It’s been quite the year…
2018 is coming to an end and we’ve decided to use this occasion to share with all of you good people a word or two. Many of our product ideas were developed from what you had to say, so we’re extremely grateful for your support. You’re the fuel to our fire, thank you!
The end of the year is also a good time to summarize what we were able to achieve in the last 12 months. Without further ado, here’s what we did:
- March – xDSD
Before this product came to be, we knew that we had to develop something very different from what we’d done before. We thought about many things – toasters with built-in speakers, a wind-up DAC for use in the dessert…only kidding! We aimed for a portable device with wireless functionality as good as a wired connection, improved volume control and a new look. Suffice to say, we strongly believe that with xDSD we were able to deliver on all counts. The toaster has had to wait!
- May – Pro iDSD
The Pro iDSD is the most ambitious and complex product of ours to date. It started many years ago as a rather simple machine, but the more time passed, the more advanced it became. After years of suffering (and here we mean both ours AND yours, just take poor Curtis as an example), the Pro iDSD eventually came into being as a state-of-the-art desktop platform loaded with so many features that it’s far easier to list things it doesn’t do! Not only this, but the Pro iDSD also has A LOT in common with AMR’s upcoming Diablo DAC. The former is actually a scaled down version of the latter and we’re exceptionally proud of how it turned out.
- June – iFi OTG Cable
We released this item due to huge demand. It’s reliable, affordable, looks sleek and there’s no rocket science behind it. It does the job where it should. It’s useful. Hey, if we’re capable of delivering headphone amps and DACs, who said that we can’t make a quality OTG cable? And nope, before anyone asks, we can’t make the equivalent Apple cable – if we could, we (and the rest of the world) surely would!!! Sadly, Apple don’t share the tech that we’d need to make one work. Would you, if you were Apple?
- June – DC iPurifier2
All our iPurifiers were developed to show that even a small and affordable item can really improve sound quality if backed by solid tech. The iPurifier2 is a step up over previous versions of this product, simply because our in-house developed circuitry got better over time. Practice makes perfect!
- July – iPurifier3.0
USB sorters have always been of utmost importance to us and the iPurifier3.0 shows our attitude towards these items. This product might look nothing like our nano or micro iUSB3.0 machines, but its roots are the very same. It was designed to audibly improve the USB interface and very positive feedback from you guys out there showed us that it does just that! Thank goodness!
- October – xCAN
Yet again X marked the spot in October! We really looked forward to releasing the xCAN. On the surface, it resembles our xDSD; they have similar set of features and they look very much alike, but the differences end there. Yes, each has finely implemented Bluetooth receiver, DAC and headphone amp in one neat enclosure BUT the xCAN is a portable and fully analogue amplifier above ALL else and its D/A conversion option is a cherry on top, whereas the xDSD – a DAC in the first place – is the exact opposite. Plus these two can work as a team and we have photographic evidence from you guys to prove it!
- November – Ear Plugs
This one you didn’t expect, huh? Us neither. But then again, we like silence and it’s yet another way to give you guys a low noise floor! (Plus they can protect your ears from the squeaks of protest when your loved one finds out you’ve bought yet another piece of audio equipment!) We try to think of everything…
- March – MQA firmware for all nano and micro products
This firmware was one of the most important things for us in 2018. We didn’t want to include MQA functionality in just one or two products, we wanted to roll things out across all suitable iFi goods, even some discontinued models. Even though the 5.30 ‘Cookies & Cream’ firmware has some limitations, this is the one to go after if you’d like to listen to MQA regardless of the iFi audio DAC you use.
- October – GTO filter firmware for all nano and micro products
The GTO filter was a tricky thing to develop, but in the end, it surely was worth the effort. To our ears it sounds amazing enough to surpass every other filter out there and we encourage everyone to give this one a try. Hey, it comes at nil cost, improves sound and if you don’t like it, you can always use our previously released firmware. That’s a win-win right there.
- November – Beta MQA firmware for the Pro iDSD
Fully operational MQA on our Pro iDSD took us a fair bit longer than expected for a reason. (Poor Curtis was turning in his grave!). The amount of work needed in order to have this signal fully decoded was nothing short of staggering. Everything had to be coded from scratch. Both our team and MQA’s engineers were involved in this project and we’re ecstatic that we were able to finally have this functionality ready. Enjoy!
Additionally, one thing we’re very proud of is that we were able to push our head of sales out of the UK office for well-deserved holiday. Blindfolded, the man was in shock and had no idea where he was transported. Since no laptops or comms with his team were allowed, after the adventure he told us that withdrawal shivers kicked in hard. But once he got off the plane and acknowledged he was in Iceland… Long story’s short, after this trip he returned as a new man. Even though he’s a good lad, we didn’t miss him at all but shhh…
The iFi audio Team