Posted 20 hours ago

iFi ZEN DAC V2 - Desktop Digital Analog Converter With USB 3.0 B Input only/Outputs: 6.3mm Unbalanced / 4.4mm Balanced/RCA - MQA DECODER - Audio System Upgrade (Unit Only)

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The two units together looks slick and the amp has plenty of power for even my most demanding headphones. Dedicated external DACs sound much better than standard DACs used in digital devices such as phones. Everything sounded amazing until I started playing games, and then I’d get this irritating buzzing in my headset.

iFi Audio ZEN DAC v2 Review | AVForums

In fact, ‘pleasing and compromise free’ covers a lot of the bases in a final description of the ZEN DAC v2. The E50 (DSD/PCM and MQA audio decoding balanced and non balanced outputs) or it's cheaper sibling E30 are great budget DACs. Only thing I would have liked to see would have been an alternative input (optical in) for use with a TV for ex. If you aren’t a big fan of headphone listening, however, and would be satisfied by a DAC that can purely sit between a digital source and amplifier to make a sonic difference in a hi-fi speaker system, then we would point you to another Chord (yes, Chord Electronics largely dominates this market) – the Qutest.iFi should clearly declare in the ZEN dac specs that it is only an MQA renderer, not a decoder, thus it will not be able to perform MQA unfolding if you don’t use a software to perform the first unfolding (like Tidal app, Audirvana, …).

iFi Audio ZEN DAC V2 iSilencer - Richer Sounds

MQA is an award-winning audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home, car or on their mobile. As a simple means of making a workstation more pleasant to use, the ZEN DAC v2 will handle most sane affordable full size headphones without recourse to the external PSU and delivers the same smooth and refined presentation here too.I’m always looking to improve the sound quality,ive got a marantz pm-17 amp and pmc db1speakers,all pretty old school but superb. The first, Power Match, is essentially gain adjustment to help accommodate the varying sensitivity of headphones, while True Bass is for boosting the bass presence in a mix. The original iFi DAC, made in CHINA, like the current one did not sound as good as the cheaper March DAC, which doesn't support MQA, but if you really want Mediocre Audio Quality via Tidal, then this is a good route. But at the same time we realise that in a competitive industry such as hi-fi, making the best even better off your own back isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

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