iFi’s new reference-class analogue headphone amp, the iCAN Phantom, takes the Pro iCAN, refines and enhances every element of its circuitry to further elevate its performance, incorporates technology from the Pro iESL – previously a separate component – for electrostatic headphones, and adds a new, advanced user interface and network-connected control system.
Exemplary build quality, sophisticated technology, unrivaled specifications, and remarkable versatility, expertly engineered to drive every headphone type to its full sonic potential. From ultra-sensitive IEMs to the finest dynamic driver and planar magnetic headphones or power-hungry electrostatic designs, the iCAN Phantom delivers a truly exceptional headphone experience, exquisitely tailored to the listener.
The iCAN Phantom also performs as a high-end preamp (to feed a power amp and speakers or active speakers), enabling headphone and speaker listening to be combined into a single high-performance audio system.
The iCAN Phantom sports two input stages – one valve/tube-based, the other solid state – enabling the user to switch between the two in real time. It is, indeed, like having three amplifiers in one, each with a different sonic presentation.
Solid-state offers pace and immediacy. Tube mode adds fluidity and a free-breathing dynamic quality. Tube+ accentuates the sonic influence of the valves, delivering a spellbinding romantic warmth that may suit, for example, acoustic and vocal musical styles.
The GE5670 valves have an expected lifespan of around 10,000 hours of use. When the time eventually comes to replace them, the iCAN Phantom’s smoked glass panel is easily removed to provide access, meaning the job can be completed in minutes. The amp is compatible also with 6922 valves.
Most headphones create sound by using dynamic drivers to move air. A smaller number use planar magnetic diaphragms which are different in form and operation, but still use magnetic fields to cause motion. At the high end of the headphone scene there is another, rare but fabulous sounding driver type: electrostatic headphones.
Electrostatic drivers need a separate energizer. The iCAN Phantom incorporates the original standalone iESL energizer technology with regular amp technology to make a single amp that can handle every headphone type with aplomb.
The iCAN Phantom is the first product to incorporate iFi Nexus, a module which combines with an app to provide a comprehensive, scalable network-connected control system.
The features that Nexus offers will grow over time. At launch, the Nexus app enables your Android or iOS device to act as a ‘super remote control’ for the iCAN Phantom, providing access to additional features not accessible via the amp’s fascia or standard remote control.
The app can display diagnostic information and allow the user to monitor the iCAN Phantom’s operational condition in real time (EG. voltages, condition, projected life span of the vacuum tubes, etc.) It can also be used to apply over-the-air updates to the iCAN Phantom’s firmware, downloading and installing update files via your home Wi-Fi network.
Electrostatic Headphone Outputs