Power and the Secrets of Silence

iPower Elite from iFi audio
The elusive last 5% of high-res audio. How do we get it?
‘The iPower Elite is capable of competing with the very best’


We all know that the last 5% is the holy grail of Hi-Res audio is pursued by the elite by fine-tuning ultra Hi-end components, source devices, amplifiers, loudspeakers and interconnects. These ‘Golden Ears’ often spend thousands on components but often overlook one of the simplest and most cost-effective areas to tune which gives immediate results; the power supply, be it either AC lines or DC power.

The Weakest Link

Often in audio systems, the power supply is the lowest common denominator in a system and yet it is vital for the audio system to work at its peak. AC or DC power is the route source of all audio voltages in a system and if the power supply is corrupt or inadequate then any downstream upgrades will be tarnished.

Power supplies come in two basic types, large transformer windings picking off the required AC derivatives required from the mains supply and then rectified to DC and smoothed by large capacitor banks or Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS) that directly rectify the mains AC into DC with little filtering or smoothing. The former are normally bulky affairs in hi-end equipment whilst the latter are found in the majority of lower to mid-range components.

In both cases and especially with SMPS if there is little attention paid to filtering and smoothing then the connected equipment is exposed to ‘noise’ on the power lines. This noise can be either electromagnetic (EMI) or radio frequency (RFI). In both cases, this noise if particularly aggressive can be picked up in the audio amplifier and processing system only to be amplified further resulting in very disagreeable interference.

iPower Elite from iFi audio

EMI and RFI Solutions

Here, at iFi audio we have been developing ‘fixes’ for EMI and RFI for years and have a complete range of products marketed under the ‘Silent Power’ banner that can be used to cure all manner of interference issues. Probably the most widely known is the AC iPurifier that not only rejects EMI and RFI by shunting reverse phase noise across the Live and Neutral mains lines but also aids in grounding loop issues. The AC iPurifier also offers mains surge spike protection for up to 30,000A @ 1,000V/10uS. It’s a user-installed device simply plugged into the mains near the equipment power plugs.

The Quietest Power Supply

Probably the most well-known devices in the Silent Power range are the iPower DC power supplies. These come in three different grading flavors and up to five different DC voltage offerings. The basic iPower MK2 and the upgraded specification iPower X are available in 5v,9v,12v, and 15v formats. The top-of-the-range iPower Elite is available in 5v,9v,12v, and 24v. If the user has a nonspecific voltage, then iFi also offers a device that performs the same filtering functions as the iPower MK2 to existing DC Power supply units called the DC iPurifier that works at any voltage 5v-24V.

The top-of-the-range iPower Elite is considered to be possibly the quietest DC power supply available on the market today for Audiophiles, test results have proven that it emits even less noise than a DC battery (must be measured under load)!

‘Black Silent’ Power

It’s not only the audiophile world that can benefit from such ‘Black Silent’ power.  A recent case study with Holzworth, part of the Wireless Telecom Group, has seen the company select the iPower Elite as its power supply of choice for its award-winning HSM6001B and HSM18001B RF synthesizers operate from 10MHz to 18GHz!

A senior engineer at WTCOM stated,

“the main place we can see the difference between power supplies is in the phase noise performance of our synthesizers, here is a comparison of your supply (iPower Elite) and another we have tried, at 6GHz you can see the biggest difference between the 1kHz and 100kHz offsets of the plot. In addition to removing the hump in phase noise, we have noticed a reduction in spurious content, especially at 60Hz and its harmonics.”

Holzworth HSM Series

The HSM Series designs incorporate a long list of electrical and mechanical features to satisfy the demanding requirements of today’s high-performance communications systems and integrated test systems. FIELD PROVEN RELIABILITY with MTBFs exceeding 240 kHrs.

The iPower Elite can keep up with the best of the best.

Imagine what the iPower Elite can achieve for your home audio system if it can accomplish this for RF synthesizers!

Click here for more details about the technology that makes the iPower Elite the best option for your home audio system.


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