iFi has released a new class A headphone amplifier, which is also nice and compact: the ZEN CAN.
The new iFi ZEN CAN is a pure analogue headphone amplifier. You will find three inputs: symmetric 4.4 mm pentaconn, 3.5 mm stereo line input and a pair of stereo cinch inputs.
On the front you connect your headphones, where you can choose between a 6.3 mm stereo headphone jack or a 4.4 mm Pentaconn. Indeed, the latter is of course intended for symmetrical headphones. On the front you will also find a switch with which the gain can be adjusted in four steps (0 dB, 6 dB, 12 dB and 18 dB), in addition to the naturally also present volume control.
Where the amplifier part is fully analog, there appears to be a piece of digital technology in the form of a DSP built into the iFi Audio ZEN CAN. This realizes the 3D surround, as well as XBass for the ‘enthusiasts’. The dual-mono power amplifier provides a power of up to 1600 mW and can handle headphones from 32 to 600 Ohm.
It is nice that the device does not even seem to cost that much: €165 in the version with a standard plug power supply. And for those who react quickly (or: until the first 1000 sets are sold out) a bundle consisting of the ZEN CAN and the ultra-low noise power supply iPower for €185.