First Listen - iFi iCAN Nano portable headphone amplifier

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Headphone amps and amp/DACs
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iFi Audio iCAN Nano
First Listen - iFi iCAN Nano portable headphone amplifier

In 2013, the tiny iFi Micro iCAN desktop headphone amplifier proved one of the most pleasant—and pleasantly affordable—discoveries of the year for serious headphone audio enthusiasts operating on real-world budgets. I’m not sure if I conveyed this impression as vividly as I ought to have done in my Hi-Fi+ review of the iCAN, but the simple fact of the matter is that the iCAN was and is just ridiculously good for the money (£225). “Surely,” I thought to myself, “one would have to wait a very, very long time before anyone offers a better value in the world of small, overachieving headphone amps.”

But then again, perhaps not. I say this because, as it happens, the mad geniuses at iFi Micro (aka the R&D team from Abbingdon Music Research) have been at it again and may have come up with an even greater, higher value achievement: namely, the new iFi Micro iCAN Nano portable headphone amplifier (£149 with VAT). At Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2013, iFi Micro’s Vincent Luke kindly loaned me an almost-ready-for-prime-time, pre-production sample if the iCAN Nano to play with until such time as a full-product review sample could be made available.

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