iFi provided the iEMatch free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.
This will be a short one. Really just a shout-out for a super cool device which can help a lot of people with an important issue in this hobby.
Hiss. What is it? Why is it? Science has long theorized the hiss found in some audio gear is the para-echo of dragon spirits, trapped within the divide of realities, ever-present, and tormented by their captivity. Their anguish is such, certain devices pick it up. You can literally hear them, and despair.
But why would you want to? iFi discourages this. So they invented the iEMatch. Also known, among certain insiders, as The Dragon Tamer.
If you have crazy-sensitive in-ear monitors constantly picking up hiss from powerful amps and DAPs, the iEMatch will quiet that shit down. In comes in a standard single-ended 3.5mm TRS model and a 2.5mm TRRS for Balanced. I have the Balanced version.
I used the super sensitive Noble Audio Kaiser Encore on a particularly robust desktop Amp. The Cayin iHA-6.
Issuing from dark reaches unknown, I heard those goddamn dragons alright. They called to me in their ancient and dastardly tongue. With the iEMatch set to High, I still heard the subtlest hiss in the deep background. The silence was nearly complete, but not entirely. On Ultra, however, I experienced true blackness. Beautiful, absolute quiet.
Even something like the Meze 99 Classics is susceptible to the rigors of a hearty amp. Setting the iHA-6 to Low Gain, the Classics are hiss-free. But on High Gain (completely overkill for these cans) they pick up quite a lot of Wyrm noise. The iEMatch puts an end that. The haunting is dispelled and beautiful Meze regains its sanctity.
The world is at peace again, and iFi Audio is the hero of the age.