iFi Go Link Hi-Res USB DAC + Headphone Amp... Reviewed!

The iFi Go Link Hi-Res USB DAC + Headphone Amp... caught my eye, even over another portable headphone amp, and the reason being the size of this product. I only have so much room in my pocket, so what goes in it matters, but despite its small size... does the iFi Go Link deliver? Let's find out.

Build Quality: When it comes to the build quality, you can feel it right off the bat in the magnesium alloy housing the amp. You might not even notice it right off the bat until you pick it back up in a cool room and you realize that it's cool to the touch. Peaking out of the amp is also a gold-plated 3.5mm headphone socket that allows you to connect your favorite pair of high-res headphones.

It's a nice solid connection too, definitely has good quality on the build with no worries of anything shaking loose. I bring this up because you also get a super flexible cable that runs between the amp and the USB-C because they wanted to reduce the stress on USB sockets, but I'd even go further and say that if this were one solid piece... it would surely wear down the headphone socket too. So I appreciate the thought that went into the build quality.

As far as ease of use goes, I'd have to consider that the... duh of the day.

Sound: In regards to the sound, some of you may look at this device and think "whatever"... it's not going to do much until you actually plug it in. The difference is night and day, I connected the 1More Triple Driver Headphones + the 1More Sonoflow to the headphone socket of a PC... and it wasn't bad, but kind of bland without the device. What do I do when food is bland? Add seasoning(!), and that's exactly what the iFi Go Link does, because once you plug it up... (BAM!) you certainly hear the difference. Even when the volume is lower, you still get a clearer cleaner sturdier sound. The oomph can be felt a bit more when you crank up the volume, but this awesome piece of tech can be appreciated no matter the volume level... especially when you're in the mood for some ASMR.

It comes with some serious... oomph where the lows, mids, and highs are just so much better.

Lows being the bass, it just wakes things up... which can either be the bass in a hip-hop track or the rumble in a movie. Lows range from 20 to 250Hz.

Mids or midrange is where you're going to get your vocals and things like that, which is why it's important to have high-res audio because sounds can mesh. I also recommend these types of products to parents for kids, even if some parents give me a side eye... but it's all about clarity and being able to hear + comprehend. You never know what your child may want to do in life, and having access to high-res audio increases their chance of developing an ear for music, and all that good stuff early on. Mids range from 250Hz to 2kHz.

I certainly can't sleep on the highs, even if you're all about that bass... no treble. Don't sleep on the hi-hats, higher-pitched instruments, and all that good stuff, or you're flattening out the overall sound (if that makes sense). We have water, land, and air that make up this living space known as earth... and if anyone were missing, we'd know. Not to get that deep, but... why cut out another layer in the musical experience when you can get a fully immersive one? Highs range from 2kHz to 20kHz.

As far as the audio formats go, the light has been green for me during the entire review.

Green: PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96kHz - Green gives you access to 96kHz, which is uncompressed audio (this is the first unfold of the MQA decoding). PCM or Pulse-code modulation is the raw analog audio signals in digital form.

By the way, I did a comparison with a USB to headphones... socket. This was going to be my intention anyway, but I was talking to someone from Norway the other day (shout out to Xan) who said that he had a dongle. I had to show him the difference because they are not the same. Sure you gain the ability to plug in your headphones to a device that lacks a 3.5mm headphone port, but... that's far from an amp.

The adapter (seen above), works for what it's meant to work for (no shade)... but it's not an amp. This is what the amp has under the hood:

This is where the hi-res audio is coming from, which brings us to the next section.

In the box + Features: 

  • Go Link
  • USB-C to USB adapter
  • USB-C to Apple Lighting port
  • Quickstart Cards
  • iFi Sticker
  • Hi-Res True Native playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384, and DXD384! In other words, sound like you're there during the recording session!
  • Discrete ESS Sabre Hyperstream III DAC chipset
  • Jitter-eradication tech
  • DRE (Dynamic Range Enhancement)
  • S-Balanced Circuit for IEM system balance optimization
  • TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors that decrease distortion to an unnoticeable degree
  • muRata noise suppression
  • Gold-plated 3.5mm headphone socket
  • Silver-plated copper conductors (twisted for high signal purity)

By the way, no worries about compatibility issues with other iFi products like the iFi Neo Stream. You're able to connect, and it will show you 'iFi USB Audio...'.

Price: Pricewise, you can grab the iFi Go Link for a head-turning price of $59.99 (which I'm surprised it's not in the $99 - $125 territory). Is it worth this price? Is water wet? Of course, this is a hi-res headphone amp that you can slip into your pocket or your favorite bag so that you always have access to quality audio (that's the best part about this). It's a #1 New Release for a reason. It's fire!

Build Quality 5

Sound 5

In the box + Features 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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