iFi GO pod + Meteor IEMs... Reviewed!

iFi's new Bluetooth DAC/amp, the iFi GO pod, promises to deliver the best-sounding true wireless in-ear headphones in the world. But can it really live up to that claim? Let's take a closer look.

Comfort: Comfort-wise, the connector (the 0.78 mm 2 pin) that connects the DAC/amps & the IEMs... isn't the most pleasant feeling on my ears when it comes to long-term use. My tolerance runs thin in under 2 hours... which is unfortunate. They try to deliver a fit that allows the IEMs to fit the ear to sit the correct way and still maintain form for the DAC/amps to rest behind the ear without shifting. It isn't necessarily felt near the top back area where sunglasses would rest, I feel applied pressure in the front of my ear and the mid back where the DAC/amps rest.

If you aren't familiar with previous reviews of the past, I don't have much tolerance in regard to applied pressure on my ears... so mine may be a bit more sensitive than some of you. By the way, don't wrestle around with comfort in terms of the ear tips, I recommend finding the size that fits you best... right out of the box.

Build Quality: When it comes to the build quality of these headphones, I can certainly see the effort put into making the GO pods a next-level experience... starting with the GO pod case. The case is nice and sturdy, and as seen in the unboxing... they've added a nice touch with the lights in the ceiling of the case to shine down on the product. (Look at iFi getting all fancy on us.) The lights that you see off to the left of the case showcase the remaining battery, which is charged via USB-C. 

This isn't exactly a case that you're going to carry around... despite the name, because it will completely stuff a pocket and become a pain in the... thigh. You're better off maintaining the quality and extending the life of this case by either leaving it in the area you frequent the most to wear headphones or... grab a bag for transport.

In terms of the GO pods, you get a textured finish that almost resembles leather to a degree, and the touch control area has a metal plate along with the upper area where the Bluetooth LED is located. The DAC/amps also feel like they can take a licking also when it comes to durability. While children can wear these GO pods, I wouldn't recommend having them connect the MMCX, the 0.78 mm 2 pin, or... the Pentaconn Ear (unless they're good with intricate things). The pins that connect these to the GO pods even concern me because I didn't want them to bend when connecting the proper ones. Connecting to the GO pods was the biggest challenge, even if it has the area for you to get the connector in... the pins have to go in properly. Outside of that, once it's in... it's in the GO pods, and... you can breathe easy when it comes to the actual Meteor IEMs because you can slide the pins right in.

Speaking of the Meteor IEMs, they aren't stuck on Bluetooth or a wired connection... you can connect these to the GO pods or use the 4.4BAL wired connection as seen in the unboxing. There are no issues connecting either, so you can swap bath and forth with no worries. The body of the Meteor IEMs is a nice durable design with no buttons, you have the pins for connecting, along with the ear tips... and that's it.

Oh yeah... there's no way I can mention Symphonium Meteor IEMs without mentioning the cases that these things came in. It's not just the packaging around the beautiful exterior case with the soft internal material (seen in red above), you also have a freaking... hard case inside that with a hard snap lid, along with soft padding outlining the interior + a burlap bag to put that in (this almost feels like an Xzibit meme). This is no joke... and I loved every minute of this. That's how you protect your product and help customers maintain the life of the product.

By the way, the GO pods are IPX5 water resistant, so you can take direct spray from any direction if (let's say) you went for a jog and someone's sprinklers caught you off guard because it's spraying towards the sidewalk. I won't say any names.

Audio Quality: When it comes to the audio, I can't argue it and how crazy clean it is, but... I wish I had more control over the volume. I had to crank up the volume on my phone + PC + TV in order to get a more suitable experience. 60% was low, while 80% came in at a more neutral level that I'm adjusted to hearing. If I put the volume down to 28%... it may as well be at 2 to 3% (I can't hear it), and I highly suggest that iFi get a designated app in place on both phone & PC for these. The goal is to enjoy the product... and I think an app would truly help, especially if the GO pods are the base for these various IEMs to connect to. I didn't run into this issue with the wired connection, which points to the GO pods.

* I used a QR code for the set-up video to make sure I wasn't doing anything wrong, but "The playlist does not exist"... yet.

The iFi GO pods are a decent size with what's on deck, and they can be used with a variety of IEMs (like the Meteor). They feature a Qualcomm aptX HD codec and support up to 24-bit/96kHz audio. The iFi GO pod also has a built-in battery that provides up to 10 hours of use.

You can also find Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound on board the GO pods. This technology is described as an optimized chain of audio technologies and software to enable seamless, immersive audio across mobile devices and wireless audio accessories. aptX HD & aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs capped off at 24-bit/48kHz prior to QSS... which serves up 24-bit/96kHz (studio recorded quality).

I can say that the sounds didn't mesh... you have noticeable clarity. I was able to enjoy individual sounds a lot more than with some headphones that can't exactly unpack everything. The lows were beautiful... as long as I didn't have the volume down, they were clear, and highs were also marching to the drum of my enjoyment (i.e. a character breathing in the background, the wind of a helicopter flying, clanking sounds from cups, etc). I didn't get a chance to play games with these just yet, but what I did experience got a thumbs up, especially with the bass bringing it alive. I think one of my favorite things was listening to the bass from the helicopter being so close in a particular Ghost in the Shell scene.

I had the pleasure of going through my library and grabbing a few things for my listening pleasure:

Ghost in the Shell - The New Movie

Ghost in the Shell 2 - Innocence

Silk - Tonight (Album)

Lori Williams - I Can't Help It

Keybeaux - On Point

Keybeaux - Automatic

Gerald Albright - What you see is what you get

Gerald Albright - G Wiggle

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

As far as calls go, no issues with clarity, thumbs... up! I was able to be heard, and vice versa... which was crispy clear.

In the iFi GO pod box:

iFi GO pod L+R

Charging case

Ear Loops (L+R) - 0.78mm

MMCX, Pentaconn Ear

USB Charging Cable

Instruction card

Quick Start Guide

In the Symphonium Meteor box:

Meteor IEMs

4.4BAL audio cable

3 sets of ear tips (red and black S, M, L)

*Maybe it was for the review, but there was an additional ear tip case with 6 sets of ear tips inside.

Storage case (red and black)

Snap lid storage case (orange) for the Meteor IEMs to rest in

Price: Price-wise you can get the GO pod + Symphonium Meteors for $799. The GO pods are $399 and... the Symphonium Meteors are going to run you a similar price. That's a bit on the high end for the average person, but dedicated audiophiles may find interest in these. My only request to iFi is that they release an app to ensure that we're able to enjoy the product without the need to... pump up the volume.

Comfort 2 (this is based on my personal tolerance level)

Build Quality 5

Audio Quality 4 (Point taken due to the volume issue)

Price 4

3.75 out of 5 Cool Points