iFi’s DNA means it is able to exclusively bring high-end products to the entry-level price point. Yet the iFi iTube will still astonish. Virtually every audio system has scope for improvement in the digital or analogue domain. There is nothing like the iFi iTube which addresses both. It is that special. The special Class A tube buffer circuit puts the ‘analogue’ back into your music.
The Digital Antidote Plus® re-equalises harsh, ‘ringing’ digital sources which causes listening fatigue.
The Tri-brid stage offers input impedances of 1M ohm (Buffer) to 100k (Preamp) with the ability to drive professional 600 Ohm loads. This feature found only in select, top-end pre-amplifiers means the iTube is able to ‘bridge’ different impedance systems such as tubes to pro-audio solid-state.
With even more additional features not found elsewhere including 3D HolographicSound® system for Speakers, the iTUBE makes a Swiss Army knife seem one-dimensional.
Many audiophiles wax lyrical about the ‘magic of tubes.’ Why? Because the scientific fact is that adding tubes to a HiFi system increases our intrinsic enjoyment of music. The harmonic characteristic of tubes eases tension and gives us a greater sense of well-being.
The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts conducted an extensive scientific study(1) where participants reported a ~60% decrease of tension, nervousness and a 120% increased sense of well-being with a HiFi system including tubes, when compared to a solid-state system.
We still do not fully understand why tubes do that “voodoo they do”, but the scientific evidence is clear.
(1) Jürgen Ackermann – PhD Thesis at the Frankfurt Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst
(Music and Performing Arts University)
The 3D HolographicSound® system for headphones in the renowned iCan has gained widespread acclaim. The iTube maintains the tradition with 3D HolographicSound® system for speakers, based upon a fundamental tenet of human hearing that has been ‘lost’ down through the years but revived by iFi for 21st century speaker reproduction.
At the dawn of stereo recording in the 1930s, a fundamental problem was documented by the ‘father’ of stereo sound recording – Alan Dower Blumlein. In his seminal 1933 binaural sound patent, due to the shape and size of the human head, stereo separation is greater at high frequencies than it is at low frequencies. So the virtual sound sources for low frequencies and high frequencies of the same exact instrument are not coincident.
Despite this being ‘known’ for 80 Years, very few recordings and no playback system compensate for this issue and little research has been conducted on how to correct this. With the introduction of 3D HolographicSound® system for Speakers, iFi offers for the first time in 80 years, the means to correctly play back the majority of stereo recordings.
Adding insult to injury, playback from desktop speakers is even less ideal. With the typical narrow placement of speakers on each side of a computer monitor, the stereo sound image is greatly reduced. With the 3D HolographicSound® Wide setting, enjoy a sound field that is outside of the speakers with front to rear depth that is palpable. There is no other analogue technology like this.
During the classic era of CD playback, the Digital Antidote was developed to widespread acclaim by Tony Taddeo. The iFi Digital Antidote Plus® is the 21st Century new, advanced version; ready for high-definition audio, with active technology underpinned by superlative component quality.
Digital Antidote Plus® significantly reduces ringing and digital distortion; two main contributors to ‘digital sound’ that is oft described as aggressive and unpleasant. Enjoy your digital audio for longer, thanks to Digital Antidote Plus®.
1KHz Squarewave 96KHz sample rate#
#Note: The more ‘real’ square wave with the Digital Antidote Plus®
Many computer audio systems use a digital volume control which typically truncates the signal. Not the iTube, it is able to preserve the innermost resolution of the source like no other. Its precision analogue volume control is there when needed and out of the circuit when not.
|Input voltage:||AC 100-240v, 50/60Hz|
|Power consumption:||<4W Idle, 10W max|
|Input impedance:||1M ohm Direct Tube Buffer|
|100k ohm Pre Amplifier with Volume Control|
|Output stage output impedance:||<1 ohm|
|Corrected output impedance:||<200 ohm|
|Dimensions:||175(l) x 67 (w) x 28 (h) mm|
|Warranty period:||12 months|
If you do not see solution to your query, then please do not hesitate to open a support ticket here: http://support.ifi-audio.com/open.php
Here are some Pro’s listed within the review;
Deep, saturated sound.
Precise, clear imaging.
With the iCAN good, and with the addition of iTube outstanding musicality.
Large format tone in contrast to the smallness same equipment.
Unimposing, well-serving music detail.
Very good individualization sounds.
Guaranteeing fun 3D functions and XBASS.
Systems Class A, TubeState® and DirectDrive® in iCAN.
Good value for money.
Translated with Google
Thank you cheaptubeaudio.co.uk!
Pros: Gives you extra “comfort” & enjoyment while actively listening. Songs/tracks that would “wear on you” become more tolerable for longer. (Fatigue)
Thanks Doctorhead.ru and Qvinta audio (iFi:Russia)
Translated with Google
iTube: “This might be what your looking for” says HeadMania &AVstore!
The tests have been done with MSB Analog DAC, Audio-GD Precision 2, Piega Premium 5.2, Jadis Orchestra Reference, Audio Gd Master 9, Sennheiser HD800, HiFiMAN HE-560.
“I didn’t even know of iFi iTube, but a friend of mine pointed me in its direction….iFi states that iTube was made to get a more natural / analog sound and to extend the listening periods and they are right on the money with that…..It brought exactly what the sound needed to become really enjoyable….If you feel that you would like a more natural sound, deeper bass, a bigger and a more holographic soundstage, more emotional and extended voices, this might be exactly what you were looking for.”
Thanks HeadMania and AVStore (iFi:Romania)!
Welcome aboard AVStore!
Hakancez of Stereomecmuasi experiences pleasant results with the iTube!
“itube a product having two different usage scenarios. If you want a pre-amplifier if you want to be able to use as a buffer tube. Of course, it is possible you use these two properties together….Digital Antidote Plus, a lot of digital source devices in the listener tired soften the sharp-edged sound technology.The company has received a patent for it if a special circuit design. The 3D holographicsound especially technology that helps to expand the scene….If you are using a simple desktop system, for example, a pair of active speakers and DAC together certainly add a buffer tube sound brings to a completely different point. I would strongly recommend that you tried….In another trial is putting in place its own pre-amplifier, and this time I’m using iTube between my CD player with pre-amplifier. Buffer value from the standard “0dB” position. I’m getting quite pleasant results from this experiment.”
Thanks Hakancez & Stereomecmuasi!
Michael Fremer’s Analogo Planet iTUBE elevates US$10k setup into “A Super System”
Towards the end of the very nice VC Audio Labs MB-45 KT120 Monoblock Power Amplifier review, Michael Fremer dropped the iTube into the US$10k setup and it seems like he enjoyed what happened next:
“So I took the amps upstairs to my home theater that uses a pair of excellent Sonics by Joachim Gerhard Amerigo speakers (the brand name was subsequently changed to Spiral Groove and later to Canalis). These are/were $8000 3-way floor standers with relatively low 85dB efficiency. Add the Oddwatt MB-45s and the iFi iTube and you’re at around $10,000………Holy shit! The combination was like “what more could one want”? The iTube sufficiently (but just subtly) softened the overall sound to produce some of the best sound I’ve heard yet from those speakers. There was an ideal synergy between the iTube and the amps. The volume was almost up all the way but I was playing it loud into a fairly large room. The speakers are usually powered by 200 watts per channel of a 5 channel John Curl designed Parasound A-51 amp that’s very good sounding but these tube amps produced tube amp oomph and spaciousness while locking down those woofers.”
Thanks Analog Planet. Try the iPhono+iTube = baby PH-77!
iTube works its magic on Paul of Dagogo!
“So, how did iFi get all those parts in such a minuscule box?…Vocals have slightly more “presence” with a smoother presentation, and instruments have better “sparkle” with improved harmonics making them sound more like real instruments….I heard an expanded soundstage with the narrow 3D setting engaged on all recordings….With the narrow 3D setting engaged, each instrument sounded fuller and richer….What the iTube provides is a tantalizingly large amount of superior sound of which the best preamplifiers offer in spades, yet only costing a fraction in order to achieve it.”
Thanks Paul Mah of Dagogo!
Kari of Inner-Magazine puts the iTUBE through its paces!
“But given what the iTube can do, I’d be amazed if there were no interest in the device: the users of passive controllers, those that need a preamp for their computer audio systems, those not happy with the performance of their USB DACs, those that need a quality volume between the DAC and active speakers, those who would expect more from their computer speakers in terms of the stereo image. That is, I can see very many who would immediately benefit from inserting this IFi’s tool in their system. “
Thank you Kari Nevalainen of inner-magazines.com!
iTube works its magic on customer Murcielago!
“Got the iTube today to use as a tube buffer (+6db gain) between my DAC and HDVA600. The iTube added further weight and body to the music and removed hardness/digital glare for a more natural, analogue sound. Highs are now buttery smooth and no longer sibilant even when listening through the HD800. With 3D HolographicSound turned on, the soundstage shifts slightly forwards so it feels like you’re listening to music in front of you rather than in your head.
The iTube works its magic without any detrimental effect on the original sound quality. All the details are preserved. The iTube just lays them out in a more natural, liquid, refined and holographic manner.”
Thank you Murcielago of Hardwarezone.com!
StereoHead of Italy amazed by the iTUBE!
17 January 2014, The first surprise was that the iTube is totally silent and has not the least noise in the background, typical of each device in the valves…. the iTube only adds to the beauty of the electronic valve making the sound warmer and full and maintaining the sound characteristics of your source. The effect is especially noticeable with high-level dac not significantly improve their performance and lose that sense of digital…. Again IFI amazed us with this unusual iTube.”
Grazie Matteo Turotti of StereoHead! And thank you to Proaudio
iUSB Power and iTube elevates the Dragonfly DAC+Audio Engine speakers
14 January 2014, ”There is an important question – how much does it cost, and is it worth to buy? ……….If you ask me, the short answer is yes. The three devices together produce a very detailed, dynamic, analog-like sound, that was the privilege of the premium DACs costing 800-1000 EUR or above until now, without the tube buffer. I think, that the flexibility of the further development of the system is also a very important advantage.” Thank you Lacas!
Size doesn’t matter…not when it comes to iFi
13 December 2013, Reviewer Max Delissen penned an extremely complimentary and thorough review of the iFi micro range from the iUSB Power right through to the iPHONO.
“The Micro series and the associated cables iFi has a wonderful range of highly affordable and (sometimes very far) above their price-performance products put down…iFi is beautifully designed audio bonbons, audiophile delicious candy that can be consumed. unabashed in quantities And that’s a good thing, because it is just as addictive as ‘real’ candy …” Thank you Max!
TNT-Audio Really Warms to the iTUBE (and Gemni!)
25 October 2013, “For me, the iTube ‘does what it says on the tin’. The valve stage adds enjoyment to the listening experience, the music is simply more natural and relaxing to listen to. The 3D feature is something that I found myself leaving switched in because I liked the sound stage, and particularly the fuller bottom end, and more realism that it provided. The versatility is also welcome if like me you get to use a wide range of amplification and speakers, or you simply want to use the iTube in different systems. It worked faultlessly all through a very long auditioning process, and despite its long list of features, was easy to set up and use, although it is one item where you should certainly read the instructions. I’m sure that there will be some purists scoffing at the idea of (and claims for) the Digital Antidote Plus® and the 3D HolographicSound® but the fact is they do work, and in my opinion improve the listening experience, the latter more so.”
“I should just add that while using the Gemini, in conjunction with the Paul Hynes SR3-05 power supply, the iFi iDAC and iTube, and the Caterthun 8 speakers, I heard what I considered to be the best sounding hi-fi that I have heard to date in terms of detail, tone, and clarity. So the Gemini certainly wasn’t letting the side down, and is probably one of those components of a hi-fi system that is more appreciated in a better system.”
Thank you Mr Whetstone!
iTUBE wins another award from StereoLife (Poland)
23 October 2013, W”..at the end we have a confession to make. Taking iTube’a to test the end we were not sure if this device into something useful to us. We thought that the idea of a buffer tube has long been exploited…The point is that the iTube actually does what it promises. Moreover, it is a very audiophile piece of equipment whose operation is not rude, it does not reflect too much on the nature of the system and does not spoil patiently constructed puzzle. Only adds to it something interesting that many systems – especially those with added too sharp, or less spatial – can be very useful. Its effects can be adapted to your preferences using simple switches is an added plus. Oh and the price….But all this hobby is primarily to give us fun! And here we get a lot of fun for the price of mid-range interconnect. In our opinion, a very fair offer.”
Thank you to StereoLife and for the recommendation award!
Earmass puts iTUBE through its Desktop Paces
20 October 2013, We would like to thank Earmass for putting the iTUBE through its paces. Earmass reported that, “Besides the analog feel and the warmth, there is a lot of weightier body added to the sound, sound is meaty, fuller and weightier. Before this, AI5 always sounded less full than what I like, but adding up iTube truly help, the sound is fuller and I can listen to it much longer. The soundstage itself is fuller as well, not light as it was before, bass is tighter and sounded insightful now. I am kinda impressed with what iTube capable of honestly.”
Witchdoctor finds iTUBE ‘has it all’
4 October 2013, “Who would buy an iTube? Well, I’d say everybody with even the slightest question mark concerning their system’s audio performance, and a hell of a lot who consider their pride and joy to be the bee’s knees. I’ve had endless hours of enjoyment with my little tube-based system in the past but the way this product coaxed even better sound quality from it was a revelation So to sum up: at the risk of sounding like a scratched record (heaven forbid), iFi Audio have cracked it with the iTube. It’s a far better sounding and sophisticated proposition than the X10D ever was, and its flexibility and the technology contained within its stylish casework makes it an audio no-brainer.” With many thanks to Gary Pierce of WitchDoctor!
Enjoy the Music competition to win iFi components!
29 August 2013, To celebrate the launch of the magical iTube which is taking the market by storm, we are excited to announce that EnjoytheMusic.com is running a competition to win a number of iFi components. Just click on the link and follow the instructions….best of luck to you all! This is a global competition. The winner to collect his/her iFi prize from their nearest stockist. (Please note: one entry per person and this competition is not open to anyone affiliated to iFi or AMR)
The ‘Hobbit’ iTUBE partners US$20k ‘Treebeard’ Memory Player
26 August 2013, Christian in NZ, one of the very first customers with the iTUBE waxed lyrically, “To say that I was in awe the moment we switched on the iTube is an understatement… Yet soonest we had the iFi micro inserted at the helm the already gorgeous sound just got incredibly better, and this is the greatest compliment I can pay to iTube achievement : the small machine served con brio the big boys and this is not what it seems possible when one factor the cost and the expected return. For me, iFi micro is the most cost effective improvement one may consider bestowing on his system…for such a modest outlay! In terms of our daily scarce and mighty dollars, iTube is David in audiophile arena and no Goliath stand a chance !”
With many thanks to Christian and Chris Hawkins of Feedback Audio (iFi: New Zealand)
Enjoy the Music.com says “iTube: Hi-Fi’s most funky box of tricks?”
24 August 2013, With thanks to ETM and their reviewer Clive Meakins, “3D HolographicSound works really well, the improvement in Desktop mode was dramatic…..For me it’s not a question of whether I need an iFiiTube; rather it’s how many do I need? I could do with one iTube for my DAC, another for my phono stage and a third one for my desktop system.”
ClieOS can’t take the iFi off his desktop…
23 August 2013, With the iTUBE being the latest addition to the iFi system resident as chez ClieOS, “I have a very small computer desk that also doubles as my working and listening area, and it is constantly full of all kind of gears and never enough in space. Early last week after receiving the iTube, I had the whole iFi chain setup on the desk for the iTube review and thought that I would have to disassemble them quickly in the next few days in order to reclaim the space back. The whole setup, as I am about to finish writing this review, is still sitting on the desk after almost 2 weeks. It could very well be staying there for a while longer, given how much music I have been enjoying recently over my Creative speaker – and to think that I am predominately an on-the-go IEM user. I guess this really sum up the iTube magic thingy. Sometime it is the seamlessly little stuffs that add up to make the whole experience worthwhile.” Thank you ClieOS. You really ‘get’ the GE Tube
iTUBE awarded ‘Best Overall Value and Performance’ by Mono & Stereo
18 August 2013, With thanks to editor Matej Istak, “There is no single device in the market that comes even close to iTube array of features and performance. For Pure Class A preamp section + tube buffer, Digital Antidote, 3D Holographic sound and adjustable gain levels iTube deserved to be praised. All that without even going into a pricing scheme.”
High Fidelity gives high five to iFi system but iTUBE gets biggest thumbs up
16 August 2013, With thanks to Wojtek Pacula, the most well-known reviewer in Poland and editor of High Fidelity (and Google translate): “That is why we find them interesting solutions, but cost very little. The company will find at the moment DAC USB-powered, iUSB Power, iCAN headphone amplifier, preamplifier iPhono, iLink USB/SPDIF converter. The system can be made using a USB cable with two type A connectors on the transmission side, called the Gemini (“twins”). At the time of writing the test on the company’s producer took the countdown to the presentation of the latest, perhaps the most ambitious machine, whose name was not known. I looked at it with a smile of complacency, since a few days already tested it – it iTube, buffer tube, and the device impedance corrector to improve the soundstage reproduction. This is one of the best additions to my reference headphone system!”
Thank you Moje Audio (ifi: Poland) for organising the review.
Tuishao.net takes the iTUBE for a test drive
16 August 2013,”…but in the emotional stakes, enthusiasts, especially loved listening to female friends in this product and is undoubtedly a weapon.”
The iTUBE is very good, but we wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a weapon!
Maybe Google translate was overexcited by the iTUBE?
Seriously, thank you to JBL8848!
AudioStream: ‘You Tube We All Tube’
16 August 2013,Editor Michael Lavorgna pens a very nice review of the iTUBE across a myriad of components from $200>$7,000: ‘The iTube certainly worked its magic but it is not a miracle worker….you could say the worse the digital source, the more effective the iTube will be….Here the tube buffer coupled with the 3D HologrpahicSound circuit and Digital Antidote offer up a triple treat capable of turning your desktop’s digits into more natural sounding music.” Many thanks AudioStream!