Problems with the IFI Zen Stream.. What's a better Alternative?

I own two Zen Streams  and use them in different systems. I have used them for approximately two years. On the positive side they both deliver excellent sound quality. The problem is, as of the last few months, they both drop the network signal frequently for seconds to minutes. The red light comes on, then goes back to green. They are both running through ethernet cable, not wirelessly. After hours of trouble shooting, I have concluded that the problem is with the streamer, not something else. I suspect they might be failing due to the heat they generate. That's just a guess. 

My question is: what produces of similar or better sound quality with better reliability new or used? I would like to stay under $1,000.


I have the “Iffy” stream and the sound quality is stunning for its size and price.  Not far off from my main system’s Bricasti M5.    I have resisted to move onto something else even though it is finicky to connect.  I have to reset my Dac and hardware selection each time i turn in on to use it.  Not a big deal.  Mine experiences a little network hiccup on occasion I can’t explain.  The Holo Red is on my radar once they are in stock.  Good luck!

I’ve also got a Zen Stream and also like its sound quality especially for the price, but I had problems with the Wi-Fi connection and unfortunately found iFi support to be non existent, which is inexcusable to me for a company of this size.  It’s a little over your price target, but I’d highly recommend looking at the new Innuos Pulse Mini as it offers some of their latest thinking, their highly-regarded Sense app, and excellent customer service.  After my very frustrating experience with iFi I’ve come to the conclusion that some things are just worth paying up for.  Just my $0.02 FWIW. 

I’ve had mine for about 2 years and have nearly zero issues. Began using it wirelessly, but over the last few months wired via a Wi-Fi router extender. 

Granted, using wireless it could be quirky on setup, or reconnect, but almost always solid without any dropouts. Connected via ethernet cable directly, almost all issues are nonexistent. 

Seems odd to me this is happening with two units, and have to think there is an issue elsewhere.

Great sound for the $

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i have two zenstreams that i use to do simultaneous feeds for dac comparisons

i have had zero trouble with them, though I would add here that i am a roon user (with all other functionalities turned off), and i use a network feed via hardwire lan (not wifi)

they have worked without flaw for me in the way i have used them, and sound very very good