Well given that the Zen costs about the same as just the power supply for the Sbooster that is interesting findings
ifi Zen Stream with external power supply from ifi ipower Elite!
Together they are better than the Lumin D2 with the Sbooster Botw, price one third!
Have to say the Auralic Aries G1 sounds a little bit better.
Thanks Peter it’s great to get your feedback and especially with your high end equipment.
And the Sbooster’s are very good.
Yes I have one on my Roon Rock server.
It cost almost the same as the Zen Stream, hence my surprise.
But you have also compared it favorably to more expensive equipment, so I guess you are less surprised than me.
I would agree that the G1 sounds slightly better but look at the cost of the G1 ! I have one.
Heres my list in order of best sounding streamers ,best being no 1 that i have listened to:
- Auralic G1
- Auralic Femto with a Sbooster
- Ifi Zen Stream,really close to the Auralic Femto)
- Ultrarendu with Sbooster
- Volumio Primo(very good for the money ) stock power .Probably tied with Ultrarendu
- Cambridge CXN v2 (overhyped)
- Pro-ject Ultra tied with Cambridge
8)Bluesound Node 2i
For the money, the IFi stream is the best value. And all of those streamers are still in my house.
Brighter= more resolution is my hunch . They always say this about Benchmark dacs too.
Thanks it’s always good to get views from people that have tried a lot of systems
Of i forgot the Auralic Mini. I would put that at 6 or so on the list even with a sbooster.
I’m so over this pile of trash.
2nd unit and having the same issues, thought everything was okay at first but now after a few days I"m back to not being able to use airplay. Roon is fine on ALSA but can’t get a consistent connection with airplay for apple music or spotify. Is everyone here using only Roon? Because I’m on two units with the same issues and my retailer had the same issues on the unit I sent back.
Mostly Roon for me though I have played Tidal connect a lot and Spotify a small amount. Also I have played HQP a lot and have yet to have a problem with any of them.
I have played a few Airplay track’s to test but generally I don’t use Airplay at all on anything and I have never liked it as a protocol. Most of my house is on Android so we prefer things that work cross platform.
If it doesn’t work for you then return it and get something that does work for you.
You need an Allo device with one of their linear power supplies. With the ZS price point, would be interesting to see where something like a USBridge Sig or Digi Sig falls on your list.
I had a allo usb bridge . Not as good as zen mini I’d put it below volumio primo . I did not have a lps with it
Cool. The volume pot on my THX AAA 789 is getting noisy, so I’ve been considering the A90.
For similar monoblocks, check out Orchard Audio. SINAD is ~107 dB. Excellent, as speaker amps go.
Hey Aaron, are you connected over WiFi or ethernet?
Ethernet. Opened a ticket with iFi again to see if they have found an answer to this because my retailer said they’ve had a few people with the same issues, but I haven’t heard a thing from them.
Someone else posted the same thing in another post this morning.
I Know I said it previously but it is the protocol I like the least and stay as far away from it as possible.
It’s tough to though if you partake in the Apple ecosystem more than a bit. I wish iFi would hurry up and get the Chromecast signed off that that works much better, as long as your streaming service supports it of course (though I think they all do now).
Just received my new Zen Stream. Plugged it in via Ethernet. Connected to my DAC via both Coax and USB. Found the IP address and updated to the latest firmware (v2.29.6). Fired up Roon and cannot stop listening. Both USB and Coax connections sound amazing. Very clean sounding/no jitter. Listening through Jotunheim with HD650s. Used to have my DAC connected directly to my laptop via USB and can tell a definite difference in sound quality. Also no USB drop outs when switching between tracks which I used to experience frequently when plugged directly into my laptop. $399 might seem like a lot vs a Raspberry Pi offering. However, if you look at a plug & play Allo USB Bridge Signature + Digione Hat and low noise power supply you are well over $400USD. The fact you get both USB and Coax plus an ifi low noise power supply I think is a good value. Plus there is no loading and updating of DietPi to deal with. BTW my unit through my US dealer included the 9volt 2amp Power supply. No issues with my 9v PSU. I see some have received the 12 volt power supply as well. Anyway only have had it running for about an hour, and this thing is amazing. Thanks to all on this forum especially @Michael_Harris for all of the great posts/recommendations. I made sure I updated to the latest firmware before I did anything in Roon. I have left the input on the ZenStream to 1 on the back (AIO - all in one) for now so I can access the local IP address to do any updates required. Haven’t tried Tidal Connect yet, as I have a heavy Roon user, but I am sure it will work. Thanks All!
And thanks for your excellent feedback.
We are trying to help out new users of the stream like yourself, so great that you found it useful. Though this thread has become a little long now for most new users to read through
Great that you are enjoying the device so much.
BTW you can disable any protocols that you don’t want to use to give more of the machine over to just the one’s you want. I have not seen any difference in doing this, but it is good for people to know.