iFi Audio

iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2

Digital To Analog Converter(DAC)

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Designed in the
UK

1 Year of
Warranty

Ideal for
Audiophiles

Ideal for
Indoor Use

4.4mm Balanced
Output

Burr-Brown
DAC Chip

Metal
Build

Pair with Laptop
via USB

Connect With
USB 3.0

Upto 330mW @32 Ω
Power Output

Volume
Controls

Once you go BurrBrown everything else will only let you down. The Zen DAC v2 is a worthy follow-up to the extremely popular Zen DAC, one of our yesteryear favourite. A perfect DAC/Amp if you're boarding the audiophile express.
Praveen

PRAVEEN KAMATH

Headphone Guru Info

About PRAVEEN KAMATH

Praveen, our Headphone Zone is an audio connoisseur and staunch Meze fanboy. He loves the RAI Penta and the Empyrean, equally. When not writing about, thinking about or listening to music: He's an avid beerologist too and staunchly believes that the combination of both beats every music setup out there! You'll often find him listening to The Weeknd, The Score and The Script.

DESCRIPTION

YOUR BELOVED ZEN DAC JUST GOT EVEN COOLER WITH THE ALL-NEW ZEN DAC V2

You now have a whole new reason to fall in love with this already popular and award-winning USB DAC/headphone amp. With added oomph and an indigenously developed 16-core XMOS chip, the ZEN DAC V2 has gotten better than ever before. Apart from optimizing the sound, this low-latency XMOS microcontroller improves the processing power, clock speed, memory and SuperSpeed USB standard. This ultra-capable and super portable DAC/Amp can be paired with active speakers or an amp for listening to high-quality music at home or the office.

Headphone-Zone-iFi

YOUR GO-TO DAC/AMP FOR 'BIT-PERFECT', HI-RES AUDIO

The ZEN DAC V2 supports up to 32-bit/384kHZ PCM and DXD files. It even supports DSD256 and MQA for true-to-life audio. The True Native Burr-Brown chip design keeps the DSD bit-perfect and allows you to enjoy your music in studio quality just as the artist intended. This also means that it supports Hi-Res True Native playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.
ZEN

Headphone-Zone-iFi
Headphone-Zone-iFi

NOT JUST AN MQA RENDERER BUT A MQA DECODER AS WELL

Enjoy your music in the original master recording quality as the ZEN DAC V2 can now render and decode MQA files seamlessly. Keep an eye on the LED light that glows green while decoding and playing MQA files. The same light turns blue to indicate the MQA Studio file being played.
ZEN

Headphone-Zone-iFi

JITTER-FREE SOUND USING 4.4MM BALANCED AND 6.3MM ANALOGUE CONNECTIONS

The balanced circuits of the ZEN DAC V2 reduce noise and crosstalk for a clearer sound. Moreover, the advanced GMT (Global Master Timing) Femto-precision clock provides >20dB better performance. The iFi Audio ZEN DAC V2 has a Pentaconn 4.4mm balanced output at both the front and back. It also has a 6.3mm headphone socket that lets you choose both the headphones options very effortlessly.

Headphone-Zone-iFi
Headphone-Zone-iFi

CONNECT TO A PRE-AMP, ACTIVE SPEAKER OR POWER AMP SEAMLESSLY

You can switch your ZEN DAC V2 from Variable to Fixed in just a moment. Set it to variable and use with a pre-amp, active speaker or power amp. You can adjust the volume over the fixed mode and can connect a external pre-amp or integrated amp to the ZEN DAC V2.

Headphone-Zone-iFi
Headphone-Zone-iFi

A POWERMATCH SWITCH TO DRIVE YOUR HEADPHONES AND IEMS

This headphone amp has Powermatch—A switch that adjusts the gain to match that of the headphone. Leave it at a lower setting for hiss-free audio with highly sensitive IEMs. Boost it for low impedance on/over-ears that need that extra oomph.

Headphone-Zone-iFi

DEAR BASSHEADS, THE ZEN DAC V2 IS NOW YOUR ULTIMATE CHILLING MACHINE

The ZEN DAC gives you a TrueBass experience. It has a switchable ‘bass boost’ which operates in the analogue domain. It enhances the bass without muddying the mid-range. Perfect for use with IEMs or open-back headphones which often lose out on bass. It does not have DSP.
ZEN

Headphone-Zone-iFi Audio-ZEN DAC V2

SPECS

AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS
INPUT USB3.0 B Socket (USB2.0 compatible)
FORMATS 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
DAC Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr Brown
LINE SECTION
OUTPUT Audio RCA (SE) — 2.1V fixed
1V / 3.3V max. (variable)
4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL) — 4.2V fixed
2V / 6.2V max. (variable)
ZOUT <= 200 Ohm (BAL)
<= 100 Ohm (SE)
SNR < -116dB(A) @ 0dBFS (BAL/SE)
DNR > 116dB(A) @ -60dBFS (BAL/SE)
THD+N < 0.0015% @ 0dBFS (BAL/SE)
HEADPHONE SECTION
OUTPUT POWER (@1% THD) 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.
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE < 1 Ω (BAL/SE)
THD & N < 0.005% (125mW @ 32R)
SNR > 113dBA (6.2V BAL/3.3V SE)
POWER CONSUMPTION < 1.5W via USB power OR 5v DC (power supply not included)
DIMENSIONS 160(w) x 117(d) x 35(h) mm
6.3" x 4.6" x 1.4"
WEIGHT 0.8 kg (1.8 lbs)
IN THE BOX
BOX CONTENTS 1. iFi Audio ZEN DAC V2
2. USB Cable
3. Dual RCA
4. Quarter-inch Headphone Jack
5. Warranty Card

COMPARISONS

iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2 vs competitors
iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2 iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2 vs competitors
₹ 15,999/-

iFi Audio - Hip DACvs competitors
iFi Audio - Hip DAC iFi Audio - Hip DAC vs competitors
₹ 13,999/- ₹ 14,999/-

Shanling - BA1vs competitors
Shanling - BA1 Shanling - BA1 vs competitors
₹ 14,999/- ₹ 16,999/-

iFi Audio - ZEN DAC Signaturevs competitors
iFi Audio - ZEN DAC Signature iFi Audio - ZEN DAC Signature vs competitors
₹ 24,999/-

Warranty
Ideal For Desktop Smartphone Desktop Desktop
Weight 0.8 Kg 125g 205g 0.75kg
DAC Chip Burr Brown Burr Brown ESS Sabre ES9218P Burr Brown
Sample Rate 32-bit/384kHz 32bit/384kHz 16bit/484k 32-bit/384kHz
Inbuilt Battery
Battery Life 8 Hours
Balanced Outputs
Outputs 4.4mm, 6.3mm, RCA 4.4mm & 3.5mm 1x 3.5mm, RCA & Digital Optical Out 4.4mm & RCA
Digital Inputs USB3.0 USB 3.0 USB USB
Output level 4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL)
330mW@32 Ohm; 6.6V@600 Ohm
6.3mm S-BAL (SE)
230mW@32 Ohm; 3.3V@600 Ohm
Unbalanced: 280mW@32 Ohm Balanced: 400mW@32 Ohm Balanced 4.4 Mm : 2V-6.2V Max RCA (SE) : 1V-3.3V Max
Signal to Noise Ratio 116dB 115dB 117dB
Bluetooth Version V5.0
Bluetooth Codecs LDAC, LHDC, aptX LL, aptX HD, aptX, AAC, and SBC
MQA Support
Volume Control
Expert Verdict "If you want transparency with some light cleansing and arguably a few drops of color, the Zen DAC V2 is a great amp. The Zen DAC V2 competes with units well above its price point."
Major HiFi
"I love its ability to drive full-size headphones with enthusiasm. If you’re looking for a lightweight DAC/Amp to improve the audio from your laptop or mobile this is a no-brainer."
Hifi Trends

"This exclusive Signature version elevates the ZEN DAC’s performance with upgraded circuitry from iFi’s flagship Pro Series. The ZEN DAC Signature is truly something special."
Headfonia


Comparing the iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2 and iFi Audio - ZEN DAC

iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2
iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2 iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2
iFi Audio - ZEN DAC
iFi Audio - ZEN DAC iFi Audio - ZEN DAC
Primary use Home/Desktop Home/Desktop
Pre-amp
Headphone Amp
Power Supply Included
Connect to active speakers
Fixed & Variable mode
PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384
DXD 384/352.8 384/352.8
DSD 64/128/256 64/128/256
MQA Decoder Renderer
Balanced Circuit
Components Upgraded Crystal Clock Standard
Experts Verdict

"If you want transparency with some light cleansing and arguably a few drops of color, the Zen DAC V2 is a great amp. The Zen DAC V2 competes with units well above its price point."
Major HiFi

"The iFi Zen Dac is one of the best entry-level DACs you can buy. It sounds great, has a ton of features, and can grow with your system as your tastes evolve."
Tech Radar

FAQs

Warranty & Media Reviews

1 Year Warranty

Don't sweat it, this iFi Audio ZEN DAC V2 comes with a 1 year warranty from iFi Audio that covers manufacturing defects. All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.

Read more about iFi Audio's warranty in India.

Headfonics

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Hifi Pig
Apr, 2020

Audio-Reputation

AUDIOREPUTATION AWARD

Audio Reputation
Apr, 2020

IGN

WHAT HI-FI AWARD

What Hi-Fi
May, 2020

Australian

FWD AWARD

Home Cinema
Magazine
May, 2020

Top

SERIOUS BANG FOR BUCK

Pursuit Perfect System
June, 2020

Golden

Outstanding Product

Hi-Fi News
June, 2020

DIGIT

Best DAC £100-£200

What HiFi
June, 2020

CES-Innovation-Awards

The Audiophile Man Award

The Audiophile Man
July, 2019

Golden

Best Value DAC/Amp

AVTech Media
July, 2020

CES-Innovation-Awards

product of the year

Headphone.Guru
July, 2020

JustPushStart

VGP 2020 Summer AWARD

VGP Summer
Aug, 2020

PCMag

Applause Award

Stereonet
Aug, 2020

Games

Best Buy

Home Cinema
Choice
Aug, 2020

DIGIT

Test winner

Home Cinema
Choice
Aug, 2020

CES-Innovation-Awards

BEST VALUE DAC 2020-2021

EISA Award
Aug, 2020

PCMag

Highly Recommended

AV Forums
Aug, 2020

Top

Premium
grade

Custom PC
Aug, 2020

PCMag

Highly Recommended

Hi-Fi+
Aug, 2020

Top

HEADPHONE AMP WITH DAC

PREMIOS ON OFF
Sep, 2020

Games

Outstanding Product

Hi-Fi Pig
Sep, 2020

Trusted

MAJOR HIFI GOLD AWARD

Major HiFi
Oct, 2019

Games

Best desktop Amp/DAC

Headfonics
Dec, 2020

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
83%
(20)
13%
(3)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
Shayan (Lucknow)
Great but...

Pros :

Build is solid and good looking

Sound is as expected

Bass bost is well done, not too much

Good connectivity - 1 x Unbalanced, 2 x Balanced, RCA fixed and variable output

Cons :

MQA SCAM - MQA is lossy compression and requires paid license for both streaming service and dac so increases cost and it is replacing FLAC which is free and opensource while providing inferior audio quality.

More expensive than V1 without any improvement.

Hey Shayan, thanks for sharing your honest and positive feedback!

A
Anwar
Sounds magical

I have paired this DAC with Beredynamic DT 990, and there is an extra dimension to songs. There are finer details that you wouldn't have heard before. Acoustic songs are even more pleasant, especially when you hear the brushes on a snare, vibrations from a bass drum, or you feel that Leonard Cohen is in the room when he sings.

I play songs from Tidal and see the LED turn Blue from Green when Master Studio songs get played. The DAC is build of excellent quality, and it's compact and doesn't take much space.,There is no optical input, and it doesn't come with a Power supply, but I think that's ok since I mainly rely on the USB input. I would recommend this combination of iFi DAC and Beredynamic to anyone planning to get their first Hi-Fi setup. But make sure you pair it with Apple Loseless or Tidal.

Hey Anwar, we're happy to hear that you are loving your new purchase. Thanks for sharing this amazing feedback with us.

S
Sr At (Mumbai)
Channel Imbalance at low volumes

Hi, I really like the DAC except there is a channel imbalance where where the left ear is lesser than the right at very low volume (7 o clock). It’s corrected at 9 o clock. I understand this is an issue in lower end DACs but just wanted to confirm if all Zen DACs have this issue or is it a faulty product. Presently using Austell and Kern Billie Jean IEMs

Hey, Thanks for this positive feedback! Please be rest assured about the slight sound imbalance. We have confirmed it with the brand and its completely normal at very low volumes. Feel free to reach out to us if there are any other queries.

R
Ritesh Nayak (Bengaluru)
Sound Quality:
Value for Money:
Amazing bang for your buck

I upgraded from Fiio K3 which I had purchased at a similar price point. Went for this after reading many good things about its TrueBass feature. I am not a bass head but I love it when the cans are able to deliver bass without compromising on the other frequencies. I immediately noticed the difference in sound. I tested it with lossless songs from Apple Music with my Sennheiser HD 660S and I picked up finer details that I had missed before. Very impressed.

We thank you for this lovely review & we are glad you are enjoying it! Keep the music playing.

S
Saurabh Shrivastava (Bengaluru)
Sound Quality:
Value for Money:
Decent DAC AMP but not great

I have a topping e30 DAC and A50s amp which I use with variety of headphones with Hifiman Ananda being the primary one ..I bought it as have heard a lot about tru bass function and wanted to add more bass with Ananda. The bass function actually did that but I observed a decrease in the speed and soundstage of Ananda..Hence decided to return ..

R
Rohit (New Delhi)
Sound Quality:
Value for Money:
Buy it for the TRUEBASS

I was really skeptical about all the hype this product has on yt. Well turns out, this product is really that good. For a bass head, the truebass button is like a doorway to bass heaven. You will be surprised by how low your IEMs/HPs can go with that button on.

HI Rohit,
So glad you are loving your purchase, hope it was a comfortable shopping experience & thanks for the lovely review. Cheers & keep the music playing !

S
Sameer Gurung (Shillong)
Sound Quality:
Value for Money:
What an awesome piece of equipment

I had been eyeing the ZEN DAC for a while but when I came to know that version 2 was coming out decided to wait. Finally got it a few days back and boy am I happy. I dont consider myself an audiophile, I just like good sound and this has easily been the biggest upgrade I have seen in terms of sound quality. Had been running my HD599 through the ibasso dc03 and i thought that had made quite a difference but the ZEN is in a complete different league. The 599s have just come alive. Amazing what the cans are capable of when driven by the ZEN. Really punchy bass, especially with the Truebass swtich. The mids are even richer and fuller now and the lucious treble (which i love so much) is even more extended airy. Also much better separation of the instruments and soundstage. Listening through the ZEN just feels more spacious and not hemmed in. Also there is so much meat and heft to the sound. A shoutout to HPZ as well for the extremely fast delivery. Great service as always! Well done guys. You have in me a very happy customer.

Final word - The ZEN is crazy value for money. If you are looking for a DAC/AMP combo just go for it.

HI Sameer,
Thanks for the great review. We are so glad you are loving your purchase, hope the shopping experience was comfortable. Cheers!

F
Felix John (Mumbai)
Sound Quality:
Value for Money:
Impressive

Speaking purely from my personal experience, I can say this DAC will not disappoint most people. The sound is warm and pleasing. I've heard it gets better with GTO filter, but at the moment I haven't updated the firmware yet.

The magic of these DAC lies in the TRUEBASS function. This is not your typical bass boost that you find in other devices. This actually boosts the bass significantly in a very graceful way. Most of the times I have the TRUEBASS on unless a particular song is already bass heavy.

The light changing colors based on the source is also a neat touch. Its plug and play with MAC. Haven't tried it with windows yet.

The volume knob is so sweet that even though it would be more convenient to operate volume levels using buttons on the keyboard, I always use the knob just to feel it. Build quality of this device is very good.

My only issue with it our that when you plug a headphones on the front and speakers from the rear outputs, both of them play simultaneously. There is no way to switch off either of them. You will just have to mute the speakers or disconnect one of the devices. But it 's not a deal breaker.

Overall, highly recommended to anyone who enjoys sound.

HI Felix,
We are glad you had a comfortable shopping experience with us & it is delightful to read such positive reviews on your product! Cheers & Welcome to the club!

B
Bhanu Jakka (Bengaluru)
Versatile and powerful

This is my first experience with an external DAC. Basically coming from the days of records and cassettes, class A amplifiers with least THD and IMD, great damping factors, this journey with ifi Zen DAC V2 has been both interesting and exhaustive.
1. Verify the led light colours changing with input file quality was challenging. I wanted to play hi-res music from my iPhone and it was quite a discovery to realise the need for a lightning to usb camera adapter and HF player from Onkyo. I could possibly play the MQA & hi-res files PCM and upto DSD128. I suppose idevices cannot support beyond that due to lack of resources.
2. My set up was using the RCA output at fixed gain connected to Yamaha RXV757 at the aux input. Pristine sound is amplified and is heaven to experience for music lovers.
3. I don’t have expensive headphones, but connected whatever I have with a 3.5 to 6.3 stereo adapter to unbalanced port. Powerful and clear audition demonstrates both the system architecture and component build of this DAC. It really feels solid and robust handling it.
4. The MQA decoder is excellent and works as claimed by ifi. I have no interest on subscribing to Tidal or similar streaming service and hence no experience with MQA renderer.
5. I play my music collection on 3 devices, Windows 2000 laptop with foobar2000 (Ensure to download the detailed instructions from ifi help section for configuration), android phone using OTG connector and USB music player pro from Google play store and iphone11 using lightning to USB camera adapter and Onkyo HF player HD.

I have no experience with other DACs to share a comparison, but I am quite satisfied with my spend on this device. Interesting my kids have developed an affinity to music after experiencing the sound stage created while playback. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anybody serious about quality build, music and powerful headphone amplifier. Hope this will help others- Cheers

Hey there,
We thank you for this lovely review & we are glad you are enjoying it! Keep the music playing.

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