iFi GO pod Review: Almost the Perfect Alternative to TWS

I haven’t reviewed any iFi gear in forever. I normally like their gear and the last thing I reviewed from iFi was the GO blu portable DAC/amp. So given the enjoyment I got from that unit, I was interested in checking out what looked to be the GO Blu but in the form of adapters for IEMs to make them into a TWS. The GO pod uses a Cirrus Logic DAC in combination with the higher end Qualcomm QCC5144 chipset for better Bluetooth performance. This unit comes in at $399.

Looks and Feel

The units are stiff but not overly heavy. The actual IEM connector arms are also a little stiff but somewhat flexible. On first use they felt so stiff that IEMs would lose their seal after a bit. After some flexing of the arms and tip swapping, I could get all the IEMs I used with it to work fine in my ears for long sessions. The units are big enough that most people might think you’re wearing a hearing aid. There isn’t much to say about the looks which isn’t a bad thing.

Now, for the charging case! The charging case they provide is quite large. I’ll have some complaints later about it but they at least get points from me for making it the most over the top case in terms of quality. The case when you open it has two LED lights inside the case which shine down on the IEMs attached and make everything I put in there look like exotic jewelry with the way the light shined on them. The case is felt lined and has a lot of room to fit what I imagine are any type of IEMs and possibly CIEMs as well. The case also supports wireless charging but with how big the case is, I didn’t try in on my small wireless magsafe puck.

Accessories and unboxing

As with most iFi packages, they make good use of the space of their boxes. Inside the box we get the charging case with the TWS adapters inside the case. Under that we get a basic USB-C for charging and a few extra IEM connector arms to swap. Their website claims you get a 2 pin and MMCX arm set but my sealed production box came with those and a set of Pentaconn arms as well. So I’m not sure what is included in general but not many IEMs use Pentaconn so it might not matter if they don’t include them normally.


These final impressions are from Bluetooth via my iPhone 14 Pro Max. These impressions will be what the GO pod sounded like with all the IEMs I used. Things like headphone pairings or different Bluetooth codecs will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

While it’s been forever since I last heard the iFi GO blu, I took notes on the GO pods and compared them to my GO blu notes. It’s mostly the same so much so I’m pretty much parroting my review impressions from the GO blu review. There’s indeed some subtle difference in my notes between the two however.

The GO pods go for a neutral signature but with a hint of a brighter sound. The bass performance is pretty good and provides a strong sense of bass if called for. I would call this a more controlled quick decaying bass so not a warm sound at all. The mids are accurate and relaxed but still keep good details coming through. The vocals are detailed and sound natural. The upper mids and treble are a little stronger sounding but they add some perceived detail retrieval to the sound. The GO pod, even on AAC from my iPhone and Macbook Pro, sounds quite detailed and I had a hard time picking up the differences once I moved to my Hiby R6 Pro II DAP using LDAC. While this might be a short sound section, I do believe the GO pod does well at simply providing a good representation of a IEMs sound quality without adding any unneeded color to the sound. It won’t however replace going wired to a strong performing source device depending on the IEM being used.

Filters and fun features

None? I didn’t see anything about activating xBass or xSpace so i’m guessing the feature is missing here. This GO pod is kinda like the original iFi NEO and it’s missing what makes iFi products so special to me. Which is fine at the end of the day. It sounds good enough and since it’s neither too warm or bright sounding, It gets a pass.


The soundstage and imaging tend to be headphone specific(at least to me) but DAC/amps can add a little extra on occasion. I found the staging to be about average in comparison to a good dongle and high end desktop amp. Won’t do anything to add staging or imaging but it also won’t subtract from an IEM with fantastic staging/imaging.

Battery life

I unfortunately didn’t do a battery test but I only used the GO pod a max of a few hours at a time and I of course put them back in their case when I wasn’t using them. I did make it home after a 8 shift with about half the case battery left so I would say it can make it through a whole day without any real issue. I would recommend looking for battery life results from other reviewers for the GO pod.

Personal grips with the G5?

My only real gripe with the GO pod outside of wanting my iFi xBass/xSpace features would be the charging case. When the GO POD TWS units turn off from timing out, I can’t get them to turn back on unless I throw them back in their case and pull them out again. The case is gigantic. I know it would be hard to make the case smaller while supporting all the possible IEMs out in the market but it would have been nice to see them shrink this down in the future. The GO pod is unusable to me in my normal everyday work schedule since I don’t want to carry around the giant case and it doesn’t even fit in my pocket. Which means I’m down to having to use the GO pod with my IEMs only in a sit down situation. If I’m sitting down, I’m running wired IEMs normally. If the GO pod units I had would turn on again after timing out, I might throw them in a portable case to use and then bring them back to the charging case when needed but for now, this setup just doesn’t work for me personally as a true portable solution.

GO pod power output

Power output from the GO pod is 120mW into a 32ohm load. This will power most IEMs just fine. I can think of a few really expensive $2k+ IEMs that might not get the full power they need to sound magical but I think these power numbers will do fine for everything else IEM wise. If you use an adapter and connect these to full size headphones, it might not be enough juice to get full volume or bass response from harder to drive headphones. The GO pod isn’t meant to be used with full size headphones though.

IEM pairing opinions


The SA6 MKII still maintains its nice warmer sounding bass and sounds about right when compared to a comparable dongle. The mids are accurate natural sounding. The vocals still sound natural and warmer. The treble is a little lacking normally but there is just a hint of added treble splash which compliments the SA6 MKII pretty well. The staging sounds about the same here which is great. Overall a good pairing and I’m happy to see no noticeable degradation even from the ACC codec on both my iPhone and Macbook.


Given the more flexible arms of the connectors, I was actually able to get a more comfortable angle which has always been a problem for me. The MKII still sounds just as good as it always has. Bass is still strong and fast. Mids are super accurate and sharp. Vocals are a little sharper with a slightly more artificial color and finally the upper mids and treble are still very detailed and sound quick. The only real difference I could find between the GO pod adapters and a comparable dongle would be a slightly more closed-in soundstage. It’s just barely noticeable but something worth mentioning. Still, getting most of the performance out of the Monarch MKII from a source device that is half the price is quite impressive.

Overall thoughts

So! At the end of the day I think the GO pod sounds pretty good but I don’t find it works as a portable solution for me specifically. Is it worth the price, yeah, sure. If I was gonna use these in a sit down situation or in short bursts throughout the day I would definitely want these for some of my favorite IEMs. The bluetooth range is great so you don’t have to be glued to your source device either. I’ll give the GO pod a recommendation. Just keep in mind the case is crazy big and it won’t fit in most people's pockets so it’s not the perfect portable solution. It does allow you to enjoy your favorite IEMs in a TWS setting with no degradation to the sound quality. I liked the GO blu so it’s nice to see the same awesome performance but in a TWS adapter. Good job to the team at iFi and I look forward to what goodies they come out with next. Thanks for reading!!!