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GO bar Kensei by iFi audio

The Ultimate GO bar.

Just as a Kensei deserves an exceptional blade, an audiophile deserves an exceptional DAC.

Forged for Masters of Audio.

GO bar Kensei is akin to a legendary sword meticulously forged for a Kensei. Embodying the dedication of a master swordsmith, we focused on purity, balance, and refinement to reveal the true essence of your music.

Featuring cutting-edge Japanese audio processing technology: K2HD, and improved power supply and clock circuitry, the Kensei represents the pinnacle of our journey of refinement in the GO bar range.

Whether you’re commuting, working remotely, or traveling for pleasure, the GO bar Kensei offers a perfectly portable solution to elevate your headphone experience to heavenly heights.

Kensei is a Japanese term that translates to “Sword Saint” in English, a title granted to the elite few who elevate the craft and artistry of swordsmanship beyond even that of the finest swordmasters.

Revitalise studio recording sound with legendary K2HD.

Despite their pristine clarity, digital recordings sometimes seem emotionally flat and lifeless.

Engineers at Victor Studio noticed a lack of emotion between their original masters and digital sub-masters, sparking a quest for a solution. They meticulously compared countless finished recordings with the copy recordings by ear, relying on their instinctive feel and human expertise. Their solution: K2 Technology.

The K2 Technology process revives rich, natural harmonics into digital sound, adding an organic quality unlike any other. K2 Technology processing revitalises the studio recording sound, infusing it with life once again.

“The K2 parameter values provided by iFi this time are completely new K2 parameter values that have never been used before and were selected by JVCKENWOOD and passed a listening test by studio engineers at Victor Studios. While previous K2 parameter values were set with consideration of correcting the sound quality of the product itself, the K2 parameter values provided this time for iFi are purely the settings for the best K2 effect. In this sense, it can be said that the K2 parameter values allow you to hear the original ideal “K2 sound.” commented, JVCKENWOOD.

*Read our Tech Note for more information.

“K2 Technology” and “K2HD” are registered trademarks of JVCKENWOOD Corporation.​

Tailored. Sweet Sound.

Listen the way you like with four bespoke digital filters and two analogue processing modes, each tailored to enhance your enjoyment across different music genres.

  • Bit-Perfect: Delivers natural tones, ideal for all genres.
  • GTO: Enhances sound details and density, particularly suited for Vocal tracks.
  • Minimum Phase: Produces a warmer sound, blending characteristics of Bit-Perfect and Standard, perfect for Soul and Jazz.
  • Standard: Offers a tighter sound with controlled highs, perfect for Pop music and Movie OST.

Experience chest-thumping bass with XBass+ and immerse yourself in a spacious sound field with XSpace.

GO bar Kensei by iFi audio

Advanced chip. Accurate clock.

The DAC section of the GO bar Kensei uses a powerful 16-core XMOS micro controller to process the audio data received at the USB input. Our in-house team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the 32-bit Cirrus Logic DAC chipset.

A customised digital filter minimises pre-echoes and ringing artefacts. Our GMT (Global Master Timing) precision clock system ensures ultra-low jitter.

Supports higher-than-streaming audio formats:

  • PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz ​
  • Native DSD playback up to DSD256​
  • 2x DXD
  • Full MQA decoding

Compact and Powerful.

The GO Bar Kensei is crafted with Japanese stainless steel for maximum rigidity.

With its compact dimensions of 65 x 22 x 13.2 mm, it matches the size of a USB flash drive. This makes it the perfect travel companion for your mobile, tablet or MacBook Pro, blending into your life for headphone use.

Its USB-C connectivity ensures plug-and-play convenience, allowing for hassle-free use.

The GO Bar Kensei offers a maximum output power of up to 477mW, which is about 10 times more powerful than an iPhone 15*.

It incorporates two power tuning technologies: iEMatch for high-sensitivity IEMs, and Turbo mode for power-hungry headphones. This allows it to easily drive a wide range of premium earphones and headphones.

*Compared to iPhone’s USB-C to 3.5mm Adapter.

GO bar Kensei by iFi audio

Cut the Crosstalk.

Connect to the GO bar Kensei via 3.5mm S-Balanced or 4.4mm Balanced headphone outputs.

iFi’s exclusive 3.5mm S-Balanced* technology cuts crosstalk and noise by 50% with regular single-ended headphones.

*Read FAQ for more information.

Contents

CONTENTS:

1 x ZEN Stream

1 x Ethernet cable

1 x Plastic screwdriver

1 x Power adapter

1 x Antenna

1 x User manual

1 x Instruction card

K2HD Processing revives rich, natural harmonics into emotionally flat and lifeless digital recordings.

The unparalleled originality of K2HD lies in its advanced high-frequency extension, enabling the restoration of natural harmonics and overtones beyond 22kHz, delivering audio quality that is close to the original master.

We worked with JVCKENWOOD for 18 months to develop this product and bring their renowned K2HD Technology back to the forefront.

The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB digital input.

This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard.

iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the 32-bit Cirrus Logic DAC chipset used in the GO bar.

Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including our GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer. This represents a total ‘out-of-the-box’ systematic digital solution that solves jitter once and for all.

Hi-Res True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.

TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications.

Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels.

They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.

Panasonic OS-CON caps totaling 5,410uF give very-low Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR), excellent noise reduction capability and frequency response characteristics. In addition, OS-CONs have a long-life span and its ESR changes little even at low temperatures since the electrolyte is solid.

They are not often found in products costing <US$1000.

Tantalum capacitors are another example of the top-notch components we prefer. These polarised electrolytic capacitors have superior frequency and stability characteristics, giving them a super high volumetric efficiency.

muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors. The ‘ESR control’ aspect of the Murata is something special. Their noise suppression abilities are impressive.

The GO bar’s analogue circuitry features balanced design with a symmetrical twin-channel output stage.

This topology, usually reserved for larger and more expensive amplifiers owing to its cost and complexity, reduces noise and crosstalk in the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels.

GO bar Kensei

Read Reviews

449.00

Retailer

BLACK PEARLS

Bad Camberg
Retailer

Projekt Akustik Schönberg GmbH

Bad Schwartau
Retailer

Projekt Akustik Schönberg GmbH

Bad Schwartau
Retailer

Headsound Audio

Berlin
Retailer

HiFi-Suite

Berlin
Retailer

Max Schlundt

Berlin
Retailer

Ohrenschmaus Audio

Esslingen
Retailer

HiFi Studio GmbH

Hamburg
Retailer

Ast & Voice Medien GmbH

Hannover
Retailer

Musik im Raum GmbH

Hannover
Retailer

ART&VOICE Medien GmbH

Hannover
Retailer

headphone.shop GmbH

Heidelberg
Retailer

Mediamarkt.de

Ingolstadt
Retailer

Netzberater UG (haftungsbeschränkt)

Leipzig
Retailer

Kolumbus GmbH

Leipzig
Retailer

Kolumbus GmbH

Leipzig
Retailer

Media Markt Marburg

Marburg
Distributor

WOD Audio

Nidderau
Retailer

hifi+hifi gmbh media@home

Oldenburg
Retailer

AUDIO POINT GmbH

Schleswig
Retailer

Fastaudio

Stuttgart
Retailer

Home Tech Plus GmbH

Viernheim
Retailer

AKUSTIK STUDIO HUBER GMBH

WALDSHUT
Retailer

HiFinsees AV Versand GmbH

Zweibrücken
Retailer

HiFinesse Audio Video GmbH

Zweibrücken
InputUSB-C
FormatsPCM44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384kHz
DSD2.8/3.1/5.6/6.1/11.3/12.3MHz
DXD352.8/384kHz
MQAFull Decoder
DACBit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Cirrus Logic
Headphone OutputBAL 4.4mm/S-BAL 3.5mm
Output Power (RMS)Balanced477mW@32Ω; 7.2V@600Ω
S-Bal300mW@32Ω; 3.8V@600Ω
Output Impedance≤1Ω (≤3.6 Ω with iEMatch engaged)
SNR132dB(A) / 121dB(A) (BAL/S-BAL)*
114dB(A) / 114dB(A) (BAL/S-BAL)
DNR108dB(A) / 109dB(A) (BAL/S-BAL)
THD+NBalanced≤0.0025% (600Ω 2V) @ (20-20KHz)
S-Bal≤0.009% (16Ω 1.27V) @ (20-20KHz)
Frequency Response20Hz - 70kHz (-3dB)
Power Consumption<4W max.
Dimensions65 x 22 x 13.2 mm (2.6" x 0.9" x 0.5”)
Weight65.5g (2.3 oz)
Warranty Period12 months
*With Intelligent muting activated
Please update your device to the latest firmware for optimal performance upon receipt.

“iFi has another winner on its hands here!”

GO bar Kensei by iFi audio

Discover the latest review of our GO BAR KENSEI in HIFIZONE magazine.

HIFIZONE.PL

(Click name to read original review)

“A master in the world of wired portable dongles!”

“The Most Portable Hifi Just Got Better – The Kensei is a master in the world of wired portable Dongles, it is my favorite one I have played with so far!”

Anton Wyler, HiFi Chicken

(Click name to read original review)

“Discover new details that you didn’t even know existed in your audio before!”

“Great product – Exceptional quality!”

Geekanoids

(Click name to read original review)

“Ideal for everyday use, both in domestic and professional environments!” (Review in Italian)

“Versatile and high quality device – combines aesthetics and functionality in an excellent way!”

Matteo Esposito, Help for Shopping

(Click name to read original review)

“The ultimate portable DAC for sound quality and power!”

GO bar Kensei by iFi audio

iFi has always been known to deliver high-quality audio products, and the GO Bar Kensei is no exception! The GO Bar Kensei is a very unique portable DAC, one that could probably replace many desktop DACs given the power output and features. It has excellent build quality, a stellar feature set, and a special and unique feature in the K2HD mode.

Dawson Pearse, HiFi Oasis

(Click name to read original review)

“The iFi GO Bar Kensei will appeal to anyone who wants to elevate their listening experience!”

GO bar Kensei by iFi audio

The iFi GO Bar Kensei does an excellent job of reviving digital music files and ensures that every detail from the original can be heard even when using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. It’s simple to use and is extremely portable, so it’s no hardship to slip into a bag – but such sound quality and convenience doesn’t come cheap.

Carrie-Ann Skinner, Sound Advice

(Click name to read original review)

“.. might be the most special dongle DAC on the market today!”

It combines fantastic design, robust build quality, an array of features, and impressive sound performance.

Berkhan Ackay, Headfonia Turkey

(Click name to read original review)

iFi’s ultra-portable hi-res DAC aims for a sonic performance that’s a cut above

Discover more by reading the full review.

Harry McKerrell

(Click name to read original review)

“A tiny but powerful digital-to-analogue converter that will take your wired headphones to new levels!”

GO bar Kensei by iFi audio

The GO Bar Kensei is also fashioned from Japanese stainless-steel, a premium material choice emphasized bythe engraved wooden box the item is packaged in.

HYPEBEAST

(Click name to read original review)

“The Kensei iFi Go bar is the most beautiful DAC dongle I’ve ever had!”

“It looks tremendously premium! We really liked it! It sounds spectacular! The wooden box is very nice to display!”

Machina 4K

(Click name to read original review)

“The Kensei is easily among the few best sounding USB DAC dongles in the market!”

The iFi Go bar Kensei offers more than the regular Go bar and even exceeds the limited Gold edition!

Petros Laskis

(Click name to read original review)

“If you are on the market for a high end dongle, the Kensei is one you should strongly consider!”

Discover more by watching the full review.

Kenneth Koh

(Click name to read original review)

GO bar KENSEI in High Fidelity (Review in Polish)

“It’s a device that plays equally well sophisticated jazz productions, classics in perfect pitch, such as Carol of the Bells, a track encoded by 2L Publishing in MQA FLAC 24/384 and performed by DER NORSKE JENTEKTOR, TORD GUSTAVSEN AND ANNE KARIN SUNDAL-ASK, but also very old recordings, such as Don’t Fence Me In, sung by BING CROSBY accompanied by THE ANDREW SISTERS.

Each time, the sound amazed me with its quality and sublimity. And that, I say, regardless of the quality of the recording or the resolution of the file from which I listened to the music. But, that said, too, the better the production, the higher the resolution, the better the sound you get. Because the iFi Audio GO bar Kensei is an outstanding resolution portable “DAC” and headphone amplifier. With good headphones, preferably with balanced output, it gives a sound with which you want to listen to music for a long time and with baked goods on your face. Kensei is a device with a great marketing idea that is hard to resist. It is what it should look like”.

High Fidelity

(Click name to read original review)

“The best dongle I’ve tried to date!”

“Normally I would do some comparisons either from gear I still have or from notes on previous equipment, this time I’ll just say that this is the best dongle I’ve tried to date!”

Colin Aitken

(Click name to read original review)

“I’ve been testing a lot of these dongle DACs recently and this is definitely the best one by a mile!”

”At that much power, really there’s basically no headphone you can’t run off of this so it’s really, really good.”

Ryan Ho

(Click name to read original review)

“If you use wired headphones, you’re going to suddenly get so much better sound out of your device!”

When you’re ready to take your audio experience to the next level with your favorite wired headphones, you’re going to love the iFi Audio GO Bar KENSEI. It’s a DAC, Pre-Amp, and Headphone Amp all in a device the size of a USB thumb drive. Somehow the company’s jammed some pretty sweet electronics into it, and the results are superb, as tech expert and audio fan Dave Taylor explains in this detailed and technical review.

Dave Taylor

(Click name to read original review)

“I don’t know what magic is going on inside the Kensei but it elevates everything I’ve paired it with to another level.”

“Honestly, this was an arduous review to get through. Not because I didn’t like the Kensei. It’s quite the opposite actually, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment! Reviewing was difficult because I found myself getting lost in the music due to the superb sound quality. I often felt drawn to hold the Kensei, relishing the weight and excellent build quality. Also somewhere deep in my subconscious I knew that with every word I typed I was closer to having to return the unit to iFi (maybe I should have drawn this one out a few weeks ). I have been a fan of iFi since I first tried the original hip dac. I’m now a full on disciple at the feet of the Kensei.”

“In my opinion, it has cemented it’s legendary status and earned the moniker of “sword saint”.”

Thaslaya

(Click name to read original review)

“More harmonics & overtones!”

Discover more by watching the full review.

Paul Wasabii

(Click name to read original review)