iFi ZEN Stream

KalahariLion

Standard Member
@KalahariLion thanks for the suggestions. The question of sub-standard is pretty relative and subjective. What I am referring to is that the power supply we offer with the Zen Stream is above the industry SMPS standard, so it it hard to state it is a sub-standard product. Obviously, you are right saying that iPower or other Silent Power products have the potential of taking the Zen Stream to the next level. If you then take an iPower as an industry standard (which is galaxies away from the standard), then our regular power supply could be considered sub-standard, but not in any other arrangement.

First few thousand of the Zen Streams were bundled with an extra iPower as as part of the promo deal, but it is not a part of a regular set.
See the manual attached
The generic power adapter may be above the industry std., but it barely meets the max spec requirement and is noisy to my tube amp. Your excellent Zen streamer deserves a better power adapter. It should be bundled with your excellent iPower. I am just pointing out your weakest link. This is customer input. What you do with it is your business decision.
 

live555i

Novice Member
I found the zen stream to be tough to setup in my network. It worked seamlessly with Spotify but could not connect at all with Tidal. After trying ethernet, wifi, different settings and latest firmware (Oct 2021) on the zen stream I couldn't figure it out how to get Tidal working. However I did discover a thread on Bluesound Node 2i having similar issues. Turns out Tidal seems to hardcode the DNS and needs it to be 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. and this didn't match in my network router as it was set to my ISPs DNS. I had to manually set that in my DCHP settings and low and behold everything works completely fine now.
 

jag1

Standard Member
as reported earlier i could not a digital signal from Zen Stream to the DAC even though in Roon showed that everything was working in the chain. track playing, Zen engaged, DAC engaged. what a mystery. all suggestion from the forums did not work but today i stumbled on something. i went into the ifi setup menu and in settings found something called "configuration wizard" i opened it and selected SPDIF and ran it. now my DAC is receiving the stream from the Zen and the sample rate is showing on the respective coax display and music is playing.
wish i had discovered this weeks ago. hopefully problem solved.
 
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jag1

Standard Member
@jag1 on Ifi's website under tutorials

well it was short lived, back to square one and can not get back into the ifi.local page to run the configuration wizard again. trying to get things going from the Mconnect App. play to show the ZS, but when playback starts no coax input lights up on DAC from the ZS. so no signal to the DAC is being detected and thus no analog into the amp. no music.
 

rc789

Active Member
I’m returning mine today and going with the CXN v2. I found the ifi very frustrating. Coming from BluOS was probably always going to be a challenge but it was poor connectivity in WiFi and Ethernet. Many of the radio stations didn’t work. The sound quality was good but I want something that just works and I don’t have to mess about with all the time. It was slow to get a connection within the app after the unit was powered off although that may be unfair as the node was always in standby.
Could be a good device at that price as well but for me, heavily let down by its convenience. Streaming is about convenience amongst other things and this didn’t feel like it. Airplay quality was good but again, suffers the same connectivity issues albeit not quite so frustrating.
 

jag1

Standard Member
i am going to buy a NODE today, tired of the struggle. hopefully the retailer in Singapore will give me my money back, but i am not holding my breath. or perhaps someone who like to tinker will buy mine locally. i am out of Ebay range being stuck here in the East due to Covid. i think the NODE with a good DAC will equal it as just a streamer. this product is not plug and play as i was led to believe. just my personal take.
 

Ron100

Active Member
I just bought Node and I was looking for streamer without a Dac.
The Zen was on my list, but after reading a few comments I decided to spend more and get the Node. Now I'm glad I did.
It’s really easy to set up, works flawlessly in the few days I have been using it and the Dac is excellent. If you get one, I don't think you will be rushing out to buy a new Dac.
To me, ease of use is paramount. More than happy sacrifice a small amount of quality ( if indeed you are )for for ease of use and reliability.
 

rc789

Active Member
My CXN app is okay for what I’m using it for. If I want to listen to a station I press it and music starts playing immediately. The node also performed this feature with ease. The node allowed me to skip tracks on radio paradise which the CXN doesn’t but If I airplay from the RP app I’m sure I could. So to summarise in my experience the BluOS is the best interface I’ve used and the Zen is the worst.
Good sound, crap system.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
I found the zen stream to be tough to setup in my network. It worked seamlessly with Spotify but could not connect at all with Tidal. After trying ethernet, wifi, different settings and latest firmware (Oct 2021) on the zen stream I couldn't figure it out how to get Tidal working. However I did discover a thread on Bluesound Node 2i having similar issues. Turns out Tidal seems to hardcode the DNS and needs it to be 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. and this didn't match in my network router as it was set to my ISPs DNS. I had to manually set that in my DCHP settings and low and behold everything works completely fine now.
Tidal is indeed making it slightly more difficult, but I am happy you managed to solve this pickle.
 

RicFromTor

Novice Member
Hello,

I just bought the unit. I am new to music streaming. Is there a way to use Amazon music HD with this streamer?
 

NikosV

Standard Member
I think only via Airplay (and possibly Chromecast in the future). The quality is very good despite lack of Ultra HD
 

Cebolla

Member
FYI, Amazon have for their own reasons restricted Chromecast to Amazon Music's lowest quality lossy streams (which Amazon markets as 'SD'), so not even the lossless CD-res ('HD' in Amazon speak) you can get with AirPlay from Amazon Music, never mind hi-res ('Ultra HD'). See:
Amazon.co.uk: Amazon Music HD FAQs: Digital Music

Which Android devices support Amazon Music HD?​

Most Android devices running Android Lollipop, released in 2014, or later support HD/Ultra HD playback. However, Android devices vary widely in quality and purpose, so we advise checking manufacturer specifications for HD/Ultra HD support.

At this time Amazon Music HD is not supported on Chromecast.
 
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Mark wrs

Standard Member
Primare np5 prisma is a nice little streamer only unit, I think they have released a mkii version but I've seen ex demo units on the well known auction site....if anyone is interested..I use one into my njc audio ii reference dac another great product from Britain's hi-fi cottage industry.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello,

I just bought the unit. I am new to music streaming. Is there a way to use Amazon music HD with this streamer?
We are working together with the software providers, Google, Apple, Amazon etc., to make all major audio software available on the Zen Stream. As of today the Zen Stream is not capable of playing Amazon HD.
 

spirosgon

Member
I would expect, that as per the initial company' s promise, Chromecast should be settled to Stream via a firmware update.

Are there any news on this issue ?
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Yes. We stand by what we said. We delivered all necessary documents to Google. Now waiting for the integration and licensing on their side.
 

Cebolla

Member
How about providing the iFi Zen Stream with a Squeezelite player?

The Logitech Media Server is very much alive and well, thanks to Logitech and the thriving 3rd party LMS/Squeezebox developers community (one of which, philippe_44, iFi has previously collaborated with in the production of the iFi Bridge software, I believe).

LMS would make a decent free alternative to using Roon.
 
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spirosgon

Member
Yes. We stand by what we said. We delivered all necessary documents to Google. Now waiting for the integration and licensing on their side.
Thnx for the quick response, my dear !

Is there any time plan for same ?

Personally speaking, I 'm eagerly waiting for this feature, as I need to play Qobuz using its native app. This is only possible through Chromecast, as when I use BubbleUPnP for same (as I'm doing up to now to stream directly to my KEF LS50 WIRELESS), I experience delays, drops, android battery settings issues, etc.. I hope that by buying the IFI Stream (with chromecast) I 'll find my nirvana.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
How about providing the iFi Zen Stream with a Squeezelite player?

The Logitech Media Server is very much alive and well, thanks to Logitech and the thriving 3rd party LMS/Squeezebox developers community (one of which, philippe_44, iFi has previously collaborated with in the production of the iFi Bridge software, I believe).

LMS would make a decent free alternative to using Roon.
That is a very good observation. Since we collaborate with Chromecast it is going to be my first choice when it comes to recommendations, but as you already observed there are many inexpensive apps on the market that allow for the same or similar features.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Thnx for the quick response, my dear !

Is there any time plan for same ?

Personally speaking, I 'm eagerly waiting for this feature, as I need to play Qobuz using its native app. This is only possible through Chromecast, as when I use BubbleUPnP for same (as I'm doing up to now to stream directly to my KEF LS50 WIRELESS), I experience delays, drops, android battery settings issues, etc.. I hope that by buying the IFI Stream (with chromecast) I 'll find my nirvana.
Regarding time, I really wish I could tell you it's 2 weeks or a month, because this is one of the reasons for us be on this forum.

We are told by Google that it is sooner than later. Unfortunately, it is not up to us at this point. I'll post the update as soon as we know more.
 

agamatic666

Novice Member
Hello I am new here. I recently did an upgrade of my Node 2i replacing the internal ps with a Fidelity Audio Reference interface at about £140 It was easy to do and produced very noticeable improvements probably thanks to the introduction of the iFi Power X ps. Now I'm wondering if anybody has compared the upgraded node with the Zen Stream? It will have to be very good indeed to better the improved resolution and separation I am getting with the ref interface/ipower x combo. I am so impressed with the power x I am already planning on getting the elite asap.
If no-one has done a comparative test I would happily volunteer if iFi would be kind enough to send me a Zen Stream to test.
tempImageVKe57Q.png
 

Cebolla

Member
That is a very good observation. Since we collaborate with Chromecast it is going to be my first choice when it comes to recommendations, but as you already observed there are many inexpensive apps on the market that allow for the same or similar features.
Not sure you understood - my post was actually a request for you to add the open source Squeezelite player to the Zen Stream's firmware, like it already has a UPnP/DLNA renderer, a NAA, a Roon Endpoint, a TIDAL Connect player, etc (not to mention the almost ready Chromecast player).
 
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iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Not sure you understood - my post was actually a request for you to add the open source Squeezelite player to the Zen Stream's firmware, like it already has a UPnP/DLNA renderer, a NAA, a Roon Endpoint, a TIDAL Connect player, etc (not to mention the almost ready Chromecast player).
I did. :) Got your point and forwarded your suggestions to the R&D. On top of that I mentioned a few cents about Chromecast.
 

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