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>280mW @ 32Ω
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IFI AUDIO INTRODUCES THE ALL-NEW ZEN AIR DAC AND HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
iFi Audio presents the ZEN Air DAC based on the award-winning ZEN Series. The ZEN Air range makes high-performance audio more accessible than ever before. The iFi Audio ZEN Air DAC is a versatile device that can act as a pure Hi-Res DAC with an amp and speakers and also fulfils the role of a headphone amp. The ZEN Air DAC can be used with PCs, Macs, Smartphones, Tablets and Gaming Consoles. ZEN Air DAC is capable of playing back Hi-res PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 natively and offers support for MQA rendering too.
EXPERIENCE REFINED PERFORMANCE WITHOUT ANY ARTEFACTS OR JITTER
ZEN Air DAC is the latest addition to the beloved and award-winning ZEN series devices from iFi Audio. The ZEN Air DAC offers a pure listening experience with the equipped 16 core XMOS chip. This new 16-core chip is fused with iFi optimised firmware delivers double the clock speed and expanded memory as well as USB connectivity. Apart from optimising the sound, this XMOS chip improves the processing power, clock speed and memory. The other purpose that the chip fulfils is to feed an external amp, be it a headphone amp, or an amp and active speakers. This new and improved ZEN Air DAC elevates the sound quality of digital sources to a higher plane.
EMBEDDED WITH BURR-BROWN CHIP FOR IMMACULATE HI-RES AUDIO QUALITY
The iFi Audio ZEN Air DAC comes equipped with a Burr-Brown Native DSD DAC chip to deliver ‘Bit-Perfect’ audio with native PCM, DSD and DXD support. The iFi-programmed XMOS firmware which processes data received at the USB input, combined with jitter-eradicating audiophile-grade oscillators, contribute to exemplary handling of digital audio signals as they are received, processed and converted to analogue form. This allows you to experience and enjoy your music in the highest quality. ZEN Air DAC supports Hi-Res True Native playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD 256, PCM 32bit/384kHz and DXD 352.8/384kHz.
MQA RENDERING SUPPORT WITH POWERMATCH AND XBASS+ TECHNOLOGY
ZEN Air DAC MQA support through the USB connection with full rendering capability of MQA files thanks to the processing power of the new 16-core XMOS chip. With this, you can enjoy your music in the original master recording quality as the ZEN Air DAC can now render MQA files effortlessly. It also allows you to stream from popular services like Apple Music, Room and Tidal.
With the ZEN Air DAC, you also capability to use the PowerMatch feature that adjusts the gain of the ZEN Air DAC so it functions at the right level for your headphones. ZEN Air DAC also offers unique sonic tailoring possibilities with XBass+ technology and Analogue Bass Boost. XBass+ technology and Analogue Bass allows you to tailor the audio to suit your headphones and your sonic taste by extending the bass response.
EQUIPPED WITH HIGH-QUALITY COMPONENTS FOR DISTORTION-FREE AUDIO
The new ZEN Air DAC comes equipped with high-grade components. The amplification stage in the ZEN Air DAC utilises an iFi Operational Amplifier OV2637 that delivers high performance with low noise and is capable of driving various headphones. ZEN Air DAC also embeds an advanced low jitter clock with a Texas Instruments precision low-noise power supply to complement the audio circuitry. Outstanding components like TDK C0G capacitors complete the design for the device. The iFi Audio ZEN Air DAC also offers a 6.3mm headphone output at the front with an added gold plated RCA socket at the back that allows you to maintain an immaculate audio signal.
EXPERTLY BUILT WITH AN INDICATIVE LED LIGHT FOR AUDIO FORMATS PLAYED
iFi Audio ZEN Air DAC comes equipped with a powerful LED that lights up on the front panel. This LED light is RGB enabled and doubles as an indicator light to display the file format of the played file. The specific colour of the LED is as follows - PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96kHz Green, PCM 176.4/192/352.8/384kHz Yellow, DSD 64/128 Teal, DSD 256 Blue and MQA files show a Magenta light. This LED light provides a quick visual cue for your played track and informs you quickly.
|INPUT VOLTAGE||DC 5V/2.5A|
|DIGITAL INPUT||USB3.0 B Socket (USB2.0 compatible)|
|FORMATS||PCM : 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384kHz
DSD : 2.8/3.1/5.6/6.1/11.3/12.3MHz
DXD : 352.8/384kHz
MQA : Renderer
|DAC||Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr Brown|
|POWER CONSUMPTION||No Signal ~0.5W
Max Signal ~2.5W
|DIMENSIONS||158 x 117 x 35 mm
(6.2" x 4.6" x 1.4")
|OUTPUT||1V / 3.3V max.|
|SNR||<-113dB(A) @ 0dBFS|
|DNR||>113dB(A) @ -60dBFS|
|THD + N||<0.04% @ 0dBFS|
|OUTPUT||1V / 3.3V max. (variable)|
|OUTPUT POWER||>280mW @ 32Ω; >36mW @ 300Ω|
|THD + N||<0.04% (100mW @ 16Ω)|
|WHAT YOU WILL GET||1. iFi Audio ZEN Air DAC|
|2. 1 x USB2.0 Cable|
|3. 1 x Quick Start card|
|4. 1 x Assistance card|
|WHAT YOU WILL NOT GET||1. Original Packaging of iFi Audio ZEN Air DAC|
The iFi Audio Story
From live experience for your home to on-the-go music for your ears, iFi Audio has a wide range of audio products for every music enthusiast. Ever since the beginning of iFi Audio in the year 2012, it is the love of music lovers that have been encouraging iFi audio to develop audio products that make a difference in how music is heard. The products are designed, developed and manufactured in iFi Audio headquarters in Southport, UK. The materials are sourced from across the globe including from countries like Germany, USA and Japan. iFi Audio has its distribution centre in the USA and is working hard on increasing its global network of distributors.
The High-Octane Audio
iFi Audio is an award-winning company focussed to deliver audio products to enrich music listening experience. iFi Audio understands how important music is to people and therefore all of their products are centred towards delivering amazing sound that is free of noise, distortion and other kinds of hiss. A studio-quality sound which is close to how the artist intended the music to sound. The materials that are used in most of the iFi products are used to enhance the sound performance of the product by eliminating echo and disturbing jitter.
A Proud Eco-Friendly Company
iFi takes the environment safety sincerely and recognizes their role to contribute to the cause. Therefore all the iFi products including their packaging are made of eco-friendly materials like aluminium paper and recycled plastics which can be recycled and reused in the future. iFi Audio makes sure that no hazardous toxins or materials are used in the products and that they meet the standards of environmental safety
1 Year Warranty
Don't sweat it, this iFi Audio - ZEN Air DAC (Unboxed) comes with a 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.
Headphone Zone delivered the product super fast and I appreciate that
I never used Zen Dac V1 or V2 so can't compare this Zen air Dac to those but this Zen Air Dac just doesn't sound as good as my $10 Dongle DACs I have like Odyssey HD, Abigail, Avani and CX Pro
Zen air Dac lacks clarity in the sound and also the vocals and highs sound harsh. Vocals are also pushed back a bit. My Dongle DACs mentioned above sound clean and more natural in comparison. Zen air dac has more power though than my Dongle Dacs
Xbass+ just adds a bit of sub bass but mid bass is nowhere to be seen. It feels like it reduces the mid bass when Xbass+ is activated
Tested all this with both Data and power USB cables connected to USB 3.0 ports on my Desktop and used multiple IEMs and Headphones
Also, this ZEN air Dac doesn't come with USB Type B 3.0 socket but it is a 2.0 port. IFI has incorrectly put it up as USB Type B 3.0 socket on their website. Type B 3.0 and 2.0 sockets are different so 3.0 cable can't be connected to a 2.0 socket
Overall, not satisfied with this product
We are extremely sorry for the disappointing experience you had to go through with us. We agree that the brand had given out the wrong information and we have rectified the issue with the brand as well. We appreciate your patience.
I didn't expect fantastic output from that small box, even it is working perfectly with my Book shelf speaker aswell. I am totally satisfied ☺️
Hey there, nothing makes us happier than knowing you loved your purchase, hope you had a comfortable shopping experience & thank you for the great review & ratings!
Coming in from a Fiio E18 which has served me for about 8-9 years or so I was looking for a desktop DAC. Zeroed in on Zen DAC V2 but alas good things are seldom instock, Hence settled for the Air DAC. Given the innards are basically the similar to Zen V2 bar the metal build and balance output I suspected it should rather sound the same and surprise-surprise It does sound pretty good.
I have used my Vmoda M100 as my drivers for the last month and I have a preference for slightly punchier bit accentuated bass without any muddiness, no loss in mids and just clean Highs(complete flat singatures kinda sounds shrill to my ears) and DAC delivered the experience I wanted. Though I cant vouch for Xbass button, kinda makes my headphone sound like something from Beats.
The build is plastic but doesnt feel cheap, the Vol. knob is metal and smooth af. Overall I would be hard pressed to think of any other alternatives of the same calibre in this price range. Also thanks to headphonezone for timely delivery!
We are so happy you took out time & elaborately reviewed the product with a comparison. We are sure this will help our customers to make an even better & informed decision.
Let me tell you one thing, it's a budget offering from ifi and for the price the multibit burr brown dsd1793 chip sounds like analogue. Volume control is very smooth, one RCA out is enough for your powered speakers and external amplifiers. The universal USB input is enough for connecting to various devices like PC, laptops, dap and mobile phones. Remember to get an OTG cable for your mobile. Rest the body is plastic, don't worry it is not that light in the weight and the plastic quality is quite satisfactory. Comes with a blue short USB A to USB B cable and a power cable for 5v dc. The DAC can also be powered using the 5v dc , however the best part is ...it can also be powered using the same USB cable through which it pulls the audio signal in case you have no power outlet near you.
So at 8k it's a very good purchase for budding and beginner audiophiles. It doesn't have any balanced headphones out but under 10k dac I hv no regrets. Although they should provide a 6.3mm to 3.5mm adaptor with it for its headphone jack .
280mw at 32ohms and 36mw at 300ohms is its headphone output power.
Supports 44.1 to 384khz sample rates and I tried all, gives you different color LED notification for each sample rate, it's not an MQA decoder but a renderer.
Supports dsd64/128 and 256. All works well.
Refer to my channel: techReviewPool for video review and unbox video :)
Hi Dinesh Singh,
We are so happy you took out time & elaborately reviewed the product. We are sure this will help our customers to make an even better & informed decision.
First off, shout out to Danesh from HZ team who assured me that this little unit is sufficient for my Hifiman HE400SE, and he was right!
Great service from HZ on the delivery as well, received it on the next day.
Coming to the Zen Air, it's a cute little dac amp with the unique iFi Zen design, made out of hard plastic.
Build quality is quite good and the volume knob is buttery smooth (it's an analogue volume knob).
The biggest con for me is the USB 2.0 Type B cable that ships with it - it's so short I don't understand how anyone at iFi thought it's ok for a desktop setup...
It also comes with a power cable with USB Type A for external 5V 2.5A DC power, which didn't make any noticeable difference to the sound.
I was specifically looking at a budget amplifier good enough to drive my HE400SE, as these are my first planars and most difficult to drive headphones in my collection. The dongle dacs I have just don't do them justice.
Safe to say, the Zen Air is perfect for it. I don't care about balanced audio much, and this thing actually outputs more power from the SE output than the SE on the original Zen Dac!
Just hit powermatch, and you don't need to turn the volume over 1 o'clock (unless you want to damage your ears). And the bass boost feature - XBass - is quite tastefully done, adds a little rumble below 100 Hz, quite fun to try out on some tracks from time to time.
Overall you get a very musical sonic signature out of the Zen Air.
I won't call it colored, but it's hard to explain unless you have some ESS Sabre or Cirrus Logic dacs to compare... there's a hint of warmth here that's lacking in Chi-fi dacs, really loving it.
So if you're on a budget like me and want the best out of your harder to drive cans, these should be your first option.
We are so happy you took out time & elaborately reviewed the product with a comparison. We are sure this will help our customers to make an even better & informed decision.
Nice built quality and has good features for a beginner and support most os the entry level headphones and items . Power match is only good for headphones not for items and if you are a bass head the it also cover you with xbass+ feature and is ok
We appreciate your honest review & awesome ratings, Manish U V!
Few months ago I just wondered how different my experience could be while listening to music using better equipments. In came the Sennheiser's HD 560s and ifi Zen Air DAC since I always thought my laptop's soundcard delivers subpar output and this thing proved it, hell it even made my cheap active F&D speakers sound soo much better through the RCA output. I don't know or understand many of these "audiophile" buzzwords since I'm just a beginner but I felt the difference in quality between the sound this DAC produces compared to the one my laptop and phone does especially with Xbass+ switched on, this alone makes my purchase worth it. Wonder how much of a difference it would make when I'll hook it up with a hybrid tube amplifier which I'm looking forward to purchase from here in the future!
Few things everyone should know about, while doing my research on this DAC I came across numerous complaints about the sound delay issue, some Reddit members suggested that it got fixed with the 7.4c firmware upgrade. Before even testing it I installed the drivers and upgraded the firmware as per the instructions and I can say that I haven't faced any such issues. Next big issue was that the usb cable they provided gets stuck and never comes out which ifi fixed in the newer batches, the cable I got doesn't fully goes in the usb port of the DAC, maybe this is their "fix".. At last I'd say that the headphone socket beside the volume knob is indeed oddly placed.
My first purchase from Headphone Zone, always heard good things about them and they didn't disappoint, the DAC came in a very well packed box and was delivered before the expected date, brand new and sealed I had no complaints. Currently I'm listening to the songs mentioned in the music catalog of different genres that HPzone sent me!
Hi there, we are so happy you took out time and elaborately reviewed the product. We are sure this will help our customers to make an even better and informed decision.
Thank you Headphone Zone team for timely delivery especially in this situation and bringing this product to India I recommend everyone to check this one before considering other alternatives in the market.
Good Purchase with Good Delivery Experience!!! Delivery Experience - Extremely satisfied. The packaging was sufficient and delivered 2 days before the committed delivery experience. Delivered in almost 48 hrs.
Good and quick delivery from Headphone Zone and would recommend others to buy from them too. No issues from their end whatsoever.
Amazing support from the Headphone Zone team, this is my second product purchase. Delivery at critical times (COVID19), is just awesome, received my headphones one day before the committed time. Kudos to the team.
It’s one of the best sites to get premium quality headphones. Their service is unparalleled!! Would recommend 10/10. A Grade service!!
Experience was smooth. The Headphone Guru was kind and answered all my queries. The delivery was super fast. The product is genuine This is my go-to destination for everything audio from now on.
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