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iFi Audio's new ZEN DAC is definitely your companion when it comes to great music at an affordable price. With this super-compact Amp/DAC you can chill anywhere, whether be it your home or the office. Just plug in your favourite headphones and experience the hi-res audio with this USB DAC.
The ZEN DAC 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 and advanced circuitry offer Hi-Res playback.
The ZEN DAC uses TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors that are highly stable and offer low losses for resonant circuit applications. It includes the GTO filter that has been used in the flagship Pro iDSD. Want to connect it with a Mac or Linux device? Simply download the ‘Limoncello’ 5.2A to unlock DoP256.
The iFi Audio ZEN DAC 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.
You can switch your ZEN DAC from Variable to Fixed in just a moment. Set it to variable and use it as a pre-amp for an active speaker or power amp. You can adjust the volume over the fixed mode and can use it as an external pre-amp or integrated amp.
This headphone amp has Powermatch—A switch which 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.
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.
|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|
|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)|
|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||117(l) x 100(w) x 30(h)mm|
|WEIGHT||0.8 kg (1.8 lbs)|
|BOX CONTENTS||1. IFi Audio - ZEN DAC|
₹ 11,999/- ₹ 12,999/-
₹ 9,999/- ₹ 12,000/-
|Ideal For||Desktop||Smartphone||Smartphone & Desktop||Smartphone & Desktop|
|DAC Chip||Burr Brown||Burr Brown||Burr Brown||ESS Sabre ES9010|
|Sample Rate||32-bit/384kHz||32bit/384kHz||32/384 kHz||24-bit / 96kHz|
|Battery Life||✔||12 Hours||10 Hours|
|Outputs||4.4mm, 3.5mm, RCA||4.4mm & 3.5mm||Lineout, SPDIF & 3.5mm||3.5mm|
|Digital Inputs||USB3.0 B||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|Output level||4.4mm 330mW@32 Ohm
S-BAL 230mW@32 Ohm;
|Unbalanced: 280mW@32 Ohm
Balanced: 400mW@32 Ohm
|285mW @ 30 Ohm||1.2 volts|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||116dB|
"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."
"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."
"A practical, portable, feature-full DAC with an happily open and balanced sound. Open, detailed and tonally balanced sound with good battery life, Versatile."
"The DragonFly Black continues this commitment to better sound quality on a budget, but in an even more impressive package. The look of it may be same, but this is easily the best DragonFly yet."
Don't sweat it, this iFi Audio ZEN DAC 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.
WHAT HI-FI AWARD
MAJOR HIFI GOLD AWARD
VGP 2020 Summer AWARD
The Audiophile Man Award
SERIOUS BANG FOR BUCK
"Both can be switched between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’ modes so the Zen DAC can be used as a preamp for volume control if needed."Read More
"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."Read More
"If you’re a fan of iFi’s house sound, or just want a simple, fatigue-free listen at your workplace or coffee-shop, the ZenDAC is a good option to investigateRead More
"At the heart of the matter, that’s what the Zen DAC is – just really good audio, in a simple, economic package. You can’t get much sweeter than that."Read More
Before upgrading to zen dac amp, I was using my built in sabre dac of my clevo laptop. I always felt something was missing from built in dac. i have some experience with fiio and schiit DAC before but was not entirely happy with them. Zen is an all in one Dac that can basically fit in with all my uses.It is capable of driving my fiio x2,m560 and iem like kz zs10pro and tin t2. It is also my primary speaker dac connected to my old akai vintage sound quality. As far as its features are concerned it is one of best at its price point not going to ellaborate on that but the soundquality is what gor me surprised. It is one of the cleanest dac amp i have heard in my life. The amp section is great for most of the mid fi headphones and iems out there. It has its limits though and i could hear it when i push the volume dial to its limit. Include bass boost option is nice as well just giving the right amount of bass without messing with the rest of signal.Overall I think Ifi has given a dac that punches way above the price point
Its been a good buying experience with Headphone Zone, the delivery was quick and the products is also untouched.
Coming to the quality of the product- it feels like heavy duty material, fits and finishes are nice. Very good balanced sound quality.
Couple of important point to share->[Tested only with the RCA out to my AVR]
1>it does not come with latest firmware so updating the latest firmware(GTO version) is recommended, read the instruction before updating...be careful while you do this. -- Link to download https://ifi-audio.com/downloads/
2>The sound quality is good without the update, its more of warmer sound signature with limited sound stage, but when I update the firmware the experience is amazing , it has got much detailed and crisp output, the sound stage widens up, its actually better than my AVR internal DAC.
3> if you want little more juice add 5v power supply(not available out of the box), the sound quality further enhanced for me.
4> The pre-amp is also good, the true base produce tight and subtle bass- never knew my speaker is capable of producing that deep bass :)
but my personal preference is the direct sound bypassing the pre amp circuit, enjoying every bit of it.
Thank you and have a great time.
I have an AKG 712 paired with Audioengine D1. I chose the Zen on the recommendation of a youtuber Stu from homestudiobasics and reading reviews from his blog. So I would suggest you to read it from his blog for the technical stuff. I chose this amp for the truebass functionality and balanced output which is lacking in the Audioengine D1 and is in the same price range. I couldn't fully appreciate the sound quality of the balanced output due to lack of proper 4.4mm to 3.5mm adapter. The quality from the unbalanced 6.35mm output is awesome. It is powerful enough to bring out the dynamics of the AKG. The truebass functionality doesn't suppress or muddy the mid range which is good. If you are looking for an amp/dac less than 15k look no more than the zen.
It’s good. It will be better and great if Headphonezone along with reviewing products on YouTube, do a tutorial about the connections etc.
Firstly I would like to point the build quality, which is incredible. The volume knob is sooo smooth. It sounds as great as it has been built. Although the bass is a little higher than usual with Truebass turned on - for which I was skeptical at first - it simply makes it much more enjoyable to listen without it sounding any less detailed. I used to have Fiio K3 which is highly recommended as well, but zen sounds different kind of fun and immersive with Sundara. In contrast to Fiio where I had a little trouble with power output, this unit has enough power in Unbalanced out, both of which run just on USB. If you want a great combo under 15k, this should be your first choice.
This^ video says it all :)
This thing is built like a tank and I absolutely love the volume control knob. It is extremely smooth with no resistance whatsoever.
Since it is a DAC/Amp, it does not have earth shattering power, but you can drive anything except the highest impedance headphones with it.
I have a Sennheiser HD 599, and although it is not the most difficult headphone to drive(50 ohms impedance and around 95db sensitivity) it gets loud enough at a quarter volume on high gain.
The sound is clean and there was no noise distortion that I could perceive.
A word on the LED indicator for audio quality: you will need to set your computer's audio output correctly (24bits/192KHz) for the colour to change from green to yellow, for audio files with greater than 96KHz sampling rate.
Overall, it is a great starter dac/amp and I would recommend it to anyone starting out with the hobby.
Do note, that I'm an audio newbie and I use it mostly for gaming, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I don't know any technical terms reg audio either so bare with me.
I paired this with a Beyerdynamic DT770 80 ohms and I'm happy with the sound quality. However, the "True Bass" function on this device doesn't work well, at least with these headphones. While it made the audio sound better *most* of the time, when there was an explosion in a video game or any high pitch noise out of nowhere, the audio would sometimes distort, and sometimes the sound itself skips for like half a second. I don't know how to explain this exactly in technical terms, or why this is being caused. Not even sure if it's a fault with this piece. When this happens it is very noticable and very disturbing that I turned it off altogether.
When the True Bass button is turned off, the sound output is flawless - it sounds rich, and I'm generally able to spot where exactly a sound is coming from in a video game. Though if the True Bass actually worked flawlessly, it would've been even better, but since it isn't, I deducted 1 star.
I have tried the Fiio e10k 2 years ago with an old pair of HyperX gaming headphones, and gotta say, this is much better than the e10k at least.
If HeadphoneZone or anybody could tell me why my audio "skips" at high volumes when using TrueBass, it'd be greatly appreciated. Could the piece be faulty?