Playback Designs IPS-3 Integrated Solution

Posted on 11th August, 2015

Playback Designs IPS-3 Integrated Solution

Playback Designs is a U.S. based company and in their words, “specialising in high performance, high resolution, jitter free digital playback systems”.

Each and every person involved with Playback Designs is first and foremost a lover of music. Without this appreciation no company involved in either high-end audio or the professional recording industry can truly measure how good the products are that they are bringing to market.

Sure, we measure each and every unit that we ship, but the most important step is the final listening session that occurs just prior to packaging the unit for shipment. We believe that Playback Designs’ systems represent the finest audio playback in the world for the finest listening system in the world… your ears!

The IPS-3 is one such product, that offers just a little more. It's a Preamplifier, Amplifier and DAC housed in one very stylish enclosure that runs cool and quiet.

With four digital inputs (USB, AES/EBU, RCA, PLink), three analog inputs (2 x unbalanced RCA, 1 x balanced XLR), it will accept PCM input (up to 384kHz, DSD up to 4x), a remote controlled pre-amplifier, and finally a class A/B analog amplifier with a nominal 130 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 260 watts per channel into 4 ohms, IPS-3 is truly an all-in-one solution.

Digital sources are processd by a state of the art DAC that can process high resolution PCM and DSD files from your computer, music server or CD player. All currently available music formats are supported for PCM and DSD. Fture formats will be supported via firmware upgrades.

Aside from the single chassis design, keeping signal paths extremely short, the IPS-3 also features minimally invasive fault detection circuitry. This protects against clipping, voltage overload, DC offset, power failure and the overheating of internal electronics. Typically, invasive circuitry has to be inserted into the signal path for such detection and is quite invasive, resulting in a loss of sonic purity, but the IPS-3 uses optical isolation to retain a true audio signal.

Analogue sources are kept separate from the digital section and are not digitised. So your precious analogue signals are preserved in pristine form. A handy inclusion for turntable devotees. All signals pass through an analogue volume control, another plus for preserving maximum resolution.

Playback Designs IPS-3

Warwick Freemantle, Managing Director of Australian distributor Puremusicgroup told StereoNET:

The IPS-3 is definitely worthy of the Playback Designs name and we're pleased to represent the brand in Australia. It has the build quality and masterful sonic performance that Playback Designs’ products are known for and is available at an affordable price when you consider what you save in multiple components and high quality cables.

If you want to downsize but not compromise on sound quality then the Playback Designs IPS-3 is the perfect solution for you. Combine it with an Antipodes Audio Music Server and a pair of Gauder Akustik speakers and you have one very fine high end music system.


  • Analog Inputs: • 2 unbalanced (RCA), 1 balanced (XLR)
  • Digital Inputs:
    • AES/EBU for PCM up to 24bits / 192kHz and DSD
    • Coax for PCM up to 24bits / 192kHz and DSD
    • USB for PCM up to 24bits / 384kHz
    • USB for DSD up to 6.1MHz
    • PLINK – Proprietary Optical Link
  • Digital Output: PLINK – Proprietary Optical Link
  • Optional: USB Extender via optical cable (Up to 1000 feet)

The Playback Designs IPS-3 is available now for $19,700 RRP.

For more information visit Puremusicgroup.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: pure music group  playback designs  ips-3  integrated amplifier