IFi Zen Stream connection problem — hardwired from Wi-Fi extender

I’m at my wits’ end with this damn thing and hope you guys can help or I’m taking a sledgehammer to it.  I’m using Qobuz through mConnectHD and I’ve got the Zen Stream tethered to a TP-Link Wi-Fi extender with an Ethernet cable and can get started, but a few minutes in I get a message “Renderer not responding” and then mconnect stops working.  I’ve got the extender connected via my iPhone’s hotspot because my Wi-Fi currently sucks and that connection seems ok, but staying connected to the Zen Stream seems to be the problem.  What settings should I have in the iFi app for a hardwired connection?  Should the Hotspot still be connected, and if so to what?  In my iPad’s Wi-Fi connections (my iPad that I use for the mconnect is connected to my phone’s hotspot as well) I have options for iFi-streamer, iPhone-EXT, and iphone-5GEXT in addition to just iPhone, but when I switch to iFi Streamer or iPhone-EXT to get the Hotspot light to lock on after I get the Renderer not responding message mConnect still doesn’t work .  I’ve tried every combo and nothing stays connected to the Zen Stream in mconnect and then the iFi Streamer disappears as an option under UPnP devices.  I’m guessing it’s a setup thing somewhere with the Zen Stream but can’t for the life of me figure out what it is or how to fix this.  Sorry for the wordy post but wanted to give as much info as possible cause I know the devil’s often in the details with this kinda stuff.  Really hope someone here can help because iFi is totally useless for support (I tried them before when my Wi-Fi connection failed, which is why I’m now trying the hardwired route via the Ethernet extender), and in the meantime I’m gonna look for my sledgehammer just in case.  Argh!


I've found that my WIFI extender tends to lose connection with my router. I eventually took it offline. Some devices are super sensitive to fluctuations in network speed. Even a brief slowdown can kill the connection. So your complex WiFi routing may just be too inconsistent with speed or connectivity. Can you connect directly with your router to test? 

Also having the multiple EXT addresses may be an issue if it expects to see the router and device on the same network. 

Just some thoughts to consider.

Mconnect is not the greatest at what it does, from what I read .

The Zen has NAA as client and if it is the same system built into the Neo stream, then that's a very reliable connection.

NAA works only with HQPLAYER , that software also supports QOBUZ. 

Not cheap, but I know it works. You can also use Audirvana Studio, also a reliable connection. Both offer excellent SQ to boot.

Yeah, I’ve been reading some not great feedback on mconnect and am very open to trying something else. I’ll look into the ones mentioned, but I recently saw JPlay works with Qobuz and iOS devices (that I need) and may sound better than mconnect as well, and it’s not very expensive and has a free trial so I may just give that a shot. Nowhere to go but up from here. Man I really hate dealing with this network connection crap!

I've found that my WIFI extender tends to lose connection with my router. I eventually took it offline. Some devices are super sensitive to fluctuations in network speed. Even a brief slowdown can kill the connection. 

My old WiFi extender, which only works with 4G, has been behaving well. It provides a reliable connection for my laptop in the bedroom. A few months back, I connected the iFi ZS to it to reduce Qobuz dropouts. While it helped with the dropouts, Mconnect started not responding. This issue didn't occur when connecting directly to the router, so I removed the iFi ZS and now only use it for my laptop.

I owned a Zen Stream for a second system.  Mine was hardwired to a mesh without dropouts but it had random hiccups and it was a pain to set up.  Everytime I used it I had to reconnect the Dac and reset the hardwire connection to get regular volume. If it didn’t sound so good I would have dumped it sooner.  Such a tease.  Replaced it and the Dac for a Gustard R26 and it is sooo much better functionally and SQ. Just turn it on and its connected with no hiccups or dropouts. Yes Ifi help is absolutely horrible.  It’s basically an email phone tree that eventually only  provides generic unresolved answers from their FAQ.  I wouldn’t use a sledghammer that’s too humane.  I was thinking hockey puck and torture it slowly as it did me🤣

There are free wifi analyzers for all phones and laptops. Use it to make sure your mesh channel is strong AND not congested with neighboring signals.

Also, if you notice this starts after some time using, try a fan on the devices.  Sometimes the issue is overheating.  It sucks but all these devices are built rather cheaply and high power, high speeds + encryption all create heat and if the device isn't ventilated or have appropriate heat sinks they can still overheat.  Things have gotten a little better but I had so many brands do this in the early days of Wifi that I always consider this a possibility.