iFi Audio ZEN DAC USB DAC/Headphone Amp Zen Blue

Zen Blue

There's a second string to the ZEN bow, in the form of the ZEN Blue [pictured, below], aimed squarely at those who prefer their music streamed wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet rather than played from a computer via USB. The price is the same, and so is the attention-grabbing casework, and indeed the ZEN Blue has both balanced and unbalanced line outputs, as well as optical and coaxial digital outs, with a switch to select between these analogue and digital modes.


Powered from an offboard plugtop supply (we don't have wireless power over Bluetooth yet!), it uses the latest Qualcomm QCC5100 Bluetooth chip to support standard aptX as well as the Low Latency, Adaptive and HD variants. It also supports Sony's LDAC and Huawei's HWA Bluetooth audio coding regimes along with AAC and basic Bluetooth SBC, though Qualcomm's integrated DAC is replaced in the Blue by a tried-and-tested ESS Sabre converter. The result is a Bluetooth solution with not only wide flexibility but also a persuasive sound: wireless transmission still leaves something to be desired, but the ZEN Blue makes the most of what's delivered, both in terms of weight and scale and the detail on offer.

iFi-Audio (Abbingdon Global Group)
Supplied by: iFi Audio
01900 601954