Solid option to drive Sennheiser 560s - iFi Zen Air CAN?

Well, I’m new and pretty lost in this and I apologise in advance if I’m asking stupid question.
I’ve bought Sennheiser 560s to get some taste of hifi sound for best bang for a buck.
I don’t expect upgading them any time soon but I would like to buy something that will drive them at their potential.
Not sure if that is good idea but I plan to use DAC from my computer. I have pretty new board and I read somwhere that it should have good enough DAC and that it is best to invest just in amplifier. Board is Asus Prime z690 (Realtek 7.1).

I would like to ask what is better option for me?

  • iFi ZEN Air CAN or regular Ifi ZEN CAN? Will I hear any difference since 560s are single ended?
  • Or would it be better to take DAC/Amp combo like Zen DAC v2 or Zen Air DAC?

I’m lost. Any advice will be much welcome. Thank you.

I think the Zen Air DAC is all you need for the 560S and it’s a great pairing.

I wouldn’t get the Can unless you go up the 6XX or 600 or something where you really need the extra power.

Welcome to the Forum
For the 560 id go for the Zen Dac V2
The Can / Air Can are straight amps, so you have to feed them signal so that an additional expense (feeding it off the MB is not the best idea). Also the 560 doesnt need a whole lot of power to drive it so getting a combo unit is more than enough.

The IFI zen DAC basicly is the best everything (im Not of a fan of the Air, they seem to cut a lot of corners for it)

  • Solid amp and dac
  • Upgrade path if you want to (4.4 Balanced out the back) - i personaly have the V1 + IFI zen Can
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Thank you @Naturallymorbid @Eric_Rosenfield for great detailed answers.

I guess I’ll than cancel my order of Zen Air CAN and order Zen DAC v1 or v2. Fortunately it is not shipped yet from Amazon. :smile:
I was hooked on XBas and XSpace options on Zen CAN. Also if DAC from compouter is good enough, than that way get better sound in the end. Obviously I was wrong. I’ll keep CAN on backlog if I decide to upgrade headphones one day.

Thank you very much for your answers!

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Ya XBass is kinda of awesome thing, It is true that the Zen can has the better version but The IFI zen Dac is still very solid :slight_smile:

But I will get better sound from Zen DAC alone than from computer DAC + CAN? Did I understood well?


You could add the Can to the DAC and future proof yourself and get XBass but I would not do headphone out to the Can.

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Ordering DAC then. Thank you.

The thing is the IFI zen Dac name is kinda of missleading since its an amp/dac combo


I’ve ordered Zen DAC v2 because knowing myself I would keep regreting not buying the latest version as long as I will have v1.

I’ve google it a little and seems that 560s headphones are internaly actually balanced. According to that it is just matter of replacing wire to be able to connect on balanced port of Zen DAC.

The question is - Will I hear any difference beside just getting louder? I’m not aiming to extreme loudness but for quality. So if it will not provide better quality on some medium listening volume I wouldn’t bother with that.

No - or rather EXTREMELY unlikely.
Balanced is primarily designed for 2 things:
more Power and cleaner power.
Now since the 560 doesnt need a lot of power, there isnt a need to push the amp, so how “clean” it is wount matter since you arent pushing the amp to hear the noise floor.

Also the IFI zen dac is already fairly clean so even at high gain, so its really not an issue - For most dynamic headphones (like the 560) the IFI zen Dac should be more than enough, that changes when you get to power hungry planar headphones or certain exotic headphone

Perfect! Thank you very much for detailed answer.