Ifi zen can static noise

Hello, I am having an issue with my zen can. Whenever I turn the volume in either direction there is like a scratching or static noise in the headphones. I had it replaced and still the same issue. Is this normal?

Edit: when I turn it slowly it doesn’t do it. tried it with another pair of headphones still does it. Could it be the dac or rca cables?

check all your connections. I had that with mine and it turned out one was not fully seated. also check your gain settings and ensure it’s at the right setting for the impedance your headphones are. a general rule of thumb is you shouldn’t have to turn the volume dial much more than the 11 o’clock…if you do, then it means you need to check if you can boost the gain, otherwise you’re either going deaf or the headphones and amp don’t have the best synergy.

I was on highest gain for dt770 250 ohm. 12-1 o clock. Checked all connections, they seem fine. Although I am not sure at what volume to put the btr5 at. I am using it as a dac for the time being. What you suggest?

Edit: I do plan on mod balancing the headphones.

check the power? is there anything sharing the same socket / power bar, perhaps circuit, if it’s alone but other stuff is around it?

A lot actually. it’s connected to a power bar. Have my laptop, monitor and charger to that power bar too.

Still, does it even when connected to a different outlet and away from everything. Could it be the dac? It’s currently on low gain max volume.

move it to an entirely different circuit, not just a plug…a room is usually on a single circuit and beware, sometimes a plug on the opposite side of a wall in another room, may share said circuit.

what do you have for cables or converters in use? by converter I mean 6.3mm to 3.5mm or visa versa?

Ok, will try that. I use from headphone 3.5mm to 6.3mm (the one included in box with headphones also tried the one from the zen can, does the same), from btr5 3.5mm to rca (amazon basics).

Still same screeching noise only when moving the volume knob it’s not constant.

edit: the noise goes away when no input is plugged in. Tried a different dac and headphones still to no avail.

use a different 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter?

how do you have the DAC connected to the amp? SE or Bal? try different cables.

I did with the one that came with the zen can. SE, 3.5 to rca. I, unfortunately, don’t have any other cables. I am looking for 2.5 bal to 4.4 bal but they are quite rare and expensive.

I would reach out to iFI support ad see what they have to say. let them know all the measure you’ve taken trying to isolate the cause so they hopefully don’t tell you to do them again. so all the gory details, different room, plug, circuit, etc etc etc.

RCA jumper cables are quite common, so maybe you have something lying around? even if they’re 3ft long, using them to connect DAC / amp and test that as cause will help

have you looked at AliE for options?

Yeah did re open the ticket with them waiting on their response.
I really have nothing laying around. I moved in just last year, the problem even if i have another rca cable i would need an adapter rca female to 3.5mm which i dont have. The problem with the bal cable is that the terminations a very rare e.g. 2.5 to 4.4 directly (i am not in america cuz otherwise i would have bought from hart audio cables), my other options are either custom made cables which cost around 200 euros or 2.5 to 2.5 then 2.5 to 4.4 adapter or 4.4 to 4.4 then 4.4 to 2.5 adapter. If i can find a short 2.5 to 4.4 that might work too.

where are you located? do you have access to AliExpress?


I bought this one for my Zen stack and it’s working good so far.

Yeah i do, it just take a while. I will look into it, i would also have to get a 4.4 to 2.5 adapter. Will try that and come back and report my findings.
Btw what zen stack do you have? I mean which dac are you using? I am also looking for one for my desk setup.

I have the Zen DAC og and then added a used Zen CAN (don’t know if og of v2) a few months back. :slight_smile:

Ah yes of course. Do you have any standalone dac recommendations?

what kind of sound signature do you like? genre preferences and current headphones?

Yeah im still trying to find that out:). But i guess just a neutral one so that the headphones themselves shine. Genre wise its very diverse, from rap to rock, from jazz to techno. Currently i have dt770 250ohm. Im not sure i find headphones comfortable no matter the padding( still have to try some more headphones to see if thats right), so i would also be looking for a bookself speaker setup.

fit is the most important thing…if you have the best headphones on the market, they’re crap if they hurt to wear and you can’t use them.

what don’t you like about the DT 770? what are the pain points it’s causing you?

neutral sound…can you get anything from Geshelli Labs or JDS Labs? everything from Geshelli is good, however it’s only their latest DAC’s that they brought USB support in, otherwise it was just optical. JDSL Atom is also really good, but Geshelli is better.