There’s a relative dearth of affordable streamers that offer USB out. iFi’s new Zen Stream Wi-Fi Audio Transport does USB and S/PDIF out, and in between the WiFi and wired inputs there’s a host of iFi tech meant to improve the sound of your digital stream.
The Zen Stream is bleeding edge ready, supporting PCM resolutions up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD up to 11.2MHz (DSD256) over Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) and Ethernet. Throw in Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect, Roon Brdige (Roon Ready is in the works), DLNA, AirPlay, Chromecast (coming later this year via firmware update), and NAA (Network Audio Adapter) for Sygnalist HQPlayer users, and we’re talking locked and loaded functionality. There are single USB and Coax S/PDIF outputs, and a USB-A input for playback of music from USB storage.
The Zen Stream is built on a Linux platform and its open architecture allows for over the air (OTA) updates.
On the sound quality front, all incoming data is reclocked using the internal Femto clocks, USB data is treated to iFi’s ANC II active noise cancellation, while S/PDIF gets a dose of iFi’s iPurifier technology. Exclusive mode is available for DLNA, Roon, Tidal Connect, and NAA which shuts down unused services to further improve sound quality.
The whole package is wrapped in a dark grey aluminum space-aged shaped enclosure that matches the other products in the Zen line like the Zen DAC V2.
Expect the iFi Zen Stream to hit the stores later this month at a retail price of £399 (US price coming soon).
Company Website: iFi Audio