iFi Audion ZEN DAC compact DAC and headphone amplifier

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iFi Audion ZEN DAC compact DAC and headphone amplifier
£129.00
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This superb hi-res USB DAC/headphone amp delivers a level of specification and performance that punches above its super-affordable price tag.

Compact enough to use as a USB DAC/amp on your work desk with your much-loved headphones.

Stylish enough to use in your home system as a USB DAC. Just add your favourite active speakers or amp.

DAC to the future

The ZEN DAC supports PCM and DXD to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD256 and MQA. DSD remains ‘bit-perfect’ thanks to the True Native Burr Brown chip design.

Our R&D maxes out the circuitry with bespoke, easy to install firmware to bring you the joyous musicality of hi-res. The ethereal music quality will leave you grinning ear to ear.

Brings balance

We’ve used a balanced design for the analogue stage – rare and not found at this price point. This makes it pretty special for the best sound quality. With super-low noise performance, it will remain quiet even in noisy situations such as yachts or RVs.

The ZEN DAC sports Pentaconn 4.4mm balanced outputs at both the front and back. On the front, there’s also the popular 6.3mm headphone socket. You get both headphone options.

So flexible it almost does yoga

Switch effortlessly between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’.

Set to ‘Variable,’ use the ZEN DAC as a pre-amp to feed a power amp or active speakers.

On ‘Fixed’ to bypass the volume control. Connect to an external pre-amp or integrated amp.

Power. Drive. Performance.

Our headphone amp has PowerMatch – switchable gain to perfectly match your headphones.

IEMs are high-sensitivity, Leave PowerMatch at its lower setting for hiss-free listening.

On/over-ear types with relatively low impedance require more oomph – press PowerMatch to increase the level of drive.

Ace of Bass.

The ZEN DAC boasts TrueBass. This proprietary tech is a switchable ‘bass boost’ operating in the analogue domain. There’s no DSP with iFi gear.

TrueBass enhances the bass but does not muddy the mid-range. Perfect for use with IEMs or open-back headphones which often lose out on bass.

 

The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged. Listen to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.


Hi-Res True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.


Listen to Master Quality Authenticated audio straight out of the box. Connect to Tidal Masters and check the option to stream MQA.

Our video tutorials on You Tube show you how.


Using Mac or Linux? Then check out our exclusive iFi firmware. Download ‘Limoncello’ 5.2A to unlock DoP256 for Mac/Linux.

Fancy adding the special GTO filter first introduced in our flagship DAC, the Pro iDSD? Use ‘Cookies and Cream’ 5.3C. More on the GTO filter here.


TrueBass® – delivers genuine bass with realistic depth and definition.

Everything from timpani to a bass guitar, to an electronic bassline, is conveyed with power and poise.


It is a superior method to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. Less Interference – clearer sound.

You normally find this set-up in products at the higher end of the price spectrum such as the Pro iCAN but iFi is now using this across its range to produce the best quality audio for all our customers.

TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications. They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.

Tech Specifications

Input: USB3.0 B Socket (USB2.0 compatible)

Formats: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/384kHz PCM

2.8/3.1/5.6/6.2/11.2/12.4MHz DSD

353/384KHz DXD

DAC: Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr Brown

Line section

Output: Audio RCA (UnBAL), 2.1V fixed, 1V / 3.3V max. (variable)

4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL) 4.2V fixed, 2V / 6.2V max. (variable)

Zout: <= 100 Ohm (UnBAL), <= 200 Ohm (BAL)

SNR: < -116dB(A) @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL

DNR: < 0.0015% @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL) L)

THD+N:< 0.0015% @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)

Headphone section

Output
  • 6.3mm (UnBal): 1V / 3.3V max. (variable)
  • 12 Ohm - 300 Ohm Headphone
  • 4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL): 2V / 6.2V max. (variable)
  • 12 Ohm - 600 Ohm Headphone

Output power

UnBAL: > 280mW @ 32R, > 36mW @ 300R

BAL: > 380mW @ 50R, > 70mW @ 600ROutput Impedance: < 1 Ω (UnBAL/BAL)

THD & N: < 0.005% (125mW @ 32R)SNR:> 113dBA (3.3V UnBAL / 6.2V BAL)

Power consumption: <1.5W

More Information
Brand iFi
Dimensions 117(L) x 100(W) x 30(H)mm
Warranty 12 month
USB Input USB3.0 B (USB2.0 compatible)
Output Impedance Headphone section: < 1 Ω (BAL/SE)
Output power (16Ω) Hedphone section: 4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL) 330mW@32 Ohm; 6.6V@600 Ohm; 16 Ohm - 600 Ohm Headphone 6.3mm S-BAL (SE) 230mW@32 Ohm; 3.3V@600 Ohm 16 Ohm - 600 Ohm Headphone Note: Using 5v power. If powered from USB, power output may vary.
THD+N Line section: < 0.0015% @ 0dBFS (BAL/SE) Headphone section: < 0.0015% @ 0dBFS (BAL/SE)
length 117mm
width 100mm
height 30mm
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