The original ZEN CAN, an all-analog headphone amplifier, had the ability to drive tough headphone loads. It accomplished this with a balanced circuit design, vanishingly low levels of distortion, and exceptional sonics. The ZEN CAN Signature 6XX pushed this design even further with sonic tailoring specific to the “MassDrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX headphone”.
Now, they've introduced a finely tuned brand new ZEN CAN Signature to work with HIFIMAN headphones – the ZEN CAN Signature HFM. Their custom ActivEQ setting is expertly tuned across the entire frequency response curve to bring out the best in these already remarkable headphones.
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 ZEN CAN Signature HFM features an ActivEQ finely tuned towards HIFIMAN’s planar headphones. HIFIMAN headphones offer remarkable transparency and present wide and open sound staging. The ZEN CAN Signature HFM enhances the texture of the deep bass and injects more immediacy into the upper mid-range.
Pressing the HFM button on the ZEN CAN Signature HFM calibrates its signal to complement the headphone’s response characteristics right across the frequency range. This then tunes its performance to work with HIFIMAN headphones. Excellent results are found with the Sundara, HE-4XX, HE-400S, Edition X, and HE-5 headphones to name but a few. As with the previous ZEN CAN Signature model, this feature can be switched on or off. Without ActivEQ engaged, the ZEN CAN Signature HFM’s performance is cleverly balanced to bring out the best in all other headphones and in-ear monitors.
The amp provides superb 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 HFM continues the reputation of its predecessors and delivers ultra-low distortion, rich sonic detail, and engaging dynamics. It also has the ability to drive all manner of headphones with ease. It’s a force of nature.
The ZEN CAN Signature HFM’s circuitry is a balanced and symmetrical dual-mono design. This is a topology which is usually only reserved for high-end headphone amps. However, in this case, there are a number of key elements that trickled down 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 HFM, including the use of Panasonic OS-CON and Elna Silmic II capacitors.
Plus, it has four gain settings in six dB steps (0dB, 6dB, 12dB and 18db) via iFi's PowerMatch. 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 ZEN CAN Signature HFM 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 often come equipped with or give the option of detaching the cable and upgrading to a 4.4mm balanced connector, and this output makes the most of them, which is why it is particularly recommended for high-impedance headphones.
The ZEN CAN Signature HFM works well with the ZEN DAC Signature. The two products can be bought separately but a ‘ZEN Signature Set’ is now available. This features both ZEN Signature units plus a high-performance 4.4mm Pentaconn cable to connect them together. When used in tandem, the two ZEN Signatures make a fantastic desktop-sized headphone system for both digital and analog sources, further extending the reputation of iFi’s ZEN Series for delivering exceptional performance and versatility at remarkable prices.
• iFi Zen CAN Signature HFM
• iFi DC power supply input
• RCA stereo interconnects
• 3.5mm to 1/4" single ended adapter
• iFi Audio ZEN CAN Signature HFM manual
• 12 month factory warrantyInput / Output
• 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output
• 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced input
• Single ended 3.5mm input
• Single ended RCA stereo input pair
• 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced headphone out
• 1/4" single ended headphone out
• Selectable Gain Stage: 0dB(Default) 6dB/12dB/18dB
• SNR: 122dB(A) Balanced
• Total Harmonic Distortion (Balanced/Single-Ended): 0.0066% (BAL), 0.0058% (SE)
• Max Output Power 16 ohms: 3.0 V / 600mW (BAL), 4.0 V / 1000mW (SE)
• Maximum Output Power 300ohms: 5.1 V / 756mW (BAL), 7.6 V / 196mW (SE)
• Max Output Power 600ohms: 15.2 V / 385mW (BAL), 7.6 V / 98mW (SE)
• Output Impedance BAL/SE: <2 Ohms/<1 Ohms
• Frequency Response:(-3dB): 10 Hz – 200 kHz
• Power Consumption: MAX 13 W / 2.6A
• Weight 1.87 lbs / Dimensions 6.3(W)" x 4.6(D)" x 1.4(H)"