Active Noise Cancellation+®
Better than battery quiet
Total USB Solution+®
Military radar tech
Astonishing noise floor
All sources of USB
The all-new micro iUSB3.0 represents the next generation of advanced computer audio technology.
The all-new micro iUSB3.0 boasts all-original, cutting-edge USB audio technology: Active Noise Cancellation+®; REclock®; REbalance® and REgenerate® whilst still retaining and improving upon the original PowerStation® to PowerStation+® which was at the heart of the success of its predecessor.
Total USB Solution+® banishes ALL USB audio gremlins
The micro iUSB3.0 addresses all 8 significant USB audio gremlins that lead to poor
quality computer audio in one fell swoop:
• Corrects signal balance
• Suppresses frame noise
• Suppresses packet noise
• Ultra clean power
• Eliminates ground noise
• Corrects impedance mis-match
• Eliminates USB Jitter
• Restores signal integrity
Where many of USB audio’s short comings are not considered, iFi has already solved them.
All-new, tack sharp technology
The noise floor of the micro iUSB3.0 has been improved upon and is an astonishing 0.1uV (or 0.0000001V). This is at the edge of what is measurable – even the mighty Audio Precision only just about manages to measure the micro iUSB3.0.
Active Noise Cancellation +® drawn from military radar technology
Drawing from the military field (specifically the Thales Spectra radar cancellation system deployed in the French Dassault Rafale jet fighter), iFi adapted this technology to exclusively introduce the Active Noise Cancellation+ ® (ANC+®) audio power system. It is so revolutionary that the ANC technology is now a cornerstone of the ever-improving iFi USB audio technology range.
An air defence radar is transmitting at a certain frequency; the signal is bouncing off the aircraft; a receiver on board the aircraft picks up the signal and a computer analyses its base frequency/modulations and an identical, out-of-phase signal is generated by an onboard system to cancel out the enemy radar signal.
By generating a signal identical to the noise signal but in the exact opposite phase, it actively cancels all the incoming noise. ANC+® is the perfect ‘antidote’ for power supply noise, the bane of USB audio.
With ANC+® the power line is filtered for audio band and RF noise. The measured noise floor of 0.1uV (0.0000001V) is at the measurement limit of what even the most sophisticated Audio Precision equipment is capable of.
Measured noise drops by 100 times or 40dB in comparison to the common noise filters.
Sonically, the background and inner resolution to recordings is brought to the fore and no longer hidden. Sonics are much smoother, just like how good analogue should be. Nothing comes close.
A whole new signal： REclock® /REgenerate
The micro iUSB 3.0 re-clocks/re-generates/repeats USB audio datastream. For any and every downstream DAC, REgenerate creates an all new USB signal and then employed a precision master clock with the REclock® technology to completely eliminate computer jitter. Music flows better; is cleaner, deeper and more accurate, just like the real thing.
The signal is now balanced: REbalance®
USB signal is inherently a balanced signal, however most USB signals are unbalanced to some degree and contaminated by noise. By removing the DC offset and ‘re-balancing’ the USB audio signal, it is now perfectly balanced and noise-free.
The graph below on the left shows a typical USB signal that is poor. Virtually everything about the signal is out of kilter. The graph below on the right shows how EACH different feature of the iUSB3.0 corrects the USB audio signal. All combined, the signal is brought back to a near ‘perfect’ form. This shows the important to have each and every REclock®/REgenerate®/REbalance® feature.
The future is here: USB3.0® ultra-speed 5.0 Gbps
iFi products are cutting-edge in the future of audio. Being USB3.0 standard, the micro iUSB3.0 handles USB3.0 and USB2.0 with aplomb. As audio signal quality improves, USB3.0’s ultra-speed bandwidth of 5.0Gbps offers an incredibly wide bandwidth that is 10x that of USB2.0’s 480Mbps.
Hence, the micro iUSB3.0 handles ultra-high resolution audio without restriction. For now and many years to come, the micro iUSB3.0 will remain an integral component.
Computer Audio ‘IsoGround®’ and ‘On/Auto’
The ground connection on the computer is contaminated with noise. The original micro iUSB cleverly solved this issue with IsoGround® without falling foul of the USB standard (simply breaking the computer ground connection is NOT USB compliant and often results in USB connection problems). The new micro iUSB3.0 features not only this but also ‘Auto/On’ USB power line options to further enhance the user experience.
USB Hub 2xDual-Ports® just add DAC and HDD
We like to try not only forensically but also comprehensively. With two sets of Dual-Ports, the micro iUSB3.0 operates as a computer audiophile-grade powered hub to serve two devices such as DAC and HDD. This means the whole complete computer audio is whisper quiet as noise from one source does not contaminate another.
With modern power-hungry devices, the micro iUSB3.0 is also Bus Charge 1.2 compliant which means it is able to fast-charge phones, tablets and even the phenomenal micro iDSD.
For further reading on the micro iUSB3.0 and technical aspects on other iFi products:
|Output Current:||2.5A (total)|
|Output Noise Floor:||0.1uV(0.0000001V)|
|USB 3.0:||Ultra-speed 5.0Gbps|
|Input Voltage:||AC 100 – 240V, 50/60Hz (iFi iPower included)|
|Power consumption:||< 15W (includes powered USB device)|
|Weight:||285g (0.63 lbs)|
|Warranty period:||12 months|
|Specifications are subject to change without notice.|
Improved performance and fault tolerance over USB2.0.
Side Bar 1: USB3.0 chipsets
Re-clocks/Re-generates/Re-balances USB signal, recreates a ‘perfect’ USB signal.
Side Bar 2: USB Audio Class 2.0 (UAC2)
|Low Jitter Crystal Clock Oscillator
True crystal clock for ultra-low Jitter in the all-important ‘audio band.’
Side Bar 3: True Crystal Clocks
USB Power Supply as quiet as battery: 3-Stage Sub-sonic noise filters + 3-Stage 6th Order RFI
USB Power Supply line for super low-noise: Sub-sonic noise filter + 2-Stage 4th Order RFI noise
| Active Noise Cancellation+®
Extremely low noise floor (0.1uV) ANC+ circuit, lower noise than batteries.
Side Bar 4: Active Noise Cancellation
|Active Noise Cancellation®
Very low noise floor (0.5uV) ANC circuit, comparable to batteries.
Side Bar 4: Active Noise Cancellation
Eliminates Ground/Earth loops, reduces RF noise.
|RF only||RF only|
| Dual-USB Output Ports
Separate USB Port for Power only (allows use of dual-headed USB cable).
|2 sets||1 set|
| Auto USB Power
USB Power Always ON or follow the status of the computer.
| RapidCharge (BC1.2)
Super-fast USB charging.
“USB has been both the biggest blessing and the worst curse of audio that I’ve ever had to deal with. It’s bad enough getting the right headphones, amps and digital sources without having to worry about how to hook it all up. The primary issue that plagues USB is not jitter, but noise. Computers can readily dump noise down the USB power lines, and the USB sending and receiving chips generate noise, all of which can get into a DAC and come out the other end as distortion.
This has lead to numerous solutions — everything from cables to boxes such as iFi’s iUSB 3.0 which do everything from supply better USB bus power to re-clocking the signal, reducing excess processing and noise……..As the first iFi product that I’ve owned, the iUSB 3.0 has been a great and versatile addition to my system.”
Thanks Amos Barnett (Currawong), glassmonkey (Micah Rose) and Head-Fi!
“ the fact that the sound was so close using the iUSB 3.0 speaks volumes for what it achieves at its price. As it includes signal improvement technology, and the two pairs of USB ports, I would suggest that this item should be very near the top of your shopping list when searching for a better USB DAC power supply.”
Thank you Nick Whetsone!
“USB audio, an interface that should intrinsically be plus-n-play, seem to be fraught with problems. For some, the iFi Audio micro iUSB3.0 is a controversial device. Enjoy the Music.com reviewer Clive Meakins feels it is not controversial at all. Yes USB is wonderful for transferring files to a printer and I don’t see people saying that files are corrupted when transferred over USB, but playing music is not like printing a document. There is scope for electrically noisy computers infecting the ground plane of the downstream DAC, not only is the ground noisy but the +5V supply will be quite unpleasant too. Noise on the DAC ground plane may not impact the digital section of the DAC but DACs have an analogue section too; this is not somewhere we want to inject noise. Even if your DAC is not USB powered or does not use USB power for its USB card, there’s a good chance the DAC ground will still connect with the USB ground.”
Thank you Clive, Steven and Enjoy the Music!
“The iFi Audio USB3.0 gave a richer and smoother sound with fine detail presented in a less forced manner. Bass with the iFi was mostly more powerful, there was also slightly better central focus.……If you use a USB connection with your DAC then you need to try the iFi Audio iUSB3.0. I’m sure there are computers or streamers which are so well sorted in terms of noise that re-clocking may not help much, if at all. Most of us using USB probably use a standard desktop or laptop, invariably this will benefit from re-clocking unless you have a very expensive and special DAC which makes itself immune to external noise. I say give the iFi iUSB3.0 a try. Well done iFi!”
Thanks Clive and Enjoythemusic.com!
The system configuration: MacBook–> Mercury–> iPurifier2–> micro iUSB3.0–>Gemini–>micro iDAC2–> 3.5mm analogue output
“The main and the most impressive part of the system is the iUSB3.0 that improves the sound quality dramatically good…..The reviewed system is not cheap but the total price is justified when we consider its general sound quality and competitive in the industry. The stronger unit in the system is the iUSB3.0 that significantly improves the sound. Surely, the other units are also good, but iUSB3.0 takes the lead……All in all the whole system sounds slightly warm, natural, dynamic and very satisfying.”
Thanks Ates Berberoglu, headphone Guru and Dukkan HiFi, iFi:Turkey!
“Until recently it was thought that the transmission of the signal via the USB interface do something to improve it…..iUSB3.0 is a device that addresses many of the problems relating to transmission USB. Its main task is to fight against various sorts interference and regeneration of the signal via USB from the computer to the transmitter…..Well, well, here and she started riding. The message strongly changed, but in a peculiar direction…..iUSB3.0 civilized message in a clear manner.It improves the stereophony, there are new layers of smoothness in sound diversification plans before the listener is better, but above all improves the resolution. As a result, the background music becomes darker, so it is better to catch all the subtleties in sound and solid instruments are clearly outlined. It is not moved or color, or temperature, or dynamics…..”
Translated with Google
Thank you HiFiknights and Rootadmin!
“I wanted to buy an affordable and compact desktop DAC. After some wandering and trying various products (including many setbacks) I was made aware of iFi Audio… I have been waiting for the (then) brand new iFi iDAC2 . That little machine I bought, and I am still amazed at the image quality…..The next upgrade: the iFi Micro iUSB3.0….. I really believe what it says. The iUSB3.0 the iDAC2 the display takes on a different dimension. A more dynamic, more calm in the background, a stereo image that grows in all directions, more refinement, an even more natural sound, etcetera.”
Translated with Google
Thank you Kees Jan and Jeroen Boomstra!
“The impact of computers as a source for high quality musical enjoyment cannot be underestimated. Computers allow listeners to store and stream massive amounts of musical data from the convenience of a laptop or other device in a manner that no other platform could before. Getting the most musical sound out of all those files is the objective of companies such as iFi.
iDAC 2: “The iDAC2 skillfully rendered the various musical details in the arrangement that capture your attention for an instant before fading away like images in the periphery of vision as you drive down the road at pace. And my foot pumping an imaginary bass drum showed that the iFi indeed keeps excellent pace, rhythm, and timing.”
iUSB3.0 Micro: “The iUSB3 installs before and USB DAC with an additional USB cable. The iUSB3.0 micro must be plugged into an AC power outlet with its dedicated noise reducing iPower 9v wall wart. Maximum benefit can be achieved by using iFi’s Gemini USB cable, which splits the data transfer and power supply leads. The overall affect of the iUSB3 in the chain was a significant reduction of background noise, increased depth of perception, and vacuous silence between notes.”
Cheers Victor Chavira and Positive-feedback.com!
Some comments from the review: “for the real testing, does it really work? I found out I’m getting about 20% in noise reduction and cancellation improvement…….also have found out that when playing music through my speakers it is less distort, does it work? Yes it does.”
Thanks Monir and Zyzz Talks Techs!
- Very versatile DAC/amplifier
– All in one DAC/amp solution for home and away
– Ideal driving power for all types of earphones
– Great sound quality
iUSB3.0 nano: “I really like this device when paired with the micro iDSD (via the Gemini Cable which I will cover next) and feel it justifies its asking price…..The most beneficial thing regardless of what DAC you have is how silent the noise floor is. When combined with the micro iDSD, the noise floor is pitch black, even with my most sensitive in-ear monitors. There is no hissing or signal noise that I noticed whatsoever…..Truth be told, the nano iUSB and Gemini cable is the ultimate compliment to an already awesome DAC/amplifier from iFi. It adds to the micro iDSD (or any DAC for that matter) both in terms of functionality and performance.”
iDSD micro: “Once the sampling rate was maxed out, it was time to grab my HD600 and fire up some DSD files. Even upon first listen I had perma-grin. To my ears, without flipping any switches on the unit, the micro iDSD is true to any recording and plays it with a level of resolution and detail that is very, very impressive!…..I could ramble on and on about the sound about the iDSD, but in a nutshell the iDSD plays music with no added color to its presentation. The iDSD will play your music the way it should be heard. It is a very revealing sound thanks to its very accurate sound reproduction.”
Conclusion: ” The various output powers and sound adjustment switches made me revisit earphones I gave up on in the past and find new life in their sound. It may not be the only DAC/amplifier I will ever need, but for now I can say in all honesty that the iDSD offers just about everything I need to enjoy my entire collection of music and earphones.”
“Same philosophy as the previous system. May be more musical, more soft and airy, large tonal and harmonic richness. Probably a little less punch than the iDSD but this is compensated by going back slightly noise…….In the end two very consistent and musical ensembles. The analog side, music liquid without any tensions, extra music, made us spend great moments of listening. Frankly we focus more on music and performance artists on the stereo.”
Translated by Google
Thanks Matthieu, math89 and Elite Diffusion (iFi:France)!
“iFi managed to capture my attention with its latest product in this area, the micro iUSB 3.0, and I am happy to say that I managed to get my hands on a test unit which I’ve been testing in my system for over a month now…….I was overwhelmed when I checked the product page on the iFi Audio website. This product seems to have a lot of features and technology packed inside and some of it sounds pretty impressive!…….The bass with iFi gains more speed, detailed extension and control, but also a very powerful punch and slam. I just can’t get enough of it! The midrange becomes more natural and detailed but also more transparent and clean. Everything from instrument and voice sounds more lively and natural. This is another area where iFi shows a very good improvement, as it manages to take away the glare, digital harshness from this area, leaving it crystal clear, smooth but very detailed and extended…….iUSB3.0 is in another league…….iFi iUSB3.0 is the best USB regenerator I have ever tested.”
Thank you HeadMania!
“It’s pretty rare that I review something anymore nowadays, but I wanted to do a quick review of a pretty remarkable component that’s made it’s way into my system lately……….For the record, I’m trying to get my digital front end to sound better. I really like the iFi……….As nice as my system sounded (and it sounded awesome), I knew I wanted to get things even quieter, with a deeper black background, and especially greater dynamics. So I decided to try out the iFi iUSB 3 because it was getting a lot of buzz……….dropped the iUSB 3 in, hit play and…. Holy crap that’s some crazy dynamics! And super quiet. The most quiet and clean I’d ever heard my system……….If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to go with one box only, it’d be the iUSB – I think it does the best job of actually cleaning up the dirty signal coming from my PC.”
“USB audio has become the most popular standard for computer audiophile DACs in recent years…….iFi Audio was one of the first to address the noise issue that computers contribute to a DAC with the popular iUSB Power. Along with their iPurifier, the iUSB Power improved the sound of USB DACs as was chronicled here at AudioStream…….It didn’t take me long to determine that the iUSB3.0 made a positive contribution…….A number of sonic characteristics were enhanced when listening to music played through the iUSB3.0. The sound appeared to be clearer with less congestion or veiling. Highs were better defined as was bass impact. Background noise was decreased with a greater sense of a deep black background. The size of the soundstage also seemed larger using the iUSB3.0.The sound seemed less involving and more 2-dimensional when the iUSB3.0 was taken out of the system…….I found the performance of the iFi Audio iUSB3.0 to be not only impressive in my system, but a significant improvement over iFi Audio’s previous efforts with the iUSB Power and the iPurifier. Your final sonic outcome using the iUSB3.0 will, no doubt, be system dependent. But given my experiences with the iUSB3.0, I would strongly recommend that computer audiophiles give this excellent product an audition.”
Thanks Steven Plaskin and Audio Stream!
iUSB3.0 Micro: “A number of effective technology to improve sound quality. cutting-edge correspondence of iFI-Audio unique……. a USB isolator in line with the era “micro iUSB3.0″ is released…..So inspired by the radar-cancellation technology fighters, creating a reverse phase signal of the power source of the noise, such as adversely affect signal, to offset the actively noise…….the output also functions as an audio grade USB hub by two pairs provided, it is also possible to connect the USB-DAC and the external USB-HDD simultaneously……This unit is in addition to the quality improvement of USB audio, by the high-speed transfer capability of USB3.0, a stable exchange large amounts of data to support outside of the PC, also is possible to fulfill at the same time proposition that to secure more storage it can. Some USB isolator itself is small, this product, which also functions as a hub for ultra-high-speed audio would say a very rare presence.”
Thank you Hisaaki Hijikata and Phileweb!
Translated with Google
iUSB3.0 Micro: “Since when I have gone to 100% digital I liked the idea of using an USB DAC, storing all loss-less music on an internal/external big capacity HDD and using a PC for controlling my playlist. Unfortunately on some DACs when touching the mouse or when printer was powering one or in general when many USB devices were connected I would hear some pops, cracks and/or distortions, the focusing became blurry and music itself started to fall apart, losing on precision and critical timing……When I connected iUSB3.0 the sound caught a slightly better focus, the base felt cleaner and on top there were more sparkle……Using iDAC2 directly from PC sounds very good, but this iUSB3.0 lifted its performance on another level, as if I listen to a higher performance DAC……iUSB3.0 is impressive from many point of views, besides the fact that it improves the USB DACs performance, and external HDD can be connected to it as well, the benefits doesn’t stop here and possibly other USB devices with benefit more or less from using an iUSB3.0”
iPurifier 2: “In addition to iUSB3.0, iFi developed something similar but much smaller and more affordable, that is called iPurifier2. Basically it does almost the same thing: cleans the USB signal from all unwanted gremlins, it takes access time back to normal, it reduces jitter and regenerates USB signal……At the end I’ve used Hegel HD25 on which differences were felt almost instantly……One thing I enjoyed very much on iPurifier2 is that any problem you might have with USB connection, some buzzing noise, cracklings or if just your USB DAC looses connection very often when connected to your PC/Laptop then iPurifier2 will solve all those problems.”
Verdict: “Both devices are impressive, through their construction, development and through their principle of operation behind both devices……Thus I consider iPurifier2 a real bargain from iFi if you are not interesting investing to a higher performance DAC. iUSB3.0 becomes an ultimate device if draining the last drop of performance from your DAC is your wish.”
” IFI has managed to supply the market with a compact solution that no one else…….Let’s have a look under the hood of the new regenerator and determine whether a similar investment sense…….IFI Micro iUSB3.0 should theoretically solve power quality and management of audio signals via USB.Bus normal PC or laptop is a different source of interference and noise…….The excellent results of the new iUSB3.0…….Whoever it with high-quality listening through traditional desktop or laptop is serious, it should IFI Micro iUSB3.0 definitely try.
+ Improves sound almost any USB Transmitter
+ Simple design and solid construction
+ Acceptable price”
Translated with Google.
Thanks Petr Štefek
“When I received the iFi iUSB3.0, I immediately tested it out with my favourite test track: Katherine Bryan – Flute Concerto Alla Marcia……The track has a lot of stage depth and width, extreme differences in pitch, big tympani strikes, and incredibly fast well-defined flute notes that are a perfect torture test for seeing if you’ve got a treble emphasized piece of equipment……The iUSB3.0 adds significant soundstage depth on my Sennheiser HD600 headphones, and a little bit of extra width. Drum strikes were noticeably more rounded and defined, the instruments were suspended in the aether with precise locations……Overall, I’m very impressed with this little wonder. It boosted DAC function on DACs ranging between $300 and $3000 in price. I’m very happy to have it in my system and stopped doing comparisons pretty quick–the difference was that noticeable.”
Thanks Philippe Daussin, Qobuz and Elite Diffusion
iPurifier: it doesn’t matter what DAC you have ipurifier does the job……inexpensive but very reasonable and effective upgrade
Gemini: very high quality USB cable, you can hear the enormous differences right away. I know it is hard to believe usb cable can make a huge difference but believe me Gemini has that power…..if it is pricey for you you should try the mercury cable.
iUSB3.0: tested with 3 different DAC’s ( iFi Nano DSD, Goldnote DAC7 ve Matrix X-Sabre ) and heard the same effect on all. To be honest iFi Nano was the cheapest one but with the iUSB 3.0 it became a totally different unit. This unit might be pricey for entry level DAC users but if you are looking for best USB solution this it it.”
“The iFi USB 3.0 is one of the most versatile and effective computer audio products we have come across. It cleans up, re-clocks, and regenerates the USB signal for ultra low noise and jitter. Used with the iFI Gemini USB cable it is superb.”
Thanks Andre Marc!
Translated with Google
Thanks Kees Jan Lankhaar!
Thanks Andre Marc of avrev.com!
“that reply of yours led to two Micro iDSD DAC sales. And then I bought a 2nd one to keep at work and the new iUSB for home, that I visited for the past two days. I had promised to send some pics of the home system….I’m in process of new main speakers at the moment, running B&W 803s that shine like never before due to the iFi components. Firstly with the new iUSB3.0 I had the iFi Micro iDSD in preamp mode running straight into two McIntosh MC601s, this was stellar and will rip your head clean off if you are not careful. I had a problem with long enough RCA cables so it was just a test and then listened to a couple of hours with the iFi in direct mode to my Audio Research LS25 tube preamp. With jazz, bluegrass and acoustic tunes I think I prefer the tube aspect. But for Black Sabbath master reels or remastered Grateful Dead to HD the iFi in preamp mode is incredible……..so incredibly clean sounding, unlike anything I’ve heard before. Keep up the superb and “game changing” (groundbreaking may be a better term) work, you guys rock!”
Thanks Ethan, keep on rocking the seven seas with the iFi!
Hifiphilosophy recommends the latest iUSB3.0!
“ifi is setting new standards and is doing so in many aspects at the same time…..The first improvement is “cancelling out” the noise floor of USB signal, which is called active noise cancellation…..The second improvement is called REclock® and it consist in something that has been already elaborated upon on different occasions: a master clock, according to which the discontinued digital signal samples are matched…..The third perfection that has been implemented is called REbalance® and is supposed to bring back the balance inherent to USB signal, which is often downgraded with unbalanced form and additionally spoilt with noise…..The fourth aspect is using the USB signal in 3.0 version, handling the transfer of 5GB per second…..The next, fifth improvement is better grounding, that is IsoGround® technology, already used in iUSBPower, and now additionally improved…..The sixth thing – Dual-Ports® – is the basic technology of dual cable, used in the previous model and also improved here…..Number seven is the possibility to charge batteries of other devices, called Bus Charge 1.2, which delivers up to 2.5 A…..All this is supplemented with the eighth improvement: correcting impedance mis-match, which is the last one of the total improvements offered by iUSB3.0 micro…..This device’s contribution to the quality of sounds tells you everything. Even those who own very expensive transducers should use it, because the effect is much better…..It gets my full recommendation.”