Build and fit
This is where devices like the iPurifier come in, and as far as noise cleaning devices go, the iPurifier 3 is one of the better ones, certainly for the money.
For one, it’s expertly made, as is typically the case with iFi devices. After all, this is a company that has its heritage in parent company AMR, one of the most prominent manufacturers of high-end audio equipment in the UK.
Housed in a smoothly painted metal shell that measures less than 70mm in length, the iPurifier 3 is reassuringly solid. iFi claims they’ve used some ‘high-end’ components inside too, including OS-CON capacitors and Vishay MELF resistors, and who am I to doubt them?
Two small LED indicator lights on top of the shell indicate power supply and signal reception, while either end of the shell houses the USB 3.0 B-type female input and USB 2.0 B-type male output respectively (the iPurifier 3 is also available with an A-type male output).
You also get an assortment of A-to-B, B-to-B and a few other types of short adapter cables, and a user guide and warranty card should you need to figure out what goes where, or what to do if something goes wrong.
Most DACs will have either B-type (common) or A-type (less common) USB female inputs. Connect the USB cable from your PC to the iPurifier, plug the iPurifier’s male connector into your DAC and you’re good to go (and don’t stress if you don’t have a B-type USB 3.0 cable; the iPurifier is backward-compatible with standard USB 2.0 ‘printer’ cables too).
Once connected, the power and signal LEDs should light up. If they don’t, it’s typically one of two things: your cable, or the connection to your DAC. I had an issue with one of my ‘audiophile’ USB cables (a QED Graphite USB cable), possibly because the thickness and weight of the cable itself made the rather gangly iPurifier unbalanced.
Using a shorter, lighter cable resolved the issue, but also exposed a design flaw: for all its solidity, the iPurifier is quite bulky, and the fit can be too loose with some DACs. In my case, with the iPurifier in place, it’s impossible to push my DAC all the way back on its shelf, which backs onto a wall, and the connection isn’t as tight as it should be.
Fit issues aside, once I got the iPurifer to light up, it stayed lit, and proper testing could begin.
Read on to find out if the iPurifier is up to task.