Zen and iFi’s art of streaming


The Zen Stream is the latest addition to iFi’s Zen series of compact and affordable audio devices, designed to deliver flexible, high-quality network streaming to any audio environment. Described as a ‘Wi-Fi audio transport’, the Zen Stream (£399) acts as a bridge between your Wi-Fi network and your audio system. It connects to a router via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable, and outputs to an external DAC (or an amp with digital inputs) via USB or S/PDIF. 

The Zen Stream’s open-source architecture ensures the user is not tied to a specific platform or app, offering a wealth of options and the ability to add more via programmable firmware. Its Linux-based operating system offers exceptional flexibility, with the streaming community encouraged to work with iFi to create additional features to add down the line via OTA (over the air) updates. 

The Zen Stream supports PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD up to 11.2MHz (DSD256) over Wi-Fi as well as over Ethernet cable. There are multiple ways in which the device can interface with your music collection or favourite streaming service, depending on the user’s preference, and thanks to the Zen Stream’s open-source architecture these will expand over time. The options provided at launch include DLNA, NAA, Roon and Tidal streaming. 


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