UNBOXED: Reviewing the iFi xCAN Portable Headphone Amp
All of a sudden, we seem to be on a bit of a headphone amp reviewing spree. The latest entrant into the discussion here is the dealer—a $299 gorgeous piece of equipment that takes portable (and affordable) amplification to a whole new level.
Simply put, this is a device that’s designed with the mobile music enthusiast in mind. iFi created a product that is slim and light in its profile and packed with technology that makes it a joy to use when on the go. The xCAN is essentially a revised and slimmed down version of iFi’s iDSD “portable” amp. Checking in at half the size of the iDSD, the xCAN ends up being a lot easier for the user to carry around. And it’s improved battery life—iFi claims between 12-18 hours depending on a number of different variables—provides you with more than enough listening time. That’s boosted by the fact that the xCAN has its own internal battery, which charges via USB-C. That means the amp doesn’t draw power from the user’s smartphone or other playback device.
Similar to the iDSD, the xCAN ships with a Bluetooth input—something I know traditional audiophiles are likely to scoff at, but it’s really worth giving this thing a chance as it left me more than impressed. The amp delivers CD-quality audio thanks to Bluetooth via AAC, aptX, and aptX LL, along with a little “added iFi magic.”