The new ZEN Air BLUE by iFi Audio performs the same function as the ZEN Blue V2 but trades some features in return for an even lower price point.
The ZEN Air Blue is ideal as part of a simple, new set-up for someone just starting out in audio who wants to experience the high quality of music streaming apps like Apple Music, Tidal and Qobuz. Just connect your laptop, smartphone or tablet to the ZEN Air Blue via Bluetooth and connect the ZEN Air Blue to your amplifier or active speakers via the RCA connections at the back.
While Bluetooth’s wireless convenience and wide device compatibility are well recognised, many people have not heard how good Bluetooth audio can sound because they’ve only experienced it at base-level quality via rudimentary SoC (System on Chip) implementations. iFi has gone to great lengths to ensure the HD Bluetooth engine it has developed for deployment in all its current-generation Bluetooth-toting devices – including the ZEN Air Blue – is state-of-the-art, earning it a class-leading reputation.
Making full use of Qualcomm’s advanced four-core QCC5100 Bluetooth processing chip, every current high definition Bluetooth audio format is supported, including aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, LDAC and HWA/LHDC. Other codecs covered include regular aptX, aptX Low Latency, AAC and SBC. This means that every source device is handled at the highest audio resolution that the Bluetooth specification allows.
Like the ZEN Air DAC, the ZEN Air Blue’s analogue circuitry has been simplified compared to its mainline ZEN equivalent, but a symmetrical channel layout and low-impedance power supply rails are retained.
ZEN Air Blue is Bluetooth v5.1-compliant, ensuring excellent range and stability. Up to eight paired Bluetooth source devices can be stored in memory, making it easy to switch from one to another. The cable outputs have been simplified compared to the ZEN Blue V2, losing the balanced 4.4mm analogue output and optical/coaxial digital outputs, but retaining the gold-plated stereo RCA analogue outputs.
- Next-Generation Bluetooth – Version 5.1.
- High Resolution Audio – Stream all the latest hi-res codecs.
- Modernise Your System – Plug your new ZEN AIR Blue into your favourite legacy system via RCA Outputs.
- Supports SBC – Standard Bluetooth used by most audio devices.
- Supports aptX – Better than SBC, widely used, found in Android devices.
- Supports AAC – Better than SBC, widely used, found in Apple devices.
- Supports aptX HD, aptxLL and aptX Adaptive – Aariations on an improved aptX.
- Supports LDAC – Extremely high quality, designed by Sony.
- Supports LHDC – Extremely high quality, designed by Huawei.
- Power Supply Requirement: DC 5 V, 0.5 A (centre +ve)
- Chipset: Qualcomm QCC 5100 Series
- Input: Bluetooth 5.0TM with SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec
- Outputs: Audio RCA L/R
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz +0 / -0.5 dB (44.1 kHz), 1 Hz - 44 khz +0 / -3.0 dB (88.2 kHz)
- Output Voltage @ 0 dBFS: 2.05 V (+/- 0.05 V)
- Dynamic Range: 109 dB (A)
- Signal/Noise Ratio: 109 dB (A) @ 0 dBFS
- THD & N: < 0.0015 % 10 k Load @ 0 dBFS
- Output Impedance: < 50 Ω
- Power Consumption: < 2.5 W
- Dimensions: 158 x 100 x 35 mm
- Net Weight: 295 g
- ZEN Air BLUE HD Bluetooth Receiver
- USB Power Cable
- Warranty Card
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