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GO wireless. GO pod.
The GO pod is a pair of wearable Bluetooth DAC/headphone amps designed to make your premium in-ear monitors (IEMs) wireless.
It is the first device in the world to support Hi-Res 96kHz/24bits with LDACTM and Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound Bluetooth codecs on TWS.
Given the quality of the GO pod’s circuitry, when combined with a well-chosen pair of high-performance IEMs, the resulting sound is far in advance of any ‘true wireless’ earbuds or Bluetooth headphones.
Using a pair of GO pods is simple. First, detach the cable from your favourite IEMs and connect the earpieces to the left and right pods. Then, pair the pods with your source device (a smartphone, for example) and hook the ergonomically designed ear loops around your ears to ensure a comfortable fit… the result is unrivalled TWS (True Wireless Stereo) headphone sound.
*LDAC and LDAC logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation.
Qualcomm’s 24-bit aptX Adaptive format is also covered, offering sample rates of up to 96kHz, with the additional benefit of QHS (Qualcomm High Speed) providing an extra 300kbps of bandwidth. Other supported codecs include regular aptX, AAC and SBC.
This means that every possible source device is handled at the highest audio resolution its Bluetooth specification allows.
IEM manufacturers use a variety of connection types, but whichever is used by your favourite brand iFi has it covered. The GO pod’s detachable ear loop contains the IEM connector, and these are interchangeable.
The standard GO pod package contains the 0.78mm 2pin and MMCX connectors.
Pentaconn, T2 and A2DC connectors are available separately.
True wireless earbuds rely on the SoC (System on a Chip) solution to integrate the requisite tech into a tiny space. Crucial stages like Bluetooth decoding, digital-to-analogue conversion and amplification are all-in-one to save space and cost. This compromises sound quality.
The GO pod is distinctly different. Each critical stage is designed separately and optimised individually to ensure excellent sound quality – Bluetooth, DAC and amplification. Discover more about the tech below.
Much like top-level hi-fi loudspeakers, high-quality corded IEMs are engineered for sonic excellence, combining multiple hi-tech drive units to transmit sound directly into your ear canal.
Given the high-level of audio engineering in both, connecting a pair of these IEMs to the GO pod results in sound that is so much better than regular true wireless earbuds.
The GO pod comes with a smartly designed charging case, with softly lined internal compartments and sufficient room to accommodate connected IEMs as well as the pods themselves.
A 1500mAH rechargeable battery is built into the charging case; a pair of GO pods will play for up to seven hours on a single charge, while the case provides multiple recharges to enable up to 35 hours of playing time. The case supports both Qi wireless charging and USB-C fast charging.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound
We always go to great lengths to ensure our Bluetooth technology is state-of-the-art. The GO pod continues this uncompromising approach, including certification for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound platform and Bluetooth 5.2 for optimum range, speed and reliability. Bluetooth processing is handled by Qualcomm’s top-tier QCC5144 module, with its 32-bit, quad-core architecture and low power draw delivering excellent wireless audio performance whilst minimising drain on the GO pod’s battery.
LDAC™ and LHDC
The GO pod is compatible with an impressive array of high-definition Bluetooth formats. LDACTM and LHDC (HWA) are both supported to their maximum 32-bit/96kHz specifications, with LDACTM’s highest 990kbps bitrate available to users of Android devices that support Snapdragon Sound (660kbps with other LDACTM-enabled devices).
*LDAC and LDAC logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation.
Another Qualcomm technology enabled in the GO pod is TrueWireless Mirroring. Both the left and right pods can receive Bluetooth signals, but only the one with the strongest connection acts as the receiver while the other mirrors the connected pod. If the listener moves position and the connection to the mirroring pod becomes stronger, they swap over so the mirroring pod becomes the receiver without interrupting the audio signal. Similarly, if the receiving pod is removed from the listener’s ear, the other pod becomes the receiver, ensuring a seamless true wireless stereo experience.
A built-in microphone utilises Qualcomm’s cVc noise suppression technology for excellent voice clarity, whether you’re making a hands-free phone call, chatting on a video call, speaking to the connected device’s voice assistant or even playing a game online.
The aluminium panel on the front of each pod works as a touch control; simply tap to play or pause audio, skip forward or back, answer or reject a phone call, or engage the connected device’s voice assistant.
Analogue Volume Control
The GO pod benefits from hardware-based analogue volume control. The GO pod doesn’t rely on the software-based volume controls in connected digital devices, which can have a deleterious effect on audio resolution. Instead, adjusting the volume on the connected device controls the volume level in the DAC, rather than in the phone, tablet or computer.
Cirrus Logic MasterHIFI
In addition to Bluetooth processing, Qualcomm’s QCC5144 chipset can be configured to perform digital-to-analogue conversion and headphone amplification too – but this is not the iFi way. The sonic benefits of separate, individually optimised DAC and amp stages are far more valuable to us than the savings made by one-chip-does-all solutions.
To that end, the GO pod incorporates two Cirrus Logic MasterHIFI chips – one in the left pod, the other in the right. This 32-bit hi-res DAC chip is dedicated to single-channel digital-to-analogue signal conversion in the GO pod’s circuit design, combining with a jitter-eradicating precision clock to deliver ultra-low distortion and high dynamic range – one of the key reasons why the GO pod unlocks better sound quality than true wireless earbuds.
Personal Sonic Tailoring
To minimise pre-echos and ringing artifacts, the DAC is designed with proprietary digital-interpolation filters that support five digital filter responses. These user-selectable settings offer a degree of personal sonic tailoring, another first for the true-wireless in-ear headphone scene, with options including low group delay with pseudo-linear phase and a fast or slow roll-off.
Delivering a balanced output signal to each connected earpiece, the GO pod’s amp stage has been carefully designed to ensure ultra-low distortion and a silent background with high-sensitivity IEMs. With a maximum power output of 120mW into 32 ohms, and an output voltage of 4V into high-impedance 300-ohm loads, each GO pod supplies plenty of gas to drive any connected IEM with consummate ease, without rapidly draining the internal battery.
To ensure its output perfectly matches the connected IEM, each pod auto-detects the IEM’s impedance and adjusts power accordingly. There are four settings – 16 ohms, 32 ohms, 64 ohms and 300 ohms – with the setting most appropriate to the connected IEM selected automatically.
We use discrete, high-grade components in all our circuit designs, and the same is true of the GO pod. Devices such as TDK C0G multilayer ceramic capacitors and inductors from Taiyo Yuden and Murata deliver qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) and high linearity, paying great dividends in terms of sound quality.
The GO pod is designed to be robust and durable, yet comfortable and lightweight – each pod weighs just 12g. The ear loops are ergonomically shaped and mouldable to fit around your ears, while the pods are water- and sweat-resistant (IPX5-rated), so no problem wearing them down the gym or getting caught out in the rain.