High-Resolution Bluetooth Streamer/Receiver Supports Every Bluetooth Codec, Has Balanced Analog Output Stage and ESS SABRE DAC: iFi ZEN Blue Puts Music on Speed Dial
Positively zen, baby. The first Bluetooth receiver/streamer to support all the high-resolution Bluetooth codecs for high-quality streaming from smartphones, tablets, and computers to any audio system, iFi ZEN Blue gives you instant streaming via an analog or digital cable connection. Able to remember up to seven paired sources and equipped with a state-of-the-art Qualcomm QCC5100 chip to process incoming data, the sleek 1.38 x 6.22 x 3.93-inch (HWD) device takes advantage of new-generation Bluetooth technology to deliver stellar fidelity that won't have you singing the "Bluetooth blues." Compatible with aptX HD, Sony's LDAC, and Huawei's HWA codecs – as well as regular aptX, aptX Low Latency, AAC, and SBC – ZEN Blue redefines Bluetooth streaming by covering every possible source device at the highest-resolution Bluetooth specification. ZEN Blue puts Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, TIDAL, and more on speed dial.
Featuring separate digital and analog stages, the one-pound ZEN Blue routes the processed signal from the QCC5100 to a specialized 24-bit/96kHz ESS SABRE DAC in order to feed the balanced analog output stage. Even better, the DAC touts Hyperstream architecture with integrated Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, which helps deliver extremely low distortion and high dynamic range. ZEN Blue's circuitry proves equally superb. Co-optimized by iconic audio engineer John Curl, the balanced analog output stage incorporates an array of high-quality circuit components, including professional-grade balanced line drivers, TDK C0G capacitors, and a Texas Instruments low-noise power supply IC.
ZEN Blue also comes with stellar connectivity and interfacing. A switch at the back dictates how the digital signal is routed – either through the DAC and analog output stage, or directly to the digital outputs. On the analog side, RCA outputs allow connection to amplifiers and active speakers, while a 4.4mm Pentaconn output enables balanced signal transfer. For digital connections, optical and coaxial outputs allow connection to anything with a built-in DAC and corresponding digital input. On the front panel, the LED changes color to identify the Bluetooth codec, while another LED to the right indicates the sample rate. Qualcomm's QCC5100 chip can even be updated over-the-air, enabling future codecs to be added to ZEN Blue's specification.
Find your audio zen with ZEN Blue today, backed by our 100% Music Direct Guarantee.
"If there was ever a specialist digital device, this is it. Any Bluetooth fanboy needs to grab this box because it not only offers untold codec riches for anyone who has committed to this streaming option but it also does its level best to both provide superior inherent sound quality but at a smile-inducing price."
– Paul Rigby, The Audiophile Man