New (was back in 2021) iFi Zen Stream device

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.

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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:)


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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:

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I’ve been looking at possibly getting one of these. Has Chromecast been added yet?

Barry sadly not, it was cancelled I think.
iFi blamed Google for not focusing on the the development of it from memory.
Is it in any of the Volumio products?

(I tend to use a CCA with Toslink (added it to my Mini I pro 3 for when I need Chromecast support, but with Roon and everything else it tends to be rare)

Thanks Michael. It’s not a deal breaker so I still might get a stream as my Xmas present to myself :blush: Thinking of pairing it with my Zen DAC v2 and using it in Roon exclusive mode.
I don’t use Volumio but I have got a CCA which is connected to my Marantz amp via toslink.

I have mine connected to my original Zen DAC in my living room. They make a great little stack for my headphones there, not that I get to hear them that much.
The Roon only mode is great especially if you want to use the SPDIF output (as it fully opens up 24/192 for SPDIF) but I am always HQPLAYER curious and want to be able to use that long term so I turned it off (and I use USB now). I have just disabled all the services I don’t use.

It will make a good Christmas present :+1:

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Thanks for the info Michael :blush:

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Hi All - I have been using a zen stream with no problems for half a year or so. I am in the market for another streamer. I don’t need the DAC of the iFi Neo. What’s the consensus? Is the Zen Stream still the reasonably priced streamer to beat? Are we awaiting a new version? Are their similarly priced competitors?

Thanks for the help!

Hi @adornoWest it’s now cheaper than it was last year upon release (which cannot be said about much this year). It is currently £355 on Amazon, which given the current price On Pi’s etc still makes it great value.

One thing to note that you have probably seen yourself, besides the recent beta update it has not received much love from iFi this year, but from a Roon perspective it doesn’t really need it.
If I wanted another streamer and could not afford it’s triple the price big brother (or MA Matrix series) then I would definitely buy another one of these.


It is still excellent and I agree that it deserves an upgrade to the same base as the Neo.

The question is whether you need an optical bridge, which is not a requirement for proximity to your server and a clean network.


I just got mine yesterday… moved from dac on core to zen stream. After 5 hours of listening I can say it is an upgrade. Still playing around with it. Also I had my eyes on StackAudio Link stream, but if I’ll upgrade the dac (200M) maybe I’ll search again

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The future Holo Red is also a quality alternative… as far as we know.


Mine still sounds great, i think it’s fantastic every time i use it, it does need Ronn or Tidal Connect to drive it though.

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Thanks, @Stef_Dahl and @Michael_Harris, for your input. I don’t need a DAC or amp, don’t need optical, don’t need ultra-high res. Is there likely to be any SQ benefit to something like the Neo or Holo?

B&H has them on sale for $300