Merseyside’s genteel seaside town of Southport may not be a likely spot for a clever audio company, but an up-and-coming outfit there, called iFi Audio, has this terrific little DAC (digital to analogue converter) device to radically improve music you stream by aptX Bluetooth from your phone, tablet or PC to a hifi amplifier or active loudspeakers. iFi’s Nano iOne plugs into your amp, picks up wireless signals from your device, gives them the treatment and passes the music on, duly improved. iFi claims (borne out, I would say, by my personal experience) that it boosts the music’s dynamic range and reduces distortion significantly.
The iOne is 10cm long, weighs 122g and works with multiple audio formats, sprinkling audio fairy dust between source and the sound that reaches your ears. For me, the main attraction is its Bluetooth capability, but it can also be used with wired input and output to discreetly zap up the sound your TV serves to its soundbar.
iFi is very much a company for audio geeks, but it is aiming the iOne more at the discriminating non-geek market. Will you hear the difference? You should do. For some gadgets, I recommend buying from Amazon and taking advantage of its generous return policy. I don’t think you need to do so with this one, however.