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New headphone amplifier – ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio

The latest solution in the iFi Audio ZEN series, which the specialist company iFi Audio is now launching on the market with the new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio, is also designed to be very powerful and versatile. This means that the third generation of the headphone amplifier in this product line, which is designed for desktop audio, is now available.

Story Highlights
  • With the ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio, the company iFi Audio is now presenting a further solution from the iFi Audio ZEN Series in the third generation, namely the headphone amplifier.

The company iFi Audio has been excelling for years with fine solutions in the field of desktop audio, such as the products of the iFi Audio ZEN series. The company is now updating this series, having already presented the latest generation of phono preamplifiers with the ZEN Phono 3 by iFi Audio and the latest D/A converter in this product range with the ZEN DAC 3 by iFi Audio.

Such as the ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio, a compact headphone amplifier that the manufacturer itself recommends as an outstanding solution for a wide range of headphone models.

ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio – with the genes of the iCAN Phantom by iFi Audio

According to the manufacturer, the development of the new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio was once again driven by the desire to realise a solution that could meet even the most demanding of requirements.

The new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio relies on what is known as trickle-down, which means that the technologies of a higher-priced model are used in a solution in a lower price category.

In concrete terms, the new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio was modelled on the iCAN Phantom by iFi Audio, as the manufacturer states, i.e. the solution that is considered the flagship in the field of headphone amplifiers.

Based on a discrete Class A circuit design

The new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio also relies on a discrete Class A circuit design, promising particularly clear, dynamic and detailed analogue signal processing, while also delivering a very high output power to easily drive a wide range of headphones.

The circuit is symmetrically designed and relies solely on hand-picked components from renowned manufacturers, as iFi Audio claims, citing names such as Panasonic, TDK, MELF, Texas Instruments and muRata, as well as Tokyo Cosmos Electric Co.

According to the manufacturer, the ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio is capable of delivering no less than 2,000 mW of continuous output power, which means that it can effortlessly drive any type of headphones, from the latest xMEMS-based in-ear headphones to high-end HiFi solutions based on planar magnetic driver concepts.

Of course, the new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio offers the option of adjusting the gain for different headphone models in four stages.

Signal processing without DSP

The manufacturer emphasises that the ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio does not require a DSP, but still offers two brand new analogue EQ modes, one for games and the second for films, as well as iFi Audio XBass+ for bass enhancement and iFi Audio XSpace for a wider, more open sound stage.

All the relevant connections

An unbalanced 6.3 mm stereo jack and a balanced 4.4 mm Pentaconn are available for connecting headphones.

For source devices, the ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio initially offers a pair of RCA sockets for unbalanced signals, and the 3.5 mm stereo mini jack is also designed for unbalanced source devices. However, it also has a 4.4 mm Pentaconn as an input for balanced sources and another 4.4 mm Pentaconn on the back can be used to transmit balanced audio signals to other devices.

The power supply, it should be mentioned at this point, is provided by an external 5 V DC power supply.

Prices and availability

The new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio should be available in specialist stores from now on, as iFi Audio states. The recommended retail price is € 229,-.

Getting to the point

The new ZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio is the third generation of the headphone amplifier in the iFi Audio ZEN series. The specialist for desktop audio solutions, iFi Audio, is once again relying on a discreetly constructed, symmetrically designed circuit in Class A, which is not only characterised by the finest sound, but also by astonishing performance, thus forming the best basis for operating a wide range of headphone models easily and at a high level of quality.

PRODUCTZEN Can 3 by iFi Audio
Price€ 229,-
BrandIFI
ManufacturerIFI AUDIO
DistributionWOD Audio
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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