iFi Releases First Portable DAC With K2HD Technology

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iFi Audio has released its Go Bar Kensei digital-to-analog converter, the first ultraportable DAC which can redefine high-fidelity audo with K2HD sound processing.

Developed by JVCKenwood, the K2HD  processing technique can restore rich, natural harmonics lost during digitalisation, making music the same quality as the original studio master recordings.

The Go Bar Kensei incorporates a 32-bit Cirrus Logic chipset and uses a 16-core XMOS micro controller to process audio received at the USB input. A custom digital filter is said to minimize pre-echoes and ringing artifacts, while a GMT (Global Master Timing) precision clock system keeps jitter to a minimum.

The DAC/amp has a symmetrical twin-mono output stage and supports PCM up to 32 bits/384kHz, native DSD playback up to DSD256, 2x DXD, and full MQA decoding in addition to providing four digital filters: Bit-Perfect for “natural tones,” GTO to enhance vocal-focused tracks, Minimum Phase for a warmer sound, and Standard for a “tighter sound with controlled highs.”

Two analog processing options are also included: XBass+ for bolder bass and XSpace to create a more spacious sound field.

Maximum power output is rated at 477mW and the DAC has two outputs: 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm S-Balanced, the latter of which is said to reduce noise and crosstalk by 50%.

Screenshot 2024 03 21 161654 e1710998301975 iFi Releases First Portable DAC With K2HD Technology

Other features include a Turbo Mode that boosts output by 6 dB to accommodate power-hungry headphones and iEMatch tuning for fine-tuning output levels for sensitive in-ear monitors (IEMs).

In Japanese culture, Kensei is a “Sword Saint,” a title granted to the elite few who elevate the craft and artistry of swordsmanship.

iFi named its new Go Bar Kensei to demonstrate how much care was taken in its production.

At 2.5 inches long, it is slightly thicker than a USB thumb drive and encased in finely crafted Japanese stainless steel, chosen for its rigidity.

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