As a pure DAC, it is a little bit weaker than $2000 Chord Qutest. Yes, a little bit weaker, not stronger. Regarding all other functionalities, most of them are junk for a $3000 product. QC is also horrible. 4.4mm jack gets issue after a month, and tube getting issues within a year. Oh, and because its tube suck too much, I used it for probably less than 10 times and less than 30mins each time. Ifi customer service are also slow and reluctant to fix any of these problems.
It can be a good product, at least a good competitor against qutest if ifi made it as a pure DAC and reduce the price to a little bit less than $2000. However, ifi made it a $3000 product with a $2000 level DAC and a variety of $500 level functionalities. I can't recommend something like this especially when it has unreliable QC and horrible customer service.
This product is terrible. Bought it two months ago and still not able to use it. If you want a dac with a fairly weak headphone amp this will do. If you need streaming capability avoid this unit. There is no user interface. IFi recommends the muzo UPnP player (no longer commercially available). The unit is unable to connect to my network. The expert advice from iFi technical support is to connect to the network - completely useless support as they feel they solved the problem. Look for a new unit for sale on Audiogon but buyer beware this unit does not work as advertised.
Amazing sound. They say it isn't an amp but it can drive all my headphones. I like Tube+ mode when standalone then when upstream from my other amp I go solid. I broke down and bought the amazing marble and metal stand for it. If I didn't already have a premium Estat and headphone amp I would have built the whole IFI stack. It's really nice and performs great. The packaging, all the parts, very nice. PSU feels very premium. Although I would like the cords to come out of the same side rather than different for rack presentation purposes.
One glaring issue on this expensive box is the wifi. It's complete trash. Cannot connect on its own regularly even after proper setup. The speed is 2.4Ghz band. It's really bad. When I'm spending this much I would assume they'd put more than a $5 wifi chip in it. If they can upgrade later that'd be great but be warned... You will need to hardwire it if you want to use Tidal Connect properly.