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.


Your suggestion is well taken on bringing in the IPS tech for a home visit. They will charge me but less than buying a new piece of equipment.

Don’t discount that you’ll have peace of mind knowing for sure one way or another if your incoming signal is the problem.  Seems like a much better initial option rather than blindly throwing other equipment at the issue and hoping it magically works.  Best of luck in sorting this out. 


Have you tried performing a factory reset? Make sure to follow the directions in the manual.


Also - have you tested the ports that the iFi's are connected to with a PC or other device just to make sure that the router / switch is ok?

Consider the Eversolo DMP-a6. It is a streamer wirh an on board Dac, but what it does sonically just as a streamer makes it worth it's $859 asking price. IMO

@soix @allanblissett The outside hardware was checked by a tech a few years ago at my summer location and some equipment was replaced. Again, given that I have had the same experience at two locations, I am not optimistic that this is the problem, . Nevertheless, on your suggestions I will spend the money and schedule a tech visit to be sure. It seems to be a rational move to possibly avoid spending another $800+

@yage Yes, I previously did a factory reset on the one in my summer location to no avail. (Since I use cable and not wi-fi, I’m not sure the reset matters, but I did it any way.) Yes I checked the switch by bypassing it and the problem persisted.

@dbb - Your problem may be Volumio, not the iFi hardware.  I had a miniDSP SHD streamer running the Volumio OS.  It didn't drop the signal, but it behaved in a quirky, intensely frustrating manner that I couldn't control.  The hardware was excellent, but after knocking my head against the wall for six months I sold the unit.

With a budget of $1000 why not the Cambridge or Blue sound.  You could get a Node and an LHY lps and stay within budget using your external DAC.  Best of luck.