iFi audio ZEN Signature Bundle (Zen DAC Signature & Zen CAN Signature 6XX)

iFi audio

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  • ZEN Signature bundle includes a free iFi 4.4mm to 4.4mm balanced interconnect worth $149 to seamlessly pair both components together.

    ZEN DAC Signature
    Our specialist ZEN DAC Signature is designed to be a pure desktop DAC that takes no prisoners when it comes to performance.

    Pure and (not so) simple
    Enveloped in the Space Blue finish now associated with our Signature products, the ZEN DAC Signature has been designed to be a DAC, pure and simple. Without the built-in headphone amp, its sole purpose is to feed an external amp, be it a headphone amp, or an amp and speakers. Its simplified circuitry provides the opportunity to upgrade the signal path and critical components within it. The existing ZEN DAC introduced the benefits of fully balanced circuit design but the ZEN DAC Signature further ups the ante with its enhanced true-differential balanced topology.

    Superior circuits. Superb sound.
    Various key surface-mounted circuit components have been upgraded to high-end devices, including Panasonic OS-CON and Elna Silmic II capacitors. The circuit has been refined to ensure short, direct signal paths for optimal signal purity. This results in even greater sonic detail and expression.

    A true native
    The ZEN DAC Signature’s digital stage retains the True Native DAC architecture much loved here at iFi as well as It delivers bit-perfect PCM (up to 32-bit/384kHz), native DSD (up to DSD256), DXD and MQA – the hi-res streaming codec, as used by Tidal’s ‘Masters’ tier. The sample rate of incoming audio data is indicated by a multicoloured LED residing behind the aluminium volume control. The iFi-programmed XMOS chip, which processes data received at the USB input, and jitter-eradicating, audiophile-grade oscillators, contribute to exemplary handling of digital audio signals as they are received, processed and converted to analogue form.

    Soul connections
    The USB Type B input supports the ‘SuperSpeed’ USB 3.0 standard, as well as USB 2.0 for backwards compatibility. It is asynchronous, meaning that the data rate is regulated solely by the ZEN DAC Signature’s specialised audio clock circuitry for accurate, jitter-free data transfer from the source device. There is a pair of RCA sockets for single-ended connection to an amp, plus a Pentaconn 4.4mm output – this enables balanced signal transfer between compact products that cannot accommodate traditional, bulky XLR connections. When connected to an amp or active speakers equipped with a balanced input – either a 4.4mm Pentaconn input, or stereo XLR inputs via a 4.4mm-to-XLR cable – the full benefit of the ZEN DAC Signature’s balanced circuit design can be heard. It will speak to your soul.

    Fixed or variable. You decide.
    The ZEN DAC Signature’s outputs can be switched between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’. The variable setting applies volume control to the audio signal, enabling the ZEN DAC Signature to act as a preamp to connect directly to a power amp. The fixed option bypasses the volume control, fixing the output at 4.2V (balanced) or 2.1V (single-ended) for connection to an external preamp, integrated amp or active speakers with their own volume control.

    Dynamic Duo
    The ZEN DAC Signature works well with the ZEN CAN Signature. Products can be bought separately but a ‘ZEN Signature Set’ is now available. This comprises both ZEN Signature units plus a high-performance 4.4mm Pentaconn cable (worth £69 when purchased separately) to connect them together. When used in tandem, the two ZEN Signatures make a fantastic, desktop-sized headphone system for both digital and analogue sources, further extending the reputation of iFi’s ZEN Series for delivering exceptional performance and versatility at remarkable prices.

    ZEN CAN Signature 6XX
    The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX analogue headphone amplifier takes sonic tailoring to the next level with ActivEQ.

    Level-up
    The original ZEN CAN, our all-analogue headphone amplifier, boasted the ability to drive tough headphone loads, a balanced circuit design, vanishingly low levels of distortion and versatile sonic tailoring. The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX takes this to another level. It further improves the sound quality with enhanced circuit design, whilst maintaining the versatile features of the ‘regular’ version and adding something special. A custom EQ setting precisely tailored across the entire frequency response curve to make the most of a popular headphone model.

    ActiveEQ
    This new feature, called ActivEQ, combines active and passive components to create a specific EQ curve to suit a particular pair of headphones, performed in the analogue domain without a hint of additional noise or distortion. The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX, features ActivEQ for the ‘MassDrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX’ a popular pair of high-quality headphones. These headphones are renowned for the quality of their midrange performance but exhibit some quirks in the bass and treble regions, which can be seen in frequency response measurements.

    EQ. Activated
    When the ‘HD 6XX’ button is pressed, the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX calibrates its signal to complement the headphone’s response characteristics right across the frequency range, thus tailoring its performance to precisely fit the HD 6XX like a made-to-measure suit. What’s more, the benefits of this ActivEQ curve are equally applicable to the Sennheiser HD 650, which shares the same characteristics. It also has an effect on other Sennheiser models take a look here. This feature can be switched on or off. Without ActivEQ engaged, the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX’s performance is adroitly balanced to make the most of all manner of headphones and in-ear monitors.

    No pain, no gain.
    Not in the case of the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX. It features four gain settings in six dB steps – 0dB, 6dB, 12dB and 18db. This enables the amp to precisely suit the connected headphones. Unity gain (0dB) is useful to ensure low noise with sensitive in-ear monitors, while the higher gain settings make the most of tougher headphone loads, delivering excellent dynamic headroom.

    XSpace
    This analogue processing mode compensates for the ‘in-head localisation’ effect that can occur when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of speakers. It widens the headphone soundstage to deliver a more spacious and speaker-like experience.

    Balance of Power
    The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX’s circuitry is a balanced, symmetrical dual-mono design – a topology usually reserved for high-end headphone amps – with a number of key elements trickled down from the discrete Class A circuitry developed for iFi’s flagship headphone amplifier, the Pro iCAN. Key components have been upgraded to enhance performance in line with the improvements made to the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX, including the use of Panasonic OS-CON and Elna Silmic II capacitors.

    Driving force
    The amp offers prodigious drive capability, delivering 1600mW (7.2V) into 32 ohms from the single-ended output, with 15V+ available to loads of 300 ohms or more through the balanced output, ensuring it takes even current-hungry planar headphones in its stride. Delivering ultra-low distortion, rich sonic detail, engaging dynamics and the ability to drive all manner of headphones with ease, the ZEN CAN Signature 6XX is a truly a driving force to be reckoned with.

    Stay connected
    The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX offers stereo RCA and 3.5mm single-ended inputs, plus a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn input. A 4.4mm balanced output is also provided, to connect to power amps equipped with a balanced input. It provides a pair of headphone outputs – a 6.3mm output for headphones that have a standard single-ended connector (compatible with all headphones) and a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output for headphones offering balanced connection. An increasing number of high-quality headphones and in-ear monitors either come so equipped or give the option of detaching the cable and upgrading to a 4.4mm Pentaconn connector, and this output makes the most of them (it is particularly recommended for high-impedance headphones).

  • • ActivEQ, combines active and passive components to create a specific EQ curve
    • XSpace analogue processing mode
    • Fully-discrete and balanced amplifier audio circuit
    • Custom OV Series operational-amplifier
    • MOSFET is used as a muting switch
    • TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors
    • The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset
    • Extensive jitter-eradication technologies
    • Panasonic OS-CON caps totaling 5,410uF
    • Texas Instruments low-noise ICs
    • Tokyo Cosmos Electric Co. (TOCOS) multi-track potentiometer
    • muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors
    • ELNA Japan Silmic II capacitors
  • ZEN CAN Signature 6XX

    SNR

    122 dB (BAL)

    Dynamic Range

    -122 dB (BAL)

    Frequency Response

    (-3dB): 10 Hz – 200 kHz

    Function Button

    HD6XX adaption and/or XSpace; Bypass

    IMD

    0.01%

    Dimensions 11.7 x 10 x 3cm

    Weight

    0.85kg

    Inputs
    RCA 3.5 (SE), 4.4mm (BAL))
    Headphone Output 6.35 mm, 4.4 mm
    Gain 0 dB, 6 dB,12 dB,18 dB adjust
    THD+N (A-Weighting) 0.0066% (BAL), 0.0058% (SE)
    ZOUT
    Headphone out 0.25 ohms (SE), 0.5 ohms (BAL)
    Balanced line out 200 ohms
    Power
    Maximum output power (16 ohms) 3.0 V / 600 mW (BAL), 4.0 V / 1000 mW (SE)
    Maximum output power (300 ohms) 5.1 V / 756 mW (BAL), 7.6 V / 196 mW (SE)
    Maximum output power (600 ohms) 15.2 V / 385 mW (BAL), 7.6 V / 98 mW (SE)
    Maximum power consumption 13 W / 2.6A
    ZEN DAC Signature

    Input

    USB3.0 B Socket (USB2.0 compatible)

    Formats

    2.8/3.1/5.6/6.2/11.2/12.4MHz DSD

    352.8/384KHz DXD
    MQA
    DAC Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr Brown
    Power Consumption 5V / 174ma, P = 0.887W (on idle using included iPower)
    Dimensions 11.7 x 10 x 3cm

    Weight

    0.75kg

    ZOUT
    Balanced <= 200 Ohm
    SE <= 100 Ohm
    SNR <-117 dB(A) @ 0dBFS (BAL/SE)
    DNR >117 dB(A) @ -60dBFS (BAL/SE)
    THD+N <0.0011% @ 0dBFS (BAL/SE)
    Outputs
    Balanced 4.4 mm 2V-6.2V max. (variable)/4.2V (fixed)
    RCA (SE) 1V-3.3V max. (variable)/2.1V (fixed)