Meze Advar GO Pod Bundle Review Bluetooth MMCX IEM DAC Amp

Friday, May 26, 2023

The collaboration of Meze Audio's Advar and iFi Audio's GO Pod gives birth to a powerful combination of wireless audio innovation that uncaps the full potential of your earphones, letting you experience music without the hassle of wires!

Let's start with the iFi Audio GO Pod. These little gadgets are a game-changer when it comes to making any wired earphones wireless. GO Pod is, essentially, a bluetooth DAC/headphone Amp that turns the Meze Advar (and any other wired IEM) into wireless. One key differentiator between the GO Pod and other bluetooth IEM adapters on the market is the included charging case designed to recharge the GO Pod, just like the charging case of true wireless earbuds. The GO Pod charging case supports Qi wireless charging and holds around 15 hours of extra charge. Each Go Pod earpiece holds 6 hours of charge with 10-minute quick charge support.

The GO Pod charging case is made entirely of plastic with an irregularly shaped top lid held together via a single hinge. The hinge lid is a little wobbly but closes securely magnetically. The GO Pod case is a lot bigger than any earbud charging case on the market - but with good reason. The GO Pod charging case is designed to accommodate the GO Pod earpieces and Advar earphones so, you can carry them both on the go. Internally, the GO Pod charging case is lined with suedette fabric and magnetized to hold the earpieces in place. The case also features two white led lights underneath the lid for illumination. The white led lights turn off automatically after 30 seconds to preserve battery life.

GO Pod detachable nature makes them versatile so, you can use them with most IEM connections. Included in the box, you get 3 types of earhook adapters to fit MMCX, Pentaconn and 2-pin 0.78mm IEMs. The earhooks connect to the GO Pod via 2-Pin connection and, they are made of rubber plastic semi-rigid with a bit of flex. If you've worn sports earbuds with earhooks before the comfort and fit is a similar, although the GO Pod are noticeably heavier, which makes them a bit more fatiguing to wear for long sessions.

The GO Pod ear pieces are made of rubbery plastic material with iFi engraving on the backside and chrome plastic touch controls (highly responsive). Another similarity GO Pod shares with true wireless earbuds it's built-in microphones for calls. Go Pod touch sensitive controls support six tap gestures for audio playback control, voice assistant and calls. Above the touch controls, there is small status led to feedback battery and bluetooth connection. Once connected, the bluetooth status led turns off (no blinking!).

Now, onto the the Meze Advar earphones. These sleek MMCX IEMs deliver exceptional sound quality with an airy and ultra wide soundstage. The instrument and vocal range is natural, while the bass is powerful bass, controlled and detailed with forward mid bass and sub bass. The Meze Advar earphones are equipped with a single 10.2mm dynamic driver - no BA drivers - yet, they cover a wide frequency range with plenty of detail so, you pickup nuances in the audio. When connected to the GO Pod, the Advar sound signature changes slightly becoming more bassy with less treble and narrower soundstage.

The Advar earphone shell has a turbocharger looking chassis made of solid stainless steel via metal injection molding and finished with high-gloss black chrome plating for scratch resistance and durability. The Meze Advar earphones are fairly compact so, they don't stick out of the ears. You can comfortably wear them for about an hour before experiencing ear fatigue. By then, they also start to fall out due to the short nozzle design and weight.

As far as dimensions. The GO Pod charging case measures 11cm long x 7.5cm deep x 4cm high and weighs 145 grams (empty). Each ear hook weighs 2 grams, while the GO Pod earpieces weigh 8 grams each. The Advar earphones weigh 10 grams each, while the audio cable weighs 16 grams. Total combined weight of GO Pod + Advar is  56 grams, which is significantly heavier than pair of gym buds with earhooks. The weight is, no doubt, the biggest drawback you get with the Go Pod Advar bundle.

The Meze Advar IEMs come with a snazzy hardshell case similar to the one included with the Meze Rai Solo IEMs. The clamshell storage case weighs 62 grams. It is made of leather with an invisible zipper, soft fabric liner and two mesh pockets to store the accessories, which include a keychain removal tool (18 grams) for MMCX connectors, as well as a 1.2 meter long MMCX cable with twist braiding. The Advar IEM stock cable is the Meze Rai silver plated cable made of silver plated copper wiring with 20 strands per wire (total 80 strands per cable).

The Advar stock cable features silicone earhooks (with a lot of flex), as well as a red dot marking to differentiate between the left and right earphone. There is cable cinch and y-splitter inline the cable located 32cm down the cable with a beefy 3.5mm plug connector. The y-splitter and connector plug are made of metal alloy. The cinch cable is made of hard rubber plastic. The overall feel of the stock cable is nice, although a bit thin, which makes it prone to tangling.

With their advanced Bluetooth technology and high-quality components, they deliver impressive audio performance. The GO Pod feature auto impedance detection, allowing them to adjust power output based on the connected earphones, ensuring optimal sound reproduction. They support a wide range of Bluetooth codecs, including AAC, LDAC, LHDC and aptX HD so, you can benefit from hi-res audio wireless playback. 
Using GO Pod is a breeze. Simply pair them to your phone via Bluetooth, and you're good to go. Speaking of phones, you can accept calls using GO Pod. There is noise suppression filtering which works okay, but it is a bit aggressive muffling the call quality a bit.

In conclusion, the Meze Audio Advar and iFi Audio GO Pod bundle offers an exceptional wireless audio experience. The Advar earphones provide impressive sound reproduction, while the GO Pod seamlessly turn any wired earphones into wireless ones. With their thoughtfully designed features, long battery life, and compatibility with various Bluetooth codecs, this bundle is a great choice if you're seeking convenience and high-quality sound.

Potential deal breakers
  • Not compatible with 2-Pin 0.75mm IEMs (GO Pod)
  • Bulky charging case
  • No mobile app support
  • Bulky hearing aid looks (GO Pod)
  • 2-pin connectivity (GO Pod)
  • Heavy compared to other IEMs (Advar)
  • Less comfortable than a clip-on headphone amp
  • Not suitable for commuting
  • Not suitable for running
  • 4.4mm balanced cable not included
  • Low noise isolation
  • Under performing call quality

Selling points
  • Exceptional Sound Quality
  • Durable and elegant (Advar)
  • 10 minute charge support
  • Wireless Convenience
  • Easy to drive
  • IPX5 sweat resistance
  • Fun to listen
  • Powerful bass with plenty of treble extension
  • Qualcomm's cVc Noise Suppression Technology
  • Intuitive Touch Controls
  • Smartly Designed Charging Case
  • Wide Range of Bluetooth Codecs: AAC and LDAC
  • Can be used seamlessly in mono listening
  • User-selectable filter profiles for fine-tuning vocal tonality
  • Analogue Volume Control: The GO Pod have hardware-based analogue volume control, preserving audio resolution and providing precise volume adjustment independent of the connected device.
  • Quality Components and Construction: The GO Pod utilize high-grade components and are designed to be robust, durable, lightweight, and water- and sweat-resistant (IPX5-rated).
  • Compatible with different type of IEM connectors
  • Long battery life
  • Adjustable power output to match the connected IEM's impedance,
  • 2 year warranty

While the Meze Advar and iFi GO Pod are sold as a bundle, you can also buy product separately. With the GO Pod, you get the following accessories: a 1.2 meter long cable, MMCX earhooks, Pentaconn earhooks and 2-pin 0.78mm earhooks. with the Advar IEMs, you get an MMCX removal tool, Final Audio Type E ear tips, cleaning tool and hardshell case. You can buy the Advar GO Pod bundle from Meze Audio. 


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