I just received a package from iFi Audio, containing a loaner of the new, soon to be officially released, ZenDAC! So far, it strikes me as a really neat little bit of gear.
Here is a link to the product page
The ZenDAC is an all in one DAC/Amp combo unit. I think it retails at $129USD……and that is pretty amazing. If I think about what was available when I got started with headphones 5 years ago for that price, this is leaps and bounds better.
I think for some people, especially those starting out, this is a great way to move away from a noisy motherboard audio out. The Fiio K5 Pro is another one to consider.
I haven’t had a lot of time with it so far, but it strikes me as a very competently designed little unit so far.
One thing that strikes me as kind of weird is that it doesn’t come with a power brick, but I suppose that is a way to save on costs and keep the price lower. The unit seems to run just fine from my laptops USB however.
I will report back with my full thoughts in a while, but so far so good