iFi Audio ZEN DAC V2 Compact DAC / Headphone Amplifier

iFi Audio
16-core chip
20 dB better performance
MQA rendering technology
supports PCM and DXD to 32-bit/384kHz


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ZEN DAC V2 by iFi Audio is the same award-winning hi-res USB DAC/headphone amp as the classic ZEN DAC, but now with added oomph!

iFi have upgraded the digital engine from an 8-core XMOS chip, to a 16-core chip. It is ultra-capable while still being super-affordable.

Compact enough to use as a USB DAC/amp on your work desk, yet stylish enough to use at home with your favourite active speakers or amplifier, ZEN DAC V2 delivers a level of specification and performance that punches above its super-affordable price tag.

V2 also supports PCM and DXD to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD256 and MQA. DSD remains bit-perfect thanks to the True Native Burr-Brown chip design – and thanks to the 16-core tech, ZEN DAC V2 is now an MQA Decoder rather than a Renderer.

This enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. The LED glows green or blue to indicate that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and denotes provenance to ensure that the sound is identical to that of the source material. It glows blue to indicate it is playing an MQA Studio file, which has either been approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.

MQA rendering technology (used in the original ZEN DAC among other iFi products) connects to an MQA Core signal (such as TIDAL) and completes the final unfold of an MQA file. This product will include stream-lock, but is not able to decode an MQA stream or authenticate it.

A new and improved low jitter, crystal clock means >20 dB better performance. The super-low noise performance means ZEN DAC V2 will remain quiet even in noisy situations such as yachts or RVs.

The balanced design for the analogue stage – rare and not found at this price point – makes it pretty special and delivers the best sound quality, normally found in higher priced models.

You can also switch effortlessly between Variable and Fixed modes of opeation. Variable allows ZEN DAC V2 to be used as a pre-amp to feed a power amp or active speakers, while Fixed bypasses the volume control, allowing connection to an external pre-amp or integrated amp.

The ZEN DAC V2 sports Pentaconn 4.4 mm balanced outputs at both the front and back. On the front, there is also the popular 6.3 mm headphone socket. The headphone amplifier features PowerMatch – a switchable gain function to perfectly match your headphones.

For IEMs, normally high-sensitivity, leave PowerMatch at its lower setting for hiss-free listening. For On-or-over ear headphones with relatively low impedance require more power – press PowerMatch to increase the level of drive.

Finally, the ZEN DAC V2 also boasts TrueBass. This proprietary iFi Audio tech is a switchable ‘bass boost’ operating in the analogue domain. There’s no DSP with iFi gear. TrueBass enhances the bass but does not muddy the mid-range. Perfect for use with IEMs or open-back headphones which often lose out on bass.


  • Input: USB3.0 B Socket (USB2.0 compatible)
  • Formats: DSD256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD DXD(384/352.8kHz), PCM(384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz) MQA
  • DAC: Bit-Perfect DSD / DXD DAC by Burr Brown
  • Output
    • Audio RCA (UnBAL) — 2.1V fixed
    • 1V / 3.3V max. (variable)
    • 4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL) — 4.2V fixed
    • 2V / 6.2V max. (variable)
  • Zout:
    • <= 200 Ohm (BAL)
    • <= 100 Ohm (UnBAL)
  • SNR < -116dB(A) @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
  • DNR > 116dB(A) @ -60dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
  • THD+N < 0.0015% @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
  • Output Power (@1% THD):
  • Output Impedance: < 1 Ω (UnBAL/BAL)
  • THD & N: < 0.005% (125mW @ 32R)
  • SNR: > 113dBA (3.3V UnBAL / 6.2V BAL)
  • Power consumption: < 1.5W via USB power OR 5v DC (power supply not included)
  • Dimensions: 117(d) x 160(w) x 35(h)mm
  • Weight: 0.8 kg
  • Warranty period: 12 months

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