Perfect Performance: The Stellar iFi ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 Headphone Amplifier Is Engineered for Meze 99 Classics Headphones
The engineers at iFi designed the ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 Headphone Amplifier to fulfill an important need for fans of the Meze 99 Classics headphones. The original ZEN CAN, an all-analog headphone amplifier, had the ability to drive tough headphone loads with a balanced circuit design, vanishingly low levels of distortion, and exceptional sonics. The specially tuned ZEN CAN Signature 6XX and ZEN CAN Signature HFM swiftly followed. However, there was one more headphone that deserved the ActiveEQ treatment – the Meze 99 Classics.
The ActivEQ feature 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 Meze 99 Classics are revered the world over for their exceptional tonality and dynamic expression – they are loved by artists and audio enthusiasts alike. The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99, with the perfectly matched ActivEQ mode, adjusts the treble for improved sound, and the enhanced mid-low bass extracts the last drop of sonic goodness from the Meze 99 Classics.
Selecting the MZ99 button on the ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 calibrates its signal to complement the headphone's response characteristics across the frequency range. This then tunes its performance to work with Meze 99 headphones.
The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 works not only with the Meze 99 Classics, but also with the Meze 99 Neo and the Meze 99 by Drop. As with previous ZEN CAN Signature models, the ActivEQ feature can be switched on or off. Without ActivEQ engaged, the ZEN CAN Signature MZ99's performance will bring out the best in all other headphones and in-ear monitors.
The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 offers PowerMatch, with four gain settings in 6dB steps – 0dB, 6dB, 12dB, and 18db. This 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 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 widens the headphone soundstage to deliver a more spacious and loudspeaker-like experience.
The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99's circuitry is a balanced, symmetrical dual-mono design – a topology usually reserved for high-end headphone amps – with a number of key elements borrowed from the discrete Class A circuitry developed for iFi's flagship headphone amplifier, the Pro iCAN. Key components have been upgraded to enhance performance in line with the improvements made to the ZEN CAN Signature MZ99, including the use of Panasonic OS-CON and Elna Silmic II capacitors.
The amp provides magnificent drive capability, delivering 1600mW (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 MZ99 delivers monumentally low distortion, rich sonic detail, mesmerizing dynamics, and the ability to drive all manner of headphones with ease.
The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 offers stereo RCA and 3.5mm single-ended inputs, plus a 4.4mm balanced 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 balanced output for headphones offering balanced connection. An increasing number of high-quality headphones and in-ear monitors either come so equipped or give the option of detaching the cable and upgrading to a 4.4mm balanced connector, and this output makes the most of them. (It is particularly recommended for high-impedance headphones.)
The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 works seamlessly with the ZEN DAC Signature V2. Although you can buy each unit separately, a ZEN Signature Set is also available. This includes both ZEN Signature units plus a high-performance 4.4mm balanced cable to connect them together. When used together, the two ZEN Signatures make an unbeatable, desktop-sized headphone system for both digital and analog listening.
Like all Music Direct products, the iFi ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 Headphone Amplifier comes with the 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee.
>15.1V/385 mW (@ 600 Ohm)
>11.0V/1890 mW (@ 64 Ohm)
>6.2V/1200 mW (@ 32 Ohm)
>7.6V/98mW (@ 600 Ohm)
>7.4V/870 mW (@ 64 Ohm)
>7.2V/1600 mW (@ 32 Ohm)
<0.006% (@ 360 mW/2.4V 16 Ohm)
<0.005% (@ 100 mW/1.27V 16 Ohm)
Balanced: >121dBA (@ 15.2V )
Single-Ended: >120dBA (@ 7.6V )
Balanced: 7.4V RMS
RCA: 3.8V RMS
3.5mm: 1.92V RMS
Gain: 0dB, 6dB, 12dB and 18dB
Frequency Response: 10Hz - 200kHz (-3dB)
Power consumption: No Signal ~5W
Max Signal ~12W
BAL: 6.7V max. (variable)
UNBAL: 3.5V max. (variable)
BAL: <110dB(A) @ 0dBFS
UNBAL: <110dB(A) @ 0dBFS
BAL: <0.007% @ 0dBFS
UNBAL: <0.015% @ 0dBFS
BAL: 6.7V max. (variable)
UNBAL: 3.5V max. (variable)
BAL: >1000mW @ 32Ω; >74mW @ 600Ω
UNBAL: >320mW @ 32Ω; >40mW @ 300Ω
BAL: <116dB(A) @ 0dBFS
UNBAL: <115dB(A) @ 0dBFS
THD+N: <0.005% (1V @ 16Ω)
Dimensions: 6.2" x 4.6" x 1.4"
Weight: 1.21 lbs.
User Manual (PDF, 521 KB)