New (was back in 2021) iFi Zen Stream device

Thank you. Yes, I checked that earlier. Actually I cannot even select the dsd direct option.

I guess that makes sense if you are outputting through SPDIF then I do not think you can not use Direct DSD only DOP from memory.

I have replaced a 2021 node upgraded with a dp creative power unit used with a linear ps and I have to say that the zen with the ifi elite ps is an incredibly better sounding device.

Thank you guys, this forum made me make the decision :slight_smile:


The Zen Stream is one of the most amazing devices I’ve come across in my HiFi journey of almost four decades, it can run with the big boys and outpace many of them. It simply has no right sounding as good as it does for the asking price, or maybe it’s the other way around. Compared to the Bluesound node, well there’s no comparison TBH, I keep telling people and most will just dismiss the advice, to their detriment.


Today my new device arrived. They said forget it and just shipped a whole new setup. It was already flashed to the latest firmware for me and found my USB device no issues.
Other than it being lost in space for 2 weeks, a pain free process for a failure.


6 posts were split to a new topic: Which NUC Should I Choose

This is why I wouldn’t touch it,to release a brand new streamer /dac with the same old.kernel is crazy,but I’m not surprised

Thought it may be of interest that PS Audio recommends the Zen Stream as a network audio transport solution, for those who had doubts about the sound quality of this nifty device!


I got the Topping P50 (15v) made a big improvment for a reasonable price.
Topping P50 Linear Power Supply for Topping D50/D50s/DX3 Pro/A50

Works great using Roon.

Hello, after reading and reading I finally ordered a Zen Stream. If I may ask, would make sense to connect the zen stream via ethernet directly to my m1 Mac mini core? Using an usb c to ethernet for Mac mini to be connected to LAN and use the LAN connection on the mini to go to Zen stream. Sorry if this was discussed and I have not seen.

1 Like

Hi Traian and welcome to this thread.

The Stream needs to be on Ethernet (or WiFi) so if your Mac M1 is your Roon Core then you will ideally plug them into the same switch (WiFi work’s but it is not as stable based on all our combined testing) or another switch elsewhere in your house.

You will then output to your DAC via USB or SPDIF whichever you prefer (or have) and have wonderful music playing.

If you’re currently running only on WiFi then try the Stream on WiFi as it will need an IP address to function. You will also want to get the latest firmware update as soon as possible in case it is on an older firmware release.


That is what I have now, one cable from switch waiting for the last 8 months a streamer. Wifi just for phones and my girls. All my comps and endpoints go using cable into switch.

I’ll go usb from zen to dac, actually my no 1 idea is to have a better connection as for the moment I go usb from core to dac. I went for the streamer idea before intona usb isolators.

But I’ve seen using two LAN connections on the core, one for the core to go online (via switch, router) and the other one just from core to streamer. Maybe there it is the benefit of a shorter cable, direct connection, etc Any way there are some settings that I do not know, how to manage two networks into one, I will try as the cost is just an additional usb c to ethernet.

Thanks for the reply

The Zen DAC work’s really well with the Stream it is what I have for my living room headphone setup.

Sounds like you will have a wonderful setup in that case. I think I might have misunderstood how you were planning on connecting the Stream to your Mac via a secondary adapter.

1 Like

I’ll try Zen stream and core into same switch, then try core to switch via adaptor and Zen Stream direct Lan with the core. Probably I’ll try some media converters to optical and back somewhere in the chain.

You made me curios and I will dust off my old Zen Dac V2 to compare to my current CA 200M (hope for a dac upgrade next year:)


1 Like

I tried a variety of DACs over USB and SPDIF.
I actually thought the SPDIF output was really good (192/24 in Roon only mode) but the USB DSD256 output for the ZEN DAC won me over with it’s small improvement and it’s bass control options in the end.

At the end of the day everything worked well with the Stream and even more so in Roon only mode.
Hopefully you will have plenty of fun trying it out


I have a wireless access point with ethernet outlets, but I also have a network switch. Is it better for me to attack my roon core and zenstream directly to the router, or run one additional cord to the switch and attach everything there?

It should not make that much difference, so it is user preference.
Roon suggests not having the core in the same area as playback device’s, but I have done both with little difference in results.

There is a new beta firmware available (2.31.9). Release note says something about fixing wifi saving.

The main remaining problem - reset of Volume Mixer settings after switching off DAC - is still not solved :frowning:


Wow it seems like forever, maybe they finally remembered that it still exists :grin:

1 Like