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ZEN air DAC from iFi audio

A breath of fresh Air.

Max the audio quality from your phone, tablet or computer.

ZEN Air DAC

Improve the quality of your everyday audio with the ZEN Air DAC.

DAC stands for Digital to Analogue converter. In a nutshell, a DAC converts the digital info in your source device – your computer, games console, tablet or smartphone –  to music that we can hear through speakers or headphones.

Every device that is a source of digital sound has a built-in DAC. External DACs sound much better that the standard DACs used inside these devices.

ZEN air DAC from iFi audio

Hearing is believing

The ZEN Air DAC outputs very hi-res (high resolution) quality audio. This is much better that the standard audio you would get from just using your computer, games console, tablet or smartphone.

Imagine the difference in quality from a standard TV to an 8K Ultra HD TV — but in sound! This is the difference an external DAC makes to your music.

Once you hear it, you’ll be converted (not just your audio)!

Simply better

The ZEN Air DAC functions as both a DAC and a headphone amp. It’s a great first step if you are just starting on your audio journey.

Simply connect it to your computer or smart device via a USB cable.  Then connect it to your headphones via the headphone jack at the front or to speakers via the RCA connections at the back.

If you already have an amp, you can use the ZEN Air DAC as a pure DAC with this amp or speakers.

ZEN air DAC from iFi audio

Flexible formats

The ZEN Air DAC supports different file formats – PCM 32bit/384kHz, fully native DSD256 and MQA.

PCMPulse Code Modulation is the file format used in CD, DVD, Blu-ray and other digital audio applications. It’s the next step up from MP3.

DSD – Direct Stream Digital is a very high-quality audio format, better than CD quality. The higher the number (sample rate), the better the recording – DSD64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024. Fully native means that it hasn’t been altered in any way from the original recording.

MQAMaster Quality Authenticated is an award-winning audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home, car or their mobile. With the ZEN Air DAC you can listen to MQA straight out of the box. Simply  connect to Tidal Masters and check the option to stream MQA. Find out more about MQA here.

Sonic tailoring

The ZEN Air DAC also sports a couple of unique sonic tweaks from iFi.

PowerMatch adjusts the gain of the ZEN Air DAC so it functions at the right level for your headphones. Gain is just a unit of measurement that indicates how loud an audio source is and is measured in decibels (dB).

XBass+ allows you to tailor the bass to suit your headphones and your personal taste.

Both are designed to improve and personalise your listening experience.

ZEN air DAC from iFi audio

And breathe…

Most DACs still use digital volume control – ours is analogue.

What does this mean? When you reduce the volume on other DACs you remove data from the song or soundtrack. With analogue volume control, you reduce the volume whilst maintaining the quality.

Put simply, the ZEN Air DAC is an easy way to experience super clear, hi-res audio quality in your everyday listening.

Sift through the noise, breathe in the Air.

MQA

Thanks to the XMOS 16 core tech, the ZEN One Signature is an MQA Decoder.

This enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. The LED glows green or blue to indicate that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and denotes provenance to ensure that the sound is identical to that of the source material. It glows blue to indicate it is playing an MQA Studio file, which has either been approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.

MQA rendering technology (used in the original versions of some other iFi products) connects to an MQA Core signal and completes the final unfold of an MQA file. Core decoding is included in streaming services such as TIDAL, as well as select media players.

DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter)

DACs convert digital information, stored or streamed by computers, into music we can hear through speakers or headphones.

Every device that’s a source of digital sound has a built-in DAC (TVs, games consoles, CD players, phones, portable music players etc). Dedicated external DACs sound much better than standard DACs used in digital devices such as phones.

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

MQA is an award-winning audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home, car or on their mobile. In the words of Gilbert O’Sullivan, iconic Irish-born singer-songwriter, “The great thing about MQA is that it delivers the finesse that was there in the desk sound. It’s tremendous, it sounds really good.”

Our video tutorials on You Tube show you how.

The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged or ‘bit-perfect’. This means you are listening to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.

At iFi we use Burr Brown extensively in our products having selected it for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. Our experience with this IC means we know how to make the most of it.

The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB digital input.

This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard.

iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the Burr-Brown DAC.

As with many other iFi audio products, we’ve incorporated a custom OV Series operational-amplifier. This top-notch component contributes to the extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%) and wide bandwidth.

TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications.

Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels.

They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.

Texas Instruments low-noise ICs offer great unity-gain bandwidth, very low noise and distortion, high output drive capability, Common-mode and Power Supply Rejection Ratios of over 100 dB, wide maximum-output-swing bandwidths and high slew rates.

Retailer

Apos Inc.

California
Distributor

iFi audio USA (West Coast)

California
Retailer

ListenUp

Colorado
Retailer

ListenUp

Colorado
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ListenUp

Colorado
Retailer

Music Direct

Illinois
Retailer

Gramophone

Maryland
Retailer

Gramophone

Maryland
Retailer

Gramophone

Maryland
Retailer

Gramophone

Maryland
Retailer

Gramophone

Maryland
Retailer

Audio Advisor

Michigan
Retailer

Bloom Audio

New Jersey
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High Definition Tape Transfers

New Jersey
Retailer

ListenUp

New Mexico
Retailer

Turntable Lab NY Storefront

New York
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Audio 46

New York
Retailer

Moon Audio

North Carolina
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AudioAdvice

North Carolina
Retailer

AudioAdvice

North Carolina
Retailer

Headphones.com

Oregon
Retailer

World Wide Stereo

Pennsylvania
Retailer

World Wide Stereo

Pennsylvania
Retailer

HIDEF Lifestyle

Pennsylvania
Distributor

iFi audio USA (East Coast)

Virginia
Retailer

USA-Audio Exchange

Virginia

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

Input voltageDC 5V/2.5A
InputUSB2.0 B Socket
Formats44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384kHz PCM
2.8/3.1/5.6/6.2/11.2/12.4MHz DSD
353/384KHz DXD
MQA
DACBit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr Brown
Power consumptionNo Signal ~0.5W / Max Signal ~2.5W
Dimensions158 x 117 x 35 mm
6.2" x 4.6" x 1.4"
Net weight315 g
0.694 lbs
Line Section
Output1V / 3.3V max.
Output Impedance≤50Ω
SNR<-113dB(A) @ 0dBFS
DNR>113dB(A) @ -60dBFS
THD+N<0.04% @ 0dBFS
Headphone Section
Output (RMS)1V / 3.3V max. (variable)
Output Power (RMS)>230mW @ 32Ω ; >36mW @ 300Ω
Output Impedance<1Ω
THD+N<0.04% (100mW @ 16Ω)
SNR>113dBA (3.3V)

“..it provides a noticeable increase in audio quality!” (Review in Spanish)

“For the price, it provides a noticeable increase in audio quality from our phone, tablet or computer. Its smooth mid range and quality bass response give it a rich, engaging sound that I really liked!”

Cristian Guerrero, TechnoReviews

(Click name to read original review)

“Improve the sound of your systems!” (Review in Spanish)

“ZEN Air DAC Improves the audio! It sounds brutal! It enhances the bass very well and doesn’t distort at all!

Juanmanuelijo

(Click name to read original review)

“The iFi ZEN Air DAC is a stellar performer for the money!”

“The iFi ZEN Air DAC is a stellar performer for the money. Not only does it sound great but it’s feature-rich and perfect for anyone looking for an all-in-one desktop device. Recommended!”

David Becker, Prime Audio Reviews

(Click name to read original review)

“Excellent quality-price ratio!” (Review in Spanish)

“Plays with barbaric clarity! Excellent quality-price ratio!
It has a very balanced sound quality, it more than performs music, with excellent quality.”

MyVinylos by Igor

(Click name to read original review)

“It clearly deserves the Golden Award!”

“It does offer a very good price/performance ratio and since that’s exactly what it was released for it clearly deserves the Golden Award!”

Nikk Tech

(Click name to read original review)

“It is possibly the best DAC you can buy for its price!”

“It is possibly the best DAC you can buy for its price! It is beautiful! I really like it! The volume knob feels very good quality! How beautiful it sounds! It gives you a lot of audio quality!”

Oscar Esteban Del Villar, THBOX

(Click name to read original review)

“The sound feels more defined, with more texture!”

“The iFi ZEN Air DAC makes a substantial improvement in audio quality, once you try it, it becomes indispensable for your set-up.
It has a neutral sound although a little warm. The sound feels more defined, with more texture!”

Luis Enrique Neri, Droid X

(Click name to read original review)

“It has a big sound stage!”

“The ZEN Air DAC sounds really good! The XBass definitely is a fun button to use! It has a big sound stage!

Ryan Ho

(Click name to read original review)

” Your Perfect Entry-Level DAC!”

“Great for anyone just getting into Hi Res, high quality audio.”

Discover more by watching the full video.

David Hodson, Hoddys Guide

(Click name to read original review)

“Very good sound!”

“iFi is one of the most successful brands in recent years. The ZEN Air DAC gives us a very good quality sound from any digital source.This is the headline: Very good sound! If you have never used a dac, you will be blown away by its sound!”

Jonhy Prieto

(Click name to read original review)

“This thing produces some terrific sound!”

“The ZEN Air DAC is a fantastic high resolution beginner level DAC! For the price and also the hardware in this, this thing produces some terrific sound!”

Aaron Leong

(Click name to read original review)

“The sound is pleasantly clear.”

“The construction, although it is made of plastic, seems very good to me! It is a product that has very high-quality internal components! It sounds better than my personal interface, the sound is pleasantly clear.”

Leniam Roldan

(Click name to read original review)

“This is a high-value device with spectacular value for money.”

“iFi Audio has become one of the industry’s leading manufacturers of DACs and headphone amplifiers. Despite its low price, the iFi ZEN Air DAC is surprisingly well equipped. The iFi ZEN Air DAC may be very affordable, but I assure you that if you use it connected to a computer it will greatly improve the sound that comes out of it. This is a high-value device with spectacular value for money.”

Antonio Mira Piles

(Click name to read original review)

“A great option for those who are starting out in the hobby”

“The ZEN Air DAC has a very interesting price, physically I like the design, I like the XBass+ function! I like the ZEN Air DAC a lot it, is a great option for those who are starting out in the hobby”

Leonardo Drummond

(Click name to read original review)

Best Ultra-Budget Desktop

“Who would’ve thought you could have such excellent sound for such a small amount of money?”

HI-FI Trends

(Click name to read original review)

“I’m quite impressed with the quality of the Zen Air DAC for the price!”

“Super lean look, it’s well made, I like this kind of look.This DAC and Amp which proved to be very competent here!It manages to maintain good control, Positioning the instruments it makes a crazy job here.I’m quite impressed with the quality of the Zen Air DAC for the price!”

Geraldo Rocha Ferraz

(Click name to read original review)

“The ZEN Air DAC’s sound is transparent, uncolored, and faithful to the recordings.”

“The ZEN Air DAC is also very beautiful, iFi took great care in the aesthetics of this product. To me, it looks like a premium product at just $99.The ZEN Air DAC’s sound is transparent, uncolored, and faithful to the recordings.”

Marcel Marques

(Click name to read original review)

“… you simply won’t believe how refined, detailed and transparent they sound!”

“Costing just 99 euros each, you simply won’t believe how refined, detailed and transparent they sound!”

Petros Laskis

(Click name to read original review)

“A brilliant way to begin anyone’s hi-fi journey”

iFi ZEN Air Separates Review by Michael Evans

Michael Evans

(Click name to read original review)

“iFi is known for DACs that provide first-rate detail…”

“iFi is known for DACs that provide first-rate detail, with an output that’s a little warm and soft – something that provides reference-level detail, but with a touch of musical sweetness.The details are solid, especially considering the price, the soundstage and dynamics are vastly improved.”

 

Juan Blanco

(Click name to read original review)

“A good headphone amp for a great price”

“This product is my favorite! Not only is it a good dac, it’s also a good headphone amp for a great price”

Fernando Meza

(Click name to read original review)

William Murdock about ZEN Air DAC

“The ZEN Air DAC will probably be my pick this year for the budget DAC Amp of the year! Basically, this is a simplified lower price version of the current Zen Dac V2. You can use it as a preamp!. So, for $99 you’re getting a headphone amp, a DAC and preamp function!. It has a kind of a rich sound to it”

William Murdock

(Click name to read original review)

Jeffrey Mendez about Zen Air DAC on his Instagram

“Zen Air DAC! It’s a great option for anyone looking for a solid desktop audio solution under $100”

Jeffrey Mendez

(Click name to read original review)

Best DAC Bang for Buck Award from Headfonics

“What iFi Audio did here is to fill an empty void in the audio market by introducing a very good-sounding desktop DAC amplifier combo for less than 100 bucks and still managed to offer the bargain buyer lots of value and some features which will make the buyer feel as if the ZEN Air DAC is not such a bare-bones model.”

Louis Gonzalez - Headfonics

(Click name to read original review)

The ZEN Air DAC Is A Great Little Device And An Audio Bargain

“Now, let’s move on to the sound quality. I’m going to start with my verdict. The ZEN Air DAC is one of the best DACs for the money I’ve ever heard.”

Mark Sparrow

(Click name to read original review)

For $100 USD I don’t know anything better!

“iFi works with their Burr Brown dacs which work amazing and have that sound that I love! It is a sound that gives a very rich quality, it is a very warm sound. If you want a dac that improves the sound of your room, with this little dac you will improve your audio, for $100 USD I don’t know anything better”

Machina4K

(Click name to read original review)

ZEN Air Series – the bargain of the year

“The Air components are faintly extraordinary things. For the price of a big night out, they deliver a level of performance and functionality that challenges devices at many times the cost. They are the bargain of the year.”

Thanks, Ed Selley.

Ed Selley, AV Forums

(Click name to read original review)

Audio Total reviews our ZEN Air DAC!

“The ZEN Air DAC is worth every penny! For the price you will get good audio quality! It can amplify any headphone up to 200 Ohms!, The audio quality is very good!” (translated)
Check out the full review here!..

Moisés Daniel Díaz

(Click name to read original review)

Full of detail!

I like that it uses the same DAC chip as the ZEN DAC, it is a competitive product! At a very good price! The sound is bright, dynamic, powerful, and full of detail. Translated

You can watch the full review here..

Auricular ORG

(Click name to read original review)

It sounds spectacular

“For such a low price it offers you MQA and playback of files in high resolution! I like the sound a lot! For the price it’s worth it!” translated

You can watch the full review here..

Ricardo Villanueva

(Click name to read original review)