Shoutout to Lawrance and iFi for their continued support since 2018! They offered to send me a loaner unit in exchange for an honest review.
Greetings mate and Welcome aboard.
Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
iFi Go Link
In The Box
iFi Go Link
Quick Start Card
Type-C to lightning adapter
- Input: USB-C
- Formats: DSD256/11.3MHz, PCM 384kHz, MQA
- DAC: Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by ESS
- Headphone: 3.5mm
- Output Power: ≥1.5V/70mW @ 32Ω; ≥2V/14mW @300Ω
- Output Impedance: <0.4Ω
- SNR: ≥125dBA (2.05V)
- DNR: ≥122dB(A) @ 0dBFS
- THD+N: ≤0.004% (1.27V @ 32Ω)
- Frequency Response: 10-80kHz (-0.5dB)
- Power Consumption: No Signal ~0.2W/Max Signal ~1W
- Dimensions: 135 x 12.6 x 7.6 mm (5.3″ x 0.5″ x 0.3″)
- Cable Length: 60mm (2.8″)
- Net Weight: 11g (0.4 Oz.)
- Limited Warranty: 12 Months
By now iFi needs no introduction but we’ll oblige anyway.
The Go Link is their latest addition to a long list of neverending DACS, but is this one actually worth a purchase?
Let’s dive in and find out.
First off, the Go Link is small. Tiny even.
“Is it in yet?”
Yeah, it’s THAT small.
In any event, in the case of small portable dacs, this is actually a great thing. If we’re talking about the other thi… never mind.
The reason it’s great is because you can listen at your desktop or carry it on the go very easily.
I was up and running in 2 seconds with the supplied USB-C to Lightning adapter + my iPhone 11.
This is likely what you’ll be yelling out as you dance around listening to your precious trash pop.
I certainly do.
People have been annoying me for months to review some dongles.
WELL, HERE YOU GO.
This is a Mcdongle and I’m loving it.
You can listen to music with it. Pretty neat, huh?
Just plug that bad boy into a USB slot on your PC and WHAM! You’re off to the races.
Like the DragonFly Red, there are no volume controls so be aware that you’ll be adjusting via your PC or phone.
If you want to play files above 48kHz in Tidal, you can. You’ll just have to enable exclusive mode.
- Click on the 3 bars in the upper left corner inside Tidal.
- File > Settings > Streaming.
- Scroll down to where it says “Sound” and “Sound Output”.
- Click (More settings) to the right.
- Now just tick the button to exclusive mode and the formats will change according to the file.
Now the Halo light will turn accordingly for any master files inside the program.
It’s a DAC that provides clean juicy juice to your headphones via its ESS chip. Yay.
- Related: The Best DAC Chip In Headphone Audio
I’m on 44/100 with the HIFIMAN Edition XS and there’s more than plenty of headroom.
The XS does have a low impedance, but it also has a low Sensitivity rating and is not efficient at all.
the Go link is more than enough and I’m perfectly satisfied with it like a Snickers.
Remember: YOU’RE NOT YOU WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY.
Can this dongle drive correctly my Sennheiser HD600 without issues?
I also tried my Sennheiser HD600 and it’s also excellent. I don’t have to go over 50/100 with either of these headphones, and you shouldn’t either.
In fact, right now I’m only at 34/100 with the HD600 and it’s comfortably loud but not outlandish. So get hyped.
And while we’re at it, the next time someone says a DAC is underpowered, I would take it with a gigantic grain of salt.
Because let me tell you something: after demoing over 60 Of them I can say to you vehemently, without a doubt, that it’s a bunch of nonsense.
This has been the case now for a few years and it always puzzles me.
Anyway, before we get off track and I go on a rant you’re not going to read, let’s continue talking about the micro peni I MEAN GO LINK which is very small and cute.
Can this dongle drive correctly my AKG K701/K702 without issues?
That’s a bit of a “nod and shake my head at the same time” type of question.
In my opinion, yes. You will be just fine.
You may have less headroom than an HD600, but it still makes for an excellent pairing and as I’m listening with my K702 now, I’m completely satisfied and content.
Due to the 702’s lower Sensitivity rating (thus it’s less efficient than an HD600) it will require more juice to get pumping.
So instead of 30-40/100, you may be on say 70-80 to get a comfortably loud sound.
That said, the 702 in my opinion still isn’t that hard to drive.
If you really think it’s going to be an issue, it won’t but check out my The Best Portable Headphone Amps & DACs anyway. xD
What’s not to love here?
It’s portable and cheap, it has a low output impedance, it uses an ESS chip, and did I mention it’s tiny and cute?
For around $60 you really can’t go wrong, and it looks like I’m going to have to shuffle around some recommendations in the portable dac article again because this is an excellent overall value.
As some of you may or may not know, I haven’t been recommending new dacs for quite some time now, but I did replace a few of my long-time recommendations with newer, cheaper products that are just as good.
An example is the Hidizs S9 pro which uses the same 9038 ESS chip found in the overpriced Cobalt.
I never recommended the Cobalt, but the S9 was replaced by the now also overpriced (but still good) DragonFly Red which I still own.
The Go link is another example of a product that’s ACTUALLY worth the money given everything we’ve discussed today.
Again, if you’re new to my blog and reading this, I recommend DACS based on value because of my extensive experience with them which has led to my utter disdain for them.
sometimes a product comes along that’s actually worth a purchase, and the Go Link is definitely that.
I’ve read about some people having issues with it, but I haven’t. If I do, I will update you.
There isn’t much more to say.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this iFi Go Link Review and came away with some valuable insight.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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Is the Go Link worth a purchase? I would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,