iFi Zen DAC V2 or Micca OriGen G2 Or otther?

looking at these too for casual PC gaming. Not sure which one is better. Or if any of you have something that a dac amp combo that between $100 and $200 that’s better.

Thx for any help!

From a personal point of view, I would not buy anything that supports Mqa until it has been clarified what it is.
Whether it is a new format or not and so on.

I would rather go back to something that has already proven itself.
Schiit modi 3 or Topping e 30 with schiit Magni,Herasy.
Jds Labs Atom,Nuprime Hi mdac is also not wrong if you want to use it for home and mobile as well as Audioquest Red or Cobalt.

Certainly other Ify products that don’t support Mqa can also be used.

Hello, it would be helpful if you can tell us what headphone or speakers that you want to use it with.

I think it’s not the smartest move to completely disregard the Ifi Zen DAC. There’s a difference between buying a product that happen to have MQA and buying a product just because it has MQA. If you really hate and allergic to MQA, just don’t choose the GTO filter firmware update.

IMO between the Zen DAC and the E30, the Zen DAC is still a better DAC. I think their Burrbrown chip implementation is quite good. The E30 has that digital glare if you will and if I’m going to be pedantic about it, their tonality is also not quite good.

For the Schiit stack, they’re quite good. The fact that they’re a stack also made it easier for future upgrades, but I’m quite concerned about their availability.

Between the Zen DAC and the Micca OriGen G2, I don’t really have any experience with the G2. So, I can’t really comment for it, but if you don’t plan to have a hard to drive headphone, the Zen DAC is a really good amp/DAC for its price. Hopefully it helps.

If you are interested, @WaveTheory made a review abt amps under $200.


I mean, if you’re playing audio through the Zen DAC that’s not in MQA format, the MQA doesn’t matter does it? The Zen DAC is only going to decode MQA if it gets MQA, otherwise it’s just going to be a DAC, unless I’m mistaken.

It is both true and wrong. It’s true for the regular firmware, but not for the GTO filter firmware. So as you said the DAC will only decode MQA when you play MQA, but for the GTO filter it’s different. The GTO filter is developed by Ifi along with the help of MQA. Based on GoldenSound’s video, he found that the GTO filter is the same like having all the music played converted or applied with MQA. So whether it’s your usual music or MQA music, they all will have that MQA treatment. Many people also have said the GTO filter does something different to their music, whether it’s bad or good is up to the user. So, if you really don’t want MQA, don’t choose the GTO filter on Ifi devices.


I had no idea, and that’s kind of shocking tbh.

So I just tried a/b testing the Zen DAC with the only other DAC I have on hand, which happens to be the Apple lightning dongle. This obviously isn’t really a fair comparison since one costs $130 and the other costs $8, though the Apple dongle is famous for having surprisingly good quality for its price.

The differences were subtle. The Zen DAC does sound warmer and smoother and I think the details are more present and stronger. I think I prefer the Zen DAC to the dongle, though the dongle held up surprisingly well. I’m assuming the extra smoothness is due to the GTO filter you mentioned. (Based on my research, my model has the latest firmware.) This really makes me want to get some other DAC and compare it as well to see what I actually like. It’s really annoying to me that when I went to the firmware download page it didn’t offer me an option to download the older firmware and try it out and that there’s no way provided to turn off the GTO filter. Even if it does sound better, how do we know if it sounds better to us unless we can turn it off and try it out with no filter?

Yeah it’s kinda unfortunate for the Zen DAC. You can switch between filters on the other models tho like the pro iDSD and micro iDSD.

If you want, I still have the previous Zen DAC firmware files. Maybe you can experiment with those, but don’t blame me if there’s incompatibility or something breaks :wink:. It shouldn’t be harmful but u know just in case.

If I remember this correctly, the 5.2 can go up to DSD512, but there’s a clicking noise everytime you switch from lower sample rate to the 256 or 512 and vice versa. For the 5.3, they eliminated the clicking noise, but you can only go up to 256 and they also have some MQA improvement. It’s the 5.3c that’s GTO filter.

Edit: oops I feel like we have started to derail from the topic, maybe let’s continue on the Zen DAC’s thread if you want.

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Now you’ve got me a little scared to try it that I might break something! I’ll think about it.

Thanks so much for providing those though!

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