, is below the micro black but close.
GA-Z77X-UD5H --> Dual head USB cable with ferrite chokes on each plug --> iPurifier3/power strip with EMI/RFI filter and -46dB noise attenuation --> micro iDAC --> 8-core 7N OCC cut to length RCA --> micro iTube2 --> 8-core 7n OCC cut to length RCA --> micro iCAN SE
Of course, the micro iCAN SE and iTube2 are equipped with the iPower, and the USB port I use is isolated (it's own hub/bus with nothing else sharing it)
@iFi audio I am contemplating purchasing a used Nano iUSB3.0, but I’m wondering if the new iPurifier3 is as good or better. I see you no longer sell the Nano iUSB3.0, so is the iPurifier3 meant to replace it or at least offer similar performance? With the prices being so similar, I need some input to make my decision. Thanks!
Haven’t heard back from iFi yet, so has anyone had the chance to compare the nano iUSB3.0 to the new iPurifier3? It’s probably unlikely someone would have both products considering how similar they are but you never know.
The latest iPurifier turned out great, but micro and nano iUSB3.0 platofrms are higher tier performers still.
Ok, thanks. That’s what I needed to know.
iFi iPurifier 3 Review
Okay. So I'm admitting up-front that out of the 2 weeks that I've been running this piece of kit through its paces, I was getting a little nervous at first... Not that I was going to have to write a bad review, since it's me, and I HATE to waste my precious little leisure time on audio that doesn't make me smile. I'll say what I don't like in a second. But because for the first 2 days, I wasn't ACTIVELY listening. I was just looking for what I thought I should hear differently. "More grain", Crisper highs", "Less bass"... Got nothing. I was scratching my head for a while, then I tried something. I was listening to my computer:
(Dell 5675 Ryzen 7)
Running JRiver Media Center 24, (UPDATE YOUR iFi iDSD DRIVERS WITH THE ONES PROVIDED BY iFi, not the Windows 10 default iFi drivers, OR YOU MAY GET DISAPPOINTING SOUND/WEIRD AUDIO CLICKS & SOUND DROPS.)
Through both USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports alternately
Into my iFi Micro iDSD
Listened to: Sennheiser HD800s, HD650s, Etymotic ER4-XR, & BeyerDynamics T1 ver 2.
After multiple A/B sessions with the iPurifier 3 in the chain and without, I was really thinking that I wasn't actually hearing anything that I would be able to describe. Then it hit me! I swapped-out my iDSD for my old FIIO e17 DAC/AMP. (Yes, it's old. But it still holds a charge amazingly!)
Then I noticed 3 things without the iPurifier 3:
SO much less power! (I had forgotten since I only use the Micro iDSD, iDSD BL, or iCAN when traveling.)
Harsher Highs (Not detail, just "edge" to female voices and instrumental high notes.)
Comparatively hollow sound.
There it was! And while I would like to say I was right, I wasn't. But there was finally enough of a difference that what I wasn't looking for was smacking me in the face...
So if I go off of what the iPurifier 3 is SUPPOSED to do:
Active Noise Cancellation2® (ANC2) actively cancels all incoming noise.
Check! "Inky black" backgrounds and better instrument separation/isolation when added.
Reclock2/Regenerate2/Rebalance2 - cleaner, clearer music.
Check! While some "life" seemed injected into music, I don't think I would recognize "Jitter" if it rose up and bit me, so I'm not going to comment on that. But I do accept that reclocking can show results now.
What I didn't expect was though the iPurifier 3 certainly didn't make my FIIO any louder, or much bigger, (Though it did make soundstages seem a bit wider for some reason on the HD650s and T1, but not that I noticed on the HD800s.) the iPurifier 3 DID make the sound feel a little "fuller". Almost like it envelops you just a tiny bit more with each headphone.
So, now that I knew what I was looking for, back to the Micro iDSD
Same things! But not by nearly as great a degree. And certainly not the things I was expecting originally. I guess I was thinking that the iPurifier was going to "whittle" edges off of sounds to make them "sharper", and consequently harsher. But it actually doesn't at all. If I was pushed, I guess I would say that it makes the sound more "ordered". Instruments and voices don't seem to bleed or smear into each other as much. Which is weird because I never noticed it before. But now, I can't NOT hear it. (Sorry Lawrance, you're NOT getting this one back!)
So I guess that I should close up with a quick "what you get with it", and and then conclude.
I requested the "USB-A Female" variation, so I also tried the unit with my Samsung Note 8. It works a treat, no doubt, but certainly isn't what I would call "convenient" for how I travel as the iPurifier 3 is almost half as long as the phone, and twice as thick. So I'm going to stick with using it between my PC and DAC. But that doesn't mean that it wouldn't work nicely once you get to where you're going, like a hotel room or visiting friends/family. With that said, it does come including (1) travel length 6-inch USB Type "C" and (1) 6-inch USB "Micro" cable for connection between the device and iPurifier as well as 4 adhesive backed gel dots/feet to prevent the metal housing from scratching whatever you place the unit against/on.
Included 6-inch USB Type "C" cable
Included 6-inch USB "Micro" cable
The iPurifier 3 unit doesn't require a separate power source, so simply plug it up, and you're done. No settings, configuration, or extra wires. Just connect it, and forget it.
So it probably is self-evident by now, but to cover all the bases...
"Would I buy it?" Yes. The iPurifier 3 is one of the easiest ways to subtly-enhance audio that I've ever seen. Just plug it up and rock the night away. No fiddling or tweaking needed.
Boston - Foreplay / Long Time
Roger Waters - What God Wants, Pt. I
Mozart - Violin Concerto in D major (Allegro)
Santana - Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen
Fleetwood Mac - The Chain
Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
Rush - Red Barchetta
Mauгice Ravel — Sonatа for Violin and Piano No.1 (1897)
Planet P - Why Me?
YAZ - Only You
Mauгice Ravel — Sonatа for Violin and Piano No.1 (1897)
Many thanks to Lawrance and all the awesome people at iFi for sending the iPurifier 3 for me to test drive. (Despite my earlier comment, I do have to give it back, unfortunately, so now I have to go out and buy one as I can't "unhear" the difference now that I know that it is there.)
Is anyone using the iPurifier3 with their phones? What does your chain look like?
I also wonder if something like the iPurifier is necessary when using a phone as the source. For example, I stream Tidal on my iPhone and connect to my DAC using the Apple CCK adapter. Should I only bother if using my computer as the source?
Also folks, AMR will be demoing two machines in the Colorado Audio Society Hospitality Suite at RMAF. Room 6007.
Yup, we're giving away Fast Blow fuses for Magnepan speakers! 2.5A for Magnepan 3.6/3.7 and 4A for other Magnepan machines.
I had the iPurifier 2 and 3 for my Hugo 2 for a couple of months then sold it. Overtime, I heard how artificial it was to the final sound. I even daisy-chained 3 iPurifier v2's and the sonic change was linear 3x over which tells me it wasn't intelligently and honestly cleaning up the music but rather, adds it's flavor in the mix. The iPurifier definitely helps an unoptimized system but I would suggest people to demo before you buy as YMMV.
The iPurifier v3 adds some micro-dynamics, adds definition on the leading edge and nuance and grain on the vocals and it's kinda cool but in the end, it wasn't faithful to the original. I got more honest solutions using audio optimizer and Fidelizer Pro.
Devil's Advocate time! Oh yeah!!!
Is your Hugo 2 your only base reference? What headphone(s) did you use and what were the differences between them? What was the transport hardware/software used? I ask because what is "artificial" to the final sound? Do you have the gold master of the album with the original recording equipment on hand? I am sorry to say this, but the Hugo isn't the be-all end-all definitive final answer end-game. (to be honest, nothing is and nothing ever will be)
Do you know how "active" technology works? Daisy chaining 3 iPurifiers together is utterly ridiculous. That's the equivalent of saying " Well, this pie takes 30 minutes to bake at 250'C, if I increase the temperature to 500'c it will cook in 15 minutes! " and then your pie gets burnt to a crisp. You can't double or triple up on something and expect a 3x greater result. Using 3x the amount of Windex will not make your window 3x cleaner, it will only make a mess.
Absolutely! (That goes for anything really.)
Again, how do you know what is "faithful" to the original? What is the metric you are basing this assertion on? How do you know that your Hugo hasn't been masking the grain all along? Remember the old hi-fi adage: The better my equipment gets, the worse my music sounds.
Seeing that you have an iPurifier and you don't hear it, I have nothing else to say.
I have the iPurifier 2, not the 3. I have noticed that using it on ordinary usb connections does miracle to the sound. For instance, using it between an iPhone and HifimeDIY 9018 DAC which doesn’t even use asynchronous USB and draws power from the phone, the sonic quality gets a boost. The imaging and soundstage are clearly improved, so is instrument separation. I have tested it with HD6XX, HD800 and Audeze Sine.
That said, it actually degraded sonic quality on a system that already has low noise and little jitter. When I tested it between a Mac running Audirvana and Schiit Eitr, connected to the Modi Multibit through coax, some of the sonic reverberations especially in the low frequencies were subdued, creating a slightly lifeless feel to the music. The effect was observed for example in cello sounds, or symphony performances where the feeling of a large hall is imparted by these reverberations. On the Chesky binaural recordings, the feeling of space due to the subtle echoes became less prominent. On the other hand, I felt that some of the edges in instrument sounds had enhanced definitions, sounding a bit artificial to my ears. I am not comparing things to how an original recording would have sounded, simply my own feeling of what sounds good (and natural) to my ears and what not. However, I am coming to this conclusion through A/B testing on multiple tracks over multiple days, with the full knowledge that judging sound impressions can be tricky and often misleading.
My own take is, noise cancellation probably is over killing in systems with little noise to begin with, where it starts to suppress real sound that it mislabels as noise. That was my feeling while using it with Eitr/Mimby. That’s not a deficiency of the product, just the question of proper usage by the consumer. Also, daisy chaining multiple iPurifiers is probably not a good idea, again for the same overpurifying artifacts that this could introduce. You may hear more details in some places since it’s reshaping the waveform by lowering distortions, but at the same time you may not hear certain nuances in the music, which were removed due to noise cancellation. This brings me to the question whether it’s a good thing to use this dongle with iDSD micro, which already has iPurifier technology built in.
In short, this product improves sonic quality in systems that have some imperfections in their digital transport, and is probably wise to use it in that way. Placing it in systems that are already pretty optimized could be an overkill. Noise cancellation and signal processing algorithms are not magic, they should be used prudently, and in proper places. Also, more is not always better, as in daisy chaining X amplifiers would not be X times the power or X times the sonic quality.