Much of the equipment that iFi has in its lineup is already quite affordable, but the Air series makes it all even more attainable.
UK-based iFi is releasing a series of extremely affordable hi-fi devices, all part of the Air series. These include the Zen Air DAC, the Zen Air Blue, the Zen Air Can and Zen Air Phono; all housed in the well-known compact enclosures of this manufacturer. There are no cuts in sound quality, but there are some compromised features, according to iFi. For example, the balanced 4.4 mm output on the series members has been dropped. Also something like an enhanced GMT clock isn’t available within the Air series. But the rest has remained, including the use of discrete components where desired and a symmetrical channel layout.
In the iFi Zen Air DAC you’ll find the same Burr-Brown DAC chip as also used in the original Zen DAC. This allows for a maximum quality of up to 32 bit / 384 kHz (PCM), as well as DSD up to DSD256 plus MQA rendering. The functionality of the various Air siblings is evident from the naming. Now for the best surprise: the price. Each component is available for only £99 each. The iFi Zen Air DAC (pictured above) and Zen Air Blue are now available, the rest will follow in the coming months.