Innuos Network Isolation Switch and Reclocker (Phoenix)


A few weeks ago I added an Innuos PhoenixUSB reclocker to go along with my Innuos Zenith MKIII streamer which I am running Roon/Tidal on. On it’s own, I have to admit the Zenith didn’t offer the performance boost I was hoping for over my prior Mac Mini. This was even though I was using the “Squeezebox experimental mode” for better performance that pro users know about - it made a tiny bit of an improvement. For convenience I’ve been using the Zenith for years.

When I added the PhoenixUSB reclocker, after break in the performance boost was very clear. Everything became more focused, with better clarity. But I had the slightest feeling that my system was now a tad more “HiFi” sounding, which is not a quality I strive for in my system. Nevertheless I much preferred the sound with the PhoenixUSB reclocker. I perhaps wasn’t quite as over the moon as all other reviewers/owners seem to be with it though.

My Innuos PhoenixNET network isolation switch arrived yesterday. Without even any break in, the results are sublime. It took all the benefits of the PhoenixUSB and added to them in a way that took the sound in a far more natural direction. I’m amazed at the “calm” presentation I have now as one pro reviewer put it. The music is more straightforward now, and easygoing, with a highly detailed, tight, utterly controlled but also warm and inviting sound. There is an overwhelming sense of stability and solidity to the sound now, and it is very natural. Pro reviewers describe the sound as “analog” to use that cliche. Another said more specifically, it is like a highest quality tape recording. I’d agree, but there is of course zero noise. My system just sounds like music now without any hint of nasty “HiFi” qualities…

Highly recommend this combo, even if it’s pricey considering upgraded power cords, Ethernet cables and USB cables (a must - don’t bother without these upgrades)….

I wasn’t particularly a fan of Innuos when I just had my Zenith MKIII, but I am now.  It’s always stunning for me when I hear a slightly warm sound that is at the same time highly detailed, fast, punchy, and with tons of grip, and that’s what I’m hearing now.

 

 

nyev

Thanks for the review. It’s good to see work being done in this area. It’s needed to make streaming sound as good as other digital in my experience (I’m not there yet).

NYEV, Thanks for sharing your experience in regard to the Innuos products. I have been very happy with my Innuos Zenith Mk.3.

@tomcy6 , I read a pro review of the PhoenixNET that claimed that streaming actually sounded better than purchased high-res files “in all but two cases”. The reviewer went on to say that the PhoenixNet could be viewed as a money saving investment with high-res file purchases being no longer needed.

I did a brief comparison of local files and streamed files, and in both cases the streamed version was better. This is not the case without the PhoenixNET.

If only this stuff didn’t cost so much! But I’m very happy with the sound now - I’d just has this rightness to the tone, balance and presentation now.  Makes me feel like no further system tweaks are needed.

I have a friend who is an engineer and doesn’t believe there is any possibility that an Ethernet isolation switch could possibly impact sound. I know how this stuff works and I agree it is mystifying. But I can EASILY hear the difference in blind tests…