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iFi Zen DAC V2

Desktop USB DAC and headphone amplifier

Item # 246ZENDAC2

A versatile desktop DAC/headphone amp combo that'll improve your music without causing unnecessary clutter.

A versatile desktop DAC/headphone amp combo that'll improve your music without causing unnecessary clutter.

Item # 246ZENDAC2

Ships free

Ship date unknown

$159.99

About the iFi Zen DAC V2

A powerful desktop audio companion

iFi has been a longtime favorite of mine. The original Zen DAC pleasantly surprised me the first time I heard it, offering up quick, natural sound with plenty of amplification in a sleek package. When I heard they were releasing the Zen DAC V2, I was ecstatic. The 'V2 takes all the good things from the old Zen DAC — namely the DAC chip and headphone amp — and adds some extra high-performance goodies into the mix.

A powerful desktop audio companion

iFi has been a longtime favorite of mine. The original Zen DAC pleasantly surprised me the first time I heard it, offering up quick, natural sound with plenty of amplification in a sleek package. When I heard they were releasing the Zen DAC V2, I was ecstatic. The 'V2 takes all the good things from the old Zen DAC — namely the DAC chip and headphone amp — and adds some extra high-performance goodies into the mix.

Performance upgrades

The company opted to use a 16-bit XMOS microcontroller/processor for this iteration. That chip is responsible for handling the incoming USB audio data. The new low-latency chip boasts double the clock speed and four times the digital memory of the previous version's 8-core chip. On top of that, the processor has been carefully optimized by iFi's in-house digital development team to ensure it operates in harmony with the digital-to-analog converter chip.

A new clock was added to the 'V2 as well. The new low-jitter GMT (Global Master Timing) clock and intelligent memory buffer serve to keep the distortion low and to keep your music as authentic to the source as possible.

Improve your digital tunes. including MQA audio

iFi put a high-grade "True Native" Burr-Brown 32-bit digital-to-analog converter chip under the hood of the 'V2 to ensure it delivers clear sound. It has no trouble bringing out the most in your music, whether it comes from Spotify®, TIDAL, or files you've already got on your PC. This DAC handles music files up to 32-bit/384 kHz and DSD up to 11.2 MHz. It can even fully decode MQA, meaning it completes all three file "unfolds," reproducing the track exactly as the artist or studio intended.

Hook it up and get your tunes going

On the front panel, you'll find both a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn and a 1/4" output. Most headphones out there use one or the other. If your cans use a 3.5mm instead, the included 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter has you covered.

There's a USB Type B port on the rear that both powers the Zen DAC V2 and feeds it audio signals from your desktop or laptop. There's also a 5V DC input if you'd like to plug it into a wall outlet, but the adapter is sold separately. The rear panel has an unbalanced stereo RCA output and a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn output for connecting to compatible powered speakers or amplifiers. These connections mean you can use the Zen DAC V2 as a stereo preamplifier.

As an added benefit, these outputs can be set to fixed or variable via a rear-panel selector switch. Setting it to "fixed" bypasses the Zen DAC V2's volume control, best for connecting to an external preamp or integrated amp. "Variable" lets you control the volume using the V2's front-panel knob, feeding signal to a power amplifier or powered speakers. 

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Product highlights:

  • desktop USB DAC with built-in high-performance headphone amp
  • improves sound from your PC, laptop, digital music player, iPhone®, and/or Android™ phone
    • USB cable included (Type A to Type B)
  • compact design with sturdy metal chassis
  • four rubber feet with no-slip grip
  • 16-core XMOS processor/microcontroller programmed by iFi's development team for optimized sound and perfect cooperation with digital-to-analog converter chip
Digital-to-analog converter:
  • Burr-Brown "True Native" digital-to-analog converter chip for high-quality sound
  • supported audio files: PCM and DXD up to 32-bit/384kHz; DSD up to DSD256 ( up to 11.2 MHz)
  • offers full decoding for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio files
  • GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer to eliminate jitter
Balanced headphone amplifier:
  • two front-panel headphone outputs:
    • one unbalanced 1/4" headphone output (3.5mm mini to 1/4" adapter included)
    • one balanced Pentaconn 4.4mm output
  • low noise floor for clear audio reproduction
  • output power (4.4mm):
    • 330mW @ 32 ohms
    • 6.6V @ 600 ohms
  • output power (1/4"):
    • 230mW @ 32 ohms
    • 3.3V @ 600 ohms
  • compatible with headphones from 16-600 ohms
  • THD+N: 0.005
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 113 dB
Front-panel controls:
  • TrueBass sound control processing for boosting bass
  • PowerMatch switchable gain
  • high-precision volume control dial
Back-panel DAC/preamp connections and controls:
  • Type B USB input for connecting PC, smartphone, and other mobile devices
  • one balanced 4.4mm output for connecting a compatible powered speaker or amp
  • Note: do NOT connect balanced headphones to this output — the full signal could damage your headphones and/or hearing.
  • line direct/preamp selection switch (fixed or variable)
  • stereo unbalanced RCA preamp output with selectable fixed/variable level (RCA cables included)
Line output section:
  • RCA output power: 2.1V (fixed); 1V-3.3V (variable)
  • rear 4.4mm Pentaconn output power: 4.2V (fixed); 2V-6.2V (variable)
  • THD+N: 0.0015%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 116 dB
General info and specs:
  • draws power from your laptop or PC when connected via USB
  • 5-volt DC power input
    • power cable not included
  • color-coded LED indicator denotes MQA status:
    • blue indicates an MQA Studio file is playing
    • green indicates the MQA file is being decoded by the Zen DAC V2
  • headphone output impedance: < 1 ohm (balanced and unbalanced)
  • 6-5/16"W x 1-7/16"H x 4-5/8"D
  • weight: 1.8 lbs
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # Zen DAC V2

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