The ZEN Air CAN has trickle-down Class A discrete balanced circuitry from iFi audio’s US$1,699 flagship Pro iCAN. With 15.1v @300 Ohms on tap, it has serious power that will make even difficult-to-drive headphones thump to the beat.
The ZEN Air CAN is an amplifier pure and simple. It takes an input signal from a source such as those mentioned above and creates a larger copy of the original signal before it’s sent to your headphones. Think about listening to sound with your hands over your ears and then removing them! Adding the ZEN Air CAN into your system is a little like that – back comes clarity of sound as well as volume.
The ZEN Air CAN has two different headphone sockets – 6.3mm single-ended and 4.4mm S-Balanced. There are basically two types of headphone – single-ended and balanced. In a nutshell, single-ended is the most common but the balanced option is often considered the better as it offers more power and control of the headphones. At iFi, we know not everyone has balanced headphones, so we’ve created our S-Balanced technology. This gives you all the benefits of a balanced connection – lower noise, less crosstalk – but without the need for balanced headphones.
The ZEN Air CAN comes with three gain settings so that it works well with every pair of headphones or in-ear monitors (also known as IEMs). What is gain? Gain in audio terms refers to an amplifier’s ability to increase the amplitude (size) of the signal from the source (input) to the headphones or speakers (output). More gain equals a stronger signal. You will need to adjust the gain depending on the sensitivity of the headphones or iEMs you are using. For example, highly sensitive headphones need lower gain. Play around with the settings. Trust your ears.
The ZEN Air CAN boasts a couple of sonic tweaks that are unique to iFi:
• iFi Zen Air CAN
• USB Power Supply
• Quick Start GuideInput / Output
• Single Ended 3.5mm Input
• Single Ended RCA Stereo Input Pair
• 4.4mm Pentaconn Balanced Headphone Out
• 1/4" Single Ended Headphone Out
• Power Supply Requirements: DC 5V/2.5A
• Selectable Gain Stage: 0dB(Default) 0dB/9dB/18dB
• Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.005% (@100mW/127V 16ohms)
• Max Output: >6.7V/75mW(@600ohms) >6.5V/660mW(@64ohms) >6.2V/1200mW(@32ohms)
• Frequency Response: 10Hz-100kHz (-3dB)
• Power Consumption: 5W idle / 13W max
• Dimensions 6.3(W)" x 4.6(L)" x 1.4(H)"
• Weight 0.78 lbs