In the iSilencer+ and iDefender+, iFi Audio has served up two USB interfaces that reduce the noise from a USB port and help unleash the potential of your desktop audio system.
With computers being used as the primary audio source, that USB connection needs some more care and attention. iFi Audio has updated its iSilencer3.0 and iDefender3.0 products with the iSilencer+ and iDefender+, which intend to enhance audio quality by getting shot of that noisy sound.
The iSilencer+ and iDefender+ are thumb-sized sticks that act as a link in the chain between the computer and DAC. They tackle a number of issues with USB audio, with the former for more general applications and the latter offering a specialist use.
The iSilencer+ comes in three new versions; USB-A to USB-A, USB-C to USB-A, USB-C to USB-C. It’s capable of removing electrical noise at the source (including EMI/RFI), to enable bit-perfect transfer of audio data to the DAC.
It does so through iFi’s ANC II circuit, which generates an identical signal – much like an ANC headphone would – to remove instances of low- and mid-frequency noise, while the passive insulating filters deal with high-frequency noise. It also gets rid of jitter distortion, re-balancing the signal so what appears at the DAC stage is what was intended.
The iDefender+ is specifically designed to take on ground (or earth) loops that cause issues with some computer-based systems, resulting in a buzz or hum from the speakers.
When connected, it’ll detect if there is a ground-loop issue, and proceed to break that connection by ‘intelligently’ disconnecting the computer’s earth, as well as removing any ground-loop hum and lowering the system’s floor for improved resolution and dynamic contrast. Like the iSilencer, there are USB-A to USB-A, USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to USB-C versions.
Both the iFi iSilencer+ and iDefender+ are available from Friday 13th at Amazon and selected retailers, with an RRP of £49.