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.




With the introduction of the Pulse line there have been some threads asking about Zen/Zenith vs Pulse SQ comparisons. 

Two different things. Zen line is a server after all (with storage and a disk ripper, and with server capabilities), as well as a streamer, whereas the Pulse line is a streamer only. If you only need a streamer, by all means, Pulse is the way to go


@thyname, 10-4. As stated, I acknowledge "there are functional differences", but guessing there are many like me who ripped my CD library but I leverage the streaming functionality way more these days. Just saying, with all the different model and configuration options, understanding the SQ pecking order when used as a streamer would be nice. 


I agree. Within the confines of my system, I find playing music from storage files to be very much superior to streaming. To get streaming to the same SQ as stored files, going by the duscussion here, I would need to spend a whole lot more on hardware, resources for which can be channeled to the purchase of new music which one owns forever.


Apologies for being late to this discussion.

May I ask whether all the improvements that you hhave described after adding the Phoenix usb reclocker and NET switch apply only to streaming SQ or to stored files too?

I would hazard a guess that the usb reclocker would improve the SQ when playing files from the internal storage but by how much compared to without the reclocker?

I would also hazard a guess that the NET switch would improve the SQ when playing files from an NAS but again by how much compared to without the switch?

I am asking before pulling the trigger for these.

Thanks in advance. Jon.

@jon2020 , after all my updates I am currently very happy with the PhoenixNET.  It adds clarity and focus, in a way that is smooth.  But my experience with it has shown it does not always have a positive effect when paired with some components.  I found that warmer, more liquid sounding components don’t pair well with the PhoenixNET, with the sound taking on an over-dampened effect.  I found this even happened when using certain signal cables in my system.

But that aside, there is no hint of that with other components that are not warmer/denser/liquid in character.  I have it feeding my Grimm MU1 now and it is fantastic, definitely better with the Phoenix than without, with no negative tradeoffs. I recommend it but it’s definitely system dependent, at least in my experience.  

As an aside, it does not require other Innuos gear to sound good (although it pairs well with the Zenith MK2 and PhoenixUSB, as you’d expect).