About the iFi Zen Blue V2
iFi's renowned wireless DAC just got better
iFi's renowned wireless DAC just got better
iFi's original Zen Blue wireless Bluetooth DAC earned rave reviews from our customers for its sound and build quality. Now the Zen Blue V2 is set to carry on the tradition of being one of the best, most affordable wireless DACs available. This updated version offers helpful upgrades over its predecessor. It sports an improved Bluetooth® antenna that increases its range by up to 80% for fewer dropouts and interruptions to your music. iFi also gave it some audio upgrades, too, implementing an improved digital clock and a cleaner power supply.
More than just a dongle
The Zen Blue V2 connects wirelessly to a huge range of sources using Bluetooth 5.0, including smartphones, PCs, Mac® computers, tablets, and more. It supports all current Bluetooth codecs, like aptX®, aptX HD, LDAC, and HWA/LHDC. It can even be updated over-the-air to add new codecs as they come out, making it essentially future-proof.
The wireless signal is handled by Qualcomm's latest and greatest Bluetooth chip. It does a stellar job of maintaining signal accuracy as it passes those 1s and 0s along to the DAC chip. The beefy ESS Hyperstream Sabre digital-to-analog converter chip uses an upgraded version of iFi's GMT (Global Master Timing) clock to keep jitter to a minimum and to improve performance.
There are plenty of ways to hook up the Zen Blue V2 to your existing audio gear. It has an unbalanced stereo RCA output for connecting to a receiver or amplifier, as well as a balanced 4.4mm output to connect to compatible powered speakers and amps. There are also optical and coaxial digital outputs for sending signal over to other components with onboard DACs.
The analog output stage has balanced circuitry, meaning the left and right channels have symmetrical circuit layouts to reduce interference — which is hard to find at this price. The RCA output is rated at 2 volts, while the 4.4mm output is rated at 4 volts, meaning you can use this versatile streamer with hi-fi and pro systems alike.
Note: Do not connect the 4.4mm output to headphones. The signal voltage exceeds what headphones are rated for. Doing so can lead to damage to your hearing and/or your headphones.
- allows wireless music playback from Bluetooth-compatible smartphones, tablets, music players, and computers
- built-in Bluetooth 5.0
- supported codecs: aptX, aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, AAC, SBC, LDAC, and HWA/LHDC
- stores up to eight paired device profiles
- front iFi logo acts as an LED Bluetooth codec indicator for signal quality confirmation
- durable all-metal chassis with high-grade connectors
- improved Bluetooth antenna for extended connection range
- built-in ESS Sabre Hyperstream digital-to-analog converter chip for high-quality sound
- improved GMT (Global Master Timing) clock for lower distortion and better performance
- Qualcomm 5100-series processing chip for advanced wireless streaming
- feeds raw digital Bluetooth signal straight to ESS Sabre chip for digital-to-analog conversion
- class 1 ceramic capacitors for stable audio signal path
- fully balanced internal circuitry to avoid distortion and cross-talk between channels
- balanced 4.4mm output for connecting a powered speaker or amp
- Note: do NOT connect balanced headphones to this output — the full signal could damage your headphones and/or hearing.
- one unbalanced stereo RCA audio output
- optical digital (Toslink) audio output
- coaxial digital (S/PDIF) audio output
- 5-volt DC power input (power cable included)
- digital/analog audio signal control switch
- 21-inch stereo RCA cable included
- frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- signal-to-noise ratio: 111 dB (balanced); 106 dB (unbalanced)
- THD: 0.009% (balanced); 0.03% balanced
- dimensions (measured by Crutchfield): 6-1/4"W x 1-3/8"H x 5-11/16"D
- weight: 1.07 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 0311001-N00004
What's in the box:
- Bluetooth receiver/DAC
- 4.25" Standard Bluetooth antenna
- 6.25" High gain antenna
- AC adapter with attached 46" DC output cord (DC output: 5V 500mA)
- 20" Stereo RCA patch cable
- User Manual
- Warranty card
iFi Zen Blue V2 reviews
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More details on the iFi Zen Blue V2
Overview: The iFi ZEN Blue Version 2 is a desktop Bluetooth receiver that can deliver your favorite music streamed from your smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac to your audio system. Up to 8 Bluetooth devices can be stored for quick pairing. ZEN Blue v2 supports the latest Hi-Res codecs for the best quality sound. Version 2 comes with a new upgraded antenna that will increase its range by up to 80% The device has optical and coaxial digital outputs, as well as balanced and unbalanced analog outputs. ZEN Blue v2 features a stylish charcoal gray aluminum enclosure, and comes with a 5V DC power supply.
Supported Bluetooth Codecs: ZEN Blue v2 supports Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless streaming of your favorite music. Some of the compatible codecs support 24-bit audio formats, including Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, Sony's LDAC, and Huawei's HWA. ZEN Blue v2 also supports regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC (the format of Apple iOS devices), and SBC (Standard Bluetooth Codec). On the front panel, the color of the iFi logo indicates the codec being received:
- Off: SBC
- Yellow: AAC
- Blue: aptX
- Magenta: aptX HD
- Green: aptX Adaptive
- Red: aptX LL
- Cyan: LDAC
- White: LHDC/HWA
Internal Components: iFi Audio uses separate chips for Bluetooth reception and digital-to-audio conversion. Qualcomm's state-of-the-art QCC5100 chip is actually a DAC chip, but ZEN Blue v2 uses it to only "receive" the signal. The signal is then sent to the ESS Sabre DAC chip which converts the digital signal to analog. The DAC's Hyperstream architecture with its Time Domain Jitter Eliminator and discrete oscillator eliminate jitter in the conversion process and deliver your audio with very low distortion and high dynamic range. iFi uses custom-designed op-amps, such as the ones found in the micro iDSD Black Label DAC, to produce the solid output signal (2V single-ended, 4V balanced). If the output switch is set to Digital, the op-amps are bypassed, and the digital signal is routed directly to the digital outputs.
Rear Panel Connections: All of the connections are located on the rear panel of the ZEN Blue v2, with both digital and analog outputs, and power and antenna connections. The 2-way Analog/Digital switch lets you select which outputs you desire. On the analog side, the 4.4mm (Pentaconn) line output is for connecting the Bluetooth receiver to an amplifier or powered speakers with a balanced input. The balanced design means less interference and crosstalk. The other analog output is a single-ended (unbalanced) stereo RCA output for connecting ZEN Blue v2 to an amplifier. If you have selected the Digital outputs, you can connect ZEN Blue v2 to anything with a built-in DAC via either coaxial or optical digital cable.
Note: The 4.4mm output is NOT for connecting balanced headphones, as the full signal will likely damage your headphones and your hearing.
Power Supply: ZEN Blue v2 is powered by the included 5-volt DC power supply. If desired, you can upgrade to a super low-noise power supply, such as the iFi iPower or iPower X.
- Input: Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, HWA codecs
- Digital: coaxial and optical (S/PIDF)
- Analog: Stereo RCA (unbalanced), 4.4mm (balanced)
- Frequency Response:
- 20Hz - 20kHz +0 /-0.5dB (44.1kHz)
- 1Hz - 44kHz +0 /-3.0dB (>=88.2kHz)
- Output Voltage (at 0 dBFS): 2.05V (+/- 0.05V)
- Dynamic Range: 109dB (A)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 109dB (A) @ 0 dBFS
- THD + N @ 0 dBFS: < 0.0015% (10k load)
- Output Impedance: < 50Ω
- Power Source: DC 5V
- Power Consumption: < 2.5W
- Dimensions: Width 6.238", Height 1.374", Depth 4.152" (5.402" with antenna)
- Weight: 17.15 ounces
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