Engineered for Extraordinary Performance: The iFi ZEN CAN Signature HFM Headphone Amplifier Is a Dream Come True for Headphone Fans
The iFi ZEN CAN Signature HFM Headphone Amplifier with ActivEQ is perfect for fans of HIFIMAN planar headphones. ActivEQ combines active and passive components to create a specific EQ curve to suit a particular pair of headphones. (This is performed in the analog domain, without adding any additional noise or distortion,) The ZEN CAN Signature HFM enhances the texture of the deep bass and injects more immediacy into the upper mid-range for a transformative listening experience.
Pressing the HFM button on the ZEN CAN Signature HFM calibrates its signal to complement the headphone's response characteristics across the frequency range. This then tunes its performance for use with HIFIMAN headphones. As with the previous ZEN CAN Signature model, this feature can be switched on or off. Without ActivEQ engaged, the ZEN CAN Signature HFM's performance is cleverly balanced to bring out the best in all other headphones and in-ear monitors.
The ZEN CAN Signature HFM has four gain settings in six-dB steps: 0dB, 6dB, 12dB and 18db. This PowerMatch technology enables the amp to precisely suit the connected headphones. Unity gain (0dB) is useful to ensure low noise with sensitive in-ear monitors, while the higher gain settings make the most of tougher headphone loads, delivering excellent dynamic headroom.
The ZEN CAN Signature HFM also employs XSpace. This analog processing mode compensates for the "in-head localization" effect that can occur when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of loudspeakers. It significantly widens the headphone soundstage to deliver a more spacious, loudspeaker-like experience.
The ZEN CAN Signature HFM's circuitry has a balanced, symmetrical dual-mono design — a topology usually reserved for high-end headphone amps — with a number of key elements that have trickled down from the discrete Class A circuitry developed for iFi's flagship headphone amplifier, the Pro iCAN.
Additionally, this amp provides superb drive capability, delivering 1,600mW (7.2V) into 32 ohms from the single-ended output, with 15V+ available to loads of 600 ohms or more through the balanced output. The ZEN CAN Signature HFM extends the reputation of its predecessors and delivers ultra-low distortion, rich sonic detail, and engaging dynamics, along with the ability to drive all manner of headphones with ease.
The ZEN CAN Signature HFM offers stereo RCA and 3.5mm single-ended inputs, plus a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn input. There is also a 4.4mm balanced output so you can connect to power amps equipped with a balanced input. It features a pair of headphone outputs — a 6.3mm output for headphones that have a standard single-ended connector (compatible with all headphones) and a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output for headphones offering balanced connection. An increasing number of premium headphones and in-ear monitors either come so equipped or give the option of detaching the cable and upgrading to a 4.4mm Pentaconn connector, and this output makes the most of them. (It is particularly recommended for high-impedance headphones.)
Like all Music Direct products, the iFi ZEN CAN Signature HFM Headphone Amplifier comes with the 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee.
"Backgrounds black as a new-moon nighttime sky brought musical details to the foreground. These two components [the ZEN CAN Signature HFM Headphone Amplifier and ZEN DAC Signature V2 DAC] sounded more expensive than they are and offer impressive sound quality — and a bit of style — for not a lot of money."
—Julie Mullins, Stereophile
"The 16-Core XMOS DAC is a great-sounding unit and so is the original ZEN CAN, but the HFM amplifier improves on an already great amplifier by the addition of color and some small improvements in construction and visual character.... Again I need to remind the readers that you are not obligated to use HIFIMAN headphones to get great performance.... When the HFM feature is off, you still get that familiar warm-sounding iFi Audio sound, but when you use the HFM feature with other headphones, the feature acts similar to Xbass which is still, in my opinion, the best bass boost around."
RCA: 3.5 (SE), 4.4mm (BAL)
Headphone output: 6.35 mm, 4.4 mm
Gain: 0 dB, 6 dB,12 dB,18 dB adjust
THD+N (A-Weighting): 0.0066% (BAL), 0.0058% (SE)
Output Impedance (HP):
BAL: <2 Ohms
SE: <1 Ohm
ZOUT: Balanced line out, 200 ohms
SNR: 122 dB (BAL)
Dynamic range: -122 dB (BAL)
Frequency response: (-3dB): 10 Hz – 200 kHz
Function Button: HFM adaption and/or XSpace; Bypass
Maximum output power (16 ohms): 3.0 V / 600 mW (BAL), 4.0 V / 1000 mW (SE)
Maximum output power (300 ohms): 5.1 V / 756 mW (BAL), 7.6 V / 196 mW (SE)
Maximum output power (600 ohms): 15.2 V / 385 mW (BAL), 7.6 V / 98 mW (SE)
Maximum power consumption: 13 W / 2.6A
Dimensions (WDH): 6.3" x 4.6" x 1.4"
Weight: 1.87 lbs.
User Manual (PDF, 523 KB)