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 I just got a PhoenixNET two days ago and I agree completely with your findings. I'm powering it with a Synergistic Research Atmosphere Alive power cord and using it with a Roon Nucleus+ via a Synergistic Reference Ethernet cable.

It replaced an Sbooster powered Uptone Audio EtherREGEN which, good as it is, it is no match for the PhoenixNET (and at a quarter of the price it shouldn't be.

The thing that's freaking me out is that even ripped files on the SSD in the Nucleus sound better with the PhoenixNET. I can only imagine that either I'm crazy or there is much lower noise being injected into the Nucleus by the Innuous switch.

Personally, I found one of biggest improvements was actually free. The SQ without Roon is much better. Admittedly, Roon has some nice features, especially the equalisation options, but overall I felt it softened the sound too much

@nyev .  A good review.  I think I'm happy enough with my SotM ISOCAT - though you have tempted me a little. 

Just curious, what ethernet cable do you use before and after the PhoenixNet?

I have the PhoenixUSB and have one good and one great USB cable.  Putting the great one AFTER the Phoenix is definitely better than before it.

@lollipopguild , I use two Audioquest Diamond Ethernet cables with my PhoenixNET isolator. TBH I didn’t test any other Ethernet cables aside from stock generic cords. For what it’s worth, a couple of dealers have told me that Ethernet cables make the least amount of difference of all the cables in your system.  I have also found that USB cables of 1.5m or 2m sound much, much better than otherwise equivalent 1m or less USB cables.  This is counterintuitive, I know, but there are theories floating around on why this happens.  I have no idea if this applies to Ethernet cables but as a caution I went with 1.5m cables.

The power cord to the PhoenixNET is unfortunately important. PhoenixNET does not perform too well when using a stock cord. I can hear clearly audible differences when switching to different cords too, so some experimentation is warranted. I went with an AQ Hurricane Source in the end.