ZEN Stream with Audirvana setup

I would like to use ZEN Stream with Audirvana, are there anyone can tell me how? I can not find Audirvana under ZEN Stream output, I can not find Zen Stream under Audirvana’s out put too. I tried use USB connect to ZEN but didnt work too. And Zen & my Macbook is on the same network already.

Can you post a copy of the “Debug Info” when the Zen is connected on USB and ethernet?

Edit: Reading the manual. I don’t think you can use it like an USB DAC.

In which mode is the ‘system mode selector’ on the back of the streamer?
Did you follow this steps?

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Zen connect ethernet
Zen USB output to Topping DAC
Audirana (Macbook Pro) connect to ethernet
Zen - System mode set (AIO) Thats the Zen tech support told me.

(with the above setting I can use Spotify, Tidal to select output to IFI Streamer) But when open Audirana, I cant find IFI stream @ output option area.

So you can select the ZEN in spotify on the same MacBook?

If you can share the debug info from Audirvana we can see if Audirvana detects the Zen.

Yes I can select Zen in Spotify and Tidal in the same Macbook.

How & where to find the debug info from Audirvana? Sorry I am new to this…

After opening the debug info all you need to do is paste it here.

Don’t forget to remove your personal information from the info. At the top is your name and email address.

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Haaa…for some reason the IFI did appear now. Thanks for your advice. The Audirvana upsampling then output from Zen to the DAC, which make the sound almost perfect!!!


Not to be argumentative… just curious… Given there is little difference in price and a lot less hassle in configuration and theoretically more audiophile-centric elements in the design architecture, wouldn’t an iFi-Audio ZEN Stream be more pragmatic in the use scenario? :thinking:

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

This by nature being third-party, is not a vertical integration in the context of this platform you have exploited…

It’s great that you have a means to manage the intrinsic jitter of the CPU operations… However, what makes this different from updating firmware in something like the ZEN Stream, that is a vertically integrated hardware/software topology specifically designed for the job of streaming high-resolution digital-audio signals?.. I know you will tell me that your configuration is specifically designed to optimize UPnP streaming, which is not being contested here… I am curious as to pragmatic real-world performance differences/benefits, given the price/hassle factors, in juxtaposition to the relatively simple implementation of Zen Stream… Is there a problem with UPnP implementation in ZEN Stream? :thinking:

  • What makes this different from updating vendor firmware:

A manufacturer has never to my knowledge put out a lengthy detailed explanation of dozens of adjustments available to a manufacturer’s firmware, exactly how to make them, and how to measure the results, as Intel has done with these BIOS adjustments. I was able to choose exactly which adjustments I wanted, and knew in detail what they would do, rather than being subject to an all-or-none choice of whether or not to install a manufacturer’s firmware that, rather than a voluminous detailed point by point description, came with only a brief marketing-speak summary. I don’t know about the Zen Stream particularly, but a previous iFi firmware update has, for example, broken the ability of two different DACs to display the resolution of the track being played; another added MQA playback capability, but limited the DAC’s maximum input resolution to half of what it was previously. I’ll choose the thoroughly tested and described Intel BIOS changes any time over that type of situation, thank you.

Regarding “hassle factor,” once I’d read the documentation, making the BIOS adjustments took less than 10 minutes. Regarding price, this mini-PC, nicely equipped, with optical Ethernet input option, is less than $500, and I can use any DAC I like with it rather than being locked into what iFi has put into the Zen Stream. (I’m using the iFi NEO iDSD, with better parts and specs.)

  • Have there been UPnP problems with the Zen Stream?

If I remember correctly, Antoine had to modify the Plays with Audirvana page for it when a user discovered the information provided by iFi didn’t allow it to work with UPnP as he’d like.

Until today I haven’t updated my iFi NEO iDSD for fear of having a problem.
Really these FW updates without being able to revert and without describing everything that changes, is quite complicated.

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My take-away… Once all is settled in regard to UPnP performance, it is a matter of price and a rationale for dealing with platform related configuration(s)… The factor that is not being addressed here between the two platforms is a salient one, and concerning the integrity of the digital-audio signal being delivered to the DAC… You either trust that Filtlet3 platform architecture and software implementation does not do too much damage to the signal or you trust the Zen Stream platform has been specifically designed for purposeful handling of digital-audio signals and delivering a high level of optimized signal integrity through the system topology, all the way to the output buses…

Apparently the UPnP issue with ZEN Stream has nothing to do with functionality beyond identification in Audirvana…

The UPnP problem did in fact have to do with functionality, but I misremembered it as the Zen Stream when it was the more expensive NEO Stream. See Ifi Neo stream dsd not working correctly - #105 by DonaldM

As noted above, you can actually measure damage or benefit to the signal with the Fitlet3, something not possible with proprietary streamers. So I don’t have to trust, whereas someone using a conventional streamer does.

Anyway, you started out saying you didn’t want to argue, and you certainly don’t have to. Use or recommend a manufactured streamer if you prefer. This thread is not for the purpose of persuading anyone to do the same as I’ve done, it’s to point out a very helpful document from Intel should they choose to do so.

Here’s the “Plays With Audirvana” thread I read… :wink:

and this listing:

Yes, that’s the note Antoine had to add when the NEO Stream wouldn’t work with the other available settings. I have no such problems or special requirements to get UPnP to work properly with my setup. And to be fair, the problems aren’t at all limited to iFi products.

Now it’s true I’m using purpose-built software on a general purpose computer rather than a purpose-built hardware streamer. But since this forum is dedicated to Audirvana, purpose-built software made to run on a general purpose computer, I don’t suppose most folks here will have a big problem with that. :slightly_smiling_face:

[quote=“Derek, post:5, topic:37581”]
This is my Audirvana 3.5 listing Zen Stream
I bought Zen Stream few weeks ago and this was listed like this from day first on Windows 11 PC
It is working like a dream!
iFi Zen Stream Missing?

What I discern from the above thread, there are no real functional UPnP problems that are not being addressed…

Good point… :nerd_face:

(In the context of your steaming configuration) It is made plainly obvious by your posting of this BIOS tweak, that your employment of Fitlet3 + software is a rather esoteric scenario, and is not supported by the hardware manufacturer and software provider in that context… So obviously, the burden is on the the individual user/integrator to handle any possible gotcha’s should they arise at any time. This is something that must be considered in juxtaposition to vertically integrated platform like Zen Stream from a well known and respected company of audiophiles.

I think what you have built with the Fitlet3 + software is neat and obviously reliable… Is it pragmatic in juxtaposition where something like ZEN Stream is in the marketplace? I’m not convinced that it is for the general audiophile community. However for those audiophiles that like do-it-yourself projects, your streaming configuration is compelling.

BTW… I really enjoyed your use of the colloquialism “lagniappe”… very esoteric… Is this common lexicon in your neck of the woods there in the South West? :sunglasses:

Esoteric scenario, to the extent we are talking about use for home audio, is fair. I don’t know what percentage of Fitlet3 customers use it for such applications, when it’s built like a tank for high availability embedded industrial uses.

Not supported, though, is probably inaccurate. Running headless Linux OSs and apps, as I’m doing, is very much the primary purpose for which the Fitlet3 is built. And of course the Linux server OS and apps I’m running are built to run, and quite commonly are run, on hardware just such as mine. Regarding the BIOS changes, the very large, detailed Intel document is more support than I’ve ever seen in, for example, the owner’s manual for any piece of audio equipment or any computer motherboard I’ve ever had. It really does make the process quite simple.

All that being said, of course this is very much for people who want to do things themselves rather than buy a piece of equipment and hopefully have it just work as intended. The problem specifically with high end audio and the UPnP protocol is (as the literally hundreds of posts in this forum alone illustrate so well) that many manufacturers have done their own tweaks to the standard spec. And so we frequently have situations like the one I’ve experienced, where a purchased piece of equipment from a reputable manufacturer doesn’t “just work,” and there are annoying bugs. Or Antoine has to provide specific notes on setup. By controlling the UPnP implementation myself I’ve managed to eliminate these annoyances and actually reach the goal of a setup that simply and reliably does the job it’s supposed to do.

Certainly not everyone who wants to enjoy music with Audirvana will want to go to the extent of learning a bit of Linux or poking through an Intel document on BIOS adjustments, and this thread isn’t for them, except to the extent they may be idly curious. But for those who don’t mind learning about such things, I’ve put the reference here.

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Originally from the Northeast US, where my wife’s family and their friends were Italian or of Italian descent. So that’s where “lagniappe” comes from. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes… I understand the premise of your posting… I see it as part of a broader conversation about digital-audio playback via UPnP network configuration potentials and where budgetary concerns are part of the equation…

I was specifically juxtaposing your Fitlet3 exploitation to ZEN Stream…
In this juxtaposition, where we see, just as you have eventually found a reasonable solution to UPnP streaming (as I remember you previously employed the Sonore devices) to ZEN Stream, where it appears there is a very reliable UPnP implementation where it fundamentally matters in application. Where vertically integrated, distinctly audiophile-centric, performance elements are integral in the platform hardware and software topologies of the ZEN Stream… These differences, make a salient argument leaning towards the simplicity of employing the iFi-Audio streamer with Audirvana…

We would expect from an OEM of CPU devices to provide engineering details for implementation purposes on a variety of platform topologies and under specific software application support… Outside of this, in the case of the Fitlet3 implementation, the CPU resides on a circuit/component design platform topology that is not controlled by the CPU OEM… This makes a distinct difference… Parameters like trace design, power and ground plane/topologies, data transport clocking topologies, board materials, etc, etc… These things are not in the control of the CPU and software OEM and in the context of the “final foot” of a digital-audio distribution network architecture, we see a focused digital-audio design dogma in the iFi-Audio device(s) and there is little technical acumen required by the end-user to implement and where a centralized technical support is readily available in most cases, that can resolve complications if they arise in any given device application scenario.

I personally don’t see the transport of digital-audio signals over a network as being codified in the general home-network scenario and UPnP is just a stop-gap protocol today…

Thanks for your continued input on this subject…