What the $^&# heck is it?.........iFi iEMatch!

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  1. tompaz909
    Does anyone notice interference/scratchyness when the body of the ieMatch touches the jack? Not sure how best to describe it. It's like a scratchy sound. Working with support to figure it out, just wondering if anyone else has noticed it.
  2. hong
    I was deciding between the Dragonfly Black and the IEMatch (different purposes, I understand), but after reading all the good stuff about this, I decided to dive in and go ahead with the IEMatch. The long wait time for the local audio shop to stock up on the Dragonfly Black made the decision easier.

    I am currently shifting from the FiiO X5 to my Xiaomi A1 for my portable setup, using the Heir Audio 4.ai s. With the A1, the hissing was extremely audible making it unbearable initially. Placing the IEMatch into the chain eliminated all hissing, even at high volumes, and I was impressed to say the least to finally have decent sound coming out of my phone.

    But what really impressed me was pairing the IEMatch with my HiFiMAN EF2A amp and the Fostex T40RP. Prior to the IEMatch, my experience with the EF2A was channel imbalance at low volumes, but being deafeningly loud above the 9 o'clock level. With the IEMatch in the chain, I can finally turn up the volume without killing my ears, and even if I max out the volume on the amp, it doesn't get too loud. Happy with my rather impulse purchase, to say the least.

    tarhana likes this.
  3. iFi audio
    Bravo! Thanks!
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  4. audionewbi

    Now all we need is

    3.5mm male to 4.4mm female (to be used for iFi products)
    3.5mm male to 2.5mm female (to be used for iFi products)
    2.5mm male to 4.4mm female (to help the Sony fans, there are a lot of them in Japan).

    And the market is all yours.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  5. iFi audio
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  6. SchwarzeWolke
    Hearing about "this thing is bonkers and will solve every and any problem you will encounter" from manufacturers are normally gargabe. In this case, however, everything ifi claimed is true!
    Funny enough, I'm using a Nano iDSD LE with my Lenovo X1Carbon from 2017 and the small iEMatch is doing wonders! I have a "desktop" setup with a Thunderbolt 3 docking station and I'm using LAN via a FritzBox power LAN adapter. This is my main suspect for getting me really awful noise when I'm sitting at my desk and using the iDSD LE. Even at low volume I got a lot of noise. Using the iEMatch and the noise is gone! I'm using Trinityaudio Atlas and now I'm also able to switch the volume knob above 12'o clock which also solves some issues similar to hong.

    Funny thing is that I thought of buying a iDefender or iSilencer to get rid of the noise but did not think about using the iEMatch. I bought this in the first place to use it with my soon to arrive FIBAE3 frm Custom Art where I anticipate that I really need them to crank the volume up. In the end, the natural choice is not far away and still hard to find ^^.

    (After experiencing this with ifi-stuff I tend to believe that a lot of their stuff makes sense. Especially in Hi-Fi you really get sold a lot of "snake oil" and right now I tend to believe in the words and claims ifi is making)
  7. iFi audio
    Good to know that you've found iEMatch helpful.
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  8. audionewbi
    When will the 2.5mm version be available in Sydney?
  9. Spandy87
    I just did some extensive testing with my Campfire Andromeda, idsd Nano BL, and my smartphone. The short answer is that even though it does perfectly remove the hiss or background noise, the IEmatch does change the sound, but it might still be worth having. Andros are notoriously sensitive, and so a change in output impedance can make a big difference in sound, however the 'ultra' setting is supposed to be < 1 ohm output impedance. My phone is also < 1 ohm output impedance, and the standard port on the idsd Nano BL is around 1 ohm output impedance. I hope I'm right in thinking that the 'ultra' combined with the < 1 ohm output of my phone won't push the overall output z to over 1 ohm, but even if that's the case it should be acceptable for the Andromeda. Anyway, here are my initial findings ranked in order of best to worst:

    1. Standard output from the idsd Nano BL without the IEmatch dongle - This sounds the best, but then you have to put up with the minor background hiss. This has a noticeably fuller and richer sound with the Andromeda, possibly due to having a bigger bass impact, and again that might be due to the even lower output impedance.

    2. LG V30 output without IEmatch dongle - This sounds similar to the standard output of the idsd Nano BL standard output, just with added background noise and burble that the Andromeda will pick up from most smartphones. On softer tracks I feel like the IEmatch is a must, simply because you lose out on microdynamics due to the noise floor, but the overall frequency response is still probably what it should be.

    3. IEmatch 'Ultra' with both idsd Nano BL and V30 - This perfectly eliminates the hiss with both outputs, but there is a minimal yet distinct reduction in the bass quantity. I'm not willing to say that this sounds thin or compressed, and bass is only reduced by about 1-2 db. To some, this might actually be the best option, and I think if I had to choose between a 1-2 db bass reduction and smartphone burble I'd take the former.

    4. IEmatch 'high' with both idsd Nano BL and V30 - Does the same as 'ultra' just with slightly more bass reduction. I think this can be attributed to the difference in output impedance and the impact that has on the Andromeda's frequency response. Not at all the fault of the IEmatch I think.

    5. IEmatch output port on the idsd Nano BL without the dongle - Gets rid of the hiss but sounds thin and boring. This is again likely due to output impedance being around 4 ohms, and that's much too high for the Andromeda. I have no use for this output, and I might actually end up switching to a Mojo or idsd Micro instead, since the standard port requires a dongle to remove the hiss anyway.

    So I'm still currently on the fence about this. I really don't want to buy a DAP for my Andromeda because I only want to carry one device with me. I think the IEmatch with its 'ultra' setting might be what I end up using since the tradeoff in bass isn't as noticeable as the background burble of the phone. I should also mention that the other significant downside with doing this is that it makes it so I have to max the volume on my phone, and even then it might not be high enough for enjoyable listening on some tracks, and I end up having to switch to 'high' to get the volume right. I wish there was some software with the V30 that would allow me to manually set the gain. I tried it with an impedance boosting 3.5mm adapter to kick it into '50 ohm + mode', but that may have made things even worse.

    For most IEMs, the IEmatch is probably a good idea. Other IEMs might not have as significant of a frequency response change when subjected to output impedance changes, but I think with the Andromeda there's more to the story. While the sound changes aren't that substantial, they are there, and whether that's because of the output impedance changes or something to do with the attenuation the IEmatch is doing I'm not totally sure.
    kukkurovaca and tarhana like this.
  10. csglinux
    From my brief experience of the 2.5 mm IEMatch - it certainly can reduce/eliminate hiss. But I'm puzzled by comments from some reviewers that say it "eliminates impedance issues". In what way are they "eliminated"? It actually seems to create one such issue right off the bat, because it changes your HP's impedance, and therefore changes your FR. The following are diffuse-field compensated measurements from an SE846 with SpinFit tips, blue filters (+trishd mod) being driven by a QP1R (which already has a low z-out of ~0.15 Ohm). I guess some might prefer the changed sound signature, but I didn't. It carved away too much of the mid-range and the bass boost left it sounding too warm for my liking:

    kukkurovaca likes this.
  11. csglinux
    One addendum to the above. I find the differences in FR between no IEMatch and IEMatch in high and ultra settings to be far less when using the FiiO X7 Mark ii DAP. Perhaps because the X7ii has a similar z-out to that of the IEMatch? (~1.2 Ohm.)

    Are you sure you're not simply experiencing the re-sampling issues with the V30? (Check out the second link in the following post:

    The V30 has the blackest background of any device I've yet heard. It doesn't need the IEMatch if you're playing back files directly through the quad DAC without re-sampling.
  12. Spandy87

    I tried using UAPP but the recommended settings in that thread don't exist in the app anymore, and even with various combinations it does nothing to remove the background noise. I don't know what the re-sampling issues should sound like though so maybe we're talking about different issues. When you say it has the blackest background, have you tried the V30 with the andromeda? I think it's just that the IEM is so sensitive it picks up the noise, while other IEMs don't.
  13. csglinux
    If you don't have access to the developer version of UAPP then you won't be able to play 44/16 files without re-sampling. (The current version of UAPP available through the Playstore won't work.) However, the latest version of Neutron from the Playstore can be configured to play back 44/16 files via the V30's DAC without resampling (details are explained in the link I shared).

    I guarantee what you're hearing is re-sampling artifacts and not a noise floor. Even with the Andros, there's no noise floor from the V30. If you don't want to purchase Neutron, trying playing a hi-res file via the LG music app or a Tidal MQA (Master) track via the latest Tidal app. None of these cause re-sampling issues.
  14. Spandy87
    Well I was hoping to go the UAPP route since I use Tidal. How do I get the developer version of UAPP?
  15. csglinux
    I'm afraid the short answer is that at this stage, you can't :frowning2: But keep an eye on the Playstore. The official version will be dropping any day now. It will support bit-perfect 44/16 and MQA playback through the V30 DAC :)

    P.S. The latest official version of the Tidal app already supports bit-perfect playback of MQA files through the V30's DAC, but unfortunately, not of 44/16 FLAC - UAPP's next release will do both.
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