iFi at Audio46
iFi GO bar Portable DAC/amp
Product SKU: GO bar
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Best bar none
Premium USB DAC. World’s most powerful headphone amp of its size.
Go, Go, GO!
The GO bar is our top-of-the-line ultraportable USB DAC/headphone amp.
Whether you are commuting, working remotely or at your desk or simply travelling for pleasure, the GO bar is the perfectly portable way to make headphones sound heavenly.
Connect to your laptop, MacBook, tablet or smartphone or any other digital device with a USB port for sensational sound at home, in the office, or on the move.
Accessories include a leather travel case and a Lightning to USB-C, no need to buy a Camera Connection Kit, plus a USB-C OTG cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter.
Small. But mighty.
The DAC section of the GO bar uses a powerful 16-core XMOS micro controller to process the audio data received at the USB input. Our in-house team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the GO bar‘s 32-bit Cirrus Logic DAC chipset.
A customised digital filter minimises pre-echoes and ringing artefacts. Our GMT (Global Master Timing) precision clock system ensures ultra-low jitter.
- Ultra-res PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB
- Native playback up to DSD256
- 2x DXD
- Full MQA decoding
Suits you, sir
Four bespoke digital filtering options:
- Bit Perfect – no digital filtering, no pre or post ringing
- Standard – modest filtering, modest pre and posting ringing
- Minimum Phase – slow roll-off, minimum pre and post ringing
- Gibbs Transient Optimised – minimum filtering, no pre-ringing and minimum post ringing
Two analogue processing modes:
- XBass+ – an analogue bass boost to ‘add back’ lost bass response for a more accurate reproduction of the original
- XSpace – a holographic sound field to open up your music to give you the spaciousness of a live concert
The GO bar’s smart alloy case sports physical buttons for precise volume adjustment plus controls to select between various sonic tuning options. A column of coloured LEDs provides a handy guide to the format and sample rate of the digital audio currently playing, and whether XBass+ and/or XSpace are engaged.
At one end is an asynchronous USB-C input and at the other a pair of headphone outputs.
- 4.4mm fully balanced output – headphones with a balanced cable/connector can benefit from the fully balanced circuitry of the GO bar
- 3.5mm S-Balanced output – our S-Balanced tech cuts crosstalk and noise by 50% with regular single-ended headphones.
Balance of power
Despite its diminutive size, the GO bar’s analogue circuitry sports a balanced circuit design with symmetrical twin-channel output stage. This reduces noise and crosstalk in the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels. This is usually found in larger and more expensive amplifiers.
The circuitry is packed full of high quality discrete components and special attention has been paid to power supply filtering too, dramatically reducing signal noise introduced through the USB input.
Purity and power
The amp’s design combines sonic purity with power.
- 475mW into 32 ohms
- 7.5V into 600 ohms
No headphone amp of such a diminutive size can match the GO bar’s ability to drive tricky headphone loads or work with a wider variety of headphones.
The GO bar also incorporates two power tuning technologies:
- iEMatch – attenuates power to suit high-sensitivity headphones and IEMs, it removes background noise and increases usable volume range
- Turbo – ramps up the gain by 6dB to satisfy more power-hungry headphones
*Please note that the GO bar may not work with iPhones up to and including 6S when the phone battery is low (<30%).
- The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB digital input.
This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard.
iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the 32-bit Cirrus Logic DAC chipset used in the GO bar.
- Hi-Res True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.
- MQA (Master Quality Authenticated)
MQA is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. The GO bar adopts MQA technology to receive and decode MQA audio and provide master-level sound.
- Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including our GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer. This represents a total ‘out-of-the-box’ systematic digital solution that solves jitter once and for all.
- It is a superior method to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. Less Interference – clearer sound.
You normally find this set-up in products at the higher end of the price spectrum such as the Pro iCAN Signature but iFi is now using this across its range to produce the best quality audio for all our customers.
- TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications.
Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels.
They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.
- muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors. The ‘ESR control’ aspect of the Murata is something special. Their noise suppression abilities are impressive.
- Panasonic OS-CON caps totaling 5,410uF give very-low Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR), excellent noise reduction capability and frequency response characteristics. In addition, OS-CONs have a long-life span and its ESR changes little even at low temperatures since the electrolyte is solid.
They are not often found in products costing <US$1000.
- Tantalum capacitors are another example of the top-notch components we prefer. These polarised electrolytic capacitors have superior frequency and stability characteristics, giving them a super high volumetric efficiency.
|DAC||Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Cirrus Logic|
|Headphone Output||BAL 4.4mm/UnBAL 3.5mm|
|Output Impedance||<1Ω (BAL/UnBAL)*|
|SNR||132dBA / 108dBA (BAL/UnBAL)|
|DNR||109dB(A) / 108dB(A) (BAL/UnBAL|
|THD + N||Balanced
|<0.002% (6.5mW/2.0V @ 600Ω)
<0.09% (100mW/1.27V @ 16Ω)
|Frequency Response||20Hz - 45kHz (-3dB)|
|Power Consumption||<4W max.|
|Dimensions||65 x 22 x 13.2 mm (2.6" x 0.9" x 0.5”)|
|Weight||28.5g (1.0 oz)|
|Warranty period||12 months|