ZEN DAC — DAC/headphone amplifier

Chill out at home or office.

Find your ZEN with this super-affordable compact DAC/headphone amp. It makes your music move you.

Cute, compact and stylish

This superb hi-res USB DAC/headphone amp delivers a level of specification and performance that punches above its super-affordable price tag.

Compact enough to use as a USB DAC/amp on your work desk with your much-loved headphones.

Stylish enough to use in your home system as a USB DAC. Just add your favourite active speakers or amp.

Zen DAC — DAC/headphone amplifier

DAC to the future

The ZEN DAC supports PCM and DXD to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD256 and MQA. DSD remains ‘bit-perfect’ thanks to the True Native Burr Brown chip design.

Our R&D maxes out the circuitry with bespoke, easy to install firmware to bring you the joyous musicality of hi-res. The ethereal music quality will leave you grinning ear to ear.

Brings balance (in more ways than one)

We’ve used a balanced design for the analogue stage – rare and not found at this price point. This makes it pretty special for the best sound quality. With super-low noise performance, it will remain quiet even in noisy situations such as yachts or RVs.

The ZEN DAC sports Balanced 4.4mm balanced outputs at both the front and back. On the front, there’s also the popular 6.3mm headphone socket. You get both headphone options.

DAC. Just add your favourite active speakers or amp.

Zen DAC — DAC/headphone amplifier

So flexible it almost does yoga

Switch effortlessly between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’.

Set to ‘Variable,’ use the ZEN DAC as a pre-amp to feed a power amp or active speakers.

On ‘Fixed’ to bypass the volume control. Connect to an external pre-amp or integrated amp.

Power. Drive. Performance.

Our headphone amp has PowerMatch – switchable gain to perfectly match your headphones.

IEMs are high-sensitivity, Leave PowerMatch at its lower setting for hiss-free listening.

On/over-ear types with relatively low impedance require more oomph – press PowerMatch to increase the level of drive.

Zen DAC — DAC/headphone amplifier

Ace of Bass.

The ZEN DAC boasts TrueBass. This proprietary tech is a switchable ‘bass boost’ operating in the analogue domain. There’s no DSP with iFi gear.

TrueBass enhances the bass but does not muddy the mid-range. Perfect for use with IEMs or open-back headphones which often lose out on bass.

So, in the words of the great Eric Clapton and from the film Back to the Future, Heaven is One Step Away.

Go find your ZEN.

Active 'v' Passive Speakers

So, what’s the difference?

Active speakers have an in-built power amplifier and just need a power cable (or battery) to operate. Passive speakers require an external power amplifier to operate.

In short, you need an amplifier for passive speakers, you don’t with active speakers.

Balanced audio

This is a type of audio circuitry topology that uses individual left & right channels.

It is a superior method to the single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk.

While single-ended is used by most at this price level, iFi is implementing balanced circuits across the Zen range which is quite a step-up.

Balanced 'v' Unbalanced

Let’s talk headphone cables.

An unbalanced headphone cable has a left + and right + wire, for each respective side. The other, the third – wire is shared by both left & right channels. As this is shared, this gives rise to undesired coupling noise which is commonly referred to as ‘crosstalk.’

A balanced cable has the same left + and right +. But it has a separate left – and right -. With totally separate wiring ‘crosstalk’ is negligible.

Therefore, a balanced connection is the superior headphone wiring configuration.

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.

DSD (Direct Stream Digital)

DSD is a very high-quality digital audio format that’s even better than CD quality. The higher the ‘DSD rate’ – DSD64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024 – the greater the amount of music information available, which means better sound quality.

Files can be remastered to higher file rates to improve sound quality. The pinnacle of this is DSD1024. Not many machines out there are capable of this feat.

Gain

Gain is the amount of increase in audio signal strength. Gain is often expressed in decibels (dB).

IEMs

IEMs stands for In-Ear Monitors.

These fit inside your ear. You’ve been using them for years. You just called them something else.

You will also see these referred to as earphones, ear buds and CIEMs. CIEMs are Custom In-Ear Monitors – IEMs made specifically to fit your ear shape.

File Formats

MP3 – this is the most popular format, every device in the world can use it.

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.

PCM – Pulse Code Modulation is the most common format for CDs and DVDs.

DXD – Digital eXtreme Definition is a very high-quality PCM format. It was developed to edit hi-res (high quality) recordings recorded in DSD.

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated)

MQA is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. More here.

ZEN

Zen emphasises rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into the nature of things and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others. Discover more here.

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.

Hi-Res True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.

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.

A fully-discrete and balanced amplifier audio circuit. The full symmetric dual-mono headphone amplifier with gold-plated 4.4mm balanced connection. Premium engineering is more expensive but lowers the noise floor to a whisper-quiet levels.

Check out the tech note for the details.

Using Mac or Linux? Then check out our exclusive iFi firmware. Download ‘Limoncello’ 5.2A to unlock DoP256 for Mac/Linux.

Fancy adding the special GTO filter first introduced in our flagship DAC, the Pro iDSD? Use ‘Cookies and Cream’ 5.3C. More on the GTO filter here.

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.

TrueBass® – delivers genuine bass with realistic depth and definition.

Everything from timpani to a bass guitar, to an electronic bassline, is conveyed with power and poise.

Retailer

La Maison De La HiFi

Aix-en-Provence
Retailer

Nautile Acoustique

Annecy
Retailer

NEXT VISION

Annemasse
Retailer

Cobra – Bologne Bilancourt

BOULOGNE
Retailer

Disc HiFi

Boulogne Sur Mer
Retailer

Prikosnovente – Magic Mastering

Clisson
Retailer

Symphonie

Dijon
Retailer

Gilberte With Love

Lege Cap Feret
Retailer

Casques Headphones

Nimes
Retailer

son-video.com

Paris
Retailer

Zen HiFi

Paris
Retailer

Cobra – Paris Wagram

Paris
Retailer

Cobra – Paris

Paris
Retailer

Cash Electronique

Paris
Retailer

Retrofutur

Paris
Distributor

Elite Diffusion

Saint Leu La Fore
Retailer

Audio-Conseil

Saint-Étienne
Retailer

LDLC

See Website
Retailer

Delune

See Website
Retailer

Easylounge.com

See Website
Retailer

Audiophonics

See Website
Retailer

Le Comptoir Du Son

Villebon-sur-Yvette
InputUSB3.0 B Socket
(USB2.0 compatible)
FormatsPCM (384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz)
DSD (256/128/64), DXD(384/352.8kHz),
MQA (Decoder)
DACBit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr Brown

Line Section

OutputAudio RCA (SE) — 2.1V fixed
1V / 3.3V max. (variable)
4.4mm (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 (RMS @1% THD)4.4mm (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)
Dimensions160(w) x 117(d) x 35(h) mm
6.3" x 4.6" x 1.4"
Weight (Gross)0.8 kg (1.8 lbs)
Warranty period12 months

Thank you Diego for your lovely review!

“The iFi ZEN DAC is well priced, the really good thing about this DAC is the audio quality it achieves! I really like the function that increases the bass!, The soundstage is bigger, with good separation of instruments and much more detail!” (translated)

You can watch full review here..

Diego Rodríguez

(Click name to read original review)

“It will put a smile on the face of even the most picky audio enthusiast.”

“I purchased the iFi ZEN DAC, primarily to improve the sound of the new Eris 3 pc monitor speakers. This it did with resulting noticeable improvement in most every aspect of the sound performance in the small pc monitor speakers. Now, comes the kicker. After hooking up my YBA integrated amp (audiophile quality) via some good quality RCA cables to the iFi ZEN DAC with LSA bookshelf speakers, the sound is in fact overall better than using the YBA integrated amp and YBA cd player ( both $1500 stereo components ).
“Even at low volume levels, details to recordings are being revealed like never before. In fact the iFi ZEN DAC has given my reference stereo system with the YBA separates and the LSA bookshelf speakers a new lease of life.”
“So much so it will put a smile on the face of even the most picky audio enthusiast.”

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Excellent for the price

I bought this as an upgrade to my dragonfly red 1st generation. I use it my with Adam audio T5V studio monitors connected to PC.
The dragonfly still sounds good but my monitors are prone to background noise and you get a whine sometimes. The zen DAC is supposed to provide better isolation. It is after all much bigger so all the chips are not crammed into one area.
This needs quite a lot of burn in time. If you’ve come from a headphone output of a laptop or phone then straight away it will sound good. Much better. But compared to what I was getting from the dragonfly red it sounded compressed and less detailed. After about 15 hours of use they were comparable and by 30 hours this is now superior especially in the bass clarity. There is a lot of clarity. Instruments sound realistic and we’ll defined. The sound is also lively and toe tapping. Sometimes you will almost find too much detail, it will show up the quality of the original recording. Overall a very enjoyable listen and more substantial sounding than the red. I find the headphone output is higher quality than the RCA (better sound) so run a 3.5mm to RCA out of the headphone jack which is what I was previously using anyhow….

Amazon

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Amazing and high quality

My first dac and monitors ( krk rokit 5 g4)
The clarity and the detail it’s 20 times better than avarage speakers, i hear things that i wasn’t hearing with normal consumer speakers.
Amazing for gaming aswell.
Bass boost button it’s nice to have and the volume knob is soo smooth.i recommend

Amazon

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The quality and value is incredible!

“I absolutely love this dac/amp combo! You just cannot beat the value this unit provides. I use this exclusively as a dedicated headphone dac/amp unit. You get many features that are not common to units in this price points. The inclusion of the balanced headphone output is just one of them. It is so well worth picking up a nice balanced cable if your current headphones can support it (not all of them can). I also love the “truebass” function this unit provides. I cannot more highly recommend this item. On a side note, I have not run into any imbalance issues some others have reported. This can happen when the volume knob is turned down at a low level. This is more related to an analog signal rather than the actual unit itself. The company even mentions this in their literature. Keep this in mind if you are planning on using this unit for highly sensitive iem’s (which don’t need much to drive them) rather than full size over the ear headphones. With all of that being said, this is a wonderful product that will make most people very, very happy.”

Amazon

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The absolute best bang for the buck out there

Everything from build quality to sound and features in this product feels high end! There’s nothing even close at this price point.

The Zen DAC also work flawlessly with my PS5 after the last firmware update, something that a lot of other famous DAC’s out there still have problems with. The internal amp is also pretty good and it has no problem driving some very demanding headphones.

Amazon

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Superb bit of kit.

“Awesome amplifier this! Superb sounding and plenty powerful. Using her to drive senn hd600’s and hd580’s. The true bass switch is absolutely brilliant. It fills in the natural roll off of the sennheisers perfectly. “

Amazon

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High quality and amazing sound!

I purchased some high-end headphones recently and wanted something to drive them beyond just my generic motherboard sound chip and I’m glad I purchased this! the sound is so crisp and clear compared to the onboard sound of my PC. The build quality of the DAC is also amazing, it is solid metal all over, even the knob and buttons so hopefully will last a long time as well. My only complaint is that the USB lead it ships with is far too short to use and you will need to buy another USB 3 lead if you want it on your desk away from your PC.

Amazon

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Best value DAC

Not much to add that hasn’t been said on the countless 5 star reviews except incredible build quality, beautiful sound, rich, warm and clear.

Using with Phillips Fidelio headphones, Audio quest cable, Bass Boost on all the time as my headphones are open back and I like the extra warmth and depth the sub bass this provides.

Not using the external power plug, just the included USB.

Absolutely no complaints, best DAC for around the price.

 

Amazon

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WHAT HIFI? AWARD WINNER – Best DAC under £200

5 stars – A great DAC, made even better

WHAT HI-FI?

(Click name to read original review)

Crisp and clear sound

Great piece of equipment. Honestly this is my first Dac/amp but nevertheless the difference in the sound quality compared to computer audio was enormous. The sound is warm, crisp and clear. Excellent for blues lovers.

Amazon

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Bringt Kopfhörer zur Entfaltung…

…ihres vollen Leistungspotenzials. Wer einen wirklich guten Kopfhörer sein eigen nennen kann, sollte ihn einmal zur Probe an diesem DAC/Kopfhörerverstärker betreiben. Ich weiß nicht, ob und zu welchem Preis es noch besser geht, aber das hier ist ober(st)e Liga.

Amazon

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Fantastic DAC/amp combo for the price.

I have not experienced the problems other reviewers stated. So far this has been a tremendous value. I use Roon with Tidal, and this DAC decodes MQA perfectly. It drives my Sendy Audio Black Beauties at a perfect level using the power match feature. The True Bass provides a really punchy and tight realisic sound for the lower end tones. I would definitely buy this again. I have previously owned a FiiO K5. I would reccommend this over the FiiO.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Exceeds the hype

Fantastic DAC that exceeds my expectations. I have it connected to a Raspberry Pi 4 running MoOde (better sounding than Volumio) and feeding an amp and speakers (Tangent Ampster & Dali Spektor 2s) the sound is amazing and I’ve really noticed a separation of instruments and a level of responsiveness that makes everything come to life and has really enhanced my listening experience. The unit is heavy and well built, giving it a real feeling of quality. I don’t see how you could get better at this price point. I will probably get the Ifi power supply at some point but I think that’s more important if you’re wanting to drive high impedance headphones. If you’re sitting on the fence and can’t afford a Chord Mojo Just go for it you won’t have any regrets.

Amazon

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Transform your laptop’s sound…

Fantastic way of improving laptop sound. If you’re listening to lossless audio, the transformation is incredible – you’ll hear notes you didn’t realise existed! Find yourself listening to all your favourites in such detail that you’ll believe the tracks have been remastered. But beware, this might start a hifi addiction!

Amazon

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Genialer Sound macht eine Soundkarte fast obsolet!

Unglaublicher Sound! Wenn mann nur mit Kopfhörer am PC sitzt ist eine Soundkarte absolut unnötig!!!
Genial absolut klare Bühne und bei Ego Shootern eine Offenbarung. Absolut Empfehlenswert.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Genialer DAC für moderaten Preis! Tatsächlich leicht besser als sein Vorgänger.

Unglaublicher Sound! Wenn mann nur mit Kopfhörer am PC sitzt ist eine Soundkarte absolut unnötig!!!
Genial absolut klare Bühne und bei Ego Shootern eine Offenbarung. Absolut Empfehlenswert.
Bei der V2 ist nochmal das Klangbild etwas “besser” und die LED Anzeige wurde überarbeitet so das man an Hand der Farbe erkennt welche Tonqualität gerade gehört wird.

Amazon

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SEHR GUTER SOUND!

Ich schreibe nicht oft eine Rezension. In dem Fall mache ich eine Ausnahme. Ein ausgezeichneter Produkt. Der Sound ist um Welten besser als mein alter DENON DA-300USB. Ich kann Zen nur empfehlen. Er braucht nicht einmal eine externe Stromversorgung – das USB 3.0 reicht vollkommen aus. OK, bei 600 Ohm weiß ich nicht, aber bei meinen HiFiMAN 400SE ein wunderbarer Sound, eine sehr gute Ergänzung zu sehr guten Kopfhörern! Und beide (DAC und KH) zu einem unschlagbaren Preis! Firmware-Update und proprietäre USB-Treiber waren ohne Probleme installiert. Höre gerade MQA-Tracks beim TIDAL – ein Ohrenschmaus! Thank You iFi!

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Great Amp/DAC

Only con: don’t know if latest firmware is installed and led colors are strange

Amazon

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Cool little unit

I had no idea that my onboard audio sucked until I plugged this dac in. I’ve played around with dsd,mqa, flac, for the sound quality but mainly to see the color change. I talked my brother into purchasing as well.

Amazon

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Does what it says on the tin

Excellent value for the money, does exactly what it says and is supposed to do. Well worth it.

Amazon

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Perfect addition to my 250ohm headphones

I have a pair of 250ohm Beyerdynamics DT 990. Wanted to try and get the best out of the them as they would need to be driven.

The IFI Zen DAC did that perfectly. The bass boost button really added the right amount of bass – and music and games sound awesome. Highly recommend

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Amazing bit of kit, excellent sound quality.

I purchased this to improve the sound quality from my desktop computer and what a difference this makes.

Even just connected through a cheap Logitech speaker + sub combo the difference is night and day.

The sound is clearer and not at all muddy like it was when I was just connecting through the onboard sound card on my computer.

I can’t wait to hear what the sound quality will be like when I upgrade my speakers.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Top

Au top super qualité hi-fi

Amazon

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Nice product, easy to use with a lot of functionality

I am using the Zen for my PC running headphones but also for HiFi input. This is the first stand alone DAC I have ever owned so the only comparison is not using an separate DAC. I was looking for a DAC with 3 things, USB input, RCA output and 6mm output (as my old hifi amp doesn’t have one) and the Zen delivers all 3.

Since getting a DAC I have noticed the noise level on my HiFi using the RCA connection seems lower, in addition the sound is much clearer and less muddy. Using headphones it sounds great, the true bass feature can give tracks a bit of a kick and sounds great on my Grado sr80’s.

Setting up the Zen on Windows 10 was very easy, it was simply a case of plugging it in! Additional drivers can be downloaded from the IFI website and I believe these are required for MQA, DSD etc. (though I don’t use any of that stuff). I think the price point of the product is fair when compared to other DACs currently on the market.

Amazon

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iFi audio ZEN Blue Bluetooth DAC, ZEN DAC, and iPower PSU

“In both the DAC and Blue, iFi Audio has delivered a pair of devices that are richly detailed, precise, and musically entertaining.”

“If you are really forensic in your listening, the DAC is ‘detailed and fun’ where the Blue is ‘fun and detailed; in other words, the differences between the two are at best subtle, and in both cases the sound ‘works’ from an audio nut and a music lover’s perspective. Although both resolve a lot of detail in the midrange and beyond, neither leaves the bass wanting and both deliver a sonic performance that is inherently accurate from top to toe.”

“The ZEN devices put you in with the music and that makes them very hard to beat, especially at the price.

The best digital converters can keep very good company in terms of system, and using that criteria, both the iFi Audio ZEN Blue and ZEN DAC are very good digital converters thanks to a great sound in two very easy to recommend packages.”

Hi-Fi+

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As usual good – as with all iFi devices!

I swapped my iFi Zen Dac for the new iFi Zen Dac V2 because of the full MQA compatibility. Only now can the iFi Zen Dac show its full strength. Unbeatable from the price-performance ratio!
Wasn’t disappointed.

Amazon

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My best purchase ever. I love it.

Amazing sound quality. I use the ifi ZEN DAC v2 with two active speakeres, JBL 305P MKII, which in total makes it a €400-worth set. However, the quality and clarity of sound beats everything I’ve heard up until now.

As I said, this DAC is a great bang for the buck, however, I’ve got two minor remarks regarding this product. First of all, it’s difficult to find a reasonably-priced balanced Pentaconn to 2x XLR cable. Eventually, I managed to do buy it from an overseas seller. Secondly, it took me a while to find out why the DAC didn’t take DSD files. It turns out that although it’s not mentioned in the instruction, one ought to download corresponding ASIO drivers from ifi Download Hub website.

Amazon

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System synergy is real

My KEF speakers, Musical Fidelity integrated amp, and Dragonfly Red dac were sounding a bit bright, to the extent listening fatigue was becoming an issue. I bought the Zen Dac in hopes it might reduce the forwardness in the midrange and sight treble brightness. Worked like a charm!. I can now listen to music longer with no fatigue. The little dac was just what my system needed.

Amazon

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Great dac/amp for desks. Bass boost is awesome.

Great DAC/Amp unit for your desktop. Doesn’t have as much power as some dedicated amps, but its plenty for almost any set of headphones. Personally, I’d rather have a single unit on my desk than stacking a dedicated amp and dedicated DAC together, and this unit is great for that. My Sennheiser 660s sounds great with this on the balanced output and has more volume headroom than I’d ever need on the low gain setting. Base boost is fantastic, it really pumps up the base without harming the mids or highs at all.

My only negative is that the included USB cable is only 18 inches. Depending on your setup you will probably have to buy a longer cable separately.

Amazon

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A whole new world just opened up…

This was the start of a beautiful relationship. I’d been wanting better sound out of my PC since this working from home started. Only this year did I get around to looking into it.
What I found was overwhelming acclaim for IfI products, the entry level kit was especially praised.
I can see why now.
This has completely changed the way I listen to music, this with a set of DT990 600 Ohms Editions enables me to hear things in old favourites that I had never heard before.
Honestly I can not recommend this enough if youre looking for something that punches way above its weight, is built well and sounds, to my ears sublime.

I also have to mention that I had an issue with a third-party cable or so I thought. Called IfI and was speaking to a Human within 60 seconds, very helpful and friendly, as it turned out it was user error!

If you do decide to buy this I would also recommend the Zen Can which can be easily connected to the dac for extra Oomph!

Amazon

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Big difference in Quality when adding the DAC

Great sounding DAC using with Tidal masters wired into usb on laptop with b&w headphones which I’ll upgrade next. There is not much else to say that has not already been said on YouTube. Believe the hype!

Amazon

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iFi’s ZEN DAC is BIG on beginner-bang-for-buck

Watch the full video here…

YouTube (John Darko)

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una sorpresa splendida

Mi son fidato dell’ottenuto premio EISA, e…meritato! Conversione superiore ad altri molto più costosi. Fa anche eccellentemente da amplificatore cuffie. Ho riscoperto vecchie cuffie, che non usavo più…. Una meraviglia! I driver, o il firmware, hanno un difetto però: non cambiano colore del led per mostrarti se si tratta di DSD p MQA, etc..

Amazon

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Great sounding

Supurb product.

Amazon

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Compact

good MQA decoder

Amazon

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Very nice entry level DAC

+enough power to drive most headphones (with Sundaras I only need up to 50% volume on LOW gain)
+great build quality
+balanced output
+True Bass makes me drool
+works on Linux out of the box
-high noisefloor with sensitive IEMs
-noticeable channel imbalance on low volume with IEMs

100% Recommended for anybody looking to get into Hifi or more enjoyment out of their headphone.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

iFi Zen DAC – The search is over – it is!

“iFi Zen DAC – HiFi digital-to-analog converter with USB 3.0”

I bought the magnetostatic headphones “HIFIMAN HE400i”.
These headphones are, without exaggeration, one of the best in the world and come very close to the wickedly expensive electrostatic headphones from Stax.

Now it was a matter of finding a “dignified” i.e. above-average good DA converter / headphone amplifier for the high-tech headphones, which upgraded them as a link in the audio chain, i.e. made the great performance it contained, audible without loss .
A week-long, endlessly nerve-wracking search for the motto: Help yourself, otherwise nobody will help you. Of course, everyone praises their product as the very best. It was the search for the literal needle in the haystack. Since I had set an upper limit of 200 euros, the search narrowed down considerably. The more I dealt with the subject of DA / headphone amplifiers, i.e. the more I acquired knowledge, the more candidates there were from the pre-selection. In the end, the selection narrowed more and more and in the end only the “iFi Zen DAC” remained.

Conclusion:
The search was more than worth it.
My electrostatic headset “HIFIMAN HE400i” forms an ideal unit with the “iFi Zen DAC”; you must have heard both devices interact. The technical details are described in detail and well in numerous articles, so I save them.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Good build quality, lots of features, decent sound

Although ifi still use Texas Instrument chips that are pretty dated these days (“burr brown” is more of a marketing term) at this price point you wont find such a complete device, good build quality, power match, true bass, balanced output, decent asio support , ability to change ASIO & USB buffers , MQA support, decent control panel , decent usb drivers, 32 bit audio. I was a bit underwhelmed by the sound initially but with power match on and some EQ tweaks it a more detailed and less harsh sound that the Fosi Audio or smsl m6 which are in the same bracket. Handles DT 990 600ohm with ease. Ignore the snotty reviews from audiophile websites at this price point i think you’d be challenged to find a complete device like this. Im not bothered by its looks but it might stand out a bit depending on your taste, looks like something form the 60’s

Amazon

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Amazing Sound and Build

I’ll preface this by saying this is my first desktop amp/DAC, so take what I say for what it is, but man do I love this thing. The sound, provided by the Burr Brown chipset, is just sublime. Detailed, rich, and smooth without coloring the sound too much. The gain should handle most cans no problem – with the gain turned on while powering my Sennheiser HD 660’s I never even had to go past 12 o’clock.

The build quality is unreal for the price. Absolutely everything is metal and the whole thing feels totally solid. The volume knob is beautifully milled and finished and is a joy to turn. The fact that the volume knob is backlit with different-colored LEDs that correspond to the audio file type? Splendid.

Read the full review here…

Amazon

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Absolutely a good buy!

The only problem I’ve found with this device is that it literally doesn’t care about the PC’s software volume control, and that can be inconvenient sometimes. Other than that, absolutely great sound quality, just love this as an addition to my system. Also, especially paired with the customized ultra low-noise charger, the noise coming from my speakers is basically nullified.

Amazon

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Warm beautiful sound

Use along with an ace mini pc through to Ruark MR1 MK2 speakers playing either Amazon music HD or my ripped cd’s with music bee and the sound is just incredible! The sound of the above mentioned speakers is great on their own but this DAC adds something extra don’t really know why as I’m not really up on the technical side of things but one thing I do know is it produces a warm beautiful sound. Didn’t really know much about dac’s but decided to take a punt on this and so glad that I did, if you want to get the best sound that you can when listening to music from a computer then give this a go you won’t regret it.

Amazon

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MQA yesss!

I just plugged my Zen Dac up and it’s a WoW! I found the setting in my Tidal player on my pc “use exclusive mode” and the led light lit up magellan for the MQA is on!! It sounds great! I started with thee HD 660 s and then to the Sony XM3’s. Everything sounded great! This is a buy!

Amazon

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Astounding sound quality

I used this DAC as an interface for a Mac mini which I set up as a music server. The difference between the DAC in the Mac mini and the Zen DAC is truly breathtaking. Actually, I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears. For its price, it provides the most significant improvement in sound I have experienced in over 40 years of being an audiophile. Nice work!

Amazon

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Great Sound

I have an old portable DAC that I use with my phone. This DAC blew it away. I’m using this for my home system as well. Loving it. No hiss, pops, ticks, hum, cut offs. Also streaming Tidal.

Amazon

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If you love audio it’s a major reccomendation.

Where do I begin. To start of this dac amp is absolutely a gem in the rough for the price that it is listed for I cant think of any reason not to buy this. This dac amp sounds so much better than onboard audio to my ears. Also the knob oh boy that butter smooth knob to put in as little words as possible “smoother than silk.”

And lastly the construction and design the construction is great all metal and has a nice weight to it, and lastly the design it looks like it came out of the late 70s with a touch of today’s design and it makes it stand out just the right amount.

Amazon

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A hugh sonic improvement.

The sound difference to my laptop soundcard is immense, l then upgraded my headphones to proper hifi ones, which pruduced a further enhancement.

Amazon

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Awesome desktop DAC

Fantastic-sounding (very neutral) DAC. Easily connects to your computer (PC and Mac in my case) and really makes the signal sing a lot more than the on-board soundcards.

I’ve not had an opportunity to try out the 4mm jack as I don’t currently have any ‘phones with that size input, but apparently there’s a bit more oomph through it. The Truebass button on the front works a treat with slightly-bass-light headphones such as my Grados, but it’s not required for most of my over-ears.

The build quality is second-to-none as well. The main volume knob has a lovely damped ‘hi-fi’ feel to it and it’s built like a little metal brick. Small and easy enough to transfer between computers, and the fact that you can power straight off the USB bus is great as it means you don’t need an extra power-brick under your desk.

Highly recommended for anybody looking to drive a really nice set of headphones without spending a fortune or needing loads of cables and a big box. It’s just compact, neat, great looking and does the job REALLY well.

Amazon

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Amazing, you need this in your life.

This unit is amazing, I read a lot of reviews about it before buying it and they were all right, it has a good amount of power and the clarity of the DAC is amazing. Plug and play ease of use. It’s a thumbs up recommendation from me.

Amazon

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Superb

This little piece of kit is worth its weight in gold. Very easy to set up, very easy to use. To my ears the sound is superb with excellent seperation and soundstage. How the performance has been produced at the price is beyond me but it has and I’m very happy.

Amazon

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Great piece of kit

“I’m not an audiophile, I got this for gaming and wanted something to drive the headphones I purchased. I also use them for light Spotify listening.

Previously I purchased a Sound Blaster X3, you can see my review on that if you’re a similar boat to me. I believe they are within a few ££ of each other now.

I am using this with a pair of DT990s.”

Read more…

Amazon

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Solidly Built DAC/Amp with all the right features

Sound is crisp, clear and well defined. This DAC has just the features I sought in a DAC/amp. My previous compact DAC often cut out, had a digital volume control with no readout, and was severely limited in how broad a stream it could handle. I’ve been using this with a pair of Sennheiser HD660S headphones and the 4.4mm balanced cable.

Listening to FLAC recordings and hi-def music streaming apps (e.g. Tidal) is the listening experience I’ve sought for years but haven’t been able to afford. I’m listening to more music than ever and enjoying it far more. I cannot believe that this beautifully designed unit only cost $25 more than the tiny, unreliable DAC I had been using.

Amazon

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Consistent Sound Delivery

Love the look, weight, and quality of sound. Perhaps even more outstanding was the customer service. I had contacted iFi directly with a question and they responded within 48 hours.

Amazon

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Best DAC under 150$ period

It is a very convenient product, sound quality is great, volume knob is great, build quality is solid.

The only negative is the fact you cant turn it off, it just bugs me to leave stuff on without a purpose, i’ve had cheap Fiio products before, they are good for the miney but this one is above them by a long shot specially for all the tech inside it at this price point.

Amazon

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Excellent product but you might need to buy some extras

This little unit feels really good quality. Got this primarily to play Hi Res and MQA via Tidal through my amp. It does that and it does it well. The price of £129 on the face of it, seems very good for the quality you get but if you want to play your music through an amp via an I Pad pro/I Phone, you will need a power adapter. Having spent way too much time looking at various other brand(cheap) options, i decided i wouldn’t risk it and bought the Ifi one at £49! Total spend £170.

In addition, i bought a longer USB lead, longer RCA cables (the ones included in the box are really short) and finally an apple lightening to camera USB dongle thing.( i would have needed these if i’d bought a component unit anyway)

Not sure (and i’m not going to start looking) if i could’ve bought a component DAC for the same total spend but even at the price including adapter etc.., the sound through my amp is fantastic, it looks great and i do recommend this product for anyone (like me) just getting into MQA streaming.

Amazon

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Fantastic

Great AMP DAC!

Build quality is great, feels and looks Premium.
The sound is fantastic, Good detail and imaging!Fluid, organic sound quality, very natural and slightly warm! It powers my 250 ohm headset with no problem.

For the price you can’t get better that this!

Highly recommend!

Amazon

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Great DAC / AMP

Absolutely love this little unit. Running on an iMac using Tidal Masters MQA. Paired with Sennheiser HD650 and FIIO FH5 IEM’s. Drives both efficiently, using the Power Match with the Sennheisers with the standard unbalanced output.

Just awaiting a balanced cable which will improve the power output even further. Plenty of headroom without ever getting near max volume (dial usually around 12 o’clock).

Great build quality, simple to connect and for me sounds absolutely superb (subjective I accept). Highly recommended!

Amazon

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iFi Zen DAC Review | CRAZY value!

“The presentation of this is very sort of calm and composed but it’s very powerful as well… it feels effortless”

“The quality of the soundstage that you get with this little DAC is fantastic, nice and wide, plenty of depth, excellent separation, excellent layering… when you consider the price… this thing sounds phenomenal”

Watch the full review here…

YouTube

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iFi Zen, DAC e amplificador de auscultadores: Para redescobrir a sua música preferida

“We couldn’t have been more impressed with what the small DAC / amplifier is capable of.”

dn_insider

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Best starting Headphone Dac/Amp combo you can start with as a New Audiophile

PRESS THE TRUEBASS BUTTON FOR FUN

Amazon

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Great value and company

One of the best values in Digital audio. Buy this if you have Tidal Hifi w/masters.

Amazon

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Great sound, really good bass, quality product for the price.

Very pleased with this product, the sound quality is brilliant, has pre amp which is great and true Bass which is exceptional when using earphones. Thank you

Amazon

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Great sound performance for the money

The quality of the MQA albums on Tidal through this incredibly good value DAC into my Beyerdynamic Amiron headphones is astonishingly good

Amazon

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Excellent quality at amazing value

This is a quality DAC and headphone amp. It would be good value at twice the price. Sounds smooth and relaxed out the box, but for a more forward, engaging sound I strongly recommend installing the new firmware (V5.3C) with the GTO filter. Available on the ifi website.

Amazon

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Outstanding sound with perfect PC integration!

I don’t usually write reviews, but in this case I feel like it.

I bought this DAC for my PC even though various forums wrote that the onboard sound is good nowadays and you can’t hear the difference.

I’m excited!

I’m not that experienced in hi-fi yet, but I’ve never heard a sound like this, especially not at my desk.

The device looks very high quality and produces a really great sound with Amazon Music HD, but I think you will also hear a clear difference with Spotify. (Depending on the quality of the previous solution)
I read in another review that unfortunately you can no longer regulate the volume via Windows, but that’s not true. On the back there is a switch for fix / variable, if you set it to variable and turn up the volume control on the front, you can still regulate the volume via Windows.

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Amazon

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Essential!!

This is a Great dac/amp. Well built, smooth sound. Great buy!

Amazon

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iFi Audio Zen DAC

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YouTube

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Amazing

Its an amazing DAC/Amp. Works well with my PC and it has also increased very well the audio quality of my pc. The build quality is great but the only issue I have with it is the button on the front which feel rattly, besides that everything is great.

When I had issues with a defective model I was able to get a replacement with ease and all my issues were resolved.

Amazon

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I feel ZEN

This DAC has changed the way I listen to music! The highs are nice and bright, the mids are more clearly defined, and the True Bass is something to behold. I’ve developed an ear for the fine details from my favorite albums. I would highly recommend this DAC to anyone on a budget, as well as, those who are skeptical about what a high quality DAC can offer them. Music has never sounded this good!

Amazon

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Simply: “welcome to heaven” 😉

For someone who starts his adventure with good sound quality this DAC/AMP brings the music to another level that probably cannot be reached without DAC/AMP.
For matured audiophiles it is probably nothing but maybe not 😉
Also the price is very competitive for the features it brings: DAC, amplifier, balanced one!.
And these 2 buttons: extra bass and extra amplification – depending which headphones used are paired with it – it might be super vital.
I connected Hifiman Sundara and both buttons are always ON – ok, sometimes extra bass I need to turn off – depending on the song.

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Amazon

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Amazon Music HD from laptop to amp: sorted!

Bought this DAC to stream Amazon Music HD from a laptop to my Marantz PM6007 amp and it it works brilliantly. Am no hifi buff but I can’t fault the sound quality.

Minor faff with drivers and if you’re using a Windows PC, be sure to enable 24 bit/192000hz sample rate (setting in Control Panel>Playback tab (select ifi device)>Advanced).

Highly recommended for the price.

Amazon

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Nadie da Más por el Precio | iFi Zen DAC

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YouTube

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A cool piece of equipment

The power adapter is not included. It can be powered by the USB input, but the included USB cable is very short about 1 feet. Very good sound quality with negligible static noise.

Amazon

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Buena compra

Excelente calidad de sonido

Amazon

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sounds great

I use it with B&W M-1s and Hifiman 400se, TIDAL, it sounds very good to me!

Amazon

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Great

Great piece of kit

Amazon

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ifi Zen Dac, la opción económica para entrar a la audiofilia, análisis completo en Español

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YouTube

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Qué es un DAC y por qué debes comprar uno para tu HOME STUDIO

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YouTube

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IDEAL para AUDIÓFILOS, ZEN DAC IFI review en español

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YouTube

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Great sound

I’ve combined it with the Zen Can. Use it mostly for Heaphone listening. Love it.

Amazon

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iFi Audio Zen DAC

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YouTube

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Test iFi Zen Blue, Zen DAC and Zen Phono: an incredible amount of HiFi for 150 euros

“The three test candidates of the Zen family from the British specialist iFi Audio provide impressive evidence of this… The iFi Audio Zen DAC earned the most laurels: It not only shines with its versatility as a USB DAC headphone amp, but also and above all with its fantastic, airy, natural sound – a real favorite killer.”

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LowBeats

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just buy one….!

I play my music through an iMac from Spotify,i had a pro ject dac S for a few years and was really happy with the results…..however…!!
I’m always looking to improve the sound quality,ive got a marantz pm-17 amp and pmc db1speakers,all pretty old school but superb.I got itchy feet as one does, and started looking into new DAC’s and stumbled across this and thought id give it a whirl….it is extraordinary.Its improved what I thought was amazing even more so….buy one now.

Amazon

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Superb bang for your buck

For the money this is a superb DAC. I’m no expert or serious audiophile but I know when something sounds good, and this definitely does! I couldn’t recommend it enough. Check out the various reviews available online for full details.

Amazon

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If you care about listening to music buy this.

Great amp for any headphone that has a audio jack, once you have it you can’t go back I have mine paired up with Audio Technica ATH-M50X and the headphones shake from the bass, I don’t recommend for anything higher that 80ohm headphones if you’re looking for maxing them out, it handled my DT 770S 250ohm pretty decently.

Amazon

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Great little pre-amp for desktop system

Fantastic solution to near-field speakers for a desktop system. Nice volume control.

Amazon

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iFi Zen Dac: This Thing Is LEGIT!

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YouTube

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The best for my ears .

I like everything in this IFI ;nothing to complain … Is marvelous !

Amazon

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Excellent for getting the most out of audio played through a computer

The sound quality of this DAC is excellent, especially for the price. It is great to pair with a computer for reproducing Hi Def audio or for getting clarity even out of other digital sources, even compressed audio like iTunes or even Youtube. It is best when paired with a set of balanced headphones plugged into the balanced 4.4 mm socket.
My only knock on it is the lack of a power switch.
It is powered just fine by the power supplied by a USB 3.0 cable on a desktop computer. I suspect that if you want to use a laptop on battery, you might want an external power supply or a smaller DAC.
The rather minimalist design with only the USB input appealed to me because I did not want to pay for all the bells and whistles.

Amazon

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Impressed!!!

I originally planned on buying only the Zen CAN for my FiiO Q3 when I use it as a Dac from my PC. I knew about the Zen Dac but had no interest, then, because I COULD use another entry-level Dac and thought, because they would look good together, why not. to my surprise, this thing using balanced out, had the juice on it’s own to push my HD600’s. actually, they never have sounded better and I have several more powerful amps. even though my Zen CAN hasn’t arrived yet, I now realize that one doesn’t even need it if you have the Zen Dac. it handles most headphones on it’s own. very happy with my purchase. this setup will be strictly for my HD600’s and my IE 400 PRO’s. …

Amazon

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The Best DAC I have owned for the price & quality

I have owned a set of DACs (meridian explorers, schiit, ODAC, AudioEngine, etc)., This is by far the best.
* Sound quality: 10/10
* Hardware: 9/10

Only drawback: In macOS, volume can’t be adjusted from the menu.

Amazon

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I’m in a Zen place now

A beautiful piece of kit. Connect it to your laptop via the dedicated USB cable and then to a decent amp and speakers or headphones, and at last you can listen to MP3s or FLACs without wondering why they sound so average compared to playing the same songs off a CD. Incredibly good value for money.

Amazon

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Brilliant

What a fantastic piece of equipment. It makes such a difference that it really makes it a ‘must have’ purchase.

Amazon

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Push your studio headset to the limits

I didn’t buy the product from Amazon but I would still like to leave a review.

I bought the Ifi Zen DAC few days after got my BeyerDynamics DT 770 80 Ohm studio headset, which I was driving from my premium quality gaming laptop. I had no issues driving the headset from my laptop but I felt like the audio quality was lacking something.
After using the Ifi Zen DAC for about a month now, I can’t go back: the ‘TrueBass’ feature of the DAC simply makes the audio so much fuller (especially when listening to EDM) and the volume knob is shockingly smooth.

Amazon

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THE desktop DAC/AMP for little money

Fantastic product.
Audio quality is fantastic both on my cans and on my desktop speakers.
Plenty of in/out options.
The only small defect: in order to turn it off you have to physically disconnect the USB cable or the power source.

Amazon

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Its great

Its awesome

Amazon

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Qué es un DAC y por qué podes llegar a necesitar uno

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YouTube

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Ifi Audio ZEN DAC Unboxing y Review en español

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YouTube

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Geniales Gerät. Firmware Updates nur machen, wenn kein anderer DAC angeschlossen.

Umwerfend für dem Preis !!!!
Hatte mehrere DACs im Test. Unter anderem astronomisch überteuerte ,wie Rme adi dac 2 , die sich im Vergleich zum Zen Dac wie ein schwarzes Loch herausstelltem, in das man viel Geld hineinwirft und nichts adäquates dafür bekommt. ADI 2 FS 1000.-: Zen Dac 145.-
Man kann sich sogar die Firmware aussuchen.
Genial ! Genial ! Genial !!!!!!

Amazon

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La calidad de sonido

Si que ayuda mucho a mejorar la calidad de audio de audífonos, de bocinas amplificadas o un amplificador. vale la pena su compra.

Amazon

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Suena increible

El dac suena espectacular. Tiene una definición en los altos notable para el precio. Llevo un semana probándolo con distintos géneros de música y distintos equipos. Los he probado con mis parlantes Edifier R2600, con los auriculares FiiO F9Pro y Grado SR80e. Con todo suena espectacular, super definido y sacando lo mejor de cada equipo.

Creo que se le podría sacar un poco más de provecho con unos monitores aún mejor. Pero será para una siguiente inversión.

Amazon

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Very good product. Very impressed.

Excellent product, feels premium and provides various input/output. Has a 4.4 pentaconn.

Amazon

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quality/cost

excellent product and price

Amazon

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Amplificador de auriculares compacto súper económico iFi Zen Dac

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YouTube

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Potencia tu Sonido y Bajos con iFi ZEN DAC

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YouTube

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Ifi Zen Dac | Dac-Amp de escritorio “calidad precio”

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YouTube

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iFi Zen CAN / DAC | unbelievable (good / cheap), but true !!!

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YouTube

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Now i know why this DAC is an EISA award

I want to start to say that i have a DAC mush more expensive of a high end brand, but this DAC…..wow i just cant believe. Great sonic sound, great details, fantastic with MQA and DSD. Great device.

Amazon

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Is it good? Yes!

I was initially disappointed during unboxing when there was no wall wart power supply. However on USB 3.0 I don’t think I will need one.

Sound quality is gret, I am truly impressed. The volume though, I was blown away. I am not sure how they are doing this on usb. It is twice as loud as the modi2/magni2.

If you’re considering a face/amp you can’t go wrong with this.

Amazon

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iFi Zen DAC Review

“At a radical budget price, iFi delivers its “Zen DAC”, which is both incredibly versatile and clever.”

“All Inclusive – even great sound”

“Whoever listens to the Zen DAC will probably completely and finally lose his belief in the usual audiophile structure of price and quality. It played fresh and carefree, sounded colorful and differentiated.”

Stereo

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…hands down the best audio experience I’ve ever had!

“What can I say HANDS DOWN down the best audio experience I have ever had and I have listened to ALOT of music systems and speakers setups in my life. The naughty bass button works a treat, not overdone just perfect. I can’t believe dacs costing way more could sound much better.”

Amazon

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Great value, great sound.

” The difference is amazing…”

Amazon

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iFi ZEN DAC Review & Comparison

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Gavin's Gadgets

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Audiofilia Y Mas – ZEN DAC review by Fernando Meza

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Audiofilia Y Mas

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Worth every penny

After much deliberation, I decided on this headphone amplifier as a sound upgrade on my MacMini (Late 2012). Integration in macOS 10.15.6 went perfectly: just plug & play!

For my Teufel Massiv (2019) the perfect addition; I don’t want to talk about HiFi here, but everything sounds cleaner, clearer, more precise and somehow more airy. The devil puts pressure without end on even mediocre sources; here it plays really well without sounding strained.

This is thanks to the iFi ZEN DAC. Quick to install thanks to the supplied USB cable; Switching to different output media under macOS is easy.
If you connect your standard PC speakers to the iFi ZEN DAC, you first hear how bad they sound … so better leave it at the 3.5 mm output of the MacMini.
Great sound, worth every penny; Buy recommendation!

Amazon

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Solid Dac Amp.

Solid Dac Amp.
If you seen measurements of this Zen dac, like on Audio Science Review, you can ignore it, since measurements won’t tell you the Quality of sound it produces.

Amazon

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LOVE the bass boost!

The only “complaint” I have is that this seems to have a little less high end and spatial separation than my PC motherboard and K3+ (audio interface with built in amplifier) but that’s fine. It makes my M50X less sharp and can still drive my HE4XX and 6XX on its own with no problems. Definitely glad I picked this up for gaming immersion and bass tracks.

Amazon

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Worth every Penny

I bought mine from bartlettshifi london as they were on offer the short and sweet the ifi zen dac is just perfect for the money i did the the firmware update to the 5.3c version and found it to be more open sounding and better control on the lower end im using it with a Fosi Audio – TDA7498E 2 Channel Stereo Audio Amplifier and a pair of Roth Audio OLI RA1 speakers on my desk from my pc a great and fun sounding little system very pleased.

Amazon

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iFi Audio Zen DAC Review

“An absolutely brilliant bit of kit… an absolute bargain”

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avforums

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iFi ZEN DAC

“At £129, and with beautiful audio quality, the Zen DAC is a first-rate desktop choice for anyone who leans towards audiophile quality and features, while still operating on a sensible budget”

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Custom PC

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ZEN DAC & HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER FROM IFI

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YouTube

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Extraordinary Sound Quality!

Fantastic value for money, with the “firmware update” GTO FILTER a sound, especially for classical music, amazing.

Amazon

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A big change in the sound of my computer

I had heard that this type of DAC did not make a very big change in the sound. Quite the opposite. By connecting my V-Moda 200M headphones to this DAC, the quality is really superior than if I connect it directly to my iMac. Also when I connect the external speakers of the computer through the RCA inputs that the DAC has you can hear the difference. 

It is an excellent purchase but you have to have a quality sound source and good headphones. If you are going to listen to music with a quality of 128k or if you don’t have good headphones, the purchase is not worth much. Currently my music source is Tidal in its HIFI version, there I find excellent nuances in the music using this DAC.

Amazon

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Amazeballs

Upgraded from a soundblaster g6 and my god the difference is unreal and for $20 less. Buy this now just do it

Amazon

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Great sound at a great price

Great build, great sound, great price. Do you have headphones? Do you need a way to listen to them on your computer that includes a knob to manually adjust their volume? You probably should buy this. It sounds much better than any sound card. It makes high end headphones that already sound amazing sound better. The bass boost (true bass) actually adds bass to headphones without messing up highs or miss. Honestly I’d suggest it even if it cost double what it sells for.

Amazon

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Great addition to Roon/iMac/Harman Kardon Soundsticks office setup

After years of listening to Hi Res audio through my iMac’s inferior DAC, I took the plunge and bought this gorgeous bit of kit. It only took a few minutes to set up, and sounds amazing with Roon playing my ripped CDs and Hi Res music from Qobuz. I have been enjoying lots of old favourites today which sound fresh and engaging, with very rounded, warm tones – everything from Punch Brothers to Bonobo to Four Tet to Peter Gabriel sounded wonderful.

The TrueBass and PowerMatch features work well with headphones as well as via the HK speakers. I love the different coloured LEDs around the volume control which shows what quality the music you’re listening to is. Comes with a USB lead but no DC power adapter.

Really happy with this gorgeous little DAC.

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Amazing value

Great piece of kit, fantastic value at this price, should have bought it sooner

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Simply amazing (at this price it is a steal!)

Simply amazing – complements my HDSXX to perfection. I’m so happy 🙂

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EISA BEST VALUE DAC 2020-2021

ZEN DAC — DAC/headphone amplifierThe appeal of the iFi Audio ZEN DAC is simple: with eye-catching looks, flexibility, solid engineering within and a remarkably grown-up sound, this entry-level DAC is a conspicuous hi-fi bargain.

It proves that desktop audio doesn’t have to be the poor relation of ‘proper’ hi-fi, and is a real giant-killer, whether as a DAC/headphone amp or a simple digital preamp. Buy this to boost the sound of your computer, and you may well find you’re listening to it most of the time.

Best of all, it does all this at a very affordable price – this is amazing value for money.

EISA

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As a result, I was poisoned again! -Listen to iFi Audio Zen DAC

On the whole, Zen DAC does not have too much staining. The mid-frequency density is solid, neither fat nor thin. The treble is slightly brighter and smoother and not irritating. The low-frequency sinking speed is good, and the sense of volume is not exaggerated. It does not sound muddy and watery. The bottom is clean and not frizzy. 

If you want to subdivide, 6.3mm is relatively full and round; 4.4mm looks clear and organized, with better separation. In addition, the original factory provides PowerMatch and TrueBass functions to allow consumers to increase or decrease freely and enjoy the fun of tuning easily. 

Although the function is relatively simple (USB input only), it can support high-resolution playback, even MQA is no problem, and headphones and speakers can be used. Such specifications and sound performance are only 4,800 yuan. As a result, I was poisoned again!

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U - headphone

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Quality and features unthinkable at this price until a few years ago: incredible!

The last ten years have been a revolution in the world of high fidelity, thanks to the drop in prices due to outsourcing to China. However, even just a few years ago, components and features of this type would have been unimaginable at such a low price. After all, it is considered as one of the best products of this range ever produced. The components are very respectable and used intelligently. Also on an aesthetic level, the workmanship is surprisingly robust and the design is well-finished.

The sound is also great simply by connecting it via USB inputs + short, quality RCA outputs, but I recommend (even later) the investment in a power supply (not necessarily iFi unless you have a particularly noisy house current) and in a 4.4mm Pentaconn adapter cable -> double XLR, for connection to speakers that support balanced connections: it is difficult to find and a little expensive, but the balanced connection eliminates any background noise, giving a very clean and defined sound. Alternatively, I recommend the purchase of headphones with Pentaconn input for those who prefer this type of listening.

Important: before connecting it, download the USB drivers of the parent company from the iFi site, which greatly improve the connection and also allow the firmware update (also downloadable from the site: I recommend the 5.3C which implements the Gibbs Transient Optimized filter [ GTO]).

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ARE WE SURE THAT AN EXTERNAL DAC IMPROVES QUALITY?

Product arrived earlier than expected, perfect packaging. With w10 you must first download the driver from the IFI website. It works very well and recognizes the various types of songs indicating them by changing the color of the LED placed under the volume potentiometer.

The problem is that if I set the internal DAC of my computer (Asus Vivo Book) to 24 bit 96,000 Hz and listen to the headphone output, comparing it with the ZEN IFI DAC via USB and with the same headphone plugged into the unbalanced socket, it will not can perceive any difference. This is the result of a first test with Tidal Master MQA streaming at 88,200 Hz.

I will do further tests by downloading DSD256 tracks and PCM above 96 kHz, then I will update the comment.

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Mamma mia and what a quality!

And who expected it? A small jewel that has the essentials and something more … a marvel. Connect speakers and sub to the rca out, usb in PC, essential the 5v power supply, clean and powerful sound. A whole other world, it reports a very precise sound both as a preamp for active speakers and as a headphone amp.

The balanced input is a real treat for audiophiles. The MQA rendering is perfect, the difference with this Tidal audio format can be heard. If you mainly use Tidal in streaming, take this and forget the rest that at this price there is nothing.

Download the usb drivers for the MQA format and you’re done. The only drawback … dear ZEN, you can’t advertise the 5v transformer and then not include it in the package and even the wiring is not much and must be changed. In any case … best buy!

Amazon

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Great “little investment”

For 140 euros (plus a hundred for power supply and ad hoc cables) you cross the threshold of the entry level of hi-fi liquid music. I use it with headphones (grade) or with an old system with TIDAL master MQA. As a source you can use your PC or smartphone (after USB audio pro). It has a USB 3.0 B cable as a digital input that can be replaced with a better-made and easily available 2.0 B. 
If “good listening” were more sensitized, the music market would benefit because it would become a stimulus for the enjoyment of music in general (the usual AAC, MP3 ect ect will seem like acoustic prehistory). Now a HiFi subscription on TIDAL makes sense.

For what it costs it is worth every penny.

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Fabulous

Great quality, pure dac / amp with balanced output. Also purchased its transformer for extremely crystal clear audio. Must have at this price!

Amazon

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Lotta bang, little bucks

The ZEN was perfect for my simple needs. I wanted something small I could leave sitting around my work station (i.e., couch) that would save me from the mediocre sound of my laptop. Bing, bang, boom, this puppy was hooked up in less than a minute and has been nothing but outstanding.

It powers most of my headphones with no issues on its low gain setting, and my one pair of hungry cans, the Sennheiser 650, does great on the high gain setting. Hard to believe that $129 gets this much audio quality.

Amazon

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Buzzing Gone!!!

About a year ago I decided to throw money into my audio setup. I bought a pair of DT-1990 Pro, and following the recommendation of another review, I also bought the A-20 Beyerdynamic amp. Everything sounded amazing until I started playing games, and then I’d get this irritating buzzing in my headset. The buzzing only occurred while my cpu demanded more power. My solution to this buzzing? Just throw more money at it. Thanks to the iFi Zen Dac, I no longer hear that annoying buzzing. Do I seem like an audio expert? No. I’m just a dude that spends 12+ hours a day staring at a screen, and music makes that time go by so much faster.

TL;DR Had buzzing in headset because I’m an audio noob. iFi Zen DAC got rid of the buzzing because they are audio pro.

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Zen + Pi + Parasound = Great Roon System

I wanted to put together a “cheap” hi fi system for my bedroom and the iFi Zen helped me accomplish that goal. Pairing this with a Raspberry Pi running Ropieee and a mini Parasound amp I now have an excellent sounding bedroom streamer. This is much cheaper than something like a Bluesound Node. Very solid build and sounds good on a budget.

Amazon

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Fantastic

Fantastic

Amazon

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Home Cinema Choice Group Test

“it’s iFi audio’s smart-looking ZEN DAC that is the star of the show. For £130, this is an outstanding accessory that delivers a level of performance well beyond what you might reasonably expect at the price”

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Home Cinema Choice

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iFi Audio ZEN DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review

“iFi’s new Zen DAC/headphone amplifier does an awful lot for the money, then. If you’re into music on the move and want a fine sounding, versatile and robust little powerhouse – then this is it. Offering super keen value compared to some price rivals, it’s an essential audition for cash-strapped head-fi fans.”

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StereoNET

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I dare you to get more value out of a DAC/AMP Combo

You can read all of the features, it’s MQA unraveling (Still need to have a source that is already Master like TIDAL)
The real star of the show is the way it handles Bass Boost. Primarily works with sub-bass, is tight and very punchy but never bloated. It makes almost all of my songs sound fuller without losing balance. I seriously can’t push this point enough, it works SO well. If you are using headphones that require a bit more juice or if you are using balanced headphones this is a real show-stealer at 129.99. I use DT 770 PRO, Fidelio X2HR, Grado SR80, and HD6xx with this and all sounded better with it than without!

Amazon

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Great little gadget

The setup: I’m using this as a dac with the rca line out to my Onkyo amplifier in direct mode. Speakers are Wharfedale Denton 80’s.
The source is my desktop computer running Tidal, including master quality.
The lowdown: sound quality is great, clear and musical, not thin or overly analytical/unnatural. Good balance of mids, and treble, helped by turning the bass boost on. A nice soundstage, with precise definition of instruments.
I’ve tried the headphone amp section and it also does a good job.
A steal for the price. Has improved my listening enjoyment.

Amazon

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Entry Level Balanced

Great Dac/Amp for the price.

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Great DAC

Very happy with this. I also tried the DragonFly Red and this was much better for metal/rock music.

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Sounds fantastic and drives all types of headphones and (of course) active speakers

Everything to like about this unit, nothing to dislike. A great sounding Digital to Analogue convertor. Makes a significant sonic difference to the audio output of your PC or Mac. And that’s before you compare it’s price to others on the market, it’s an absolute bargain.

Amazon

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IFi ZEN DAC Review

I would recommend this product to anyone… I’m appreciating the Zen series by iFi, their best yet in my opinion: really nice design, good I/O and an easy sound for most of the people. I am finally recommending an iFi product with no hesitation!

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techinblack

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Mega nice

Really mega for the price. manages to drive my BD 770 Pro 250 Ohm. However, a power cord is not included. For me on the PC, however, no problem. There is also no 4.4mm to 3.5mm adapter included. you should buy it.

Amazon

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Value and Quality

the best DAC at this price point.

If using as a DAC only then USB power is fine.

Use external adapter for better power for headphones (DC 5v ~2a is enough, barrel connector size is “5.5mm x 2.1mm”)

Sound quality is great and better than PC Output. Also better than the built in dac in my NAD amplifier, better than a Mobile Phone internal DAC.

Personally I find it flat and analytical sounding. Its not “warm” or bright to me. its ‘just right’ for me personally. On small IEMs it seems to lack bass, but has a bass-boost function that to me is “OK” as far as bass boosts go. I prefer unaltered signal though and dislike EQ’s etc.

For larger more power hungry Can’s there is a Gain/’Power match’ that simply increases the gain/’volume’ – but its better in the off/low setting for my IEMs.

Will update if there are any issues.

Amazon

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ZEN DAC Review

At a radical budget price, iFi delivers its incredibly versatile, smartly made “Zen DAC”.

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Stereo

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iFi ZenDAC Review

I find the Zen DAC to be a great value at $129. It has some flaws and shortcomings, but it’s a stellar package at an affordable price and works well for my needs to use at the office or as secondary setup to my main system

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Headphones

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Amazing product!

I am not a big reviewer, but have to do it here!
Quod erat demonstrandum: Great sound does not have to cost hundreds or even thousands!
I have them both, the IFI Hip DAC and the IFI Zen DAC.
Superb design, great build, premium sound! Any more questions?
The guys at IFI do not let any room for complaints!
Highly recommended!

Amazon

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Amazing sounding amp

In comparison to my internal sound card its lightyears ahead. It has a lovely warm sound, it has loads of bass and its loud also theres a button that can make it louder!! (depending on your headphones). The build quality is excellent with brushed aluminium and a very solid feel. My only gripe is that the USB cable is short, but nothing an extension cable did solve. Its just quality from the build and the sound, I was dithering whether I shoud buy it or not, now I have its a no brainer.

Amazon

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A top headphone amplifier

The price performance ratio is very good. For the money you get an absolutely brilliant headphone amplifier. There is an audio output as an addon, so that the part can be coupled to the system as a DAC. The DAC quality is surprisingly good for the money.

Amazon

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Plug in it works

As long as you power a very good amp, good speakers, the sound reproduction is excellent;

Amazon

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Excellent sound quality and superb value for money.

The iFi Zen DAC/Headphone amp with its retro design and its amazing looks is rugged, durable and has a solid build, comes in an all-round aluminum casing and a machined aluminum volume knob that is as smooth as butter. In the front panel: it has a power match button, true bass button, 6.3 mm output and a 4.4 mm pentaconn output. On the back: it has another 4.4 mm pentaconn output, fix or variable selector switch, RCA outputs, USB 3.0 interface and a 5-volt dc input.

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Amazon

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THE NEW IFI ZEN DAC AND ZEN BLUE: A KILLER ONE (AND SUPER AFFORDABLE) – TWO PUNCH!

“I absolutely loved my time with both the iFi Zen DAC and Zen Blue. The ability to move my music to anywhere in the house with the Zen Blue was a great benefit and the DAC performance of the Zen Blue was almost identical to the Zen DAC. So if you want to enjoy your music on a backyard deck, bedroom, or home office and don’t want to run cables, the Zen Blue will fill that gap quite nicely. As well, if you have a pair of powered speakers and are looking for a higher resolution source, the Zen Blue has you covered.”

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Headphone.Guru

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ZEN DAC & HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER FROM IFI

“As a pre-amp and DAC combined, the Zen proved to be a wholehearted winner.”

“Bass was lively, nimble and punchy while the upper frequencies benefited from the low noise around the soundstage, enhancing the accuracy from guitars and honing vocal deliveries.”

“Of course, the glitz and glamor would be nothing without great sound and, let me assure you, the Zen offers great sound. This is a quality piece of kit but, hey, what more would you expect from iFi?”

The Audiophile Man

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iFi Audio Zen DAC review

We present to you today the iFi Audio Zen DAC , a Hi-Res Audio certified USB audio DAC, also equipped with a headphone amplifier at a contained price, which has the specificity of offering a balanced input and output. Here is our detailed test.

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MacFay Hardware

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iFi ZEN DAC

I purchased this to go with my AKG K702 headphones. I have been using the Dragonfly Black V1.5 for a few years but it is a bit under powered for these. I was prepared to spend up to £500 on a new DAC / headphone amp and had read a few reviews online before deciding to go for this. The Zen DAC pairs well with the K702. The headphones are reference so nothing is exaggerated only flat, although do lack a bit at the lower end.

The Zen DAC fills the lower end in nicely. Although I was never a fan of MQA before, the Zen has changed my mind about it. Using Tidal it does sound better than the Dragonfly does in my opinion. One thing worth noting is the Zen is only an MQA renderer (like the Dragonfly series) so you will still need software to do the initial unfold (like Tidal). For the price you can’t go wrong with the Zen DAC, your getting a Burr Brown chip with a decent powered amp with sampling rates of PCM up to 192kHz, DSD up to DSD256 and DXD up to 384kHz.

Amazon

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HD sound!

The quality is there, the sound is excellent.
Flac, DSD with foobar.
With a good helmet you will be conquered.
Also on your stereo.
Beautiful design.

Amazon

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excellent

what a nice little unit…… Highly recomended…. a bargin

Amazon

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Why buy anything else

Great value for money. Sounds about 90% as good as my much more expensive Dac/amp. Is really plug n play. Great buy.

Amazon

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iFi Audio Zen DAC

Benefits

  • Good price / quality ratio
  • Balanced and detailed sound
  • Good build quality and many functions
  • Solid headphone amplifier, including balanced

Best Product.nl

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[Evaluation] iFi ZEN DAC: Thousand Yuan with 6.3, 4.4mm output and MQA decoding is the strongest choice

iFi’s DAC and accessories series have always been very cost-effective, although the price is not expensive but the effect is very good. The latest ZEN DAC this time is an all-in-one USB DAC + earphone. In addition to the 6.3mm headphone output, it also provides a 4.4mm balanced output and supports MQA decoding.

It can be regarded as a fairly complete set of functions and specifications. The most important thing is that the price is very similar to other iFi products. You can buy it for $999.

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Spill

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iFi audio ZEN DACとJBL 104-BT-Y3の組み合わせがコンパクトでプレミアムだった

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YouTube

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Amazing value and amazing sound

Five stars as this product met and exceeded my expectations looks amazing and sounds incredible the difference from just my macbook is so good and yet there’s so much more available from the zen dac has totally change how I listen to my music again definitely worth the price if not more , definitely worth buying as your first Dac amp and I’ve only scratched the surface of its Capabilities

Amazon

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Qualitativer DAC in schönem Retro Design

War nach Anschaffung meiner Sennheiser HD660s auf der Suche nach einem qualitativ hochwertig verarbeiteten DAC zu einem vertretbaren Preis um diese gut befeuern zu können.

Ich wurde nicht enttäuscht! Nach auspacken ist sofort das Gewicht (vermittelt ein hochwertiges Gefühl) aufgefallen und vom Design ganz zu schweigen. Anschließend an meinem PC angeschlossen war das Gerät nach Installation der Treiber von der Hersteller Website einsatzbereit. Der Klang ist sehr schön und im Vergleich zu allem wodurch ich sonst den Ton ausgegeben habe klarer und voluminöser. Man merkt einfach, dass die Umwandlung außerhalb des PCs den Klang verbessert. Wer was anderes behauptet hat noch nie so einen Wandler verwendet.

Was mir jedoch negativ auffiel (bringt trotzdem kein Stern Abzug), dass das mitgelieferte USB-Kabel ziemlich kurz geraten ist. Ich hatte zum Glück noch ein unbenutztes von meinem Monitor in der Lade und das Problem war gelöst.

Ich rate jedem der etwas anspruchsvollere hochohmige Kopfhörer (Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, etc …) besitzt sich dieses Gerät mal anzuschauen!

Amazon

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What else could I possibly add to show how good this unit really is

Where to begin – just where to begin? Alright, I’m in the process of reviewing/blogging about 6 different budget DAC’s (those below $150). As a matter of info, those are the iFi Zen Dac, the Soundavo HP-DAC1, the Schiit Modi 3, the Micca OriGen G2, the FX-Audio DAC-X6, and the Sabaj D3. It’s fun and time consuming as you try to discern the differences between most of these units. After all, when you first turn them on, most budget models can sound a bit harsh/bright, and like any good audio gear, you should leave them on and run music through them for at least several days before rendering any judgements.

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Exactly what I wanted!

Was exactly what I had hoped it would be! Additional firmware is available from Ifi which is worth exploring depending on what you plan to listen on. Highly recommend!

Amazon

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Only one thing keeping it from a 5 star review

This DAC/amp out performs both of my other, more expensive DAC/amp combos. I have the Topping NX4 and the Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC/amp combos. And it does so being 30 dollars or more less in price. It has what most of us would understand to be a gain boost, although they call it a “power match”. It also has a “truebass” button that slightly boosts the sub base and base response without distorting any other harmonics. I’ve sold the previously mentioned two DACs and have kept the Ifi Zen DAC/amp.

Also, and I’m not detracting for it, but there is no power button to turn the unit on or off. Even if the computer is off. You have to pull the USB cable from the port in order to shut it down. And even then, if you have a power adapter plugged in, the light still stays on in the back. I don’t think this affects the performance or uses electricity needlessly. The power draw is slight.

But in all. this unit out performed other more expensive like units. This DAC also has a balanced port if you should choose to (pay a lot) for balanced cables (it’s a 4.4mm plug just so you know). In all though, I am happy with the performance.

For the record, my Zen is powering Hifiman Sundara open back headphones and they sound superb coupled with this DAC.

Amazon

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iFi audio ZEN DAC

“The ZEN DAC is a remarkably capable, fine-sounding piece of equipment and something very special for just £129.”

“the ZEN DAC does a great job of bringing out the studio atmosphere… This kind of ambience and immediacy would be impressive in a high-end DAC; that iFi Audio’s ZEN manages it for less than many would pay for a digital cable is frankly amazing.”

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Hi-Fi News

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iFi Audio ZEN DAC REVIEW Affordable & GOOD Headphone DAC Amplifier

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YouTube

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For the price it cannot be faulted

The unit improves the sound quality and at this price its definitely good value for money. The only very small improvement I would like to suggest is a clarification of the connectivity.

Amazon

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iFi Zen DAC: la MASTER QUALITY AUTHENTICATED a soli 150 EURO!

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YouTube

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iFi Audio Zen DAC Review

“Zen DAC is a warm sounding and a well built DAC headphone amp combo with lots of features for the asking price and I give it a high recommendation.”

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Headfonics

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My headphone AMP/DAC of choice…

I waited till my Balanced Adapter came in the mail so I could review this unit properly. This is my second foray into the world of AMP/DAC combos, my first was the Fiio E10k (Olympus 2). Since this is only my second AMP/DAC, I’m not going to jump the gun and say something like: “THIS IS THE BEST DAC/AMP MONEY CAN BUY !” . The truth of the matter is, I simply don’t know and I’m not an expert.

I do have about 30+ years in the world of Hi-Fi, but I go by what my ears tell me not by some fancy feature(s) the unit comes with. Although those are nice to have, the Bottom Line at the end of the day is the SOUND. I’m also not going to drown you in a bunch of fancy acronyms (IEM etc ) like I’m some type of expert which I’m not.

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Amazon

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Very good DAC and headphone amp.

Very good, clear and detailed sound. For better results install USB driver and update firmware.

Amazon

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iFi ZEN DAC review: best in class

“…the ZEN DAC sounds clean and clear, with adequately fast transients that deliver the necessary impact. Sound is just as I expect it to be: enjoyable and accurate.”

“…it can well be the centrepiece of any audiophile’s setup”

“…it delivers astounding value for little money”

Soundphile Review

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Sound quali-T

For this price, this is hands down the go to, I gave away my 02 headphone amp and magni 2/modi combo after listening to this. This screams quality from its sound to its build.

The build quality on this thing is actually really good, it has that slight heft, but no rattles, the knob feels great as well as the buttons.

Sound wise from what I said earlier, I gave away my other equipment to friends, this is right on the dime where I want my audio to be.

I heavily reco this to any entry level or intermediate audio users. This will impress even the snobbiest of users.

Amazon

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Outstanding product for an excellent price.

Owned the Zen for 2 days and first impressions I must say I love this item, bit on the warm side but using with HD58X with felt mod and leather sheepskin pads.

Seen many reviews stating this item is only mildly powered however I did hear a bit of noise and just didn’t seem right at first then I switched off power match aka high gain and then I heard the sound I wanted to be hearing but another point I’m making here is that for the HD58X there is not need for high gain so anyone considering driving 300ohm headphones then have no doubt that this ‘will’ drive them without any issue don’t let some of those youtube vids put you off as if you need the extra power then you can use balanced output and get even more juice.

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Amazon

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Partner for the home office

“The iFi Zen DAC is a real recommendation.”

“The iFi Zen DAC is equipped with (almost) everything a modern DAC needs for the desktop in the home office.”

“With its precise and dynamic sound development, it significantly enhances the music experience”

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avguide

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iFantastic!

I’m a self-confessed iFi fan. So please pardon the stream-of-consciousness review.

Also, I live in South Africa – and this unit was purchased via Amazon in the UK and swiftly delivered to me in Johannesburg in the new year, well before the world started locking-down due to the Coronavirus.

So, first some context. The love-affair with iFi started last year as I started to emerge from the false-premise that all digital music could not live up to the mesmerising sounds that I used to get from my vinyl & CD days. This was before I even knew such a thing as a dac or headphone amp existed. I’m 47 years old, and now I feel like a kid in a candy shop as I’m re-living and re-loving my music collection all over again.

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Amazon

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Quality amp/dac

Bought this to connect to mac and use amp/speakers for music, video and video conferencing. It looks and feels like a high quality bit of kit and sounds incredible. Prior to hearing it I expected to have to purchase an external power source (it doesn’t come with one) but there is no need, it sounds great just running off the usb.

My Mac saw it straight away and combined with Tidal, the master quality music flows quickly and cleanly. Volume control not possible via Mac controls. Not a big issue for me as amp is within reach but it would be nice to be able to mute and adjust using my keyboard.

Amazon

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Excellent DAC – incredibly short leads!

This arrived a day earler than scheduled, delivered by a courier and in very good condition. I wanted to connect my desktop tower PC to the Zen and connect that to a hifi amplifier tohear my music through my speakers. I have a great deal of music on my PC and I also listen to a couple of internet radio stations. I had a Logitech Duet for this , which worked very well, but finally, after almost 10 years, it died on me.

Connecting the Zen up was very easy; Windows 10 identified and installed it with no problem at all. I then opened up MusicBee, my music manager and player and it worked perfectly. Sound quality is excellent whether I play tracks from my library or listen to my chosen internet radio stations.

One thing, iFi what were your thinking with the supplied leads? If they had been any shorter I would have had to use a microscope to find them!
Forunately I was forewarned of this ‘short-coming’ (sorry) in a couple of excellent Amazon reveiws, so I also purchased separate USB 3.0 and RCA cables, and chose also to purchase a power lead, which of course is optional as the unit will be powered via the USB connection.
Overall though I am extremely pleased with the Zen; build and sound quality is first class and the ‘Truebase’ and ‘Power Match’ features have real impact when listening through headphones.

Highly recommended!

Amazon

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Great little DAC/AMP

Great build, love the design and sound quality is great.

Perhaps a little weak when USB powered only, but mains powering is an option (though an AC adapter is not included). Also, this is to be expected, almost all other DAC/AMP combos (desktop ones) require mains power for the AMP.

I have yet to try it with a balanced cable, which is also apparently able to deliver more power.

Overall very happy and even USB powered, it has enough juice to drive my HifiMan HE-4XX planar magnetics.

Amazon

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iFi Zen Dac Review

“With the TruBass button on the front you get that beep hard hitting bass that your standard laptop will not provide through the headphone jack.”

“I would recommend checking out the iFi Zen Dac. It will breath new life into your headphones and offer a better listening experience over plugging your awesome headphones directly into your computer.”

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Hifi Chicken

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Review: iFi Audio Zen DAC and Zen Blue – convenient and inexpensive

“When you consider the Zen DAC, you can’t help but be impressed.”

Bluetooth streaming is always a compromise in quality, but the Zen Blue eliminates the shortcomings to the maximum. It is – again – a very nice audio upgrade at a reasonable price.”

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Home Cinema Magazine

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iFi Audio ZenDAC – Full Review

Today we are having a look at the iFi Audio ZenDAC, their new entry level DAC/Amp combo unit.

It really is amazing what you can purchase at the entry level nowadays, even compared to 5 years ago. This unit would have been unthinkable back then. The ZenDAC provides pretty much everything a beginner could ever need or want, at an MSRP of $129.99USD. Thats right. You heard me. $129.99USD. Thats crazy. 5 years ago this would have cost $500USD I would guess. It really is a testament to how far we have come as a hobby in such a short time span.

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Headphones n' Stuff

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Great product, superb sound. Thoroughly recommended.

Having chosen an Amazon Music Hd free trial I found I couldn’t hear an improvement over my Spotify Premium results. It dawned on me that my old Griffin imic Dac was the issue and I needed to upgrade.

After lengthy research I opted for the iFi Zen DAC and voila! What a difference! Whilst my hifi system would be considered modest (Denon, Nad, B&W etc.) I love it and the Zen Dac is a wonderful addition, bringing a fresh lease of life to my enjoyment of music. I would heartily recommend this DAC to anyone in a similar situation – a great product, beautifully made and capable of stunning results.

I should add that my 4 stars for volume is simply because it seems I’m now unable to control the volume using my Mac keyboard but this may well be a Mac issue rather than the Dac itself – the actual volume is absolutely fine.

Amazon

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Outstanding

I have tried this in a few systems so far, each with a different signature but the iFi is no disappointment and amazing value for the money. Seems very well built and presented well.

Amazon

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iFi Zen DAC review

“The iFi Zen DAC is a great budget performer and offers a huge upgrade over the sound of a typical computer”

“Most budget digital-to-analogue converters aren’t particularly inspiring to listen to…That’s certainly not the case here.”

“If you’re looking for a well-built, budget desktop DAC, this iFi should be top of your list.”

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What Hi-Fi?

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iFi Audio Zen DAC Review

A powerful desktop DAC with a headphone amplifier is always a pleasure to see in our test lab. Even when it comes with a reasonable price like this iFi Audio Zen DAC.

Compact, desktop DACs with a built-in headphone amplifier are very popular today. We decide on them after purchasing a higher quality pair of headphones, aware that integrated sound cards are probably not able to get the best out of them, and motivated by the fact that such DACs pull all of the electronics in charge of sound processing from the computer case and yet have much more specific acoustic hardware.

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World Of Turntables

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Serious sound for the price

“Holy Crap! Talk about being transported to another universe, the soundstage is crazy, I can hear every little detail on each song and with True-bass on (iFi’s bass boost) the bass blows you away.”

“at the price point, this is definitely a no-brainer for anyone who is looking for “entry-level” hi-fi, and, honestly, I think it should be considered strongly for a computer/desktop DAC even up against the higher end stuff. This was the perfect purchase for my needs.”

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Amazon

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Great for what it is

I’ve had a few schiit products and also the SMSL SP200. Those are great products. This one is a tad bit different, sounds a bit more natural and less clinical. I paire