iFi Zen Blue

bodycheetah

Member
Apr 15, 2020
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Amen to that. Got one of these a few weeks ago to replace an aging Arcam rBlink. Blown away by how good this is hooked into an old Rega Mira and some Elac Uni-fi Slims. Can't believe Bluetooth can sound this good
 
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Ian Betts

Member
Feb 23, 2020
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If you’re looking to add Bluetooth connectivity to your traditional hi-fi, the iFi Zen Blue is the perfect little unit.

iFi Zen Blue : Read more
Nice review. I have been thinking of getting this unit ever since late last year as part of my quest for better wireless audio. I have now purchased one and been using for the last 2 weeks.

I'm disappointed, however, that you only tested this unit with Apple hardware (iPhone X and Mac). I'm connecting to mine with an Android phone (Samsung Note 10+). One of the beauties of this ifi Zen Blue is that it is Bluetooth 5 and also supports virtually every Codec currently available. While my Note 10 does not support aptX HD Codec, it does support LDAC (Sony's highest bit rate codec). The quality of the audio from the ifi Zen Blue when using a Bluetooth codec that can stream at above 600kbps is exceptional for Bluetooth transmission. I have the Zen Blue and my phone streaming using LDAC at 990kbps.

I output coaxial digital audio from the Zen Blue into and Arcam irDAC. The richness, clarity and presence of the sound is undeniable!

Furthermore, when using a lower bitrate codec such as aptX, the range is exceptional! I have my Zen Blue positioned close to the middle of my 5 bedroom house, but was easily able to maintain a stable stream in the far corner of my garden, some 30 metres away, through an internal wall and the rear cavity brick wall of the house! The signal strength there measured as 'very good'.

That the unit informs you of the codec being used in your connection and gives you information about the the sample rate of the file it is receiving, leaves you in no doubt as to what the unit is receiving and the quality of the established connection. It even verbally tells you the name of the codec when it makes the connection with your source device!

Your review missed all of these things. The Zen Blue has audio quality in abundance and has lifted Bluetooth into the realms of true hifi and the audiophile!
 
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Ian Betts

Member
Feb 23, 2020
5
3
20
Amen to that. Got one of these a few weeks ago to replace an aging Arcam rBlink. Blown away by how good this is hooked into an old Rega Mira and some Elac Uni-fi Slims. Can't believe Bluetooth can sound this good
What Codec are you connecting with and what is your streaming bit rate?
 

barnsleybiker

Member
Sep 26, 2020
1
0
20
Nice review. I have been thinking of getting this unit ever since late last year as part of my quest for better wireless audio. I have now purchased one and been using for the last 2 weeks.

I'm disappointed, however, that you only tested this unit with Apple hardware (iPhone X and Mac). I'm connecting to mine with an Android phone (Samsung Note 10+). One of the beauties of this ifi Zen Blue is that it is Bluetooth 5 and also supports virtually every Codec currently available. While my Note 10 does not support aptX HD Codec, it does support LDAC (Sony's highest bit rate codec). The quality of the audio from the ifi Zen Blue when using a Bluetooth codec that can stream at above 600kbps is exceptional for Bluetooth transmission. I have the Zen Blue and my phone streaming using LDAC at 990kbps.

I output coaxial digital audio from the Zen Blue into and Arcam irDAC. The richness, clarity and presence of the sound is undeniable!

Furthermore, when using a lower bitrate codec such as aptX, the range is exceptional! I have my Zen Blue positioned close to the middle of my 5 bedroom house, but was easily able to maintain a stable stream in the far corner of my garden, some 30 metres away, through an internal wall and the rear cavity brick wall of the house! The signal strength there measured as 'very good'.

That the unit informs you of the codec being used in your connection and gives you information about the the sample rate of the file it is receiving, leaves you in no doubt as to what the unit is receiving and the quality of the established connection. It even verbally tells you the name of the codec when it makes the connection with your source device!

Your review missed all of these things. The Zen Blue has audio quality in abundance and has lifted Bluetooth into the realms of true hifi and the audiophile!
thats all fantastic info, thanks for taking the time to type all that. im about to upgrade from a cheap-o eBay Bludento BT unit and i think this is the answer (Bludento is impressive for the money!!! ) as you mention, i too have no idea why folks constantly bang on about apple when they are clearly in the minority of users, Android is far more widely used! FACT!
 

Free

Member
Dec 20, 2020
1
0
20
I’m new these forums things. I have spent a lot of time reading about streaming Bluetooth. Bought a iFi zen blue. Love it. Sounds great. Previous streamer was a bludento blt 2. The idea that the zen blue sounds better with some other DAC is interesting. Seems to me that it is more like matching your DAC to your preamp/amp/ speakers. It is less expensive to buy a bunch of cheap DAC’s to get a somewhat better sound, but why bother. Listen to the zen for along time and the other DACs will sound inferior. You might just be splitting hairs. For reference, I am pumping it through an Audio Refinement Complete integrated amp into Focal Aria 906 speakers.
 

Rachelw

Active member
Jan 17, 2021
13
2
25
Hi there, I don't really understand much about DACs and playing bluetooth so I wondered if someone could please help/advise me. I just purchased a marantz PM6006 amp and would like to be able to play music wirelessly from devises as well. Is it worth getting one of these to connect to it? Is it an optical cable I should use? I thought the amp had a DAC in it so slightly confused. How does this device compare to google chromecast audio?
I also have an older Rotel amp from the 80s/90s-is it possible to connect that to something like this (in another room), or would that not work? Thanks in advance...
 

camcroft

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
345
121
19,070
Just an update I have given my 2 x Zen Blues the firmware update and have to say that without a doubt that the sound is a lot better than before and would recommend that if you have the opportunity to do the update you will not regret it but unfortunately its only available to Android devices at the moment. Keep up the good work iFi
 

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