ZEN Stream
ZEN Stream
ZEN Stream From iFi audio
Streaming Unleashed.

Wi-Fi audio transport.

Just add Remote Control.

Beneath its classy exterior, the ZEN Stream is a technological streamer-de-force. It has one purpose – to send music from the Internet to your DAC with no loss of quality.

True hi-res performance of PCM384/DSD256 via WiFi/LAN. Just add your smart device as a remote and away you go.

Optimised open-source architecture – works with multiple dedicated platforms, completely and perfectly future-proofed as it is constantly updated.

Ease of use + audiophile implementation. It is the bee’s knees of Streamers.

Check out what’s in the box here.

ZEN Stream From iFi audio

Warp speed tech.

ZEN Stream is a true ground-up design by iFi — the hardware and software implementation is quite exceptional:

  • Two SuperSpeed USB3.0 ports with Active Noise Cancellation II
  • S/PDIF out with the iPurifier built-in
  • Power supply with Silent Power tech
  • iFi software developed with Volumio open-source as the starting point, then coded and optimised by us to achieve the purest streaming software bar none

These are some of the factors behind why the ZEN Stream is at the cutting-edge handling PCM384/DSD256 on LAN and WiFi (802.11n, with 100Mbps on 5Ghz).

‘Exclusive’ for your ears only.

The ZEN Stream has one of the most fully-optimised software platforms in the world.

From the device’s drivers, to the kernel (the heart of the operating system), to the shell (which interfaces with the kernel), to the applications and the user interface — everything is fully optimised for seamless operation and excellent sonic performance.

An ingenious part of the ZEN Stream’s design is the ability to select between ‘Exclusive’ modes – individual settings dedicated to specific modes of operation to deliver the purest possible performance. All other programs are shut down – to minimise ‘software jitter’ — an often overlooked aspect that negatively impacts the quality of computer audio playback.

This ensures that the ZEN Stream is not merely a ‘jack of all trades’, but a master of all too.

  1. All-in-one (AIO) covers all modes
  2. DLNA streaming
  3. NAA streaming
  4. Roon Bridge streaming*
  5. Tidal streaming

*Roon Ready coming soon

Who’s who of Streaming.

Hot off the press, the ZEN Stream has the following connectivity options:

  • Stream straight from Spotify/Tidal apps with Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect
  • Works with any DLNA certified streaming app (our own app is imminent!)
  • Integrated Airplay and Chromecast* – easy streaming from Apple and Android devices
  • Roon compatible – basically, it adds Roon to any DAC.
  • NAA operation in conjunction with Sygnalist’s HQPlayer software

*Chromecast to come in a future update.

Tech savvy.

Beneath the unassuming casework sits some serious horsepower in terms of both technologies and components:

  • Powerful 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex microprocessor
  • USB and S/PDIF interfaces regulated by femto-precision GMT clock to eradicate jitter
  • Active Noise Cancellation II and iPurifier technologies for USB and S/PDIF interfaces respectively
  • Intelligent Ethernet switch controller
  • High-PSRR, low idle current, low-dropout voltage regulators with soft start
  • Synchronous 1.6MHz high-speed precision power supply controller
  • C0G capacitors and Taiyo Yuden and Murata low ESR inductors

This is a true hi-res device. It uniquely supports PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz over Wi-Fi as well as Ethernet cable, plus DSD up to 11.2MHz (DSD256). Highly unusual in a Wi-Fi streamer.

Our ‘exclusive modes’ give you individual settings dedicated to specific modes of operation to deliver the purest possible performance.

All-in-one
This non-specific mode is great for all platforms, audio formats and devices.

DLNA streaming
Select this mode to optimise performance when using the ZEN Stream with DLNA-compatible apps and devices.

NAA streaming
Select this mode when using the ZEN Stream as a Network Audio Adapter in conjunction with Signalyst HQPlayer software.

Roon Bridge streaming
Select this mode when integrating the ZEN Stream into a ROON environment.

Tidal streaming
If you are a subscriber to Tidal’s Masters Tier, this is the mode for you.

Use the ‘hotspot’ button on the front to join a Wi-Fi network.

Dual-band Wi-Fi reception supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac for a fast, reliable wireless connection.

The circuit design has been painstakingly engineered to deliver superb sound, with processing muscle supplied by a 64-bit, quad-core ARM Cortex microprocessor.

The USB ports – both input and output – support the SuperSpeed USB3.0 standard and benefit from iFi’s Active Noise Cancelling technology to remove distortion from the audio signal.

Similarly, the coaxial S/PDIF output incorporates iFi’s iPurifier signal purifying technology.

Both of the two digital outputs – asynchronous USB and coaxial S/PDIF – that provide connectivity to an external DAC or an amp with digital inputs are regulated by iFi’s femto-precision GMT (Global Master Timing) circuitry to eradicate jitter from the digital audio signal.

Intelligent Ethernet. The device uses a high-performance Ethernet switch with a low-power integrated 5-Port Giga-PHY.

We’ve utilised high-PSRR, low idle current, low-dropout voltage regulators with soft start. This means maximised efficiency and minimised system noise.

Add to this, a synchronous 1.5MHz high-speed power supply controller for even great noise reduction and even less distortion.

Carefully chosen circuit components including discrete, high-grade surface-mounted devices such as TDK C0G multilayer ceramic capacitors and inductors from Taiyo Yuden and Murata add to the quality build of this product.

Support

Input voltageDC 9V/1.8A-15V/0.8A
AC 100 -240V, 50/60Hz
InputWi-Fi / Ethernet / USB HDD

(Firmware updates via OTA and USB-C at rear)
FormatsPCM384
DSD256
(MQA-fully compatible)
OutputUSB3.0 (Type-A Socket) x2
SPDIF (Coaxial)
Power consumptionNo Signal ~6W
Max Signal ~10W
Dimensions158 x 100 x 35 mm
6.2" x 3.9" x 1.4"
Net weight578g (1.14 lbs)

Reviews

ZEN Stream – “Great little Streamer”

Great little streaming product, especially for Roon users
I have it plugged into my ZEN DAC
It will be perfect once they have it updated for Chromecasting

(Click name to read original review)
Contents

CONTENTS:

1 x ZEN Stream

1 x Ethernet cable

1 x Plastic screwdriver

1 x Power adapter

1 x Antenna

1 x User manual

1 x Instruction card

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.

Active Noise Cancellation

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) reduces unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound wave specifically designed to cancel out the first. This basically results in no sound at all as it reaches unwanted sound even at the lowest frequencies.

Passive noise cancellation is done by means of insulating filters and works best on the middle to high frequencies. It does not work on the lower frequencies meaning that some sound can still be heard.

File Formats and Sample Rates

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

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

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.

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

DSD

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, other than our Pro iDSD.

DLNA - Digital Living Network Alliance

DLNA allows you to wirelessly send content from devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones to a compatible TV. It makes sharing media in the home simple.

DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance. It was set up by Sony in 2003. Now used in a wide range of modern home entertainment devices, it allows videos, music and photos to be streamed and enjoyed on the big screen or a home cinema system quickly and easily.

NNA - Network Audio Adapter

A Network Audio Adapter (NAA) can convert audio signals to high-quality digital signals.

Regardless of the geographical distance, the digital signals can be transmitted simultaneously over the IP networks, such as LAN or Internet.

PSRR - Power Supply Rejection Ratio

In electronic systems, power supply rejection ratio (PSRR) is a term widely used to describe the capability of an electronic circuit to suppress any power supply variations to its output signal.

ESR - Equivalent Series Resistance

Inductors have resistance inherent in the metal conductor, quoted as DCR in datasheets. This metallic resistance is small for small inductance values (typically below 1 Ω). It can be modelled as a resistor in series with the inductor, often leading to the DC resistance being referred to as the ESR.

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