iFi ZEN Stream

Verx

Novice Member
It seems that you have a keen eye for detail.

The iPower X has much lower noise at 500mA than the iPower Mk2. But at 150mA the iPower Mk2 is quieter than the iPower X.
Hi @iFi audio, thanks a lot for your reply! I live with plot and analysis, being a professional astrophysicist! ;)
So, which model would you recommend to power a ZEN Stream? Thank you in advance!
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Astrophysics - that's impressive. Which area do you specialise in?

The Zen Stream will work with any of the Silent Power lines. The better the filtration the cleaner the sound and performance.


iPower Elite
iu

iPowerX
iu

iPower MK2
iu

iPower

Remember about the voltage recommendations.
 

proux

Active Member
Preumably the DC iPurifier2 with the provided basic power supply would also help?
 

proux

Active Member
@proux There are many HD players with DLNA capabilities, such as Jirver, Tidal, HQplayer, roon.

MacOS and Airplay. Airplay1 is the version that was applied before macOS 10.14, and now more recent mac products run on Airplay2. We would suggest to use the newest version of Airplay and our software, as they fix many bugs and update the content of the old version.
I note AIrplay 2 still cannot stream in Hi res. I am trying to get Qobuz to work, controlling it from an iOS device. Streaming Qobuz via airplay limited to 44.1/16. Luckily someone above suggested mconnect, which seems to save the day. I would suggest you add a FAQ to explain the options of getting Qobuz 192/24, as my naive assumption was that this would work directly from the Qobuz iOS app.
I am contemplating paying for Roon, but this doesnt seem to solve the Qobuz hi res issue. Using a Mac on wifi as the core, and iPhone as controller, the Qobuz hi res streams are still played as 44.1/16 on the iFi. I didn't expect this- I guess it's because Roon core sends them as Airplay? Or am I doing something wrong? Will this change if / when you get the full Roon certification? Any idea when?
thanks
 

Verx

Novice Member
Astrophysics - that's impressive. Which area do you specialise in?

The Zen Stream will work with any of the Silent Power lines. The better the filtration the cleaner the sound and performance.


iPower Elite
iu

iPowerX
iu

iPower MK2
iu

iPower

Remember about the voltage recommendations.
@iFi audio thanks, I suppose that iPowerX (12V/2A) should be a good start, as well as iPower Mk2 (12V/1.8A). Oh, by the way, I study active galaxies emitting in the X-ray and gamma-ray energy bands! I am looking for a full Chromecast integration, so that I can fully use my Qobuz subscription. I already have a ZEN Phono and a ZEN Blue, wonderful products, highly recommended for their quality/price ratio!
 

agamatic666

Novice Member
The better the filtration the cleaner the sound and performance? Care to elaborate? Are you saying as you go up the silent ps range you get better filtration?
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Preumably the DC iPurifier2 with the provided basic power supply would also help?
It will work differently with every power supply, but sure it will reduce the noise even further.

I note AIrplay 2 still cannot stream in Hi res. I am trying to get Qobuz to work, controlling it from an iOS device. Streaming Qobuz via airplay limited to 44.1/16. Luckily someone above suggested mconnect, which seems to save the day. I would suggest you add a FAQ to explain the options of getting Qobuz 192/24, as my naive assumption was that this would work directly from the Qobuz iOS app.
I am contemplating paying for Roon, but this doesnt seem to solve the Qobuz hi res issue. Using a Mac on wifi as the core, and iPhone as controller, the Qobuz hi res streams are still played as 44.1/16 on the iFi. I didn't expect this- I guess it's because Roon core sends them as Airplay? Or am I doing something wrong? Will this change if / when you get the full Roon certification? Any idea when?
thanks

At present, Apple’s AirPlay 2 protocol downsamples audio files to 16-bit/44.1 kHz. Apple ecosystem - software and hardware is largely capped at 24/48 (Airplay, Apple TV, etc.) maximum. There are exceptions and ways to go around it (mconnect is one of them). We all wait for Apple to fully enable 24/48 on Airplay2 in every configuration, because it is not there yet.

Zen Stream supports Spotify and Tidal Connect, no native Qobuz.
Just remember that just under 10% of Qobuz library is in high-res.

If you have selected 192 24 in Qobuz it should read the same in Roon for hi-res files recorded in that resolution. The rest is up to your system. I would look to your system setup first.
Can you check on your Mac audio settings if you by any chance have 8 channel 24/48 instead of 4 channel 24/ 192? Also, can you check your Qobuz settings? Then Roon settings → services → Qobuz to ensure you’re all set to send the highest tracks to the Zen Stream?

If you also use Tidal, you could try to use it as the software allows to bypass the iPhone limitations and the audio file is streamed straight to the ZS and the Dac so will play HiRes .
 

proux

Active Member
It will work differently with every power supply, but sure it will reduce the noise even further.



At present, Apple’s AirPlay 2 protocol downsamples audio files to 16-bit/44.1 kHz. Apple ecosystem - software and hardware is largely capped at 24/48 (Airplay, Apple TV, etc.) maximum. There are exceptions and ways to go around it (mconnect is one of them). We all wait for Apple to fully enable 24/48 on Airplay2 in every configuration, because it is not there yet.

Zen Stream supports Spotify and Tidal Connect, no native Qobuz.
Just remember that just under 10% of Qobuz library is in high-res.

If you have selected 192 24 in Qobuz it should read the same in Roon for hi-res files recorded in that resolution. The rest is up to your system. I would look to your system setup first.
Can you check on your Mac audio settings if you by any chance have 8 channel 24/48 instead of 4 channel 24/ 192? Also, can you check your Qobuz settings? Then Roon settings → services → Qobuz to ensure you’re all set to send the highest tracks to the Zen Stream?

If you also use Tidal, you could try to use it as the software allows to bypass the iPhone limitations and the audio file is streamed straight to the ZS and the Dac so will play HiRes .
Thanks very much for reply (quicker than my ticket on the website which hasn't had a response.
I did not manage to solve the Roon problem, but decided not to pay for it anyway, although your helpful suggestions would probably resolve it,

I got my dealer (Sevenoaks) to check the unit, and everything is fine on a wired connection which I will stick with- although i still seem to need to reselect the output after restarting which is a bit annoying.

I can't explain why the app was defaulting to setting up a new wireless connection each time when I try to go wireless. Maybe I am misunderstanding the app, maybe there is a bug, but not an issue for me at present.

All in all, it's a great unit for the price and I will keep it, but I do look forward to improvements like Chromecast and a nicer looking app. For Qobuz users, it is important to know in advance that Airplay will not give you HiRes, and although there are workarounds, using Tidal is much easier with this than Qobuz.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hey, my pleasure. All our replies are provided by real people on the other side, so the STS can take a bit longer to get an answer. I am sure that they will provide you with the exact answer to your question.

Sevenoaks are solid guys, so if they checked it, it is all good.

Thanks for your support.

I am here in case you have more questions.
 

agamatic666

Novice Member
Hahaha 🤣 I’ve pressed them several times
It’s somewhere on the list so they say…
Don’t hold your breath!
Audirvana works reasonably well with Qobuz as a short term solution
 

Cebolla

Member
What exactly do you mean by 'native support'?

If you are referring to using the Stream-iFi app then I can't see that being much better, if and when it does support Qobuz, than using an existing (3rd party) UPnP/DLNA controller that supports Qobuz, eg, the mconnect Player app (Lite version is free).


I'd rather they add a Squeezelite player to the ZEN Stream's firmware (alongside its Roon Endpoint, UPnP/DLNA renderer, AirPlay receiver, etc) and that way you would have 'native support' for Qobuz (and much more) via the Logitech Media Server.
 
Last edited:

gava

Well-known Member
Hi @iFi audio , are you going to bring native Qobuz support to the Zen Stream?

Yes I'm also not clear what this means?

There is no such thing as "Qobuz Connect", so I am confused what you mean. It supports Roon, Airplay, DLNA - what else do you need?
 

tooppy

Standard Member
I would like to find Qobuz in the IFI app , the same way I find my NAS and Web radios which is exactly what the app should be. This way we won't need Mconnect.
I would like also to have this app for my Linux computer, using my computer as a remote.

My streamer is ethernet connected to my internet server, then SpDif to my DAC (RME). What is the best SpDif or USB ? I chosed SpDif for the purifier but does the USB has it ?
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
We are working with Qobuz on integrating it directly into iFi software.

Are you asking which connection is better S/PDIF or USB to connect a server to Zen Stream? USB works as input and output. S/PDiF is only an output on the Zen Stream.
There are plenty of differences between these two connectors.

In case of S/PDiF the source becomes the "master," forcing the DAC to adhere its timing. However, on the other hand, TOSLINK optical fiber is immune to ground loops and RF interference.

USB is a much more complicated protocol. It can support a higher format, but as a rule of thumb, it is susceptible to receive much jitter.

The difference between the two comes down to personal taste and available connectors.

Do we have ipurifiers for USB? IFi offers many filters purifying the USB, depending on your particular needs.
 

tooppy

Standard Member
Thanks for this reply which is rather clear.
From your answer, I understand :
  • Toslink optical forces the DAC to adhere its timing also.
  • There is no "integrated" purifier in the USB connection, but we can get it with separate items.
  • As for Linux nothing seems to be done.
The very good new being Qobuz in the app sometime in the future, soon I hope.

If anything wrong in my understanding, please correct me and thank you for all, I would have prefered being able to ask all these questions on the IFI site but there is no possibilities.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Don't forget that the Zen Stream's S/PDiF is an output, so if you won't be able to feed the signal through S/PDiF from your server to the Zen Stream via S/PDiF.

You can feed the signal to the Zen Stream via:
a) Wi-Fi
b) Ethernet cable
c) USB slot

You can register a ticket directly on our website. https://support.ifi-audio.com/

We are working on Qobuz. These are great guys, so let's hope we will find a way to integrate is sooner than later.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Hey! My amplifier supports balanced inputs.

I am wondering which Zen-DAC has balanced outputs?

I well then connect the Zen to the amplifier, then optical from Zen to amplifier.

Thanks!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I meant optical from the Zen to the node streamer.

After I’ve connected the Zen to the amplifier with balanced cables.

Like separate DAC.

I don’t know if the sound is going to better, but the amplifier onboard DAC sounds better then the node DAC.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Which DAC Chip does Zen have?

Texas Instrumental? My amplifier has Texas.

I don’t know if the sound well improve then.

I’ve used Rega DAC R before. Little to none differences, but the onboard amplifier DAC sounds great.

Lower noice floor. Hence I am intrigued if Zen improves this by taking advantages of the amplifiers balanced inputs.
 

tooppy

Standard Member
Don't forget that the Zen Stream's S/PDiF is an output, so if you won't be able to feed the signal through S/PDiF from your server to the Zen Stream via S/PDiF.

You can feed the signal to the Zen Stream via:
a) Wi-Fi
b) Ethernet cable
c) USB slot

You can register a ticket directly on our website. https://support.ifi-audio.com/

We are working on Qobuz. These are great guys, so let's hope we will find a way to integrate is sooner than later.
I use the S/Pdif to supply my Dac (RME ADI-2 Dac FS) and wanted to be sure of the best connection to do it, so I guess I am good.
I am Waiting for the new app now with Qobuz, thank very much for your time, I appreciate it.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
I use the S/Pdif to supply my Dac (RME ADI-2 Dac FS) and wanted to be sure of the best connection to do it, so I guess I am good.
I am Waiting for the new app now with Qobuz, thank very much for your time, I appreciate it.
Sure, I am around. Let me know if you have any more questions.
 

tooppy

Standard Member
Which DAC Chip does Zen have?

Texas Instrumental? My amplifier has Texas.

I don’t know if the sound well improve then.

I’ve used Rega DAC R before. Little to none differences, but the onboard amplifier DAC sounds great.

Lower noice floor. Hence I am intrigued if Zen improves this by taking advantages of the amplifiers balanced inputs.
The Zen Streamer has no DAC, that was one of the reasons why I bought it.
 

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