Destroyed 3 DACs from iFi cause of Static Dischrage, need help

Naaa, they both China in my books.
Probably in same factory and same people. lol :kissing_heart:

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To some people it seems to be the brand that matters. Not the product :stuck_out_tongue:
And since ifi was founded in England it must be better. Right? :wink:

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As someone who’s just switching from an S10 to an iPhone 12… they’re both great but the trasition is rough! haha (sorry for the off topic mods :p)

Hi mate,

Thank you for the kind words! Yes, I am with iFi and my role is focused on community relations (exactly what I’m doing here to assist) and am quite new to HiFiGuides, hence why you haven’t seen me around here.

I’ll keep tabs on this thread here as things come along and OP provides updates.


Hey Sebastien, so the following developments happened with my situation since I last posted - I randomly just plugged in my Zen DAC and tried using my Shure SE215 on the single ended output. Initially, only left channel was audible but after 30s or so, both channels were audible, with left having a slight hiss. The channel balance was off to right a little. I gave it some more time, after 2 hours of continuous music playback, the hiss is gone, and the channel imbalance is fixed, without me doing anything. But the interesting part is, the moment I plug in the balanced cable to use my Sundara in the 4.4mm balanced port, everything stops working again.

Since then, I inspected the 4.4mm balanced pentacone cable with a multimeter, and the L+/L- and R+/R- were showing continuity, but the ground was left floating. So I further tested the continuity with the chassis of Zen DAC and the cable. From DAC to the ground connection on the cable, there is no continuity, which means, when there is a static discharge, the impulse doesn’t have any ground to be drained through. So it is transmitted back to the DAC via the L-/R- connection. I believe now that this is what is causing the issue with the DAC.

To verify if I’m correct, I plugged in the stock Sundara cable (3.5mm) using the provided quarter inch to 3.5mm adapter, and checked for the continuity of ground of cable to chassis of DAC, and it was showing perfect continuity. So I deliberately decided to charge myself and test out wether it will be able to drain the charge if I’m using a 3.5mm cable instead, and surely enough, I shocked my Sundara with music playing on them through the Zen DAC using the stock cable, and nothing happened.


imo you should address this problem to Hifiman immediately. It must be clarified if this is a design-/production problem with all units of this specific cable or if you just have a broken one. The latter would calm down the whole situation, but if all the cables have this problem, they might have to initate a recall.

The cable in question is not Hifiman’s. They only ship a 3.5mm cable with Sumdara, not a 4.4 balanced.

@Cupcake please give more information about the cable!!

Definitely interested as they have no 4.4 cables listed on their site…

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humidifiers can help with ESD in a room. I use one for workw and works pretty ok during the winter as my building get s stupid dry and makes my job difficult. I work at a lab where a part of my job is weighing samples into plastic tubes. and out scales are stupid sensitive to static. one thing we also use is dryer cheets inside our scales as well as a spray called staticide.

I would love to know more about the cable and if you dont have any problems with it some pictures would be cool as well.

Hello Cupcake,
Congratulations on finding the cause.
It’s all thanks to your meticulous search and tips from some of the users here who were able to help you.
Of course I am happy for you.

The question now is where the cable is coming from.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be broken, however, and it may be possible to repair it by replacing the plugs if they are fitted carefully.

It is certainly a problem if the cable comes from Hifiman. It may be a one-off or a major issue.
I hope that when the Ify is repaired and the cable is replaced, everything will be better than before and there will be no more problems.

based on my own research, i would also assume, that Hifiman doens’t provide a balanced cable for the Sundara. If OP has bought it from someone who claimed it being from Hifiman, this thread has turned into a crime investigaton lol

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This is the only balanced cable I could find on their site that would work with a Sundara, and you’re not plugging this directly into a Zen…

Also, if you’re paying this much for a Hifiman cable you need help :stuck_out_tongue:

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Lol the cable would’ve been as expensive as the Sundaras. :laughing:

And yeah, welcome to the club ( Apparently, I’m a static electricity generator ). Touch something to “ground” yourself before touching your headphones, or after removing your headphones, or, especially, when you have planars on your head and you stand up.

TL,DR for the link: I had T50RPs on my head, stood up, heard “interferences” in em, touched the RCA cables of my JDS Atom amp to unplug it… and burned the left channel.

Image saved, might need it later. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Also, related:


Obviously also caused by the Sundara.
Or maybe Jay is also using a bootleg Hifiman balanced cable?
Or OP is gay errrm sorry i mean Jay?

I mean, people here are all defending Hifiman but this is very well known that Hifiman has basically zero quality control. They even sold a he400i with two left cups, FFS.


oh my god … i hadn’t seen that one yet. Sadly, it matches my first and only experience with Hifiman, where the Sundaras i bought had a severe channel imbalance. I gave them back to the seller and got a refund.

Now that sounds like i want to bash again, but, it’s just the truth. What makes it really sad imo, is that their headphones are so goddamn good. I was really impressed with the Sundara, especially for the price. And you just know how good the higher-tier stuff like Ananda, Arya, HE1000, HE6SE and the almighty Susvara is. The engineering is top-notch and i really appreciate every brand that plays a significant role in headphone development. Hifiman sure is one of the MVPs in the headphone world and they can be really proud about that.

Yes, that is bad and also annoying when something like that happens. You are right about that.
That’s not possible at all.

It seems that the Pentacon cable did not come from Hifiman but was bought separately and on top of that it had disassembled the amplifier several times.

This is of course bad but has nothing to do with Hifiman itself or Ify, without misunderstanding.

This can happen to the best manufacturers, most of them do something about it, but others do not.
We all don’t want to know what poor conditions are like in countries, but we buy it anyway.

That’s the irony of it, we always want to have it cheap and in the end it punishes us just because we had to spend 5$/€ more for peace of mind or to save money and in the end it destroys the product.

In Germany we say:
If you buy cheap, you buy twice.
There is often some truth to this when it comes to such things.

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