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iFi’s ZEN DAC 3 Offers Some Serious Flexibility Options for Music Listeners and Gamers

At $229, the 3rd generation iFi ZEN DAC adds a USB-C digital input and improves hi-res audio decoding up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM.


Can we just drop all of the pretense and flowery language and say it like it is? iFi Audio makes some of the best desktop and portable audio components currently available at prices that should embarrass the competition. Schiit Audio, Topping, and FiiO might be the only other brands in the segment that don’t have their heads in the clouds offering products that 99% of the population will never be able to afford.

Why is that?

Rather than focus on $110,000 loudspeakers, the high-end audio industry needs to focus more on products like the iFi ZEN DAC 3 at $229.


If you think the gaming crowd that is shelling out $400 for one of Audeze’s outstanding gaming headsets, is going to migrate to $100,000 audio systems — you have been drinking the Kool-Aid for too long.

Audiophiles looking to build out a second system or headphone rig — need to consider products like this and not get seduced into believing that they need to spend a lot of money for great sound quality.

Aside from the sleek industrial design that allows one to place the ZEN DAC 3 underneath a computer monitor, the ZEN DAC 3 appears to be ideal for desktop gamers who wish to improve the sonic experience with gaming headsets and less difficult planar and dynamic designs.

iFi ZEN DAC 3 Front
iFi ZEN DAC 3 Rear

The iFi ZEN DAC 3 offers both fixed and variable output gain options; the ZEN DAC 3 seamlessly connects to headphones, amplifiers, or active speakers, providing unparalleled versatility for any audio setup.

Featuring two 4.4mm balanced outputs – one dedicated to headphones and the other to all other Hi-Fi equipment – the design minimizes distortion, crosstalk, and noise, delivering better sound quality for those looking for a compact solution that can serve multiple roles on the desktop.

From 32-bit/768kHz PCM to DSD 512 and full MQA decoding, it ensures that every nuance of your music is faithfully reproduced with remarkable clarity and detail. Furthermore, enhancements such as improved DC offset and USB-C input over voltage protection guarantee peace of mind while enjoying your favorite music, ensuring reliable and safe operation.

Additional features such as XBass+ and PowerMatch analogue processing modes empowers you to customize your listening experience with precision and finesse.

iFi ZEN DAC 3 Front Top

Key Features

  • Ultra-res audio: PCM 768kHz, DSD 512 and Full MQA Decoding
  • Improved DC offset and USB-C input over voltage protection
  • USB-C input for plug-and-play connectivity
  • 4.4mm balanced headphone and line outputs
  • Fixed or variable output gain for optional preamp functionality
  • XBass+ and PowerMatch analogue processing modes
iFi ZEN DAC 3 Rear Angle Corner

Pricing & Availability

The iFi ZEN DAC 3 is available to purchase from and selected retailers for $229.

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  1. Asa

    April 16, 2024 at 5:26 pm

    Sing it, Ian!
    “If you think the gaming crowd that is shelling out $400 for one of Audeze’s outstanding gaming headsets, is going to migrate to $100,000 audio systems — you have been drinking the Kool-Aid for too long.”

    Slow clap….

    Love my Gryphon!

  2. Cob

    April 17, 2024 at 4:25 pm

    how’s the headphone output sound compared to their Zen Can amp?

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