From vinyl all the way to Smart Phones –
Class A bewitching tonality and realism
Octa-DSD512 and PCM/768KHz. Ultimate audio and fully future-proofed
Starting with the Stereo 50, the iFi Retro is a completely new range that has one objective: to include everyone who loves music regardless of age, gender or technology.
The Retro Stereo 50 is an all-in-one tube stereo system: from Bluetooth aptx (phone/pad) to High-res digital (computer) to vinyl (turntable). Everyone can bring their music and be able to connect to the Stereo 50 and produce music that simply astounds. There really is nothing like the Retro Stereo 50.
Music is in the air
Smart devices capable of Bluetooth, aptX (best mode of wireless transmission) and NFC (extreme ease) can be “wirelessly paired” to the Stereo 50. From there, it is a simple case of opening your music app, be it your music collection on your music player, Spotify or Tidal and hit play!
The aptX option offers CD-like-quality wireless audio beyond normal Bluetooth. This means the Stereo 50 is future-proofed for Smart devices for many years to come.
USB & SPDIF for streaming/computer audio
Nowadays, nearly every home is streaming, be it from the set top box, smart device or computer via SPDIF coaxial or the USB 3.0 port. Irrespective of your preferred listening method – from Spotify to J. River; connect to the Stereo 50 and enjoy your favourite tunes at a whole new level!
High-resolution audio (DSD512, PCM768kHz, 2xDXD) via USB, Coaxial and Optical are all catered for. Just connect, sit back and enjoy your music your way.
Space-age digital and classic valve technology
AMR and iFi are renowned for combining classic valve technology with state-of-the-art digital technology such as in the prestigious AMR DP-777 Digital Processor. The Stereo 50 is the latest from a long line of outstanding products. It features 4xEL84X and 2xECF82 tubes with a stunningly advanced ground-up circuit that has DNA from the best of classic amplifiers such as Telefunken, Marantz and Leak.
Running primarily in Class A, its 25W+25W is and sounds astonishingly realistic. This all means a sonic performance that reflects the superb design and implementation.
Burr-Brown brightest chipset + AMR unorthodox technology
At iFi, ‘the best format’ is not the focus. Rather, we care for replaying each format at the pinnacle.
The Burr-Brown DAC chip used was developed by BB Japan (as opposed to BB/TI) though the product introduction was after the merger. Being Burr-Brown’s swan song chipset, it featured their ultimate converter technology and even to this day, is held in the highest esteem.
Having a chipset able to play all formats would count for little if this was not all executed natively, which means no conversion from one format to another. Using trickle-down technology from AMR (who wrote the chipset’s unorthodox control software) to drive this Burr-Brown chipset means preservation of the original music format which is essential for reaching the zenith in high-end audio reproduction.
High-Resolution on PCM768/DSD512/2xDXD
Computer-audio playback is advancing at breakneck speed. The Stereo 50 on the outside exudes classic retro styling, but on the inside, is at the cutting-edge.
It is able to play all formats to the highest level:
– PCM, from 16/44kHz all the way up to 32/768kHz
– DSD up to Octa-DSD512 (22.6/24.6MHz)
– DXD, 2x to 768kHz
Not only the hyper-advanced formats/sampling rates, but the filters employed also ensure the most analogue and life-like reproduction. The Minimum Phase filter for PCM and Bit-Perfect filter for DXD/DSD ensure maximum enjoyment. These filters ensure the typical “metallic edginess” to standard digital playback is not present, leaving a smooth and organic tonality.
In-Ear & Headphone lovers in for a treat
Got headphones? The Stereo 50 with separate 3.5mm and 6.3mm inputs is just for you. Each headphone input has its own dedicated gain and sensitivity to perfectly match high-sensitivity In-Ear-Monitors and low-sensitivity Over-the-Ear headphones respectively. The 6.3mm output pumps out a “turbo-charged” 7,000mW. So even the most demanding of headphones such as the HiFi Man HE-6 has met its match.
The Stereo 50 features iFi’s widely-regarded 3D Holographic for Headphones® and XBass® technologies. They have garnered a following with their mesmerizing ability to perfectly match each and every type of recording and headphone. The 3D Holographic for Headphones® technology uses pure analogue signal processing which delivers a wide open and spatially correct sound stage for headphones that places the sound field “back outside of the head” to enhance the listening experience. The XBass® technology creates the finest bass and dynamically corrects the bass response to perfectly suit the way we hear.
Vinyl oozes verve
iFi’s iPhono has already become a modern classic and the Stereo 50’s phono stage is set to emulate this feat. It has adjustable ultra-wide gain MM/MC from 38-62dB and its tone control system harks back to classic equalisation technology. With 6 different EQ curves (via the precision tone control), every stereophonic record is catered for. From the default RIAA through to EMI and Decca, as the legion of iPhono users can attest, once dialed-in, each and every record has “a kind of vinyl magic”.
The astonishing EQ feature would count for little if the actual sonic ability of the phono stage was not executed with finesse. Well, just like the iPhono, the Stereo 50 is one of only a handful of phono stages whose noise floor is below (as opposed to above) that of the record. With its superb dynamics and resolution, the Stereo 50 comfortably plays in the big league of vinyl.
Analogue Tone, Volume and Remote Controls
Digital volume controls truncate the delicate audio signal so iFi avoids this at all costs. The Tone Controls, Volume Control (with remote control) are all of extreme high-quality. The critical analogue volume control is by Alps (Japan) motorised potentiometer (< 3dB tracking error).
Audio equipment up to four times the price do not possess a volume control as high-quality as the Stereo 50’s. It is this fastidious attention to detail and highest-quality composition that sets iFi apart: in our sonic mission, we leave no stone unturned.
Retro Stereo 50 + LS3.5, a magical match for audio heaven
The Stereo 50 “full system” including the Retro LS 3.5 is a match made in audio heaven.
The LS3.5 is iFi’s 21st century take on the legendary BBC LS3/5a. To create the LS3.5 speaker, iFi scoured the globe for the very latest technologies and ideal materials. The result is a deep, wide and open sonic signature with spine-tingling tonality.
Swimming completely against the tide, the LS 3.5 (see LS3.5 product page for full details) was designed by iFi for iFi, so you won’t find its drivers or features on any other speaker, regardless of price.
The silk-dome, horn-loaded tweeter (1.1”) and coated natural paper wideband driver (4.5”) were developed in-house. Both drivers were design by iFi and used by iFi which is unprecedented for a mass market speaker.
Its non-resonant bamboo cabinet is both environmentally-friendly and uncompromising in its sonic performance. The cabinet is 3x stronger than wood and yet only half its weight thus not over-damped.
It is perfectly time-aligned and has internal acoustic technology that leaves other speakers lagging behind. Even the internal structure has been finely tuned (sound bar/braces) using musical instrument manufacturing methods.
All this coupled with the Stereo 50’s XBass® and 3D Holographic for Speakers® technologies creates a sonic synergy that is simply out of this world.
|Phono(MM/MC Low/MC High/Line 3)||1|
|3.5mm (share with Line 2)||1|
|3.5mm Headphone Output||1 (Output impedance 3.5mm < 3 Ohm)|
|6.3mm Headphone Output||1 (Output impedance 6.3mm < 6 Ohm)|
|Power output (Music)||> 25W(majority Class A)|
|Total Harmonic Distortion(THD)||< 0.2% (@ 2.83V/1W)|
|Output bandwidth||10Hz ~ 60kHz|
|Frequency Response||10Hz ~ 80kHz|
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||> Amplifier 101dB (@ max output)|
|> Phono MM: 90dB(A)|
|> Phono MC: 80dB(A)|
|DAC Dynamic Range||> 113dB(A)|
|Tone Control||Bass(100Hz) +/-8dB|
|Analogue Signal Processing (ASP)||XBass, 3D Holographic|
|Phono Gain||38, 50, 62dB|
|Tubes||2 x ECF82; 4 x EL84X|
|Filters||Minimum Phase (PCM 192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz)|
|Bit Perfect (DXD/PCM 768/705.6/384/352.8)|
|Power Supply||AC 100V-240V|
|~0.1W (Standard mode)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||300 x 153 x 226mm|
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
Many thanks Steven for your excellent review!
French customers, head on over to Haute Fidelité to download your digital copy today!
Translated with Google
Thanks Philippe David, Haute Fidelité and Elite Diffusion (iFi:France)!
Special thanks to Dwayne Carter, Steven and Enjoy the music!
Hop skip and jump to 9.10 if you wish to get to the crux of the review. We can only concur the Stereo 50 is ‘fun, fun, fun.’ Listening to it just puts a smile on your face. J
Thank you Sean!
ps: we loved the fact that the headphone section was noted for being a big hit. Yes, the HE-1000 absolutely sings (swings?) with the Stereo 50
Thank you Pro High-End (Russia), Victor Serebryakov and Qvinta-Audio (iFi:Russia)
Translated by Google.
Get on down and grab a copy or subscribe to the digital version!
Thanks What Hi*Fi and Qvinta Audio (iFi:Russia)
Pros: Sweet pure natural sounding amplifier that successfully combines old and new technologies and offers an extravaganza of music sources to listen to
Cons: it’s hard to think of cons with this kind of performance and high value for money
Thanks Kentaro Takahashi!
Translated by Google
Camera’s at the ready……least we know she’s not camera shy 🙂
Thanks Ece Uslu and DukkanHiFi (iFi:Turkey)!
“….the IFI 50 is equipped with the latest technology in terms of connectivity and digital-analog decoding. The APTX system, beyond conventional Bluetooth ensures reproduction quality equivalent to that of a CD. It is obviously the best deal from our wireless device files flac or wav or even streaming from a provider that offers high resolution (or Spotify Tidal). The built-in DAC prestigious Burr-Brown PCM supports, or DXD, DSD (22.6 / 24.6MHz). To make matters worse, vinyl lovers will also enjoy The IFI Retro 50 thanks to its phono input MM / MC. In short, we face a multidisciplinary unit that from the past, look to the future without complexes.”
Translated with Google
Muchas gracias On Off magazine and Zococity (iFi:Spain)!
Thanks Doctorhead.ru and Qvinta audio (iFi:Russia)
Translated with Google
Thank you Dawid Grzyb!
Translated with Google
Retro 50 inside High & Style Autumn 2015
iFi Stereo 50 amplifier is interesting fusion between retro design and latest technologies. On one hand it is a tube amp which takes maximum care of good old vinyl records reproduction and on the other hand it enables quality reproduction from portable sources via Bluetooth and exceptional quality of digital to analogue conversion. The most important is that the slogan of iFi – Sempre Fidelis Musica – was again kept.
Pros: Design, “tube sound”, manufacturing quality, phono inputs, exceptional AD converter!”
Get on down to purchase your copy today!
Special thanks to High & Style, Ján Antal and Exaudio (iFi:Czech Republic)!
RETRO 50 picks up a Qobuzissime award from Qobuz.com!
“Retro look very successful, luxurious with a magnificent facade in brushed anodised aluminum or lined with four large buttons and toggle switches, and a wooden skin for the CPU 50 Stereo Audio System iFi Retro 50, all contrasting some bit with the other achievements of the brand whose appearance is modern….In conclusion, this iFi Retro Audio 50 system successfully combines modern digital technology, a comprehensive phono stage for lovers of vynile, and tube amplification, all under a delightfully vintage layout. With corrections and effective sound effects and small LS3.5 quality speakers, this system provides a devilishly exciting sound reproduction and we decided to give it our Qobuzissime reward.”
Special thanks to Philippe Daussin, qobuz.com and Elite Diffusion (iFi:France)!
Retro 50: “Proved so satisfying”
“A feature of the system the parent IFI retro minimalism and compatibility, and that means that because of the small size of both amplifier that columns can be set anywhere. In addition, thanks to the unprecedented flexibility to handle almost all kinds of digital and analog sources, IFI Retro turns out to be unique. The quality of the sound that I got from different signal sources, proved so satisfying that in order to get a similar effect with separate transmitter and it even supports DSD phono preamp or headphone amp, you have to book far larger amount than the total cost of the system. With unprecedented functionality and mature sound, this system does not despise even the audiophile. Retro Ifi has high value for money – unofficially admit him a six-star rating for opportunities, but our table is provided only five.”
Stereo 50 receives 5/5 stars and the LS 3.5 received 4.5/5!
Special thanks to Arkadiusz Ogrodnik, Hi-Fi Choice Poland and Moje Audio (iFi:Poland)
Stereo 50: Journey to the future
“IFI Audio introduces the entire product line with meaningful called Retro…..As soon as I opened the (beautifully prepared) cardboard, almost speechless…..The amplifier itself is also unique. A small, compact enclosure made of natural wood……The amplifier is cool, value for money, remarkable….
LS3 / 5 was small, but the monitor – designed specifically for small spaces as possible…. In LS3.5 there is almost no crossover – bass-midrange is connected “live bait”, without any filtering, and tweeter – by a single capacitor of low capacitance…..On the back you can see a gap opening bass-reflex, a housing divided into two chambers (lower slightly larger), leaving only a very narrow inlets in the vicinity of the front wall. In this way, additional internal resonance systems.
Combining the best of IFI Audio System – D / A converter, phono preamplifier, headphone amplifier with a vacuum tube power amplifier, stylish setting, fine materials…..He can absolutely everything and much more than a standard stereo amplifier.”
Special thanks to Radek Łabanowski, Audio.pl and Moje Audio (iFi:Poland)!
Cubic Cornucopias! So few boxes, so much sound! Says Tone audio of the Retro System
Regardless of speakers used from the $88,000/pair Dynaudio Evidence Platinums all the way down to my JBL L-100s, the extended high end and LF control is surprisingly good. ……..Like every other iFi product we’ve used or reviewed, the Retro 50 screams high performance and high value – more than worthy of one of our Exceptional Value Awards for 2015. Whether you use the speakers or give them to a friend, the Retro 50 is one of the greatest combinations in the audiophile world today. I can’t think of a better place to start your high end audio journey.
Thanks Tone Audio and Jeff Dorgay!
“Retro” is fabulous!
“Trust me when I say that ifi’s “Retro Stereo 50” is the best all-in-one amplifier (plus speakers) I have heard in the price bracket of around $2000. It’s a system which utilizes valve technology and offers just about everything you need in the 21st century…..If you are in the market for a small system for your living room or elsewhere, this is really where you should start looking. Chances are that you won’t need to look any further. If I had to start over again, I would start here. The ifi “Retro” systems gets the highest recommendation I can think of! Do check it out.”
“I could not restrain my enthusiasm” says Marc of Hifigasten about the Retro System!
“I could not restrain my enthusiasm. So if you want the short version: the iFi Retro Stereo 50 is a ge-dig device!…..the iFi Retro Stereo 50 has a nice champagne-colored glow and is divided almost perfectly symmetrical. The front panel is therefore very clear and still radiates tranquility…..You can connect the Stereo 50 next to a computer and a turntable also other digital and analog devices…..But where to start? The iFi Retro set offers so many connection and adjustment options…..Morning of the album Beck Morning Phase (2014) resulting from the speakers – the guitar that opens the song has a full, warm sound but is also nicely detailed; every attack on the metal strings is perfect to follow and ‘presence’. The layer has a pleasant pressure at which the switch will be highlighted. The airy character of the Stereo 50 shows the overdubs Beck’s voice beautiful float between the speakers for the ethereal nature of this track added emphasis…..this headphone amplifier we still a shock in a positive way!…..As we said in the intro, “the iFi Retro Stereo 50 is a ge-dig machine!”
Thanks Marc Brekelmans and Hifgasten.nl!
Don’t forget to check out the video too!
First Listen: iFi Retro Music System!
“We’ve been talking expectantly about iFi Audio’s Retro Audio System in our reports from the last several trade shows we’ve attended, but now the Retro System has finally arrived……The heart of the system is an impressively full-featured integrated amplifier called the RETRO Stereo 50……The speaker uses two iFi designed and manufactured drivers: a 4.5-inch paper cone mid/bass driver and a 1.1-inch, waveguide-loaded, silk dome tweeter……If you’ve ever wondered what an iFi Micro iDSD would sound like if it had effectively unlimited power for driving headphones, plus the ineffable harmonic rightness of valves, then the Stereo 50 is your answer……If you get a chance, do try to give this system a listen”
Thanks Chris Martens & HiFiplus.com!
Rapid Assessment: iFi Retro!
“Retro Stereo System IFI more than hi-fi system standards because it includes a tube amplifier Retro 50 has integrated advanced encoder and a pair of speakers called IFI LS3 class. Both have certainly bamboo shell…..The sound system is pretty small for demand is ideal for listening to music at the office, bedroom or living room has an area of approximately 15 square meters……Looking at the new amplifier, we understand immediately why the company chose IFI called Retro 50. That is because it is the old picture frame machine, the 1950 has been resized…..IFI Retro Stereo amplifier with loudspeaker LS3 50 Retro IFI sound quality does not surrender. Actual sound quality is always portrayed the true voice of each person “
Thanks Test lab & PCWorld!
iFi Retro: System of Dreams!
“Starting with IFI Retro Stereo 50 is a completely new product line, having only one goal: to make all music lovers, regardless of age, gender and technology. Retro Stereo 50 tube system “all in one”: from aptX Bluetooth (phone / pad) to high definition digital audio (computer) and vinyl (turntable). Anyone can bring your music and connect to the Stereo 50, creating a breathtaking spectacle. There really is no equipment similar to Retro Stereo 50 Music is in the air smart devices (eg. mobile phones or tablets) equipped with Bluetooth, aptX (best system for wireless transmission of music) and NFC can be paired with Stereo 50. From this point, it’s easy to open applications reproduction, regardless of whether the reproduction of music from your own collection, or Tidal Spotify and press Play! aptX offers quality similar to a CD for wireless transmission and is much better than normal Bluetooth. This means that the Stereo 50 is secured for the future and will be for many years worked with smart devices.”
Thanks Moje Audio (iFi:Poland)!
Germany’s prestigious AUDIO magazine rates Retro as Reference Class.
We must admit, this one took us by surprise.AUDIO test thoroughly and are one of the major authorities for comparative reviewing in Germany. In the history of AUDIO, the Retro is the first ‘realistically priced component’ to ever be awarded ‘Reference Class’. Jeremy Clarkson got nuffin on this reviewer, Stefan Schickedanz. The following is a translation of the most salient aspects from the review.
Test, tube complete system (summary)
Not only for Hipsters: For looks, the charming system from iFi could have come straight from the middle of the last century, but it is packed chock full with technology of our current Millennium.
High Fidelity delivers a stonking review about the iFi Retro!
We are thrilled to bits to read this in-depth review of the latest iFi Audio product line, Retro (Stereo 50 & LS3.5).
“It’s hard to take eyes off new iFi products….British company named its new line iFi Retro, and the design is simply great, eye-catching…Stereo 50 delivers a very good performance….The system under review was like a meteor that entered Earth’s atmosphere with a loud boom and filled the sky with light. You should really give it a listen….This system does a good job in everything it does. Both, together with LS3.5, and as a separate amplifier/DAC iFi provides its user with a lot of fun and joy. Whatever you think you need from your system – iFi’s got it.
Special thanks to High Fidelity, Marek, Wojciech, Bt/Piksel Studio and Moje Audio (iFi:Poland)!
iFi Retro makes front cover of Poland’s HiFi Choice & Home Cinema!
We just received the good news about the iFi Retro making front cover of Poland’s HiFi Choice followed with absolutely stonking review inside! Be sure to check it out!
Issue sampler: http://www.hfc.com.pl/hfc/hfc.html
HiFi Choice has also shared these few words;
“The offer IFI audio (a subsidiary of the well-known manufacturer AMR) stereo system appeared clearly different from the previous proposal of this manufacturer – talking about Retro Series. The kit includes: ls3.5 stand mount speakers and stereo tube amplifier 50. This set is sure to please the sensational devices, where a very successful manner combined the latest technology with design and style of a typical audio from the 60s and 70s Searching and original design is not everything, because IFI Audio Retro equipped with a number of features that make it is probably the only device on the market at this price, combining so many possibilities. “
Special thanks to HiFi Choice & Moje Audio (iFi:Poland) – This has made our day!