iFi

iFi - ZEN DAC V2 Hi-resolution DAC/Amp

Product SKU: Zen DAC V2

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*Please note 5V adapter is NOT included and is sold separately

ZEN DAC V2

Chill out. At home. In the office.

Our super-affordable compact DAC/headphone amp just got even better.

Added oomph!

This ZEN DAC V2 is the same award-winning hi-res USB DAC/headphone amp as before but with added oomph!

We’ve upgraded its digital engine from an 8 core XMOS chip to a 16 core chip. It’s ultra-capable while still being super-affordable.

Compact enough to use as a USB DAC/amp on your work desk and stylish enough to use at home with your favorite active speakers or amp, it delivers a level of specification and performance that punches above its super-affordable price tag.

The ZEN DAC V2 supports PCM and DXD to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD256, and MQA. DSD remains ‘bit-perfect thanks to the True Native Burr-Brown chip design.

16 core = hardcore.

Thanks to the 16 core tech, the ZEN DAC V2 is now an MQA Decoder rather than a Renderer.

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

MQA rendering technology (used in the original ZEN DAC among other iFi products) connects to an MQA Core signal (such as TIDAL) and completes the final unfold of an MQA file. This product will include ‘stream lock’ but is not able to decode an MQA stream or authenticate it. 

Smooth and balanced.

A new and improved low jitter, crystal clock means >20dB better performance. The super-low noise performance means the ZEN DAC V2 will remain quiet even in noisy situations such as yachts or RVs.

The balanced design for the analog stage – rare and not found at this price point – makes it pretty special and delivers the best sound quality, normally found in higher-priced models.

The ZEN DAC V2 sports Pentaconn 4.4mm balanced outputs at both the front and back. On the front, there’s also the popular 6.3mm headphone socket.

Flexible.

Switch effortlessly between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’.

Set to ‘Variable,’ use the ZEN DAC V2 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.

For IEMs, normally high-sensitivity, leave PowerMatch at its lower setting for hiss-free listening.

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

Ace of Bass.

The ZEN DAC V2 boasts TrueBass. This proprietary tech is a switchable ‘bass boost’ operating in the analog 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 lack bass.

The ZEN DAC V2  is the ultimate chilling machine. Tune in and ZEN out.

Features

  • The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs.
    This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard.
    iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimize sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the Burr-Brown DAC.
  • 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.
  • Hi-Res True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.
  • 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.”
    MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is supported through the USB with full decoding of MQA files up to 384kHz thanks to the processing power of the new 16-core XMOS chip.
    This means that the full ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to only the final unfold in the manner of an MQA ‘renderer’.
    Globally, MQA has become an important consideration for any comprehensively equipped DAC. It is available through Tidal Masters, Audirvana, and Roon.
  • Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including our GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and the intelligent memory buffer.
    The low-jitter crystal clock has been updated to provide >20dB better performance
  • It is a superior method to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. Less Interference – clearer sound.
    You normally find this set-up in products at the higher end of the price spectrum such as the Pro iCAN but iFi is now using this across its range to produce the best quality audio for all our customers.
  • 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.

Specifications

Input USB3.0 B Socket
(USB2.0 compatible)
Formats DSD256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD DXD(384/352.8kHz), PCM(384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz) MQA
DAC Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr Brown

Line Section

Output Audio RCA (SE) — 2.1V fixed
1V / 3.3V max. (variable)
4.4mm Pentaconn (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 (@1% THD) 4.4mm Pentaconn (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)
Dimensions 160(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 period 12 months

 

 What's new with IFI ZEN DAC V2?

ZEN DAC V1 ZEN DAC V2
Primary use Home/Desktop Home/Desktop
Pre-amp
Headphone amp
Power Supply Included
Connect to active speakers
Fixed & Variable mode
PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384
DXD 384/352.8 384/352.8
DSD 64/128/256 64/128/256
MQA Renderer Decoder
Balanced Circuit
Components Standard Upgraded Crystal Clock

Product Reviews

iFi - ZEN DAC V2 Hi-resolution DAC/Amp

Customer Reviews
4.9 Based on 10 Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
JG
10/10/2021
Jeremy G.
United States
Natural, Peaceful, and Excellent Value

To keep this short and simple, this Dac/Amp combo unit is unbelievable for the price. The construction is high quality as well as the fit and finish. The Burr Brown chip in this is natural and smooth. Honestly, it’s technicality isn’t going to rival something high end, but it does smooth things out. Pair it with a bright headphone like a Beyerdynamic and it’s a match made it heaven. Truly smooths out the highs all while still being decently transparent. The reviews on this are true. At it’s cost of $160, you can actually have a smile because it was money well spent.

JE
09/18/2021
Jonathan E.
United States United States
Zen dac sublime

This product was quite an upgrade from schiit stack. Goes perfect with my HD 660s

AC
09/16/2021
alejandro c.
United States United States
A great entry level dac-amp

I love this device , is just so sleek and it bumps the performance and sound of my headphones, sounds and details that I never noticed before pop up and I love that , and the volume is really clear unlike a sound card you always hear that freaking his sound because of the static of all the electronics in your PC, get it it won't disappoint you.

ZJ
09/13/2021
Zaine J.
United States United States
Has everything you need for $150

Just great. 20in USB cord is very short but other than that works great with my Sundaras

JR
09/08/2021
Jose R.
United States United States
One **** of a DAC AMP combo!

Ever thought about end game hardware? This audiophile hobby is expensive, and the improvements can only be incremental as you spends hundreds and thousands. But this thing man, sounds so good! I hooked it up to my THX 887 balanced and man, make sure you put it in variable and turn on TrueBass on your openback headphones... yummy. addicting. all you need. end game.

Audio46 iFi - ZEN DAC V2 Hi-resolution DAC/Amp Review
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