Innuos Zenith mk3

Roon. I have not compared to a G1. I compared with a Nucleus and my CD player.

Hi pdxdon
Do you or anyone try the Innuos ZEN oder Zenit in the Roon Core Modus with Sequeezeplayer ?
I have achieved remarkable sonic improvements with it to all the other options.
Unfortunately, there were sometimes a few small dropouts and other small application limitations that I can live with because of the much better sound.
With the upcoming firmware update 1.4.3 there will be some improvements for this mode.
What are your experiences ?

Look here, too:

Hi Chris,

I saw that was an option and well-reviewed, although Michael from Tweek Geek did not recommend it. I am using the innuos as a full Roon server and a streamer, not longer using the Bridge in my DSJ. I would be lying if I said I compared a lot of modes. I am an aging audiophile who while very interested in sound quality, am also concerned with seamless operation, simplicity, and aesthetics, all of which are provided by the Zen and my PS gear. It sounds great and works well.


Hi pdxdon
Just try the experimental mode. The switching takes only a few seconds. You have to make a one-time setting in Roon as described on the Innuos website under Firmware 1.4.1. You can switch it back and forth at any time.
You can lose nothing…

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I use my Zen Mk3 in Roon Core mode to Devialet Roon Ready.
Why should I want to do this?
What is Squeezelite?

Hi stevensegal

I just would like to point out a probably less used server setting of the Innuos and/or get to know the experience of others. I would also like to encourage others to try out the different settings of the Innuos.

Got a Mail from Innuos after I ask what are the reason for this Sound difference is.

If using the experimental mode, you are using our internal player which buffers all tracks in RAM for playback, providing less latency and less power noise as the HDD/SSD is not working.

This feature is based on Squeezebox support on Roon. Unfortunately Roon can discontinue this at any time, we have no control over this. Roon is a closed software system so we can’t simply build a player for Roon. On version 1.4.3 we will further upgrade the sound quality of our player but unfortunately this will not be heard with Roon. If Roon does open up it’s protocol to allow 3rd parties to build software players for it then there’s a chance we can do this natively but for the moment our hands are.

In my hifi chain the ZEN MK3 sounds different depending on the server integration. The order is as follows from good to best:

  1. Use as Roon Core
  2. UPnP streamer
  3. Use as Roon Core with Squezzelite Player (Experimental)

Squeezeplayer plays much more relaxed, calm, deep, lively and emotional.
It (still) has some limitations, but the sound quality more than makes up for everything for me.

As already described, switching is a matter of seconds. Only when setting up for the first time a few settings have to be made:

  • Go to Settings > Choose Server Integration
  • Activate the Roon switch then select the option “Use Roon Core with Squeezelite Player (Experimental)”
  • Click the Apply Changes button
  • Launch the Roon App
  • Go to Settings > Setup
  • Activate the switch for “Enable Squeezebox Support”
  • Go to Setting > Audio
  • Disable any players shown under “Connected to Core”
  • Enable the Squeezelite player under Squeezebox.

Then connect your Devialet to the Innuos with a USB cable.

Give it a try :+1:

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One reason for not using usb is getting fixated about usb cables. The one I have came free in a blister pack on the front of a magazine. (Its actually a good one - a Chord C cable.)

More importantly, the reason for using Devialet with ethernet is that it auto-detects any ethernet source, whether Roon, Spotify etc. When something is sent to it, it wakes up and plays it, then 20 minutes after the source ends it goes back into sleep mode. With usb or phono inputs you actually have to turn the thing on and off. That may sound lazy, but you get used to opening Roon, selecting music and it plays, the audio system looks after itself.

I thought Innuos Zen allocated a chunk of the RAM for buffering when streaming. Itsays so on their website:

In-Memory Playback

Now with twice the memory of the Zen Mk2, the new Zen MK3 has 8GB RAM with 4GB dedicated memory. Music is loaded directly to memory for playback so that it doesn’t engage the hard drive, improving sound quality.

Also, given how good Roon is, why would anyone with an Innuos want to use a uPnP player? I found then mostly a pain the neck.

Of course you’re absolutely right.
I only used the UPnP because it sounded better than the Innuos as Roon Core.
I found that very frustrating, of course, after realizing for the first time how great Roon is. But for me the sound quality is more important than anything else.

I got my Innuos Zen mk3 yesterday and it is still obviously burning in ,but squeezelite sounds very good already vs.other Roon / sound options. To be honest my PC sounds better with Audirvana,and with all the tweaks i made there. But i´m sure ( hope ) it will change after things settle down and Innuos will improve things even more.

The reason for getting the Innuos is that it doesn’t need tweaking. If I had a Directstream DAC I would use the usb route. I don’t do any filtering or upsampling in Roon, just send the file as is to the Devialet, which converts everything to 24/192. One of the many reasons for choosing Innuos is the chip is very efficient and low noise, not suited to running Roon to the max (which most people don’t), for which the i7 Roon Nucleus+ or an i7 NUC would be preferable. So I suppose sound quality will also depend on how much processing’s going and what you are feeding.

Hi Somppsa
The ZEN actually needs a few days to burn in.
Then I wish you that your expectations will be fulfilled.
So far my experience has been that a PC never sounded as good as a specific device solution. It also gets more expensive with every tweak and more complicated in every way. That’s why I’m very excited about your new listening impressions.


I would like to write good things about Innuos Zen mk3 , but after day three it touches at about 25% of my current PC sound via android Orange squeeze,or best sounding Roon Squeezelite xperimental even less.

So what it means is that my current PC sound is tremendous,what it is :smile:. I have not lost faith yet on Innuos,but it is not even close at same level. Will report back if/when things change.Hmm…maybe it takes longer to settle down or I should find “answers” elsewhere.

Seems your Innuos is broken. It should sound as good, or, better than a PC. If not, try an Auralic Aries G1 or G2.

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You’ve had it for three days but how many hours have you actually played it? It should easily best an off the shelf computer. If you think there is a problem after proper break-in contact your dealer.

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I’m very curious to know the details of your PC setup if you going mind. You mentioned something like you have made a lot of tweaks but I was unable to find other details.

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I try to answer all of your questions and doubts of Innuos Zen mk3 SQ in my setup.

First of all it is not broken,it plays nice and everything works except squeezelite player which has it´s occasional track skips and doesn´t necessarily always start to play at first try. Other users have same behaviour as far as i can tell with it.

My PC is pretty standard home PC Win10 i7 with ssd discs and 24gb memory ,but i quess the secret lies in Audiophile Optimizer SW using Ultimate mode and dedicated usb port. Also Aqvox switch makes a big difference together with PC´s Killer Control software for streaming. Audirvana sounds superior to Roon also.

Then there are Curious/Inakustik reference usb´s to Matrix x spdif2 i2s out to PS audio DSD driven by Uptone lps 1.2 driven by Hdplex 200 lps instead of it´s own smps. Dc cables from Lovecable,Zenwave,Ghent and mainly up-occ variants.

Innuos is actually on 24/7 and during the nighttime dac is muted only but music is still playing.

Whatever reasons,it just can´t touch my PC sound,not yet at least. I need to play more with ethernet cat cables with Innuos,also fuses,etc…
At the moment i have HFC Reveal pc in Innuos. I know it takes time to settle in for days or weeks also to give it´s magic.
But i like my new Innuos streamer anyway. It´s a joy to use :slightly_smiling_face:


Wow, I thought the Innuos was supposed to be hi end, but, if your standard PC sounds better, not so much.

Innuos Zen is 100% designed for music streaming and hosting Roon, from the mains power filter, internal linear power supplies, choice and configuration of processor and low noise outputs. Even the bespoke operating system is pared down to the most basic functionality and interface necessary, to keep processing and heat down to a minimum. It doesn’t need a standby mode as it uses so little power when not playing music. You take it out of the box, plug it in and in 5 minutes it’s playing music. No tweaks are necessary, I have a good power cable but given the mains filter it’s probably not necessary. I use it with Roon.

I don’t know how that relates to hi-end, Innuos do streamers from $1,000 to $10,000, from a basic unit to which an external LPS can be added, to the Statement with 8 separate LPS powering each separate component.

@Somppsa’s setup is described in a language I mostly don’t understand and it sounds incredibly complicated. I do understand the first bit, Windows 10 and Intel i7 processor, which for streaming and operating Roon in any normal system is far more processing (so heat and noise) than necessary. The whole reason why people choose Innuos, Melco and other servers designed for streaming is that they avoid Windows and often i7 processors. i3 is sufficient for most, i7 only if you are running Roon to the max (which hardly anyone does).

The Innuos uses an Intel Quad Core N4200 processor. It consumes 10w idle, 25w in operation. A Mac mini uses up to 150w. I’m using one now and it runs quite hot, the Innuos runs almost cold with no fans.


I just loaded new 1.4.3 software and WOW. Innuos have done the same as PS Audio did with Snowmass. Big difference in SQ ,just a lot more of everything and huge soundstage.

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