iFi Audio just recently released their new iEMatch2.5, that just like the standard model, will reduce hissing and will help with DAP that have high output impedance( this thing can be a huge problem with multi balanced IEMs).
Let’s see what iFi has to say about this small dongle:
“Following the success of our original iEMatch®, which improves sound quality and dynamics for headphone users listening to music sourced from their smartphones, tablets or laptops, iFi is proud to announce the arrival of iEMatch2.5 for those with dedicated hi-res digital audio players ( just keep in mind the iEMatch is compatible only with balanced connections).
Like the iEMatch®, the iEMatch2.5 significantly reduces background noise and widens dynamic range to enable headphone listeners to enjoy the full openness of a recording without having to turn the volume of their music players down to an comfortable level. Lowering the volume reduces audio quality (resolution). With the iEMatch2.5 users can up the volume on their DAP to gain back the ‘bits’ lost with digital volume control but still maintain a comfortable listening level.
When listening to music, you want to hear everything from the high-pitched jingle of a tambourine to the deepest rumble of a kettledrum. In other words, you want a wide dynamic range. Having great DACs, DAPs and headphones to deliver this to your ears is all well and good but there’s a problem – the sound of EVERYTHING will be boosted, including the self-noise of the source AND the sound level. Plus some higher end headphones and IEMS add to this by being sensitive themselves.
At the beginning was quite skeptical, but after many tests with some of my multi balanced IEM, can surely suggest you this product if have any hiss problems with your sources.
This unit was sent me as a sample , I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks iFi team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this simple and effective dongle.
OFFICIAL SITE : https://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/accessory-iematch2-5/
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/
PACKAGING: The IEMatch 2.5 comes in a simple, but quite elegant box. With the dongle you will find a velvet pouch and memory-foam contoured ear plugs (-37dB)(that you can use when travelling or in noisy environments).
Build quality is very good, obviously is not one of the most elegant products, but for this price range makes its job. iFi used a Al-Mg alloy casing for the body and a 6N silver/copper matrix wiring for the cable; with a Gold plated 2.5mm Balanced Connection. Like the standard IEMatch, you can switch between high and ultra sensitivity( I always used only high sensitivity with all my custom and universal IEMs, but ultra mode can be quite helpful with sensitive monster like Campfire Andromeda). Switching between high and ultra mode depends by your iems and sources too, cause ultra mode will oblige to push the volume up and this thing can cause clipping issues.
FUNCTION: overall, this small dongle makes all it was promised, and not only helps with hissing and with DAPs that have high output impedance, but most important thing doesn’t color the sound( this is a great PRO).
I just tried the IEMatch 2.5 with Opus1s and Astell and Kern Kann in high gain, so here are my impressions:
Aroma Audio Yao(12 BA) + IEMatch2.5 + Opus1s: Yao doesn’t have too much hiss problems, but overall thanks to the IEMatch benefits the overall scene, with more detailed and clean sound( just to be clear, the IEMatch doesn’t improve sound quality, but the fact that you can push the volume up and keep a low noise will give you a perception of a more detailed and clean sound with full dynamic range).
HEIR AUDIO 10.0 + IEMatch2.5 + Opus1s: this IEM benefits a lot with this dongle, cause is prone to hissing and Opus1S in high gain mode can give a bit of problem here. As before IEMatch will guarantee a more detailed and more enjoyable audio experience.
Fiio F5 + IEMatch 2.5 + astellkern KANN: kann doesn’t have too much noise in high gain, but the F5 has good amount of hiss. I found F5 with balanced cable, IEMatch2.5 and akKANN one of the best pairing for this iem giving me the chance to experience great dynamic and never fatiguing experience.
With my custom InErz Euphoria, I never had any needs to use IEMatch with my sources, cause never found any hiss problems, but I am quite sure it should be useful with a high output impedance DAP like hiby r6.
CONCLUSION: there is no cons about this product, it just works great and keeps promises, so If you have any hiss problems with your high sensitive custom or premium IEMs, just give a try to this dongle and will surely not regret.
Ultra (-24dB) & High-Gain (-12dB) sensitivity adjustment
6N silver/copper matrix wiring with FINAL6063-T5 aluminium-magnesium alloy shell
Gold-plated printed circuit board with audiophile components (eg MELF resistors)
Gold-plated 2.5mm male/female connectors
Input Impedance: 16 Ohm
Output Impedance: < 2.5 Ohms (High-Sensitivity)
< 1.0 Ohms (Ultra-Sensitivity)
Total Length : 116mm