xCAN: iFi Audio Delivers a Potent Bluetooth Portable for the Power Hungry

iFi Audio is well known among headphiliacs for their selection of budget-conscious (and high-end) portable amps/DACs, of which several were on display at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest that Grover Neville checked out HERE.

But with their latest pocket-sized release (127 grams!), the Bluetooth-only, magnesium/aluminum-alloy bodied $299 USD xCAN, iFi seems determined to set the bar high at a low price point. The xCAN also replaces two previous iFi products in one fell swoop, the micro iCAN SE and the nano iCAN. and is capable of storing eight Bluetooth devices at once.

Primarily designed to be used with smartphones and DAPs (Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes and Tidal enabled), the xCAN is a Bluetooth Swiss-army knife and can be connected to PCs, laptops, wireless speakers or even a Smart Television set – anything Bluetooth enabled – making it a bit of a cable-free, mini-marvel for those looking to make the most of all their Bluetooth A/V sources at home or on the road.

The xCAN features an ESS Sabre DAC with a “time-domain jitter eliminator,” balanced 2.5mm, and S-Balanced compatible 3.5mm headphone outputs, with aptX/AAC (44.1/48k 16-Bit) capability. With a full analog volume control, proprietary Analog Signal Process (ASP) 3D+ Matrix (two separate circuits; one for headphones, the other for loudspeaker output) 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery providing six-to-eight hours of playing time (USB-C charging only, no wired connections whatsoever for this model) and XBass II which boosts the lowest frequencies for extra punch according to iFi.

“iFi is renowned for offering unique personal audio products that deliver remarkable value and the xCAN is certainly no exception.” commented Victoria Pickles, Head of Global Marketing for iFi audio. “The xCAN is designed for power users on the go who want to get the most out of their headphones, even power hungry planar magnetic designs. Moreover, the quality of xCAN’s Bluetooth aptX delivers superb clarity and connection quality.”

The big news in my mind is for those thinking of grabbing an xCAN is not just it's wireless capabilities, but its dual-mono headphone amplifier with a fairly prodigious power output of 1000mW/channel which the company claims “can unleash the full potential of both 32ohm and 600ohm headphones.” So driving some Sennheiser HD800s or similar via a Blutooth connection from your smartphone shouldn’t be a problem.

While this remains to be seen in practice, InnerFidelity has an xCAN winging its way to contributor Grover Neville, so we’ll know in short order what it drives with ease.

iFi Audio
105 Professional Pkway Ste 1506 Yorktown VA 23693