iFi Audio ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 Analogue Headphone Amplifier

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The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 with its tailored ActivEQ is precision tuned to extract the last drop of sonic goodness from Meze 99 headphones.

The original ZEN CAN was an all-analogue headphone amplifier with the ability to drive tough headphone loads with a balanced circuit design, vanishingly low levels of distortion and exceptional sonics. The specially tuned ZEN CAN Signature 6XX and ZEN CAN Signature HFM swiftly followed.

However, there was one more headphone that iFi Audio thought deserved their ActiveEQ treatment – the Meze 99 Classics. We love this headphone and know it works well with iFi gear, and we were exited to see its performance pushed even further.

The ActivEQ feature combines active and passive components to create a specific EQ curve to suit a particular pair of headphones. This is performed in the analogue domain without adding any additional noise or distortion.

The Meze 99 Classics are revered the world over for their exceptional tonality and dynamic expression – they are loved by artists and audio enthusiasts alike. The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99, with the perfectly matched ActivEQ mode, adjusts the treble for more vivaciousness, and the enhanced mid-low bass extracts the last drop of sonic goodness from the Meze 99 Classics. The Meze 99 Classics + ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 performance is simply magnificent.

Selecting the MZ99 button on the ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 calibrates its signal to complement the headphone’s response characteristics right across the frequency range. This then tunes its performance to work with Meze 99 headphones.

The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 does not only work with the Meze 99 Classics, but also with the Meze 99 Neo and the Meze 99 by Drop. As with previous ZEN CAN Signature models, this feature can be switched on or off. Without ActivEQ engaged, the ZEN CAN Signature MZ99’s performance will bring out the best in all other headphones and in-ear monitors.

The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 has four gain settings in six dB steps – 0dB, 6dB, 12dB and 18db, called PowerMatch. This enables the amp to precisely suit the connected headphones. Unity gain (0dB) is useful to ensure low noise with sensitive in-ear monitors, while the higher gain settings make the most of tougher headphone loads, delivering excellent dynamic headroom.

This analogue processing mode compensates for the in-head localisation effect that can occur when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of speakers. It widens the headphone soundstage to deliver a more spacious and speaker-like experience.

The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99’s circuitry is a balanced, symmetrical dual-mono design – a topology usually reserved for high-end headphone amps – with a number of key elements trickled down from the discrete Class A circuitry developed for iFi’s flagship headphone amplifier, the Pro iCAN. Key components have been upgraded to enhance performance in line with the improvements made to the ZEN CAN Signature MZ99, including the use of Panasonic OS-CON and Elna Silmic II capacitors.

The amp provides magnificent drive capability, delivering 1600mW (7.2V) into 32 ohms from the single-ended output, with 15V+ available to loads of 600 ohms or more through the balanced output. The ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 delivers monumentally low distortion, rich sonic detail, and mesmerising dynamics and the ability to drive all manner of headphones with ease.


  • High-power, all-analogue headphone amplifier.
  • Fully balanced, symmetrical dual-mono design.
  • Custom Meze 99 EQ setting.
  • Four gain settings.
  • XSpace analogue audio processing.
  • Up to 52x more powerful than laptop headphone amps.


  • Input Voltage: 5 V / 2.5 A
  • Max Output Balanced: >15.1V/385 mW (@ 600 Ohm), >11.0V/1890 mW (@ 64 Ohm), >6.2V/1200 mW (@ 32 Ohm)
  • Max Output Single-Ended: >7.6V/98mW (@ 600 Ohm), >7.4V/870 mW (@ 64 Ohm), >7.2V/1600 mW (@ 32 Ohm)
  • THD&N: <0.006% (@ 360 mW/2.4V 16 Ohm), <0.005% (@ 100 mW/1.27V 16 Ohm)
  • SNR: Balanced >121dBA (@ 15.2V ), Single-Ended >120dBA (@ 7.6V )
  • Max Output: Balanced 7.4 V RMS, RCA 3.8 V RMS, 3.5 mm 1.92V RMS
  • Gain: 0 dB, 6 dB, 12 dB, 18 dB
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 200 kHz (-3 dB)
  • Power Consumption: No Signal ~5W, Max Signal ~12W
  • Dimensions: 158 x 117 x 35 mm
  • Weight: 550 g
  • Line Section
  • Outputs: BAL 6.7 V max. (variable), UNBAL 3.5 V max. (variable)
  • Output Impedance: BAL <200Ω, UNBAL <100Ω
  • SNR: BAL <110dB(A) @ 0dBFS, UNBAL <110dB(A) @ 0dBFS
  • THD+N: BAL <0.007% @ 0dBFS, UNBAL <0.015% @ 0dBFS
  • Headphone Section
  • Outputs: BAL 6.7V max. @ 600Ω, UNBAL 3.5V max. @ 600Ω
  • Output Power: BAL >1000mW @ 32Ω; >74mW @ 600Ω, UNBAL >320mW @ 32Ω; >40mW @ 300Ω
  • Output Impedance: BAL <1Ω, UNBAL <1Ω
  • SNR: BAL <116dB(A) @ 0dBFS, UNBAL <115dB(A) @ 0dBFS
  • THD+N: <0.005% (1V @ 16Ω)


  • 1 x ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 Headphone Amp
  • 1 x iPower2 Power Supply
  • 1 x Stereo RCA Cable
  • 1 x 6.35 mm Adaptor

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