The iQube V2 design also incorporates:
· A high efficiency (90-95%) Class D amplifier,
· A built-in USB receiver and separate DAC Tentlabs ultra low jitter clock generator,
· A built-in set of 4x AAA rechargeable batteries (non-user replaceable),
· An 8-fold output buffer for a (near to) load independent output behavior,
· A 4th order feedback loop for minimum distortion,
· A fixed, phase-shifted carrier wave oscillator said to decrease inter-channel distortion, and
· An ultra low noise front end that accepts any line level source without the need for impedance matching.
These highlights are no doubt appealing, but what really matters is the sound. I’m still in the getting-to-know-you phase with the iQube V2, but thus far it has really impressed me, in part because it has found a way to tread that oh-so-fine line between sounding open, airy, and revealing, on the one hand, but natural, full-bodied, and downright gutsy on the other. As I see it, that’s one of the very toughest sonic tightropes to walk, and yet the iQube V2 makes it look so easy.
One further point: if you like the basic idea of the iQube, but question your need for a built-in DAC, you’ll want to know that Qables offers a less expensive amp-only version called the iQube V1 ($549).
Stay tuned for an upcoming Playback review of the iQube V2.