iFi has released the Zen Can, a compact headphone amplifier that – always convenient – doesn’t force you to empty your bank account.
According to iFi, the new Zen Can contains many features that you normally only find in much more expensive headphone amplifiers. A number of features from the much more expensive Pro iCan are also found in the Can. Including the class A amplifier, which in the Can delivers a power of 1600 mW (7.2 Volt) in 32 Ohm. For impedances from 300 Ohm, the output voltage rises to 15V via the balanced output. And that means that even the most difficult and energy-consuming headphones – including planar ones – can be used.
The Can has both a standard 6.3mm jack and a 4.4mm Pentaconn output for balanced headphones. Should you need it, there is also a button for iFi’s XBass and 3D available. And apart from the volume control, there’s another button that lets you set the gain in 6 dB increments. There is also an unbalanced and balanced input on the input side.
Pure headphone amplifier
Note: the iFi Zen Can is only a headphone amplifier. It’s all analogue, you won’t find a DAC in it. So you need to connect an analog source to it. If you still want to convert digital signals to something analog audible, then you need a separate DAC, which you then link to the Can. Or use the Zen Blue – also iFi – to stream Bluetooth audio.
The iFi Zen Can headphone amplifier costs £149 and is now available. The first 1000 units are supplied with the iFi iPower AC/DC ultra low noise power adapter for a special bundle price of £169 (the separate adapter normally costs £49). When these bundles run out, the standard adapter is supplied for the £149 mentioned.