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ifi iPurifier3 USB Filter Review

Rate this USB Filter/Tweak:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 61 40.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 60 40.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 15 10.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 13 8.7%

  • Total voters
    149

phoenixdogfan

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So disappointed neither Amir nor ifi itself noted THE MOST crucial aspect of this device: the ceramic case absorbs spurious vibrations induced by oscillating strings at the sub quantum level. The cryogenic process used further helps by aligning the ceramic structure, making its string energy absorption twice as effective. The extra jitter spikes are likely revealed by this filtering and are caused by disharmonious resonance with standard usb plugs of plastic or metal. …to fix those you need to replace the other usb cables with ifi audiophile usb with ceramic plug casings. For maximum clarity, you need to swap the internal chips out with ifi ceramic package chips, using only Cardas silver solder in the reflow process.

Hold on, I am having trouble due to my tongue being so distended into my cheek.
We gonna have to bring Brian Greene on here to call b.s. on your IFI string theory? Anyone know the ceramics IFI are using are room temperature superconductors which eliminate jitter by directly coupling your DAC to its source. The simplest snake oil explanation is always the best one.
 

Sonny1

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Another worthless and unnecessary product we used to see the clowns rave about on Audiocircle. Is that place still around? Every time I see a review like this one and the PS (POS?) audio garbage I’m thankful for ASR. Wish I found this site years ago.
 

AudioSceptic

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the ifi iPurifier 3 "USB Audio and Data Signal Filter." It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $149.

View attachment 260210

The iPurifier 3 comes in a gorgeous and nice to feel ceramic (?) enclosure. The enclosure give is enough weight to feel substantial but not too much as to strain the connector. It is an in-line device and comes with three useful adapters which should cover all your USB connection needs.

In case you are wondering what this is for, here are the company specs:
View attachment 260211

Think of it as a USB repeater of sorts. For the purpose of this review, I take for granted that it does all of the above. Question becomes if our audio DACs need such an upstream device to "clean" their USB connection.

ifi iPurifier3 Measurements
My favorite device for testing USB signal quality is a Schiit Modi 2 which in the past has show very high sensitivity to conditions of that signal. So much so that I could measure differences USB cables make when connecting to it! I started by measuring the DAC by itself using a 6 foot USB cable:

View attachment 260234

There was a ton of noise in the FFT spectrum with the noise floor jumping up and down every few seconds (no doubt due to activities in my PC). That in turn caused the SINAD to vary continuously between 84 and 91 dB. This variation is system specific and could be worse (or better) on other host computers.

Next I put in the iPurifier3 inline:

View attachment 260235

There was a significant reduction in the noise floor as show in FFT and power supply related spikes. There were still jumps but much less in amplitude. SINAD was now very stable. So clearly such filtering was good for the Modi 2.

One could stop here and think that this is a useful device. But such is not the case because any DAC with half decent design would isolate itself against USB vagaries. To show that, I grabbed the Schiit Modi 3+ which costs just $99 to test. Here it is by itself:

View attachment 260236

We see massive decrease in noise floor compared to Modi 2. Predictably, it doesn't need any help from iPurifier3:
View attachment 260237

I almost stopped here but noticed there was some increased spike toward end of the spectrum. I decided to run the Jitter test with and without iPurifier3:
View attachment 260238

We see much increased spurious tones at 8 and 16 kHz. This corresponds to a jitter component of 4 kHz (12-4 and 12+4 kHz). I can't directly point to the cause of this but can guess that an extra inline device that uses power like iPurifier3 is going to degrade available current to the DAC. Fortunately the increased jitter rises up to only -120 dB which is below threshold of audibility -- again a sign of well designed product (Modi 3+ DAC).

Conclusions
It seems that the iPurifier does what it says it does: clean up the signal/power lines over USB and with it help devices that need it. Then again every DAC I recommend of which there are probably 50 to 100, already perform their own filtering and don't need any help. After all, I test them all on my desktop workstation without any such filters. Adding an active device to the USB connection can reduce available power and potentially decrease measured performance as show in the case of Schiit Modi 3+. Seeing how a better DAC costs less than iPurifier3 anyway, there is no reason to deploy such a device.

I can't recommend the ifi iPurifier3. Put your money toward a good DAC and sleep easy! :)

-----
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
OK, so this thing does slightly more than nothing with poorly designed DACs, but why should it cost even $49, let alone $149?
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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OK, so this thing does slightly more than nothing with poorly designed DACs, but why should it cost even $49, let alone $149?
$149 is way up there to be sure. But given the market size, $49 probably doesn't make it worth the effort to create, market and sell.
 

KoreaBoy

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나 ifi는 매번 느끼지만 쓰레기를 만들어서 , 폐기물 만드는 회사처럼 보입니다. 이런 회사는 없어지면 좋겠네요
 

Sokel

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It's easy to see if your PC/laptop/have problems,even with a half decent ADC.
Just measure with silence and be done with it.
If it shows problems then you can go downstream and decide if you use something like this (or a better one like the Intona's) so you don't care what you plug in into it anymore.
 

AdamG

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나 ifi는 매번 느끼지만 쓰레기를 만들어서 , 폐기물 만드는 회사처럼 보입니다. 이런 회사는 없어지면 좋겠네요
Please use English only here. Thank you!

Translation of above:

“I feel like ifi every time but by making garbage, it looks like a waste making company. I wish this company would disappear.”
 

TheBatsEar

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10194051.jpg


10194050.jpg
And here i was expecting nothing but a bunch of ferrite beads inside. Seems they really went all out and actually repeat the USB signal.

Maybe the entire case is a white ferrite bead?
 

seanhyatt

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I bought one of these as a non believer with the option to return for free. After A/B testing for weeks the IFI cleaned up the bass and the soundstage became clearer while using a Topping D90. I know this sounds like typical BS but that is what I heard. Using MAC M1>IFI>Topping D90 that has good measurements. I suspect the MAC or the AC is causing issues that the IFI fixes. Also tried it on a Korg DAC that was given a failing test on this site and it improved the sound overall. Thanks for the review.
 

drchen

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Thanks, @amirm! I would have guessed the test results! I had the iFi iPurifer 2 USB filter, since I got the Topping EX5 which is mains powered and I am using its XLR output, there is no point in keeping such USB filter, I sold the iFi iPurifer 2 with iFi iDSD nano DAC.

Though it would be very interesting to see the measurements on Topping HS01 USB isolator (maybe I missed the post), it seems Topping suggests it be a true galvanic isolator for those who have ground loop problems.
 

Purité Audio

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I bought one of these as a non believer with the option to return for free. After A/B testing for weeks the IFI cleaned up the bass and the soundstage became clearer while using a Topping D90. I know this sounds like typical BS but that is what I heard. Using MAC M1>IFI>Topping D90 that has good measurements. I suspect the MAC or the AC is causing issues that the IFI fixes. Also tried it on a Korg DAC that was given a failing test on this site and it improved the sound overall. Thanks for the review.
It isn’t BS, it would be if you were a manufacturer /reviewer, but…. unless you compare unsighted ( level matched if necessary) it is just an anecdote.
Keith
 

TheBatsEar

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I know this sounds like typical BS but that is what I heard.
There was motion!
I know it sounds like typical BS but that is what i saw.
illusion124.jpg


Just consider that our brains are neuronal networks, constantly under pressure to save energy, reduce data and yet detect patterns. They are not instruments. What we hear and what really is there are often different things.
 

testp

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There was motion!
I know it sounds like typical BS but that is what i saw.
View attachment 261521

Just consider that our brains are neuronal networks, constantly under pressure to save energy, reduce data and yet detect patterns. They are not instruments. What we hear and what really is there are often different things.
nicely said & seriously, this ball is moving..! :) but not getting anywhere
 

yodog

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There was motion!
I know it sounds like typical BS but that is what i saw.
View attachment 261521

Just consider that our brains are neuronal networks, constantly under pressure to save energy, reduce data and yet detect patterns. They are not instruments. What we hear and what really is there are often different things.
Epic post of the night, and very true. Cheers
 

TheBatsEar

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Jimster480

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Well I guess it can do something some time.... but why you would buy it to clean up a DAC that costs less than it is mind boggling...
 

bennybbbx

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the ifi iPurifier 3 "USB Audio and Data Signal Filter." It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $149.

View attachment 260210

The iPurifier 3 comes in a gorgeous and nice to feel ceramic (?) enclosure. The enclosure give is enough weight to feel substantial but not too much as to strain the connector. It is an in-line device and comes with three useful adapters which should cover all your USB connection needs.

In case you are wondering what this is for, here are the company specs:
View attachment 260211

Think of it as a USB repeater of sorts. For the purpose of this review, I take for granted that it does all of the above. Question becomes if our audio DACs need such an upstream device to "clean" their USB connection.

ifi iPurifier3 Measurements
My favorite device for testing USB signal quality is a Schiit Modi 2 which in the past has show very high sensitivity to conditions of that signal. So much so that I could measure differences USB cables make when connecting to it! I started by measuring the DAC by itself using a 6 foot USB cable:

View attachment 260234

There was a ton of noise in the FFT spectrum with the noise floor jumping up and down every few seconds (no doubt due to activities in my PC). That in turn caused the SINAD to vary continuously between 84 and 91 dB. This variation is system specific and could be worse (or better) on other host computers.

Next I put in the iPurifier3 inline:

View attachment 260235

There was a significant reduction in the noise floor as show in FFT and power supply related spikes. There were still jumps but much less in amplitude. SINAD was now very stable. So clearly such filtering was good for the Modi 2.

One could stop here and think that this is a useful device. But such is not the case because any DAC with half decent design would isolate itself against USB vagaries. To show that, I grabbed the Schiit Modi 3+ which costs just $99 to test. Here it is by itself:

View attachment 260236

We see massive decrease in noise floor compared to Modi 2. Predictably, it doesn't need any help from iPurifier3:
View attachment 260237

I almost stopped here but noticed there was some increased spike toward end of the spectrum. I decided to run the Jitter test with and without iPurifier3:
View attachment 260238

We see much increased spurious tones at 8 and 16 kHz. This corresponds to a jitter component of 4 kHz (12-4 and 12+4 kHz). I can't directly point to the cause of this but can guess that an extra inline device that uses power like iPurifier3 is going to degrade available current to the DAC. Fortunately the increased jitter rises up to only -120 dB which is below threshold of audibility -- again a sign of well designed product (Modi 3+ DAC).

Conclusions
It seems that the iPurifier does what it says it does: clean up the signal/power lines over USB and with it help devices that need it. Then again every DAC I recommend of which there are probably 50 to 100, already perform their own filtering and don't need any help. After all, I test them all on my desktop workstation without any such filters. Adding an active device to the USB connection can reduce available power and potentially decrease measured performance as show in the case of Schiit Modi 3+. Seeing how a better DAC costs less than iPurifier3 anyway, there is no reason to deploy such a device.

I can't recommend the ifi iPurifier3. Put your money toward a good DAC and sleep easy! :)

-----
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

i think too the ifi purify 3 is overpriced . I use a ifi defender+ which cost only 59 eur. it need a power supply a simple USB charger is good enough. to test this can use common studio equipment as a focusrite scarlet 8i 6o which cost 269 eur and a active speaker without balanced cable to speaker. what does a hifi dac cost with 4 or more outputs ?. at least 4 outputs are usefull to set same level to speaker and headphone and use EQ for correction for both. switch between speaker and headphone easy in the DAW by choose of output with only one output it is a mess switch every time correction EQ between speaker and headphone.

It is important in test to measure the maximum of the noise because there happen also at rates of 2 -10 hz(i mean not khz) loud clicks at 2 or more khz when move the mouse or pc do actions. this can hear when no music is play very loud

the ifi defender+ is so good that i can play guitar signal in the DAW and output from the scarlet and plug into ultra gain called distortion input of my marshall amp for much distortion heavy rock sounds. without ifi defender+ i get so loud noise maybe 12 db dynamic have.
 
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