iFi’s New $129 ZEN DAC:‌ The Specs Are Tremendous!

iFi Audio just released the full info on their new budget desktop DAC/Headphone Amp, and the feature list is impressive.

The ZEN‌ DAC‌ will sell for $129 in the U.S., and unlike the similarly-priced portable DAC/Amps they’ve put out in the past, (see iFi Audio Nano iDSD LE) this product doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. It’s made to reside on your desktop or audio rack pulling juice from the wall outlet.

It shares an all-aluminum chassis with the Zen Blue Bluetooth Streamer I reported on last month, which measures about five inches long, four inches deep, and a little over an inch high.

ZEN DAC Rear Panel

It has a ton of connections including a USB‌ Input, RCA‌ out, 1/4” Headphone Out, and since this is a balanced amp, two 4.4mm balanced outputs. (Front and Back)

The Digital Stage is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chip, which is capable of supporting PCM and DXD audio data up to 24-bit/384kHz, plus DSD sampling rates from 2.8MHz to 12.4MHz (DSD256). DSD‌ processing is handled natively. It also does MQA‌ decoding! There’s not much this thing can’t handle.

Along with the extensive file support and myriad connections, the ZEN‌ DAC‌ also has a powerful headphone amp section rated for 1V / 3.3V max. on the unbalanced output, and 2V / 6.2V max on the balanced output. Gain is adjustable via the “PowerMatch” button on the front panel.

The ZEN DAC‌ will be available for purchase this month, and it looks like a good value for the money. I hope to get my hands on one very soon. For more info, visit https://ifi-audio.com/ 


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