iFi Zen DAC One Signature
One DAC to rule them all
The ZEN One Signature’s singular purpose is to take the digital audio signal from any device, via cable or Bluetooth, and convert it to analogue to feed an external amp and speakers or headphones. Coupling high-quality internal components with iFi’s class-leading circuit design, it delivers a brilliant boost to sound quality, no matter how you connect. For many, the ZEN One Signature is the one and only DAC they will ever need in their home.
The ZEN One Signature is the first ZEN DAC to support all these higher-resolution formats: DSD256, PCM384, MQA384kHz, Bluetooth 96KHz.
It's a pure DAC designed to do one thing as best as it can, with no internal headphone amp, and no volume control.
The next-generation technology in the ZEN One Signature ensures class-leading sound to be extracted from every compatible source over Bluetooth.
Making full use of Qualcomm’s latest four-core QCC5100 Bluetooth processing chip, all major Bluetooth audio formats are supported, including aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, along with LDAC and HWA/LHDC. Other codecs covered include regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC, and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec). This means that every possible source device is handled at the highest audio resolution its Bluetooth specification allows.
The ZEN One Signature is Bluetooth v5.1-compliant, ensuring the best possible range, stability and performance. Up to eight paired Bluetooth source devices can be stored in memory, making it easy to switch from one device to another.
The ZEN One Signature’s hi-res audio credentials encompass 32-bit/384kHz PCM over USB (192kHz over S/PDIF), all levels of DSD to DSD256, and single- and double-speed DXD. Thanks to the Burr-Brown DAC chip’s four-channel True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables DSD, as well as PCM, to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in its native form right through to analogue conversion.
Thanks to the powerful 16-core XMOS processor, MQA — the hi-res streaming format — is also supported, with full decoding of MQA files up to 384kHz. This means that the complete ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to just the final unfold, making ZEN One Signature ideal for subscribers to Tidal’s ‘HiFi Plus’ tier, where Tidal Masters (MQA) content can be found.
For the first time, S/PDIF and TOSLINK optical audio inputs are here in an iFi ZEN series product. This makes Zen One Signature compatible with more devices, including televisions and CD transports. The coaxial SP/DIF jack can also be used as a digital output.
Balanced circuitry is what the ZEN series is famed for. The ZEN One Signature continues the tradition.
The balanced circuit design with Signature-grade components delivers ultra-low distortion and exceptional sonic purity, a step above the regular ZEN line.
RCA analogue outputs allow easy connection to an integrated amp, preamp, headphone amp, or active speakers. They're joined by a balanced 4.4mm output, enabling fully balanced connectivity with a suitably equipped amplifier. iFi even makes a balanced 4.4mm to stereo XLR cable, ideal for connecting the ZEN One Signature to an amp with XLR inputs.
As a Signature series product, ZEN One Signature's components are a cut above.
- Low-jitter femto clock crystal provides better performance
- 16 Core 2000MIPS XMOS low-latency microcontroller – 4x more processing power
- C0G capacitors – high-linearity, excellent temperature/frequency characteristics
- MELF resistors – high-precision and low-noise
- Taiyo Yuden and Murata inductors – low-impedance power supply rails
- High-gain antenna for extended range
From input to output, every element of its circuitry is designed for pure performance. Key surface-mounted components have been upgraded to high-end devices, including Panasonic OS-CON and Elna Silmic II capacitors, and the design has been refined to ensure short, direct signal paths. This results in even greater sonic detail and expression.
Power can be supplied over USB from a connected device – a laptop, for example – or directly from the mains via an AC/DC adapter. Optimum performance is provided by iFi’s ultra-low noise iPower2 DC power supply, which is included in the package.
- What's in the Box - ZEN One Signature - iPower2 5V low-noise power supply - Antenna - RCA cables - USB-A to USB-B cable
- Dimensions 158 x 100 x 35 mm 6.2" x 3.9" x 1.4"
- Weight 485g 1.1 lbs
- Digital inputs - USB3.0 Type B (USB2.0 compatible) - S/PDIF (coaxial, TOSLINK optical) - Bluetooth 5.1 (aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA, AAC and SBC codec)
- Formats -PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz - DSD 2.8/3.1/5.6/6.1/11.3/12.3MHz - DXD 352.8/384kHz
- MQA Decoder
- Bluetooth up to 96kHz
- Chipset - Bit-Perfect DSD & DXD DAC by Burr-Brown - Qualcomm QCC 5100 Series
- Analogue outputs - Coaxial, Audio RCA L/R - 4.4mm Balanced Pentaconn
- Frequency Response 5Hz - 80kHz ±3dB
- Output 4V / 2V max. (BAL/UnBAL)
- Output Impedance ≤72Ω/36Ω (BAL/UnBAL)
- THD + N <0.002% @ 0dBFS (BAL/UnBAL)
- SNR -105dB(A) @ 0dBFS (BAL/UnBAL)