The iFi Zen Stream adds Hi Resolution streaming to any DAC, giving you a Roon end point, Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect, UPnP DLNA streaming, Airplay and soon to be added Chromecast. All this via a Digital coax or USB ouput makes this a very capable Audio bridge at a genuinely low price.
Encased in a classic Zen chassis, this compact streamer sits perfectly with the Zen DAC V2 and Zen Can, or can be part of any high resolution Hifi System.
AC 100 -240V, 50/60Hz
||Wi-Fi / Ethernet / USB HDD
||USB3.0 (Type-A Socket) x2
||No Signal ~6W
Max Signal ~10W
||158 x 100 x 35 mm
6.2" x 3.9" x 1.4"
||578g (1.14 lbs)
ZEN Stream is a true ground-up design by iFi — the hardware and software implementation is quite exceptional:
- Two SuperSpeed USB3.0 ports with Active Noise Cancellation II
- S/PDIF out with the iPurifier built-in
- Power supply with Silent Power tech
- iFi software developed with Volumio open-source as the starting point, then coded and optimised by us to achieve the purest streaming software bar none
These are some of the factors behind why the ZEN Stream is at the cutting-edge handling PCM384/DSD256 on LAN and WiFi (802.11n, with 100Mbps on 5Ghz).
The ZEN Stream has one of the most fully-optimised software platforms in the world.
From the device’s drivers, to the kernel (the heart of the operating system), to the shell (which interfaces with the kernel), to the applications and the user interface — everything is fully optimised for seamless operation and excellent sonic performance.
An ingenious part of the ZEN Stream’s design is the ability to select between ‘Exclusive’ modes – individual settings dedicated to specific modes of operation to deliver the purest possible performance. All other programs are shut down – to minimise ‘software jitter’ — an often overlooked aspect that negatively impacts the quality of computer audio playback.
This ensures that the ZEN Stream is not merely a ‘jack of all trades’, but a master of all too.
- All-in-one (AIO) covers all modes
- DLNA streaming
- NAA streaming
- Roon Bridge streaming*
- Tidal streaming
Who’s who of Streaming.
Hot off the press, the ZEN Stream has the following connectivity options:
- Stream straight from Spotify/Tidal apps with Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect
- Works with any DLNA certified streaming app (our own app is imminent!)
- Integrated Airplay and Chromecast* – easy streaming from Apple and Android devices
- Roon compatible – basically, it adds Roon to any DAC.
- NAA operation in conjunction with Sygnalist’s HQPlayer software
*Chromecast to come in a future update.
Beneath the unassuming casework sits some serious horsepower in terms of both technologies and components:
- Powerful 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex microprocessor
- USB and S/PDIF interfaces regulated by femto-precision GMT clock to eradicate jitter
- Active Noise Cancellation II and iPurifier technologies for USB and S/PDIF interfaces respectively
- Intelligent Ethernet switch controller
- High-PSRR, low idle current, low-dropout voltage regulators with soft start
- Synchronous 1.6MHz high-speed precision power supply controller
- C0G capacitors and Taiyo Yuden and Murata low ESR inductors
This is a true hi-res device. It uniquely supports PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz over Wi-Fi as well as Ethernet cable, plus DSD up to 11.2MHz (DSD256). Highly unusual in a Wi-Fi streamer.
Our ‘exclusive modes’ give you individual settings dedicated to specific modes of operation to deliver the purest possible performance.
This non-specific mode is great for all platforms, audio formats and devices.
Select this mode to optimise performance when using the ZEN Stream with DLNA-compatible apps and devices.
Select this mode when using the ZEN Stream as a Network Audio Adapter in conjunction with Signalyst HQPlayer software.
Roon Bridge streaming
Select this mode when integrating the ZEN Stream into a ROON environment.
If you are a subscriber to Tidal’s Masters Tier, this is the mode for you.
Use the ‘hotspot’ button on the front to join a Wi-Fi network.
Dual-band Wi-Fi reception supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac for a fast, reliable wireless connection.
The circuit design has been painstakingly engineered to deliver superb sound, with processing muscle supplied by a 64-bit, quad-core ARM Cortex microprocessor.
The USB ports – both input and output – support the SuperSpeed USB3.0 standard and benefit from iFi’s Active Noise Cancelling technology to remove distortion from the audio signal.
Similarly, the coaxial S/PDIF output incorporates iFi’s iPurifier signal purifying technology.
Both of the two digital outputs – asynchronous USB and coaxial S/PDIF – that provide connectivity to an external DAC or an amp with digital inputs are regulated by iFi’s femto-precision GMT (Global Master Timing) circuitry to eradicate jitter from the digital audio signal.
Intelligent Ethernet. The device uses a high-performance Ethernet switch with a low-power integrated 5-Port Giga-PHY.
We’ve utilised high-PSRR, low idle current, low-dropout voltage regulators with soft start. This means maximised efficiency and minimised system noise.
Add to this, a synchronous 1.5MHz high-speed power supply controller for even great noise reduction and even less distortion.
Carefully chosen circuit components including discrete, high-grade surface-mounted devices such as TDK C0G multilayer ceramic capacitors and inductors from Taiyo Yuden and Murata add to the quality build of this product.