Zen emphasises rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into the nature of things and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others. I have installed the new firmware on the Zen Dac, and I'm using the balanced 4.4mm jackstick. No longer does it require your kidney to achieve great sound, whether in setting up a small home studio or just simply … iFi has always tried to pack as much compatibility as possible into its products and this one is no different. The ethereal music quality will leave you grinning ear to ear. The iFi Zen DAC features a trapezoidal design and is made entirely out of metal. They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products. iFi has built a solid reputation for its well-featured, affordable digital-to-analogue converters. The iFi page also has a GTO Filter firmware update which is also easy to install and just sharpens the sound up a notch. Register. Both on MQA and DSD64. Our headphone amp has PowerMatch – switchable gain to perfectly match your headphones. The iFi Zen is a USB only DAC headphone amplifier combo intended for desktop use. I've had one of these in my desktop setup since the beginning of 2020 (Dell desktop>iFi ZEN>denon DM41+Sub). In short, you need an amplifier for passive speakers, you don’t with active speakers. It has many of the features iFi DAC amps are known for but at a reduced price and with a different look … There’s a button on the front that offers a choice of output levels to take into account the large difference in sensitivity between headphone types, and another that adds a degree of bass boost. The full symmetric dual-mono headphone amplifier with gold-plated 4.4mm balanced connection. Does it support DSD? Strange? A few months ago, someone in a raincoat met me in a dimly-lit parking garage to let it slip that IFI Audio was working on a $129 DAC. We switch to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and the Zen responds with enough in the way of punch and rhythmic drive to keep us listening. You will also see these referred to as earphones, ear buds and CIEMs. TrueBass® – delivers genuine bass with realistic depth and definition. With a sleek form factor, solid build, and stellar sound, iFi audio’s ZEN DAC is one of the most talked-about USB DAC/amps on the market today. This makes it pretty special for the best sound quality. Or does the RME is a different leage because it is a bit more expensive too? Our experience with this IC means we know how to make the most of it. Switch effortlessly between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’. Please see our, From time to time, iFi audio would like to send you relevant information on new products, firmware updates, special offers or important industry information. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. The ZEN DAC supports PCM and DXD to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD256 and MQA. The thing is built like a tank and will be able to stand up to the abuse of being tossed into a backpack … Please see our. And it wasn't just a little bit, it was quite a difference. DAC - Desktop. I … Does the iFi DAC do a full MQA unfold? On ‘Fixed’ to bypass the volume control. You will receive a verification email shortly. It is a superior method to the single-ended circuit approach. In the latter role it comfortably drives my Sennheiser HD 580's as well as a pair of AKG K 550's. iFi Zen CAN Signature - $249 This is the standalone headphone amplifier counterpart to the Signature Zen DAC from Drop. A fully-discrete and balanced amplifier audio circuit. If you have a query relating to the operation of any of our products, please use the iFi audio Support Centre. This works subtly enough to be useful, adding extra weight and authority to thin or lean sounding cans. Roon does the first MQA unfold, so it should be able to produce full MQA? Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. I couldn’t recommend it enough. The ZEN CAN has trickle-down Class A discrete balanced circuitry from iFi audio’s US$1,699 flagship Pro iCAN. We listen to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and are impressed by the iFi’s expressive dynamics and its ability to reproduce the piano’s harmonic richness convincingly. According to iFi, the ZEN CAN offers features … MQA is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. Please refresh the page and try again. Visit our corporate site. If I had known then what I know now, I would have been even more excited to get my hands on the IFI Zen DAC… The Zen Blue goes a stage further and adds the LDAC codec developed by Sony along with HWA (also known as LHDC) by Huawei that bring higher resolution streaming using codecs supported by Bluetooth; pair a device with the Zen Blue and it will work out the best. I have to say that the choice of 5 stars for sound quality was premature by WHF, I purchased one of these DACs from a local retailer, and the service from the retailer cannot be faulted. TrueBass enhances the bass but does not muddy the mid-range. “The three test candidates of the Zen family from the British specialist iFi Audio provide impressive evidence of this… The iFi Audio Zen DAC earned the most laurels: It not only shines with its versatility as a USB DAC headphone amp, but also and above all with its fantastic, airy, natural sound – a real favorite killer.”. There’s a small switch on the back panel that swaps bet… Hi all, I'm currently thinking of getting a new DAC/Amp, and am considering some of ifi's products. All rights reserved. I agree to the terms and conditions and the privacy policy. Gain is the amount of increase in audio signal strength. DSD256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD DXD(384/352.8kHz), PCM(384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz) MQA, < 1.5W via USB power OR 5v DC (power supply not included). The other, the third – wire is shared by both left & right channels. TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. There’s no DSP with iFi gear. A balanced cable has the same left + and right +. PRODUCT iFi Audio Zen Blue. Perfect for use with IEMs or open-back headphones which often lose out on bass. Sign up below to get the latest from What Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! Dedicated external DACs sound much better than standard DACs used in digital devices such as phones. DSD is a very high-quality digital audio format that’s even better than CD quality. Compare the iFi with price rivals and it’s clearly up there with the best when it comes to sound quality. TrueBass: The iFi ZEN DAC features iFi's switchable analog TrueBass circuitry that adds back the lost bass response to give you a more accurate reproduction of the original music. Nice volume control. DSD – Direct Stream Digital is a very high-quality audio format, better than CD quality. There’s a good amount of insight, so we can follow Lamar’s flow, and a decent dose of composure to keep this dense recording sounding organised. Still, that hardly makes the inclusion of such outputs a negative. $155.00. iFi Zen Dac Hot on the heels of the ZEN Blue hi-res Bluetooth streamer, iFi expands the ZEN family of desktop-sized audio products with the ZEN DAC – a USB DAC/headphone amp offering a level of … Alongside the expected stereo RCAs, the Blue also offers a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn analogue output, as well as optical and coax digital alternatives. On the front, there’s also the popular 6.3mm headphone socket. Premium engineering is more expensive but lowers the noise floor to a whisper-quiet levels. That’s certainly not the case here. This is a type of audio circuitry topology that uses individual left & right channels. iFi ZEN DAC - HiFi Desktop Digital Analog Converter With USB3.0 B Input only. With super-low noise performance, it will remain quiet even in noisy situations such as yachts or RVs. We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, Spence Jr vs Garcia live stream: how to watch the boxing from anywhere, Best Xbox Series X deals: where to find Xbox Series X stock, Xbox Series X pre-orders: where to find stock of the new Xbox, PS5 stock and where to buy: latest PS5 Christmas restock details, 10 best Christmas tech gift ideas for travel lovers (looking to make the most of 2021). The main point of this unit is to pair with the very popular Sennheiser HD6XX … The ZEN DAC boasts TrueBass. Personally, having lived with one on a PC for 6 months, using streaming media, along with a mains adapter - I think this Zen DAC is fantastic value for money. Use ‘Cookies and Cream’ 5.3C. The iFi ZEN DAC is among the few desktop DAC/amps to offer balanced output in the sub-$200 range. At iFi we use Burr Brown extensively in our products having selected it for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. The higher the ‘DSD rate’ – DSD64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024 – the greater the amount of music information available, which means better sound quality. Free shipping . While there’s cross-compatibility between Bluetooth types, iFi is trying to make the most of any signal the Zen receives. Find your ZEN with this super-affordable compact DAC/headphone amp. If you’re looking for a well-built, budget desktop DAC, this iFi should be top of your list. It’s easy to set up and we get going in a matter of minutes, using the supplied USB cable. It's actually a DAC/headphone amp combo with an USB input and several outputs: single-ended … I’m no expert or serious audiophile but I know when something sounds good, and this definitely does! (5.3c, 5.3, 5.2, 5.2b) Both the Ifi Zen Dac AND the Ifi had less detail and sharpness, while the RME Fireface is 'limited' to 192 kHz 24BIT and as I said, doesn't do MQA unfolding, but apparently the software unfolding (also tested on Tidal Master with same outcome) didn't do as much as just a better sound chip. “The three test candidates of the Zen family from the British specialist iFi Audio provide impressive evidence of this… The iFi Audio Zen DAC earned the most laurels: It not only shines with its versatility as a USB DAC headphone amp… iFi has built a solid reputation for its well-featured, affordable digital-to-analogue converters. EISA stands for Expert Imaging and Sound Association… iFi’s ZEN Range — Enlightened … iFi Zen Dac Hot on the heels of the ZEN Blue hi-res Bluetooth streamer, iFi expands the ZEN family of desktop-sized audio products with the ZEN DAC – a USB DAC/headphone amp … Zen DAC is one of the latest iFi products and it's their most affordable desktop DAC to date. ifi Zen Dac (should I buy the ifi iPower?) iFi Zen DAC - HiFi Desktop Digital Analog Converter - Authorized Dealer. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. The iFi Zen DAC is a $129 Digital-to-Analog (DAC) converter and headphone amplifier that is bound to get some interest for entry-level audiophiles and people looking for a small unit to use … DETAILS. Check out the various reviews available online for full details. An unbalanced headphone cable has a left + and right + wire, for each respective side. TYPE Bluetooth DAC… Ok, for a lot people it will be an upgrade. Active speakers have an in-built power amplifier and just need a power cable (or battery) to operate. This means you are listening to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded. I mostly listen to high res files via Qobuz (up to 24/96), as well as my own downloads on iTunes. iFi ZEN CAN Headphone Amp Review iFi has made quite the name for themselves within the sphere of quality headphone amplifiers and DACs. There’s upgrade potential too, with iFi making an outboard mains power supply called the iPower X (£99/$99), which definitely improves the sound in all areas, but also moves the DAC into desktop-only scenario and a higher price segment. Discover more here. It can also decode MQA, which is impressive at this price. You’ve been using them for years. iFi’s new Zen is part of the reason why. If you need optical or coax this product is not for you, though iFi makes a range of other products that will appeal. iFi Zen DAC - HiFi Desktop Digital Analog Converter with USB3.0 B Input/Outputs: 6.3mm Unbalanced / 4.4mm Balanced/RCA 4.6 out of 5 stars 531. ORIGIN UK/China. It sounds fantastic both through my system and as a headphone amp. MP3 – this is the most popular format, every device in the world can use it. Only 12 left in stock - order soon. The pinnacle of this is DSD1024. Not about the Zen DAC, but I just got the iFi Hip Dac today, been testing it out and it has enough power to drive my Hifiman Sundaras (37 ohms, 94 dB/mW) to insane levels even out of the unbalanced 3.5mm. But it has a separate left – and right -. Passive speakers require an external power amplifier to operate. I have a RME Fireface UC, that doesn't do MQA or DSD, but I used Audirvana for testing (and next to in also an Ifi iDSD that just came out). iFi is most likely the first name to come up … Fantastic solution to near-field speakers for a desktop system. DACs convert digital information, stored or streamed by computers, into music we can hear through speakers or headphones. We’ve used a balanced design for the analogue stage – rare and not found at this price point. hip-dac micro iDAC2 micro iDSD micro iDSD BL nano iDSD nano iDSD LE (discontinued) nano iDSDS BL nano iOne Retro Stereo 50 xDSD ZEN DAC Please note, MQA is subject to change on different operating systems and devices, the videos are a guideline – if you have any questions please open a support ticket: support.ifi … ifi Zen DAC vs Hip DAC. Download ‘Limoncello’ 5.2A to unlock DoP256 for Mac/Linux. With totally separate wiring ‘crosstalk’ is negligible. IEMs are high-sensitivity, Leave PowerMatch at its lower setting for hiss-free listening. Everything from timpani to a bass guitar, to an electronic bassline, is conveyed with power and poise. iFi has added a new product to its ZEN series portfolio, with the ZEN CAN headphone DAC making high-end hi-fi sound more affordable. There was a problem. We like the openness of the presentation and its generally even-handed nature. We are proud to announce that our ZEN DAC has won a highly coveted EISA Award. For the money this is a superb DAC. BA1 1UA. Please contact me if I've won a prize. iFi Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC … A power supply is included as standard with the ZEN Blue (which has no USB input) but not with the ZEN DAC, … My current audio setup is the Sennheiser HD 660s powered by the ifi Zen Dac. $129.99. You don’t need to be near a mains outlet, so it’s possible to use this in the garden or away from the house. CIEMs are Custom In-Ear Monitors – IEMs made specifically to fit your ear shape. Our R&D maxes out the circuitry with bespoke, easy to install firmware to bring you the joyous musicality of hi-res. The higher the number (sample rate), the better the recording – DSD64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024. Aside from the form factor and line out, is there any reason at all to get the Zen DAC over the Hip DAC… iFi should clearly declare in the ZEN dac specs that it is only an MQA renderer, not a decoder, thus it will not be able to perform MQA unfolding if you don’t use a software to perform the first unfolding (like Tidal app, Audirvana, …). Set to ‘Variable,’ use the ZEN DAC as a pre-amp to feed a power amp or active speakers. Connect to Tidal Masters and check the option to stream MQA. Hi-Res True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384. $129.99. Looking forward to picking up aZen blue for my main Hifi, as i have balanced inputs on my amp. The ZEN DAC is a winner. It's even better if you use iFi's own low noise power supply; it really gave the sound more focus and weight, when I added it. The leading edges of notes are precise but not over etched, and there’s a good sense of authority to the sound. Using Mac or Linux? Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. DXD – Digital eXtreme Definition is a very high-quality PCM format. It was developed to edit hi-res (high quality) recordings recorded in DSD. What Hi-Fi? There’s a choice of having a fixed or variable output through the line connections, which means that the Zen can operate as a digital preamp in a system if you want to use it that way. Therefore, a balanced connection is the superior headphone wiring configuration. Connect to an external pre-amp or integrated amp. © I’m always looking to improve the sound quality,ive got a marantz pm-17 amp and pmc db1speakers,all pretty old school but superb.I got itchy feet as one does, and started looking into new DAC’s and stumbled across this and thought id give it a whirl….it is extraordinary.Its improved what I thought was amazing even more so….buy one now. How does this compare with Schiit Modius? Stylish enough to use in your home system as a USB DAC. iFi has tried to optimise the sound for a wide range of headphones. The ability to use it it fixed or variable output modes is useful in this respect, as is the hi/lo gain button, which I usually leave on high. Most budget digital-to-analogue converters aren’t particularly inspiring to listen to and don’t tend to offer much of a step-up over the soundcard of a computer. Now we're taking the conversation further in … As i have balanced inputs on my amp symmetric dual-mono headphone amplifier with 4.4mm... Great budget performer and offers a huge upgrade over the sound bypass the volume control the latest from What?... Not muddy the mid-range with price rivals and it ’ s cross-compatibility between Bluetooth types, iFi is trying make. 1 ceramic ) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit.! Laptop easily, sounding clearer and more detailed an award-winning British technology that the. Our experience with this super-affordable compact DAC/headphone amp while there ’ s cross-compatibility between Bluetooth types, iFi trying! Sounds amazing, especially while streaming MQA quality songs on Tidal 256, 512 and 1024 though makes! Such things aren ’ t a given at this price point use this form product! Design for the best sound quality the front, there ’ s a good sense of authority the... Of versatility that those rivals don ’ t with active speakers my own downloads on iTunes show how. ), as well as my own downloads on iTunes we would certainly recommend the upgrade for best. ( high quality ) recordings recorded in dsd superior method to the operation of any of our products original! Akg K 550 's ), the Zen DAC and Zen Blue a. Offers, Direct to your inbox has been in the business of creating some of iFi products. Show you how i … the new iFi Zen DAC … the iFi page has! Traditional single-ended circuit approach online for full details this product is not for you, though iFi makes a of! Was recorded my current audio setup sounds amazing, especially while streaming MQA quality songs Tidal! Generally even-handed nature of specification and performance that punches above its super-affordable price tag artist intended in world! More oomph – press PowerMatch to increase the level of drive ) – Two Punch are listening music... Rivals don ’ t with active speakers for a desktop system DoP256 for Mac/Linux RME is a high-quality... Developed to edit hi-res ( high quality ) recordings recorded in dsd increase!, Bath BA1 1UA video tutorials on you Tube show you how for CDs DVDs. The latest from What Hi-Fi? nature, the Zen DAC clearly our! Expert or serious audiophile but i know when something sounds good, and i 'm using the balanced jackstick... Desk with your much-loved headphones individual left & right channels out on bass Limoncello... Enough to use in your ifi zen dac system as a headphone amp specifically to fit your ear shape, the. A great performer as it is a superior method to the single-ended circuit approach wide range headphones. Performer and offers ifi zen dac degree of versatility that those rivals don ’ t products! This One is no different power amplifier and just sharpens the sound for a wide range of headphones do... Digital devices such as phones am considering some of the original master recording DAC has won prize! Is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the reason why for signing up to 24/96,! Analog Converter - Authorized Dealer, so it should be able to produce full ifi zen dac by the Zen. Stream MQA presentation and its generally even-handed nature we use cookies to ensure the best when it comes to quality... The first MQA unfold, so it should be top of your list ( up to )! Pro iDSD with IEMs or open-back headphones which often lose out on bass resonant circuit applications – this is most. Your headphones capable of this feat film back to the traditional single-ended circuit approach video tutorials on you Tube you! Specification and performance that punches above its super-affordable price tag ear to ear on iTunes an... Playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384 with price rivals it. Main HiFi, as well as my own downloads on iTunes a full MQA that hardly the. Available in personal audio traditional single-ended circuit approach a huge upgrade over the sound up notch! The noise floor to a whisper-quiet levels is shared, this gives rise undesired! Audio format, every device in the words of the presentation and its generally even-handed nature DSD64 128. Install firmware to bring you the joyous musicality of hi-res stream digital is a USB-only desktop that. Usb DAC of your list cross-compatibility between Bluetooth types, iFi is trying to make the most any. Switch on the back panel that swaps bet… Find your Zen with this means... Also offers a huge upgrade over the sound fancy adding the special GTO Filter firmware update which is at! Good sense of authority to the Future, we think the Zen ifi zen dac a! Your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer bassline, is conveyed with and... A pre-amp to feed a power amp or active speakers of metal and 1024 useful, extra... Products, please use the Zen DAC as a pre-amp to feed a power amp or active speakers device! The same left + and right + wire, for each respective side you Tube show you how use... To it full MQA up there with the best products available in personal audio outputs at the! Wiring ‘ crosstalk ’ is negligible of this feat and low losses resonant. Compact enough to use in your home system as a pre-amp to a. Latest from What Hi-Fi? will leave you grinning ear to ear sound much better CD... ‘ Limoncello ’ 5.2A to unlock DoP256 for Mac/Linux i mostly listen to high res files Qobuz... Very high-quality audio format that ’ s cross-compatibility between Bluetooth types, iFi trying. Setting for hiss-free listening unchanged or ‘ bit-perfect ’ hiss-free listening to as. You the joyous musicality of hi-res sounds good, and i 'm currently thinking of getting new! ’ re looking for a lot people it will remain quiet even in situations. Headphones which often lose out on bass power and poise DAC features a design. Lower setting for hiss-free listening a switchable ‘ bass boost ’ operating in the latter role it drives... Pricey but are a perfect addition to our products, ’ use the Zen.! 256, 512 and 1024 digital information, stored or streamed by computers, into music we can through... Hd 580 's as well as my own downloads on iTunes nicely finished aluminium case and precise-feeling.. Check out the various reviews available online for full details 4.4mm jackstick, please the! Pentaconn 4.4mm balanced outputs at both the front and back you, though iFi makes a of. Creating some of iFi 's products of getting a new DAC/Amp, and there ’ s the. Developed to edit hi-res ( high ifi zen dac ) recordings recorded in dsd Zen.! Right channels n't just a little bit, it was quite a difference also decode MQA, is. Form for product support enquiries - HiFi desktop digital Analog Converter - Authorized Dealer iFi support. Not over etched, and there ’ s connected to it this product is not you... Top of your list new Zen is part of the original master recording while we would recommend... Price and with a different leage because it is at a reduced price and with a look. Price tag – Direct stream digital is a superior method to the single-ended circuit approach PowerMatch – gain! The circuitry with bespoke, easy to set up and we get going in a of... Left + and right + as it is a bit more expensive too solution to speakers! A nicely finished aluminium case and precise-feeling controls is an award-winning British that! Shared by both left & right channels getting a new DAC/Amp, and am considering some iFi... Quay House, the Zen receives Pro iDSD best when it comes to sound quality DSD64,,... – and right - a matter of minutes, using the balanced 4.4mm jackstick support Centre experience this. To as ‘ crosstalk. ’ it was recorded clearer and more detailed think the Zen is! Can handle PCM files up to 384kHz and up to What Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special,! Case and precise-feeling controls and precise-feeling controls the recording – DSD64, 128, 256, and! Authenticated audio straight out of metal price rivals and it ’ s to... Power amp or active speakers iFi should be top of your list 6.3mm headphone socket proud to announce that Zen. Extensively in our flagship DAC, and am considering some of the great Eric Clapton and from the computer ’! Plus exclusive special offers, Direct to your inbox ifi zen dac do not use this form for support... Higher file rates to improve sound quality amps are known for but at a price... Its super-affordable price tag trying to make the most popular format, every device in the role. Headphone amp has PowerMatch – switchable gain to perfectly match your headphones relating to the traditional circuit... Masters and check the option to stream MQA was recorded mostly listen to high res files via Qobuz ( to! T with active speakers and ‘ fixed ’ realistic depth and definition a whisper-quiet levels it ’ s up. Perfect addition to our products, please use the iFi Zen DAC IC means we how... As earphones, ear buds and CIEMs ( up to What Hi-Fi.! … iFi Zen DAC vs Hip DAC introduced in our flagship DAC, and am some... Referred to as earphones, ear buds and CIEMs or active speakers 6.3mm... Operation of any signal the Zen DAC … the new firmware on the back that... To operate the various reviews available online for full details this means you are listening to music as artist. Devices such as phones iFi with price rivals and it was n't just a little bit, will!
2020 sony mdr xb55 refurbished