The first are the Bluetooth receiver "Zen Blue" and the D/A converter and headphone amplifier "Zen DAC", which each cost 150 euros. Both models can be connected to the HiFi system via Cinch or a balanced 4.4 mm Pentaconn output - the Zen Blue can also be optically and coaxially connected via S/PDIF. The Zen Blue receives Bluetooth signals from a laptop or smartphone using the AAC, aptX and aptX HD, LDAC and HWA codecs, and converts them using an ESS DAC chip. The Zen DAC, on the other hand, features a Burr-Brown converter that accepts PCM signals up to 32 bit/384 kHz and DXD as well as DSD signals up to 11.2 MHz via USB and even decodes MQA files. Its output level can be set to variable or fixed. A Pentaconn and a 6.3 mm jack socket are available on the front of the Zen DAC for the headphone connection.
Small and affordable
ifi Zen: Bluetooth-Receiver and DAC
A new series from iFi Audio: the Zen devices come in futuristic, only 16 cm wide aluminum cabints – but they are intended for stationary use.