iFi ZenDAC Review

January 22, 2020 § Leave a comment


“While that might sound relatively modest compared to smaller desktop amps which now routinely offer several full watts of power, there’s been a bit of confusion about what exactly the result of that is. More power does not determine a system’s volume – that is in fact determined by gain. A lower powered amp will actually sound louder than a higher powered one if it has more gain at a given input. Power is more important in determining what the maximum current or voltage a device can swing into a transducer when hit with musical peaks as well as how loud waveforms are. So, think of power as being a rough indicator of how dynamic a system can be, and gain as determining its relative loudness when listening. I’m grossly oversimplifying and all the electrical engineers are squirming, but I think you get the point.”

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