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Ifi Zen Can....has this unit been measured here yet?

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#1
Just wondering....I think that this amp is unbelievable...and is only $169. I compared it to a Topping L30 and that seemed like a toy in comparison. It actually runs even with my Monolith 788 that is now going back as well as that Topping. The Topping is very good on it's own but for close to the same price not even. The only problem with the Zen Can is it's unstackability. Just wish they put a Dac in it and made it a pre-amp.
 

Jimbob54

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#2
Just wondering....I think that this amp is unbelievable...and is only $169. I compared it to a Topping L30 and that seemed like a toy in comparison. It actually runs even with my Monolith 788 that is now going back as well as that Topping. The Topping is very good on it's own but for close to the same price not even. The only problem with the Zen Can is it's unstackability. Just wish they put a Dac in it and made it a pre-amp.
No it hasnt. I have a suspicion it might have noticeably more measurable distortion than the super clean amps and a good deal of power. How much that translates to audible differences in controlled testing may remain unanswered.
 
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Thread Starter #3
No it hasnt. I have a suspicion it might have noticeably more measurable distortion than the super clean amps and a good deal of power. How much that translates to audible differences in controlled testing may remain unanswered.
No noise detected with human ears.
 

3125b

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#5
Their spec is 84dB SINAD at 1.27V and 103dB SINAD @4V out, probably rising distrotion after that since they mention that it's similar to the the Pro iCAN.
15.1Vrms in balanced and 7.6Vrms unbalanced (Atom has max. 8.7Vrms output for comparison).

It's not very expensive for a balanced headphone amp tough. Might be a good deal for high impedance headphones, probably pretty bad with sensitive IEMs and such.
 
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Thread Starter #6
Perhaps I am a total noob, but why on earth would anybody in their right mind buy a desktop amp for IEMs. Wouldn't buy them primarily for portable use. I have some galaxy buds that sound pretty damn good for casual listening and exercising on the go, without any wires at all.
 

Timbo2

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#7
Perhaps I am a total noob, but why on earth would anybody in their right mind buy a desktop amp for IEMs. Wouldn't buy them primarily for portable use. I have some galaxy buds that sound pretty damn good for casual listening and exercising on the go, without any wires at all.
Maybe I'm the odd usage case, but I much prefer the comfort of IEMs to over the ear. So in my case if I want to listen to my Topping D50s I'm going to need something to plug the IEMs into. Mind you I've also got a pair of Senn 600s and Senn 650s that I also use so the $99 JDS atom fits the bill rather nicely for my use cases. My issues is I can only get about 2 hours max with the over the ear headphones versus a whole workday with the IEMs.
 
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Thread Starter #8
Maybe I'm the odd usage case, but I much prefer the comfort of IEMs to over the ear. So in my case if I want to listen to my Topping D50s I'm going to need something to plug the IEMs into. Mind you I've also got a pair of Senn 600s and Senn 650s that I also use so the $99 JDS atom fits the bill rather nicely for my use cases. My issues is I can only get about 2 hours max with the over the ear headphones versus a whole workday with the IEMs.
That makes sense for you. I never have trouble with over ear, unless they are uncomfortable at first. This is such a personal hobby.
 
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Thread Starter #9
Their spec is 84dB SINAD at 1.27V and 103dB SINAD @4V out, probably rising distrotion after that since they mention that it's similar to the the Pro iCAN.
15.1Vrms in balanced and 7.6Vrms unbalanced (Atom has max. 8.7Vrms output for comparison).

It's not very expensive for a balanced headphone amp tough. Might be a good deal for high impedance headphones, probably pretty bad with sensitive IEMs and such.
I see that. So which number should be used when comparing output....Volts or Watts? I do realize that they are related but the Zen Can is said to have 1.6 watts @ 32 Ohms whereas the Atom is rated near 1 watt.
 
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#10
I see that. So which number should be used when comparing output....Volts or Watts? I do realize that they are related but the Zen Can is said to have 1.6 watts @ 32 Ohms whereas the Atom is rated near 1 watt.
They are both plenty powerful enough for pretty much any HP you want to throw at them. The Atom is likely cleaner. But not balanced.
 

3125b

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#11
Using ohms law for simplicity's sake (to avoid dealing with complex numbers) power is U²/R and I*U and R*I².
Measuring an amp would require both a voltage and a current measurement, for simplicity I take one unloaded (10Mohms) voltage measurement and a 32 and 220ohm current measurement separate from each other. That is not the most precise way to do it, but easy and close enough.
Those number allow to calculate power into low and high impedance headphones as well as output impedance (the latter only with "dumb" devices). In your comparison the Atom is capable of a higher voltage swing, whereas the iFi has higher current capability.
In practice, it doesn't matter for all but the most outlandish headphones like the AKG K1000.
 
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Thread Starter #12
Using ohms law for simplicity's sake (to avoid dealing with complex numbers) power is U²/R and I*U and R*I².
Measuring an amp would require both a voltage and a current measurement, for simplicity I take one unloaded (10Mohms) voltage measurement and a 32 and 220ohm current measurement separate from each other. That is not the most precise way to do it, but easy and close enough.
Those number allow to calculate power into low and high impedance headphones as well as output impedance (the latter only with "dumb" devices). In your comparison the Atom is capable of a higher voltage swing, whereas the iFi has higher current capability.
In practice, it doesn't matter for all but the most outlandish headphones like the AKG K1000.
So does that also mean that the Atom can play faster musical parts better?
 

3125b

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#13
No. It means that the Atom can deliver more power into high impedance loads while the iFi can deliver more pwoer into low impedance loads.
But in the end, it doesn't even matter.
I'll see myself out.
 
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Thread Starter #14
No. It means that the Atom can deliver more power into high impedance loads while the iFi can deliver more pwoer into low impedance loads.
But in the end, it doesn't even matter.
I'll see myself out.
Just trying to learn ....there's no need to be rude.
 

3125b

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#17
:)

But seriously, most of these audiophile sayings are just gibberish from people who don't understand what they are talking about.
Music might be a complex waveform, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't adhere to the same laws of nature as everything else, that there is any sort of magic to it, if you will.
That it a topic that has been discussed quite a bit in this forum, the unclear/incorrect vocabulary in so many audio enthusiast forums and other publications.
What would "play faster musical parts better" mean to you?
What I can say from the published specs for both the Zen Can and the Atom is that, at normal listening levels (<1Vrms), the Atom will have higher SINAD. If that goes to an extent where it does make an audible difference? I don't know. If Amir tests the Zen Can we would be wiser for it.
The Atom seems to have a lower noise floor, wich could/would make an actual audible difference with highly sensitive headphones like IEMs.
With less sensitive mainstream over ear headphones like AKG K700s, Beyer DT7/8/900 and anything similar, there would very likely not be audible differences, an amp would have to be a complete failure (by the standards of this forum) to be distinguishable at that output level.
Furthermore: sighted, non-level-matched testing doesn't help you on forming an honest opinion about the sound (or lack thereof) of a component, it will only reaffirm your (subconscious) biases. Everybody falls victim to that, I know I have many times.
 
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dmac6419

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#18
Just wondering....I think that this amp is unbelievable...and is only $169. I compared it to a Topping L30 and that seemed like a toy in comparison. It actually runs even with my Monolith 788 that is now going back as well as that Topping. The Topping is very good on it's own but for close to the same price not even. The only problem with the Zen Can is it's unstackability. Just wish they put a Dac in it and made it a pre-amp.
If it sounds good to you, keep it that all that matters, thanks for your honest review
 

amirm

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#19
Just wondering....I think that this amp is unbelievable...and is only $169. I compared it to a Topping L30 and that seemed like a toy in comparison. It actually runs even with my Monolith 788 that is now going back as well as that Topping. The Topping is very good on it's own but for close to the same price not even. The only problem with the Zen Can is it's unstackability. Just wish they put a Dac in it and made it a pre-amp.
No one has offered me one. But if I did review the Zen. If the amp section is the same, you have that data already: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ds/ifi-zen-dac-and-headphone-amp-review.9885/

It is not a competitive offering to the ones you list.
 
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#20
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