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iFi Go blu

Portable headphone amp/DAC with Bluetooth®

Item # 246GOBLU

This battery-powered wireless DAC provides hi-fi sound quality and plenty of power for your favorite wired headphones.

This battery-powered wireless DAC provides hi-fi sound quality and plenty of power for your favorite wired headphones.

Item # 246GOBLU

In stock
$199.00

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About the iFi Go blu

Take high-quality sound anywhere you go

The Go blu is iFi's smallest DAC yet, but don't let its size deceive you — it's more than capable of providing powerful, detailed hi-fi sound on the go. This tiny DAC weighs less than a "AA" battery, but it can drive almost any wired headphones with ease. You don't even need to connect a USB cable between the DAC and your smartphone. It wirelessly connects to your phone via Bluetooth.

Take high-quality sound anywhere you go

The Go blu is iFi's smallest DAC yet, but don't let its size deceive you — it's more than capable of providing powerful, detailed hi-fi sound on the go. This tiny DAC weighs less than a "AA" battery, but it can drive almost any wired headphones with ease. You don't even need to connect a USB cable between the DAC and your smartphone. It wirelessly connects to your phone via Bluetooth.

Eye-catching looks and thoughtful design

The Go blu's body is made of a soft-yet-durable polymer that doesn't interfere with Bluetooth signals like traditional metal enclosures do. The copper-colored trim adds a subtle touch of flair.

The side-mounted volume knob sports a knurled design that pays homage to the crowns of classic Swiss chronographs. It's precision-engineered from brass, steel, aluminum, and nickel and allows fine volume adjustments. The multifunction button, found in the center of the volume knob, is used for controlling music and activating voice assistants through your paired smartphone.
 

Go blu

The Go blu is small, but it can drive most headphones with ease.

High-quality Bluetooth

The Go Blu uses a potent Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.1 chip that supports all Bluetooth hi-fi formats, like aptX® Adaptive, aptX HD, LDAC, and more. The cool part about that? Every pairable audio source is reproduced at the highest possible resolution. The Go blu also has a built-in noise-canceling microphone for taking calls and accessing voice assistants.

Dedicated chips and optimized circuits

Some DACs use a single chip that combines their D-to-A converter, amplifier, and Bluetooth circuitry. By doing so, those DACs essentially cap the level of sound quality they can achieve. The Go blu uses three discrete chip stages rather than just a single multi-purpose chip, for higher-fidelity sound. The digital-to-analog converter chip, Bluetooth chip, and headphone amplifier chip are all separate and have their own respective, optimized circuits.

An advanced Cirrus Logic 43131 DAC chip handles the tricky switch from digital to analog. iFi paired the chip with a custom digital filter to fine-tune the sound to their high standards. It uses a precision clock to reduce jitter and distortion in the signal.

The headphone amplifier chip's left and right channels are laid out in a dual-mono configuration, meaning there are separate, symmetrical amp pathways for each channel. The company also employed their Direct Drive design concept to the amplifier circuit to ensure a clean, direct signal path to the headphone outputs. The amp stage delivers up to 5.6 volts of output — nearly double the power of most portable DACs.

Connections

You'll find a USB-C port on the bottom of the Go blu that acts as both a charging port as well as a wired input for non-Bluetooth sources. If you use the USB-C port as a source input, the connection supports sample rates up to 24-bit/96kHz PCM.  On top, there's a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn output for compatible high-end headphones and a standard unbalanced 3.5mm headphone output. Both outs are gold-plated for optimum contact and signal strength.

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Product highlights:

  • battery-powered wireless digital-to-analog converter with high-performance headphone amplifier
  • compact design with durable polymer enclosure and copper-colored trim
  • improves sound from smartphones, computers, tablets, and other digital sources
Bluetooth features:
  • uses Qualcomm's latest QCC5100 Bluetooth processing chip
  • built-in Bluetooth 5.1 for strong connection to smartphones and other pairable devices
    • no connecting cable between DAC and source device required
    • supported codecs: AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, and LHDC/HWA
  • built-in noise-canceling microphone for taking calls and accessing voice assistants
DAC specs:
  • Cirrus Logic 43131 digital-to-analog converter chip
  • supports sample rates up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • digital filter tuned by iFi for optimum sound quality
  • precision clock to reduce distortion and timing errors
S-Balanced headphone amplifier:
  • S-Balanced circuitry reduces distortion by 50% when used with single-ended headphone connections
  • iFi's Direct Drive circuit layout reduces distortion by having clear, independent signal paths for the left and right channels
  • 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced and 3.5mm unbalanced, gold-plated headphone outputs
  • XBass sound control processing for boosting bass
  • XSpace sound control processing for wider soundstage
  • multi-function knob provides minute volume adjustments, music control, and voice assistant access via your paired smartphone
  • auto-gain automatically adjusts amplifier output to match the sensitivity of connected headphones
  • balanced output power: 245mW at 32 ohms; 5.6 volts at 600 ohms
  • unbalanced output power: 165mW at 32 ohms; 2.8 volts at 600 ohms
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 111 dB (balanced); 116 dB (unbalanced)
  • balanced THD: <0.009%
  • unbalanced THD: <0.03%
  • frequency response: 20-45,000 Hz (± 3dB)
Other info:
  • dual-function USB-C connection serves as both a charging port and a wired USB audio input
    • if using USB-C port for audio input, the max supported sample rate is 24-bit/96kHz
  • USB-C charging/input cable included
  • rechargeable battery provides up to 10 hours of playback time on a full charge
  • LED indicator for Bluetooth and sound effect status
  • battery status LED for quickly checking battery life
  • 1-5/16"W x 2-3/16"H x 1/2"D
  • weight: 0.95 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # Go Blu

What's in the box:

  • Portable DAC/headphone amp
  • 6" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and USB-C on other end)
  • Microfiber storage pouch
  • User Manual
  • Warranty card

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More details on the iFi Go blu

Mark G.

Features & specs

Design
Type Portable
Built-in Rechargable Battery Yes
Built-in Headphone Amplifier
Output Power 5.6V Bal/2.8 Un
Output Impedance (Unbalanced) <1 Ohm
Output Impedance (Balanced) <1 Ohm
Audio Specs
Bit Depth (USB) 24
Max Sampling Rate (USB) 96 kHz
Bit Depth (S/PDIF) 0
Max Sampling Rate S/PDIF N/A
S/N Ratio (Unbalanced, in dB) 116
S/N Ratio (Balanced, in dB) 111
THD (Unbalanced) 0.03%
THD (Balanced) 0.009%
Supported File Types
PCM Up to 96kHz
DSD No
DXD No
MQA No
Inputs
Total Inputs 1
USB Type C
Optical Digital None
Coaxial Digital None
3.5mm Digital None
Stereo RCA Analog None
Stereo 3.5mm Analog None
Stereo XLR Analog None
Headphone Outputs
3.5mm Unbalanced 1
1/4-inch Unbalanced None
4.4mm Balanced 1
XLR4 Balanced None
Other Headphone Outs None
Line Level & Digital Outs
RCA Line Out None
3.5mm Line Out None
XLR Line Out None
Subwoofer Out None
Optical Digital Out None
Coaxial Digital Out None
Wireless Connectivity
Bluetooth Yes
Wi-Fi No
Apple-compatible Yes
Android-compatible Yes
General Info
Width (inches) 1-3/8
Height (inches) 2-1/8
Depth (inches) 0-1/2
Weight 0.95 lbs.
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features

Overview: The iFi-Audio GO blu is a matchbox-sized DAC/headphone amp with Bluetooth and USB-C inputs. With dual headphone outputs, you can connect your favorite headphones via balanced or single-ended (unbalanced), or both. GO blu has a precision rotary volume control with built-in music controls for your Bluetooth-connected smart device. Dimensions: Width 1.315", Height 2.118", Depth 0.497"; Weight 0.95 ounces.

Design and Controls: GO blu is housed in a soft-touch polymer enclosure that won't block Bluetooth reception with a brushed copper-colored front trim panel. Its side-mounted ChronoDial multi-function knob resembles a crown-style watch stem. Under the ChronoDial is a button that cycles through sound quality settings and Bluetooth pairing. The opposite side button lets you select the desired digital filter. On the top are the two headphone jacks--the 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output and a 3.5mm Single-Ended S-Balanced output. The bottom panel features a USB-C port for charging GO blu, and for a USB audio input. Beside the USB-C port is a high-quality microphone for hands-free phone calls and activating the phone's Voice Assistant (Siri or Google Assistant).

Three Separate Stages: Internally, the device has independently optimized Bluetooth, DAC, and amp stages for best performance:

  • Bluetooth: GO blu is equipped with a high-gain Bluetooth antenna, and the advanced Qualcomm QCC5100 Bluetooth module which can handle every HD format. This chipset establishes a solid wireless connection without the typical 40% loss of quality found with standard Bluetooth. As new codecs are introduced, they can be added through a firmware update. GO blu supports the following Bluetooth 5.1 codecs: SBC (standard Bluetooth), AAC (Apple iOS), Qualcomm's aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, and aptX LL (low latency), Sony's LDAC, and LHDC/HWA (Hi-Res Wireless Audio). GO blu is compatible with Android, iOS, PC, and Mac devices. aptX HD and aptX Adaptive support up to 24-bit/48kHz, while LDAC and LHDC can support up to 24-bit/96kHz.
  • Digital-to-Audio Conversion: Connecting GO blu via the USB-C port lets you input PCM digital audio files up to 24-bit/96kHz from your computer. The dedicated 32-bit CS43131 Master HiFi DAC from Cirrus Logic is superior to the standard DAC in your digital device, producing much better sound. A low-jitter precision clock system reduces errors and distortion, while XBass and XSpace let you tailor the sound to suit your personal taste.
  • Amplification: GO blu's amp stage utilizes symmetrical twin-mono signals and iFi's Direct Drive design to deliver clean audio without distortion. You can enjoy up to 5.6V of power from the 4.4mm balanced output and 2.8V from the 3.5mm single-ended output, which can easily drive tough headphone loads.

Dual Headphone Outputs: GO blu is equipped with two headphone outputs that can be used one-at-a-time or simultaneously. The outputs are gold-plated which maximizes contact quality and resists tarnishing. The 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output enables headphones equipped with a balanced connection to enjoy the DAC's balanced amp design. The 3.5mm output features iFi's proprietary S-Balanced circuitry that reduces distortion (by 50%) and crosstalk when used with regular, single-ended headphone connections and in-ear monitors.

ChronoDial: GO blu's precision ChronoDial provides both an analog volume control and digital music playback control. The main volume rotary dial is constructed of 304 stainless steel with a beryllium cobalt copper coating. The internal push button is made of precision CNC-machined AL6063 aluminum. Other components feature brass, stainless steel, and high purity nickel. The center button controls the following:

  • Music Controls:
    • Play/pause: 1x click
    • Skip Forward: 2x clicks
    • Skip Back: 3x clicks
    • Voice Assistant: long press
  • Phone Controls:
    • Answer a Call: short press
    • End a Call: long press

XBass/XSpace: XBass is an analog bass boost circuit to add back the low frequencies that are sometimes lost in the conversion process. If your music needs a little extra bottom end, XBass can provide it without muddying the midrange. XSpace is an analog headphone spatializer which opens up the music to provide a feeling of spaciousness. Both XBass and XSpace can be selected using the button on the left edge of the GO blu. The top-mounted status LED indicates which circuits are activated.

Digital Filters: You can choose from two digital filters: Standard and Minimum. In Standard mode, the device applies modest filtering of pre-echoes and ringing digital artifacts. The Minimum mode applies minimum phase, slow roll-off, and minimum pre- and post-ringing filtering. The status LED indicates the selected filter.

Voice Prompts: After powering on GO blu, you can hear a voice prompt announcing the Bluetooth format you are receiving. Pressing the power switch twice will activate the voice annunciation. You can turn the voice prompts feature on or off as desired.

Status LED: A small LED on the top of GO blu indicates the status of Bluetooth, Sound Effects, and Digital Filters and Battery Level:

  • Bluetooth: Blue (flashing): awaiting connection, Blue/Red (flashing): pairing, Off: connected
  • Sound Effects: Yellow: XBass, Cyan: XSpace, White: XBass+XSpace
  • Digital Filter: Green: Standard, Magenta: Minimum
  • Battery Level: Green: > 60%, Yellow: > 10%, Red: </= 10%, Flashing: charging

Rechargeable Battery Power: GO blu is powered by a built-in 450mAh Lithium-polymer battery which charges via USB. The battery fully charges in approximately 40 minutes when using a high-powered USB-C charger (BC v1.2-compatible). Battery life is typically 8 to 10 hours, depending upon several factors. Battery life is shortened when you play it at high volumes, play bass-heavy music, or use inefficient headphones. It is also affected by low ambient temperatures and the Bluetooth connection distance. The battery will only charge to 80% if GO blu is powered on while it is charging. Turning off GO blu allows it to charge to 100%.

Factory Reset: To reset GO blu to its factory defaults, you insert the end of a paper clip in the reset port and press for 3 or more seconds.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 45kHz (-3dB)
  • Battery Charging: compatible with BC (Battery Charging) version 1.2
  • Power Output:
    • Balanced: 245mW @ 32Ω, 5.6v @ 600Ω
    • Single-Ended (SE): 165mW @ 32Ω, 2.8v @ 600Ω
  • Output Impedance: < 1Ω (Balanced/SE)
  • SNR:
    • Balanced: 111dB(A) @ 0dBFS
    • SE: 116.5dB(A) @ 0dBFS
  • DNR: > 120dB(A) (Balanced/SE)
  • THD+N:
    • Balanced: < 0.009% @ (6.5mW/2.0v@600Ω)
    • SE: < 0.03% @ (100mW/1.27v@16Ω)

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Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

Q
Can I output to wireless headphones using Bluetooth. I see Bluetooth in, no cables needed, but output uses cables. I want to output using Bluetooth, no cables as well? Specs are not quite clear.
[ Andy  Jan 18, 2022 ]
2 answers
A
Nick is correct that this will not work. You need a Bluetooth transmitter. I recommend contacting an advisor by calling 1-800-324-9695 to get a personal recommendation
[ Paul  Jan 23, 2022 ]  Staff
A
This does not output to Bluetooth. This item is meant to drive wired headphones from digital sources (hence Bluetooth in). If you're looking to connect your Bluetooth headphones to a source that doesn't have inboard Bluetooth output you'll need to look at other options.
[ Nick  Jan 22, 2022 ]

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