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 second this post.  I had the same problem with the MiniDSP SHD.  I had bought the Dirac,mini DSP combo, primarily to add Dirac to my system, and that has worked great.  However at the time I decided to get the Dirac/Streamer combo, because it was only an extra hundred bucks and figured what the heck, another streamer to play with.  I had the same issues with Volumio and never use it.

  I also have the CACXN 60 and had previously owned the Bluesound.  The CA is a real bargain and I bought a second unit for a second system 

These are some suggestions with sound comparable to Ifi below $1k. You might have watched some of these reviews already. Take a grain of salt as always but I found iiwi’s recommendation is quite reliable.

- Matrix mini-i 4 ($650) with optional remote RM5 ($50)

- EverSolo DMP A6 ($900) with optional remote BTR12 ($20)

- Pi2Design Mercury V2 ($800) (look under the hood for some tech details)

- Innuos Pulse Mini ($1250 new; if you could stretch the budget a bit OR $970 used

@lanx0003 Thanks for yout post. It was very helpful in bringing me up to date on the latest in sub $1000 streamers. Since the Zen Streamer sounds so good, it  probably is a good idea to spend more. I’m considering also a used opticalrendu.


To bring all up to date, the cable tech visited today. He found no hardware issues. He suggested the drop offs may come from the Zen Stream switching wifi off and on causing hicups in the router. I did note that turning wifi off through the settings of the zen and saving it didn’t always hold.

I also had a lot of drop offs with with ZS and I was almost ready to give up. Then, I found this on a ZS forum and my ZS is rock solid since (I did it 1 year ago) : Of the top of my head :

1) I Configure my router to reserve a local IP address to be used by the ZS

2) I Configure the ZS to use the reserved IP address and a Google DNS (server 1: enter, server 2 :

Do not know if it will work for you...but it worked for me. Good luck.

PS : I do not use wi-fi. All toggle are off in the app except UPNP and I use the UPNP mode on the ZS