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Improve your existing vinyl set-up with the iFi audio ZEN Phono. This phono stage features some of the tech used in the ultra-fidelity AMR PH-77 and iFi iPhono siblings. It packs some seriously awesome audio components and circuitry that's going to keep you wanting to listen to just 'one' more song.
Unlike other entry-level phono stages, the ZEN Phono uses MM/MC, high/low and very low, to handle just about any cartridge. Expect a gain that goes from 36dB till 72dB while retaining a super-silent noise floor of -151dBV. No matter how big your set-up grows, the ZEN Phono will always be there for you.
Here's good news for those who don't want to compromise on the bass. Normal sub-sonic filters tend to get rid of the bass while removing the rumble. The ZEN Phono uses an AI sub-sonic filter that addresses these rumble and wrap issues without having any effect on the bass or causing phase issues.
The iFi ZEN Phono has an incredible RIAA EQ tolerance level (+/- 0.15dB) that's on par with hand-selected capacitors. This is thanks to the parallel TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors in the EQ circuit. These capacitors offer high stability and low distortion and are better than polystyrene capacitors. The end result: Performance that's better than phono stages worth over a thousand dollars.
Flagship phono amplifiers create their own power supply off the mains, like a mains regenerator. Doing away with this would result in extra hissing and noise along with the signal. The ZEN Phono uses its own high-tech 1.2MHz clean power supply (20,000x mains frequency of 60Hz). This means a 10uF filtering capacitor = 200,000uF at lower, audible frequencies. This is equivalent to the level of noise filtration done by the highly effective LC filtering circuits found in classic Tube Amps. Furthermore, the PCB is isolated to prevent noise pollution in the analogue stage. This is quieter than some Stereophile Class A+ phonos which are -131dBV.
The iFi ZEN Phono uses high-end circuit components. The balanced circuit (almost unheard of at this price point) is effective in reducing noise and crosstalk and is much more superior in comparison to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. A custom OV Series operational-amplifier contributes to the extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%) and wide bandwidth. The Panasonic ECPU capacitors are made from 3,500 layers of ultra-thin dielectrics that's less than 0.5μm thick. It offers class-leading Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR), low impedance and vanishingly low distortion.
|GAIN SETTINGS||MC (v lo)@ - 72dB (+/- 1dB)
MC (lo) - 60dB (+/- 1dB)
MC (hi) - 48dB (+/- 1dB)
MM - 36dB (+/- 1dB)
|AL SUB-SONIC FILTER||Remedies only the 'warp' in LPs - No negative impact to bass response|
|MAX OUTPUT VOLTAGE (RMS)||20v RMS bal output into 100k (< 1% THD & N)|
|13.5V RMS bal output into 600R (< 1% THD & N)|
|OUTPUT IMPEDENCE||BAL: 200 Ohm resistive ; SE: 100 Ohm resistive|
|INPUT IMPEDENCE||MM: 47K Ohms (Load: 110pF)|
|MC High: 47K Ohms|
|MC Low: 1K Ohms|
|MC V Low: 110 Ohms|
|SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO||94dB(A) MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
80dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
84dB(A) MC Hi re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
71dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
90dB(A) MC lo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
79dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MC lo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
79dB(A) MC vlo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
69dB(unweighted 80kHz BW) MC vlo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAl
|EIN (EQUIVALENT INPUT NOISE)||0.6nV|/Hz (unweighted) MC lo/vlo -151dBV (A weighted)
|6.5nV|/Hz (unweighted) MM/MC hi -130dBV (A weighted)
|HARMONIC DISTORTION||< -110dB / 0.0003% MM re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
< -80dB / 0.01% MC lo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
< -86dB / 0.005% MC vlo re 2V BAL/1V UNBAL
|DIMENSIONS||158 x117 x35 mm
6.2" x 4.6" x 1.4"
|POWER SUPPLY||DC 5V / 500mA|
|WEIGHT||515g (1.14 Ibs)|
1. iFi Audio ZEN Phono
Don't sweat it, this iFi Audio iFi Audio ZEN Phono 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.
The sound is clean and clear. Main USP is balanced connection to be used with your balanced headgear, as most of stereo stuff is unbalanced. Sounds transparent to me without coloration. YMMV.
I was using a Project MM/MC phono box, it sounds cleaner than it. Has more dynamics and slightly clear sound (veil lifted kind of clear). Can be driven with DC 5v 500mA supply also. Overall a satisfying purchase.
Thanks a ton for sharing your review with us.
Our Headphone Guru’s Top Recommendations for You
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.
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.
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
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Like you, Headphone Gurus at Headphone Zone are passionate about music. It's their job to make sure that you find a headphone that fits your music listening habits and preferences perfectly. They do this all day.
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