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.




@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.

@nyev .  Good to know.  

You mentioned the importance of the power cable for the PhoenixNET.  Did you experience the same dependency with the PhoenixUSB?  I had assumed that as one of the Phoenīcēs* key features is the internal linear PSU, then power cables wouldn't matter that much.


* - pluralisation of Phoenix - honest

Yes, the power cord also affects the PhoenixUSB.  Not quite in the same way however.  The same change to both cords will not yield the same sonic changes from each box.

((((Did you experience the same dependency))))

Dependency? you can also install a more cost effective AQ Blizzard Power cord with awesome results Yes Hurricane is great but Blizzard will more then satisfy........

The Innuos Phoenix Switch works wonders for many and is a great addition to a serious streaming system by allowing a foundation into the music that must be heard to be appreciated. the the Phoenix USB adds to that foundations completeness.

The AQ DBS Power cords just let it happen better.

Best JohnnyR

@nyev On the basis of the points you made regarding the powering of the Phoenix's I decided to overhaul the setup of the powering of my digital sources.

Cable-wise, I previously had a couple of old Ecosse Big Reds, an unshielded Russ Andrews Yellow, and an entry level Isotek Multiway mains block - all of which were very 20th century.

The first change I made was to purchase the current Isotek Evo3 Gemini to feed both my Innuos Zenith Mk3 and Phoenix USB, and this made a huge improvement in pretty much all areas of sound quality.  I was very pleasantly surprised, as I assumed the various high-end linear power supplies in the Innuos boxes wouldn't be that sensitive to power quality.  I expect that reducing RFI/EMI as much as possible is the goal here.

Emboldened by this, I ditched the Russ Andrews for Belden 83803 to feed the Isotek, and re-terminated the Ecosse Big Reds all with MS HD Power Blue plugs (silver), and transferred my existing QSA light-blue fuses across.  These feed the Innuos boxes from the Isotek.  All cables are now fully shielded and earthed.

The improvement across the board is quite something.  I can't say for sure if spending big money on better power cable makes a difference to digital sources, though it does seem to me that filtering and shielding with the aim to reduce noise into the Innuos boxes should be enough to get you most of the way there.


A few months ago, I consulted with the UK QSA importer, having heard significant gains using QSA fuses with my Hegel H390.  Interestingly, he spoke more enthusiastically of the gains from also using QSA wall plates.  Of course, I have to take his "advice" with a pinch of salt - though my curiosity was very much piqued.  It's probably a itch I'll have to scratch in the future.