IFI’S ZEN AIR SERIES
March 30, 2022 § Leave a comment
The core DAC technology is the same as the original ZEN DAC, using a Burr-Brown DAC chip that iFi favours for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture, combined with custom technology including bespoke XMOS firmware and digital filtering, and iFi’s GMT clock system to tackle jitter. Hi-res PCM is supported to 32-bit/384kHz, alongside DXD, and DSD64, 128 and 256. Thanks to the Burr-Brown chip’s True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables both PCM and DSD to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in their native form. MQA is also supported (MQA rendering, like the original ZEN DAC, rather than full MQA decoding as performed by the ZEN DAC V2). Whilst simplified in comparison to the ZEN DAC V2’s fully balanced topology, the ZEN Air DAC’s analogue stage remains of exceptional quality at the price, with a symmetrical channel layout and audiophile-grade circuit components, including a custom op-amp offering ultra-low noise performance, and low-impedance power supply rails featuring Taiyo Yuden and Murata low-ESR inductors.