iFi Zen Dac and Zen Blue

These seem like killer options, and I personally think the Zen dac is awesome for what it has. Really something people should consider if they are looking for a dac, or a light dac amp balanced combo. And it has balanced headphone and pre out as well which is crazy for the price

The Zen Blue looks great for the price if you want streaming and wireless, so something else to look into, but the Zen dac seems higher quality to me if you only care about the dac.

These are both $129 USD which is really good for the price (I believe)

I will have to check out both of these in person when I get the chance

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also note that the Zen Blue is more of a media streamer, it doesn’t have an amp portion, just line level signal.

Yes, thanks for clarifying

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Man, ifi makes some neat stuff, and I’m tempted to try some of it (had my eye on the xdsd a while back) but their product designs are far from visually appealing to me. These two products look like modem / wifi router combos you rent from your service provider >_<

Looks almost retro design, instead of their traditionally industrial design that I like. Completely ignoring the xDSD’s and xCAN’s design because I think they were aiming to create a literal fingerprint magnet. But I still really like their stuff

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Ahh you know what, now that you mention that, I could totally see some art deco vibes there. That warms me up to the design a little bit. A little, haha.

The new Rupert Neve Fidelice designs also take on this type of atheistic imo. Almost 70s vibes

yes both (rupert n. + the Zen´s) try to hard,
while I could sell this easier to my wife as living room options than a industrial design(what I prefer)

the xDSD is a fingerprint magnet - so what. Connect it and forget it. You can use it in it´s bag :wink:

Mine looks awful as the coating has come off and it’s like rusted and blue and looks like it went through a fire. All from just having sweaty hands. It’s been through a lot. I make sure none of my other equipment looks like that though

in japan they sell these “leather” on-the-go bag-things for your belt to protect it

mine lives in a peli 1020 micro case for transport and in the office it is in its bag with frontport to the Elegia or IEMs and the open back of the bag is used for the OTG cable to my Android phone

looks like on the first day but with finger prints :slight_smile:

both units combined would be nice

LDAC support
a remote to switch inputs or an app
burr browns
balanced out
mqa support(which the Zen DAC has - like my ifi contact in a facebook group told me yesterday)
4.4mm out (on the Zen Blue you have to manually switch between line out and variable pre out)

would have payed double the price

Well you could just stack them

Edit: you can’t my bad

yep but the remote or app is still missing

does the Zen Dac not support optical Line in? oh no! you are right - only USB in!

is only USB in really that bad a thing? I have never ever had to use optical in my life.

Not really unless you need optical for connecting to a tv or stacking the zen blue and zen dac. I mainly just use usb anyway so it wouldn’t be a problem for me

Now in-stock at some in retailers.

What I don’t like is the short USB-B 3.0 cable, I had to get an extension, until I can get a longer cable.

The “true bass” feature is worthless and sounds like crap.

Does the unit sound good as a whole though?

Yes. But I’m running it as a true DAC right now to the 888. Tomorrow when a 4.4mm to XLR arrived I’ll try it balanced. I like the Burr Brown over the 9038q2s.

I originally got it because it was interesting and I wanted something different at work. But since I got the 888 I figured I’ll use it as a balanced DAC.

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Well that’s good lol, I really like the ifi Burr brown dac implementations

How much do I gain (sound quality wise) from something like the Zen Blue as opposed to the ES100? Right now for my office set up I use an ES100 as Bluetooth input from my phone (don’t judge, it’s a lot more convenient) as an input to a desktop amp (right now a SMSL SAP-6, but eventually a Liquid Spark).