iFi USB audio technology
100 times reduction in noise
micro iUSB + Gemini
The USB audio platform is well-established, yet as with any audio transmission protocol, unwanted factors hinder the audio quality. iFi’s obsession with ‘cleaning up’ the USB audio chain drawn from the knowledge base of AMR. As early as 2012, iFi invented the first USB power regenerator – the iUSB Power. This was swiftly followed by professional USB audio cables – the Mercury and Gemini. Later came the USB audio filter – the original iPurifier. Fast-forward to 2015 and we now have the iPurifier 2.
Most effective at the end (rather than the beginning) of the ‘digital USB audio chain’ the iPurifier 2 cleans up the USB transmission. There is an iPurifier 2 perfectly suited to every DAC.
In an all aircraft-grade CNC-aluminium shell anodised in ‘titanium’，the all-new iPurifier 2 features the very latest USB audio technology from Active Noise Cancellation® to REclock® and REgenerate®, whilst still retaining the original REbalance®.
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 now a cornerstone of the ever-improving iFi USB audio technology, looking for new products to feature ANC® ，and ANC+®.
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 on board 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.
ANC® measured, noise drops by 100 times or 40dB in comparison to the Common Noise Filter. Sonically, the background and inner resolution to recordings is enhanced several levels.
REclock® reclock/regenerate/repeat the signal
Re-clocking is beneficial to audio. REclock® is a ‘3-in-1’ feature that re-clocks/re-generates/repeats USB audio datastream. For any and every downstream DAC, REclock® technology eliminates jitter. Music flows better, is cleaner, deeper and tauter, just like the real thing.
REbalance® rectify the unbalanced signal
A core element of the original iPurifier’s success was REbalance® which has naturally been carried over to the iPurifier 2. By removing the DC offset and ‘re-balancing’ the USB audio signal, it is now perfectly balanced. As it purifies the USB audio data stream, this means noise is significantly reduced:
Future-proofed. Like no other
At iFi, we already develop cutting-edge, advanced audio converters from AMR trickle-down technology. Given this pedigree, the iPurifier 2 (just like the original iPurifier) is ready for all present and future PCM/DSD/DXD formats – without restriction.
So your iPurifier 2 will improve your USB audio playback experience for many years to come.
The iFi ‘Grand Slam’
To reach the absolute zenith in USB audio quality, iFi loves to push past the envelope of what is considered possible. We recommend the existing iUSB Power (to supply pure, clean power) and the Gemini cable (for separate audio + power transmission). Coupled with the iPurifier 2 to re-clock/regenerate and filter audio+power just prior to entering the iUSB Power (in this instance, not at the DAC end).
For the iUSB3.0, that alone incorporates all that we have learnt over the past few years so the iPurifier2 is not required to improve the iUSB3.0.
For further reading on the iUSB and technical aspects on other iFi products:
|· USB 3.0 + 2.0 compatible input port, USB2.0 High Speed output port|
|· Connectors: iFi ‘FINAL’ USB solid-aluminium connectors (Impedance: 90 ohms) 2.1A|
|· Dimensions: 62(l)x19(w)x18(h)mm|
|· Weight: 30g (0.1 lbs)|
|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.
“In my opinion adding the iPurifier2 into your audio chain is a no-brainer if one desires the absolute best in audio performance. I know what my next purchase is going to be!”
Thank you Bansaku for your excellent review.
“This small unit also has reclock, rebalance and regenerate technologies. It is the successor of iPurifier and it is the same size of its little brother. As far as it can be seen in the website that iFi recommends getting the iPurifier with Micro iUSBPower for existing customers and Gemini to correct signals.”
Thank you Ates Berberoglu for your review.
“iFi Audio has a catch: the cleaner of the USB audio signal…a pioneer in the field, developing the first USB signal regenerator…iFi Audio has developed its first USB audio filter, the iPurifier…The operation of this device is based on the eradication of parasitic noise by generating a signal identical to the background noise but with exactly opposite phase. So all the noises arriving are cancelled. The iPurifier 2 is also very complete because it is already compatible with the future standards of PCM/DSD/DXD….On each trial, we noticed a significant gain in opening, transparency and delicacy. The sound scene is more spacious and stepped, the dynamics rises one notch and the restoration gains a lot in softness and in opening. The iPurifier 2 is a very useful product that is nothing like a gadget. It improves the sound quality sensibly. …Thanks to iFi Audio and its many toys, it reduces the sound degradation for more musicality. Approved!”
Thank you Laurent Thorin for your superb review.
Translated with Google。
Theaudiophileman reviews the iPurifier 2!
“In effect, this is a long review of what, essentially, is a very simple process: to remove or lower noise from your music. The iFi iPurifier2 does that and does it well, reducing the sonic rubbish to allow your music to flow. What this compact little object gives you back in terms of sonics is the important subtleties. Those bits of the music that add character to a performance, that give it human qualities, that add a sense of emotion or frailty. The bits, in effect, that transform it from a robotic performance to something that engages you. This little box does all of these things and does it well enough to convince me to carry it around as an important part of my audiophile mobile music hardware set-up. Now I know what it does, I don’t want to go back.”
Thank you Paul Rigby!
Pros: Focus, Clarity and increased resolution added to your audio tracks
“To be honest I’ve always been rather biased towards the USB protocol for what regards the transmission of digital audio…..but over time I have had to think again about the quality of the USB standard especially when you have the necessary tools to make it sound its best. The iPurifier2 is definitely one of them, and since the first version has really raised the quality of the performance so much so, to the point that those sensations, when first used, reminded me as I told you, of when I used an external word-clock for the DAC in my studio. Everything is much more in focus, more precise and realistic than the previous listenings. If the sound transmission via the USB iPurifier2 is already itself a step forward compared to the normal connections such as the S/PDIF and the AES-EBU and somehow brings tangible benefits sonically, the iPurifier2 joined with the iUSB is one of the definitive steps towards the top quality USB audio. Well done iFi Audio!!!”
Thank you Fradoca of Head-Fi!
“Increased soundstage width and depth, better note definition, timing smears fixed, cleaner vocals and treble, price better than a midrange USB cable….. I’m a fan of the iPurifier2, but I’ve been spoiled on the much more expensive and more performance laden Micro iUSB3.0…… I think that the iPurifier2 is a great value. At $110 it is better value than basically any audio device you can buy in that range. It provides definite improvement in soundstage depth, lays down some tight and groovy bass, and improves note definition by improving the blackness of the background and preventing time smearing. I give these a solid 4 stars. They are extremely portable, work universally, and give marked improvements in audio quality”
Thank you Glassmonkey!
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!
Here is a comment from the video: “if you’ve reached a point of buying headphones and not seeing an improvement and you’re thinking of a way to improve your enjoyment level, then this is one of the ways”
“First the iDAC2 connected PC and the USB, I tried to play the high-resolution files in combination with pre-main amplifier and two-way speaker. “Akiko Yano + Tinpan Wichita Linemanin”, make me obediently comfortably hear the sound rounded of this song. Bass drum is higher sense of resolution Shi sink moderately and thud, vocals are finely depicted until smooth and breathing……”
Translated with Google
Thank you Stereosound and Ito RyuTsuyoshi!
The following article is written by John H. Darko of Digitalaudioreview.net regarding why USB audio quality varies. Here are a few extracts from the piece.
“Having already tested and written about the Schiit Wyrd, the AudioQuest JitterBug, the UpTone Regen and the Wyred4Sound Recovery, extensive real world experience tells me that USB signal cleaning devices like these can make a noticeable difference to sound quality.”
“the iFi iPurifier 2 connects directly to the DAC’s USB port and cleans up the USB signal after it has left the host device’s USB port and journeyed down the USB cable…..the iFi requires no intervening cable or dongle to make the DAC connection; it plugs directly into the port…..The iPurifier 2 is also an active (powered) device yet there is no external power brick feeding it. Instead, it gets it go juice from the host device (computer/streamer) – in our case the Sonicorbiter SE. The iFi dongle brings greater tonal and micro-dynamic avidity to the Sonore table.”
Thank you John H. Darko and Digital Audio review!
– Easy to use (Just plug it into your USB audio chain directly before your DAC). It “Just Works”! Nothing to tweak…
“For me, the iPurifier 2 represents if nothing else, the single SIMPLEST way to enhance all of your audio collection in one fell swoop……But there is simply no other addition to your audio chain that you can simply “plug-in”, and not even have to power it on, that will have as much impact on your audio as the iPurifier 2 that I have ever heard of.”
Thank you Ken!
“Well, it is a good product reviews for this year. This impression was blessed with abundant items and some of the time…….Say without fear of misunderstanding, or rather lowered the noise floor of the microphone, what impression that “noisy and felt the sound of” is eliminated when using the cheap condenser microphone. I think to be a great advantage for those who are dealing with acoustic ones, including voice.”
Translated with Google
Thanks Takumi Otani, Music Plant and Top Wing Corporation (iFi:Japan)
“I primarily tested the iPurifier2 with the headphones mentioned above but also on my main system. In whatever setting I used the iPurifer 2 there was a sense of music starting the flow more natural and it sounded more “analog” to me. The digital strain sometimes associated with digital music was less so…….During the review I purchased the new ifi iDAC2. The combination of the iDAC2 with the iPurifier2 is a match made in heaven…….The iPurifier2 is one of these products that you put into your system and then forget about them until you take it away and then realize you cant live without it anymore. It does what it says on the tin, the USB signal is improved by providing a cleaner USB signal with much less digital artifacts and noise. If you enjoy the musical flow and naturalness of analog sound you will enjoy the iPurifier2. Highly recommended.”
Pros: Does improve the sound by providing a clean USB signal. Improves soundstage and instrument separation. Great match for ifi iDAC2
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.”
1. The sound quality is really excellent
2. The bang for the buck of the unit is high compared to the price
3. The measures show very interesting values
4. Build quality and aesthetics of the device are excellent
5. Versatility is very wide range in the world of USB audio devices”
Grazie Francesco and HDphonic.com!
Thank you Nick Whetstone and TNT-Audio!
Thank you Gon Kawano!
Translated by Google.
“The iDAC2 is easy to set up, just download the driver from the iFi website, plug in the iDAC2 and install. You can also download a tool to update the firmware, and iFi are brilliant, there are different firmwares for people using the iDAC2 in different systems. I am running the Vanilla firmware as I have no specific requirements for the iDAC2….. Well most DAC’s nowadays strive for neutrality and clarity, the original iDAC was a great piece of kit, it was incredibly detailed and very crisp. But the iDAC2 is more pleasurable to listen to due to its more natural sound…..The iPurifier2 is a great little device too, it reduces a tiny bit of harshness, and in doing so does increase listening pleasure. A great little combo, which sounds great and has a few nifty features, excellent for at home and also on the go usage.
Sound Perfection Rating: 10/10 (for the price, I cannot find any negatives)”
Cons: Makes me want to buy the iUSB Power
“I then added the iPurifier to the chain. Again, I listened to the first few tracks. At first I didn’t really notice too much of a difference, until I got to the second track, Dreams. The splash cymbal at the beginning caught me by surprise a little, it seemed more sustained and cleaner than I remembered. I looped this part of the track a few times, removed the iPurifier and repeated. Sure enough, I can tell the difference pretty easily. After a few hours of listening with the ipurifier attached, I’ve decided it’s staying put in this setup. To my ears it makes a good difference to the general soundstage (width especially) and overall clarity of the sound. I like it! Makes me wonder about adding the iFi iUSB Power to the mix if this little thing can make a decent improvement, who knows what that will do……sorry wallet.”
Translated with Google
Thanks Kees Jan Lankhaar!
Dankeschön Wolfgang Kemper and WOD Audio (iFi:Germany)!