New (was back in 2021) iFi Zen Stream device

Has anyone seen or tried this yet?
I see Darko and a few others have put up write ups but not seen any reviews in the wild.
Definitely looks interesting with the USB noise suppression and decent power supply etc.
Without a DAC it looks like a pure streaming play to feed another DACS or Amps

Might be a nice device to replace my Raspberry Pi currently feeding my Zen Dac in my study or even to feed into my Sonos Amp over SPDIF (to keep things on the same protocol) so I am interested in anyone else’s views.



EDIT: I just read the dreaded *Roon Ready coming soon


lol… PSA: never buy anything on a feature promise :wink:


Thanks Mike I totally agree and it has moved from my shopping cart to the wishlist after reading the small print.

I managed to wait several months for the Matrix Audio mini-i pro 3 to get Roon certified so I am sure I can wait for this and hopefully get to read and watch some reviews in the meantime.

I’m waiting for them to drop the “Roon Ready coming soon”.

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Sounds suspiciously like a Linkplay device. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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It does, but at half the price.
So if it works as well then that is great

Of interest to me. I have an iFi zen dac/can stack with a Chromecast audio at the moment and have been toying with the idea of replacing it with an all in one like the Matrix Audio Mini-i3 or Uniti Atom HE. I might try this instead as it’s quite a bit cheaper but I’ll definitely be holding fire until Chromecast and Roon ready certification are confirmed.

Here is the first review I’ve spotted from the smashing cheapaudioman. Disappointingly he seems a bit ambivalent about it, maybe stemming from the price. That’s probably fair as you could DIY a solution yourself for significantly less than 399.


Alexander thanks for sharing and I will watch later.
I own the MA mini-I Pro 3 and it is a fantastic device and works perfectly for me (the Chromecast audio to offer all the services I need).

I am interested in this as being better than a well set up Pi. I have that and it’s great, but I am hoping for a little a more is all. I am still hopeful

Sweet. $399 feels a little spendy but is reasonable value if support is good.


I think what cheap audio man missed was all the noise suppression clock upgrades built into device.

I agree with waiting for the roon with update portion to be removed.

Just btw pi2aes is going to launch a streamer soon as well that has I2s built in


Mark yes cheap audio man was only comparing to a basic Pi without any extras spent on it.

Looking forward to reading and watching more reviews. Thanks for sharing the additional links.

I have had one since yesterday works flawlessly for me with Roon, all I had to do was power it on and enable it in the Roon software, not a very techy guy but I know a lot, but maybe not fine details. Cheapaudioman Randy has completely missed the point on this one, that’s all I say about that.

Like the above said, better noise suppression, and several other things. Lets put it simply, I can see the pricepoint issue, but how much would it be to get a Pi, case, digione, clean power supply?

I have tried just about everything on it, I’m an apple guy primarily, so I can’t speak much to the android or windows side of this. All I can say with certainty right now is this sounds very good, and Eh hem, I had no issues getting it to work with wifi, perhaps CAM, should Consult With New record day on how, and it’s value proposition! After all lets be real here, if you ask most people how to build a Pi, they would ask what flavor!! lol



Hey Louis,

I am looking for information about the different modes: for example what does the Roon mode allow that the AIO mode does not ? Have you tested Airplay ? Ethernet ?

Haven’t been into the different modes a ton, heres what I know partly from the website partly from just some quick checking. According to the website the different modes simply disable the other modes therefore reducing possible noise further. As an example if I have it in Roon mode, I cannot do a quick change and decide to use tidal connect, I have to change the dial on the back to the appropriate mode.

So for the most part I have been in AIO mode 1 since yesterday as I’m testing everything I can.

Airplay works flawlessly for me, as an example Streaming Amazon Music HD uses Airplay, I think it’s the only way to use it really. And It is very good no issues.

Initial setup was ethernet, as after everyone has said it is “like” volumio, I followed what I remembered when I had Volumio on a Pi, so setup with Ethernet, enabled the Wifi rebooted to make sure it was good. Since then I have used both, I would need more time to tell you if wired is better but my initial thought is it’s not making a difference, both wired and wifi have been great for me.

Hope that helps!


Thanks Louis for both your replies, that is most helpful. Good to know that it is already working for you on Roon as well.

Were you using a Pi before getting the Stream and if so are you hearing and improvement in SQ.

Seriously tempted to order one just to give it a try.


Michael, Yes I was and am currently using a few Pi’s…

Today I am going to try to put a little more into the "is the Better/Worse/Same camp with some direct head to head comparisons. What I can say already with some confidence is that the Spdif out is very good, I would say on par if not possibly a bit better than Digione. Keep in mind I have very spoiled little Pi’s, lol

WIth linear and SMPS power supplies, as well as very good cooling, lol
WIll be testing Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon, Spotify along with Roon and The Original Audirvana Not the new Monthly version.



So this is Roon via Airplay not via Roon Ready RAAT?

It is RAAT in both AIO and restricted Roon modes.
Hi-Res and MQA supported.
Just tested on my newly delivered unit.


No Sir, Roon Via RAAT


I though it was still awaiting certification.

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