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"Something Special" in a Headphone Amp
The micro iCAN SE Special Edition headphone amp from iFi Audio is a 'specially-tuned' version of the top-selling micro iCAN. Sonically, it boasts Class A, DirectDrive and TubeState technologies. Features wise, it has a newly-refined XBass and 3D Holographic circuitry for headphones and 0dB, 12dB, and 24dB Gain adjustment. Powered by the all-new iPower (15V), the special Turbo headamp circuit pumps out 4,000 mW to drive even the most demanding of headphones.
"Harmonic distortion is wonderfully low and you can bet the clarity is going to be something special… With plenty of power, it'll drive any headphones, while also offering the option to impart a more realistic and bassy sound to your music. Our opinion? The iCAN is well worth a look (or a listen)," reports Carroll Moore at majorhifi.com.
"It's a great amplifier and its features are truly well implemented and do provide a meaningful value added…. I'dd heartily recommend the iCAN SE. It's discrete, well-built and most importantly, sounds excellent… iFi did a job well done with this amplifier," reports reviewer thatonenoob at head-fi.org.
Class A, TubeState Circuitry
The micro iCAN uses a discrete circuit that deliberately models the way tubes amplify audio. The TubeState creates a warm, spacious, and natural sound, without the noise and distortion most tube circuits produce. This TubeState circuit is exclusive to iFi, and it dishes out quite a large dollop of sonic improvement over and above other AC-powered Class A headphone amplifiers.
Inside the micro iCAN SE, you'll find premium audiophile components, including ELNA Silmics, MELF resistors and C0G capacitors. These 'boutique' components deliver the very best sonics.Powerful Enough for Your Headphones
The output power of the micro iCAN SE has been upped ten-fold to a formidable 4,000mW compared to the standard iCAN. Coupled with user-adjustable gain settings ranging from smallest to the largest of headphones, the iCAN SE is able to handle them all with the greatest of ease, including the incredibly power hungry HE-6.
3D HolographicSound for Headphones and XBass
Recordings are almost exclusively made for speakers rather than for headphones (which are polar opposites), and this is responsible for the common complaint that headphone listening is too much 'inside the head' compared to speaker listening. The 3D HolographicSound system for headphones from iFi Audio corrects this to make the headphones disappear, as if the performer is not inside the head, but in the room.
For the Special Edition, the 3D HolographicSound circuitry has been further refined so there is not just a 'widening' of sound field but there is a more 'frontal location' which sets the stage for hours and hours of fatigue-free listening.
DirectDrive Circuitry Keeps the Output Signal Pure
Another one of the core reasons that gave the original iCAN its cult status is DirectDrive circuitry, which means there are no output coupling capacitors. This 'direct signal' path is without peer and the micro iCAN SE retains this circuit topology. The sonic transparency is there for all to hear. The transparency is second-to-none.
Driven by the All-New iPower
Using the latest Active Noise Cancellation technology trickled-down from AMR, the noise floor is even better than the original. The iPower power supply has an astonishingly low audio band noise floor of just 1uV! To put this into context, iFi's very own Ultra-Low Noise AC/DC adapter was in a class of its own at 10uV. Compared to a very good audiophile Linear Power Supply which measured at 20uV, it is demonstrably clear AMR/iFi power supply technology is unparalleled.
"Harmonic distortion is wonderfully low and you can bet the clarity is going to be something special… With plenty of power, it'll drive any headphones, while also offering the option to impart a more realistic and bassy sound to your music. Our opinion? The iCAN is well worth a look (or a listen)."
- Carroll Moore, majorhifi.com
"It's a great amplifier and its features are truly well implemented and do provide a meaningful value added….I'd heartily recommend the iCAN SE. It's discrete, well-built and most importantly, sounds excellent…iFi did a job well done with this amplifier."
- thatonenoob, head-fi.org