Upgraded iFi ZEN Blue V2 Bluetooth High-Resolution DAC Offers Remarkable Performance and Tremendous Value
The iFi ZEN Blue V2 is the same high-resolution DAC that customers around the world have come to know and love — but now it is even better. An improved Bluetooth antenna increases range by up to 80%. Just add a smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac to the ZEN Blue V2 and you're ready to rock. Whether you prefer Qobuz, TIDAL, Spotify, Amazon, or Apple Music, this DAC will deliver fabulously flawless music to suit your mood via breathtaking high-res Bluetooth.
All current and future Bluetooth audio formats are supported. This includes Qualcomm's aptX and aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, aptX Adaptive, LDAC and HWA/LHDC — high-res Bluetooth codecs created by Sony and Huawei respectively — AAC, Apple's favored format, and SBC, the standard Bluetooth codec. This means every possible source device is covered, at the highest resolution Bluetooth specification. And future codecs can be added with over-the-air updates.
You can relax and have utter confidence in the sound quality of the ZEN Blue V2. It uses Bluetooth 5.0 and the Qualcomm 5100 chip to process all incoming Bluetooth data. The ESS Sabre DAC chip is there to ensure an extremely smooth digital-to-analog conversion.
The iFi ZEN Blue V2 allows you to chill with the best of both worlds: analog and digital. For analog, connect via RCA to amplifiers or active speakers or via the 4.4mm output to amps/speakers with a balanced input. For digital, use the optical and coaxial connections to connect to anything with a built-in DAC and corresponding digital input – your TV, an AV amp, or an external DAC in your hi-fi set-up.
The analog output stage is balanced, which is not normally found in DACs at this price point. A balanced design means far less noise, interference, and crosstalk. It has RCA and balanced outputs at the hi-fi standard level — 2V SE and 4V BAL — and is therefore compatible with a variety of pro systems.
Plus, everything is underpinned by high-quality circuit components, such as C0G capacitors from TDK, and it's fed by a precision low-noise power supply from Texas Instruments to make this DAC a tremendous value. The Global Master Timing (GMT) clock circuitry is improved to give you an even smoother musical ride. It means >20db better performance for a spectacular listening experience.
Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including the GMT femto-precision clock and an intelligent memory buffer. The low-jitter crystal clock has been updated to provide >20dB better performance.
The iFi Bluetooth implementation does not use a standard SOC (System On a Chip), as seen elsewhere. It uses a combination of high-quality elements to extract the most from each stage. The Qualcomm chip routes the raw, digital Bluetooth signal to a specialized Sabre DAC chip to convert the signal from digital to analog – any jitter is eliminated via the GMT femto-precision clock system to deliver Bluetooth that is a cut above.
The design features a discrete ESS Sabre Hyperstream DAC chipset with time domain jitter eliminator, discrete oscillator, and a 112dB dynamic range for discerning listeners.
The iFi ZEN Blue V2 incorporates a design element that is superior to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. Less interference means clearer sound. You normally find this design in products at the higher end of the price spectrum, but iFi is now using this across its range to produce the best quality audio.
Like all Music Direct products, the iFi ZEN Blue V2 DAC comes with the 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee.
"It really is a beautiful piece of kit.... Bluetooth is very easy to use.... Really, you've got decent treble, very nice mids, very clear, and the bass has good impact as well."
—Gavin's Gadgets (YouTube)
Premium Build Quality
As with many other iFi audio products, the ZEN Blue V2 has a custom OV Series operational amplifier. This top-notch component contributes to the extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%), and wide bandwidth.
The Texas Instruments low-noise ICs offer great unity-gain bandwidth, very low noise and distortion, high output drive capability, Common-mode and Power Supply Rejection Ratios of over 100 dB, wide maximum-output-swing bandwidths, and high slew rates.
TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications. Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels.