I bought an iFi Zen DAC back in March, 2021. Was incredibly happy with the sound output. And soon after I got HiFiMan Sundara to take full advantage of the DAC. Before that I just had Grado SR80e and RHA T20 and other IEMs. Everything was working fine, but then one fine day, I had my Sundara plugged in the balanced O/P (using a balanced cable of course), and when I picked up my headphone, I got a static shock. Was nothing major really, but apparently it destroyed my Zen DAC. Fortunately the single ended output was still working so I just went on with using those, and thought the balanced cable was at fault. 2 days later, same thing happened, but this time with the single ended port, again using the Sundara. So I determined that my amp got fried cause of the ESD. So I send it back and raised a warranty claim, luckily I got a replacement. It wasn’t until a month later that I got my replacement unit. During this month of waiting period, I got iFi Hip DAC, same thing happened. And I had to send it back, and got a replacement for it fortunately. Now I have a HIP DAC and just a week ago I got my Zen DAC back, but today I fried it again cause of ESD.
My issues is, after the second time I destroyed me hip DAC, I learned my lesson and got myself an ESD mat, which is plugged into the ground terminal of the wall plug using the provided cables, and my headphones are always on the mat whenever I’m not using them. But just today, I wasn’t wearing my ESD wrist band and was just walking around and accidentally touched my Sundara, which was still lying on the mat, plugged into the Zen DAC while my PC was in sleep state.
I want to know how can I protect my DAC better against ESD?
I have been thinking it’s becasue Sundara has a metal body, which feels sturdy but is also destroying my DACs. For now I’ve decided to walk around barefeet in my room. We have a stone/marble type of flooring in our house. But still, what else can I do?
I want to coat the body of sundara with an insulating material, or maybe an ESD protective material. Because despite all precautions, accidental touches might still happen, and you never know.
Thanks in advance for any help.