AMR / iFi audio

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Dear WBF community,

Do you enjoy listening to headphones/IEMs? Do you like portable audio products? Are you after sound quality even outside your home? If you do, we at iFi audio hear you and thoroguhly enjoy the same thing!

Over the years we've launched multiple portable devices, but our recent one - xCAN - is very special. In short, it's a balanced headphone amp and a wireless DAC merged into one designer enclosure. xCAN allows its user to stream music to it from a smartphone with no cables, however we took extra measures to make our BT implementation as good as it possibly can be.

xCAN.jpg

If all this sounds like a marketing chatter, iFi audio hereby invites you to give our xCAN a try in person. If:

- You're a resident of a country, in which xCAN from one of iFi audio stockists is can be shipped
- You're passionate about portable products
- You'd like to try our xCAN for yourself

...by all means let us know in this thread, so we can contact you and organize a loner shipped to your address for three weeks time at no cost on your end. We'd appreciate if you could share your impressions of the product in this thread, but other than this, the xCAN proposal has no strings attached.

In the upcoming days we'll introduce you to a number of reasons why, in spite of being a portable compact product, iFi audio xCAN is a major overachiever.
 
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Alrainbow

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Dec 11, 2013
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I look forward to your comments
Is there any specs ?
Watts at given imp
Output imp ?
 
Aug 12, 2019
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Hey there. I was thinking about the xDSD to work with my iMac and desktop speakers. Would this work instread or do I still need a DAC? I used to have a nano BL but lost it. Don't ask. Now on shut down in Spain and need to get my act into gear to up my istening or I'm going to go mad.
Thanks
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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ifi-audio.com
xCAN - Tech Note 1/2
Killer Bluetooth + Balanced Combo


1.jpg

Introduction

The xCAN is the next generation in mobile headphone amplifiers – it replaces the micro iCAN SE and the nano iCAN.
  • With high-end Bluetooth connectivity, just about every modern device is able to stream audio to it without the need for cumbersome cables.
  • The xCAN delivers high-end audio quality from both Balanced and S-Balanced outputs, using a balanced dual-mono circuit topology that draws from the flagship Pro iCAN in an extremely portable package.
  • The 3D+® Matrix for Headphones and the new XBass?® system enhance your enjoyment of music by correcting common flaws even in very expensive headphones, offering the most musical enjoyment from the widest range of headphones.
Bluetooth but not as you know it.

Bluetooth functionality in a device is one thing. To make it sound really great is another.

The cookie cutter route - get a do-it-all SOC[1] module, implement according to the datasheet and you are done. Like this:
2.png
These SOCs are mainly specified for ‘voice’ calling. Is it any wonder that audio on Bluetooth is distinctly ‘average’?


This is not the iFi way. So, for the xCAN (and the xDSD) we developed a ground-up solution where the SOC is used only for reception (ie: no conversion/amplification) and includes aptX and AAC codecs for best audio quality from both iDevices (AAC) and Android devices, laptops etc (aptX).
3.png
The signal from SOC has a huge amount of jitter so it is then sent to an ESS Sabre Hyperstream DAC chipset with Time Domain Jitter Elimination and discrete oscillator, to eliminate jitter for conversion to analogue, before being sent to the amplifier.

4.png

The result? Quite an amazing performance from Bluetooth that is a positive surprise. And for all wishing to enjoy cordless audio/movies, the xCAN (like the xDSD) has ‘cut the cable’.

[1] SoC (‘System on Chip’) is a module with several functions embedded. Various SoCs are inside smartphones, tablets etc. Great for miniaturization, not so great for sound quality
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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ifi-audio.com
Hey there. I was thinking about the xDSD to work with my iMac and desktop speakers. Would this work instread or do I still need a DAC? I used to have a nano BL but lost it. Don't ask. Now on shut down in Spain and need to get my act into gear to up my istening or I'm going to go mad.
Thanks

It depends on functionality you're after the most; a headphone amp mainly and a DAC as a side thing, or a DAC in the first place and a headphone amp as a convenient addition.

In short, xDSD in 70% a DAC and in 30% a headphone amp, whereas xCAN reverses this order. If you're using easygoing headphones/IEMs, you should have a blast with xDSD more than with that unfortunate nano BL lost.
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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ifi-audio.com
xCAN - Tech Note 2/2
Balanced on the go.




The xCAN offers balanced in/out to take full advantage of the growing availability of balanced sources and headphones. The xCAN uses the W990VST analogue volume control with digital CyberDrive control. For amplification, the OV4627 amplifier chip (4 channel) is used to deliver exceptional sonic performance on-the-go.

All New 3D+ and XBassII.

XBass?® (On/Adj/Off) has been implemented in the xCAN for the first time.



In recent times, new research into headphone frequency response showed that a purely ‘flat’ response is not ‘ideal’ for enjoyable listening. Our long present XBass® fits the profile of the low-frequency correction required. However, it was also shown that a certain amount of lower midrange boost is needed to give many headphones a more ‘natural’ sound. As this lower midrange region is usually also called the ‘presence’ region we have used this term to indicate the lower midrange correction. In the xCAN, XBass?®(or perhaps better HP-EQ) can be selected to have either Bass + Presence correction, only Bass or Presence correction only. Select according to listening preference.

Tip: DSP with its unavoidable loss of resolution and sound quality is NOT used for XBass?® nor 3D+® Matrix systems. They operate purely in the analogue domain and use the highest-quality discrete components. Hence all the clarity and resolution of the original music is retained.

Cyberdrive. Fly-By-Wire.



As seen in the recently launched xDSD, the xCAN has the same CyberDrive platform whereby a central rotary and one other button replaces the need for many buttons. The volume control system despite being ‘digital control’ in function remains ‘analogue’ in operation. This means that the full dynamic range and every ‘Bit’ of resolution is preserved to deliver the best sonic performance.

Features
Front panel


· 2.5mm TRRS Balanced output
· 3.5mm TRS S-Balanced output
· Stepped attenuator volume control (-95dB...+18dB gain)
· Analogue Domain 3D Matrix/ XBass?® (on/off)

Rear panel

· 2.5mm TRRS Balanced input (Balanced TRRS wiring ONLY)
· 3.5mm TRS input (compatible with TRS Headphones/IEM)
· Analogue Domain XBass?® iQ correction (on/off with 3 presets*)
· USB C charging input port (charging only)

*based on the Olive/Welti target response for correct natural sound with Headphones and IEM’s
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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ifi-audio.com
Let's make a small detour from the usual hardware stuff to one of our crew, Aimée. She was kind enough to answer several questions, so here goes!



What's your role at iFi?

I'm the company's Marketing Assistant, which means that I share my time between regular office work and iFi audio's social media

What's your favourite iFi device and why?

My favourite iFi product is the xDSD. It was my first-ever DAC/Amp, and I've never let go. I love it because it's portable, so I can clean, cook, work and travel while listening through my headphones!

What type of music do you listen to?

My music preference definitely depends on my mood and it ranges from folk, alternative rock, reggae rock and indie pop, to pretty much any 70's & 80's music, jazz, and western classical (when I'm in the 'focus mode').

What are your favourite headphones/IEMs?

To be honest, I don't think I've found my 'favourite' headphones yet...there's too many to choose from! I'll try whatever is available at our UK office and there's a lot of stuff in there. HifiMan and Meze just to name two brands. I like Susvaras A LOT but rarely can use them! While I may not have found 'the one' just yet, I'll give a try to whatever lands near my desk.
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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ifi-audio.com
Even though it's a review from a while ago, it's as up to date as it ever was!

"I honestly cannot find a downside to buying one." - Stereonet UK. Applause Award 2019 winner, xCAN.



Read more HERE
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
2,636
1,153
260
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UK
ifi-audio.com
The convenience of Bluetooth® means your headphones connect to the xCAN, leaving your phone or chosen device wireless.
Set up your xCAN with these simple steps
 
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