Innuos Zenith Mk3 or something else?

Hello There,

Hoping to tap into the collective insight of this group. I am planning to buy a music server+streamer combo and am thinking of the Innuous Zenith Mk3. And have some questions before i pull the trigger:

1. Any rumors/insights of a new version of the Zenith Mk3 launching soon? (hate to buy into this and have a new version pop up in short order. I think the Mk3 has been around for over 2 years now and so I thought i would check in with this group)

2. Any other music server/streamer combo I should consider at this price point? (the Zenith Mk3 retail is ~$4700)

My budget is to keep it under $5K. Thank you!

Yes. Buy the model below that one for 1/2 the price.
Darko review recommended this.  Spend the extra
$2,300 on something else.
I had the Zenith before I had an Auralic Aries G2.1 and I thought the Aries G2.1 had a cleaner sound. The Aries has a nice color display and the Zenith has a nice cd ripper…..if either of those features is appealing 
New products not on the horizon at all. All work being focussed on the Sense app and 2.0 and rightly so given the obvious improvements to UI and sound quality.

Yes, the Zen is very much a sweet spot but having heard all 4 products I went for the Zenith and love it to bits. The CD ripper is excellent on all their products and the lack of a screen utterly irrelevant once you’re using the app or the web interface. 
The only complaint I have is that I want to know how the heck they keep lowering the noise floor with each new OS update. The Qobuz integration is excellent. Tidal integration is next followed by ethernet compatibility. 
I agree the Auralic is a tad cleaner but there’s not much in it and for some it could be read as a little less emotional and all the usual adjectives. Pays your money. Takes your choice. Biggest compliments I can pay Innuos are that the hardware just works and they are a company led by what customers tell them. 
Thanks @mahughes for your sharing experience of the Zenith. Appreciate the extensive write up and comparison to the Auralic. Do you think adding a usb Phoenix would make a larger SQ improvement or spending some $’s improving the Ethernet chain (eg linear power supplies for the cable modem, router, audiophile switch/Ethernet cables/Ethernet noise filter etc) ? 
Thanks @phastm3 for your thoughts comparing the zenith and the auralic. When you say “cleaner” sound, how do you mean?
@longinc genuinely hard to comment. It’s one for an audition. I have a weak point in my system as, to get it going, I used a £30 wireless bridge, which is still in place. I kind of assumed the switch would therefore give the biggest uplift compared to the reclocker. On auditioning, the uplift from the reclocker was by far the bigger. Go figure. Saving up for it as I write.
@longinc  I've been very happy with my Innuos Zen Mk3. I decided to get the Zen rather than the Zenith because I saw the Zen as an excellent value and I could put the cost savings toward the cost of the Phoenix USB, which I later did. (By the way, Innuos is running a promotion in October for 15% off the cost of the Phoenix for any current Zen or Zenith owners, or for those who buy the Phoenix along with the Zen or Zenith.)

With regard to the upgrade issues you asked about, I would recommend the Phoenix USB and an Ethernet filter like the ENO from Network Acoustics. Their effects are additive. If I had to choose between the two, I'd give the nod to the Phoenix, but a demo in your own system could help you decide for sure. After I already had the Phoenix and ENO filter in my system, I noticed some improvement from going to an English Electric 8Switch to replace a basic Netgear switch in my Ethernet set-up. I have not upgraded my cable modem or router (or their power supplies) so I can't estimate how much of an improvement those changes might make.

Good luck with your decisions.

I recently purchased a Zenith and am very pleased with it. The Sense app is excellent and easy to work with and the Zenith sound is quite pleasing. I have it paired with the finest dac I've owned, the Merason DAC1. The combinations has an incredibly musical, detailed sound that is intoxicating. I was told ahead of time that the Zenith was a big step up from the Zen so I took my friend's advice and went that direction, happy I did! Thanks to grannyring's comments on the Network Acoustics Eno system it will be next.

We were a major innous dealer, the mini even with an lps does not sound as good as the zen.

We dropped Innous to import the 432Evo servers out of belgium, which were being rated as superior sounding to the Innous. on several European forums.

one reviewer hailed the Aeon was being as the best sounding USB source he has ever heard.

the Evo servers sound considerably better then the Innous servers, and can be completely upgraded, so at any time you can improve the servers sound quality by swapping parts,

A client can start with a 432Evo High emd server us 5,50000 piece, and then can upgrade it later to the more amazing sounding Aeon $7,500.00, just by paying the difference.

This also means that as better clock boards or sound cards come out we can easily upgrade a clients server, even the rear panel can be altered  to accomodate for future new types of connections.

Dave and Troy
Audio intellect NJ
US Importer 432Evo servers
Nice try. Could you post links to those European forums for this always interested European who quietly haunts several of the major ones and sees little to no mention of the 432Evo. Better still post the link to the review please. Only asking because the pseudo science behind it is what we over here would tend to call “bollox”. 
Local to me are 2 dealers who stock the 432Evo. I’ve an open mind so borrowed one for a month, which turned into 6 weeks and put it up against a Statement belonging to a near neighbour. There is no “better”. I’d say there clear differences, strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately a matter of personal preference. It’s a good server and for some it will be but hard to say with a serious face that it’s better and frankly Sense/Innuos 2.07 alone would be enough to persuade most looking for accessibility to leave it alone.

Anyway, links please.
If you notice the model the op was comparing was the Aeon a 7500 server which he preferred over rhe 14k statement and all those other servers which are also  twice the price 
Oh dear. You said “several” European forums and yet you can only post one link? And that to a forum which has next to no reputation in “Europe” (whatever that vague term might be taken to mean in this context). It’s biggest posters are the people who own it talking to each other. As for the report in question. It’s written by someone who distributes and spots a gimmick he can push. Some of it is demonstrable tosh. I’ve had a Zenith 3 since last December and once set up properly I can comfortably get Qobuz quality which comes increasingly close to my CD rips. Can it exceed? No. Can anything exceed? No.  Can the Evo do that? Nowhere near. Literally nowhere near. Closer to the Zen 3. Certainly very competitive but there is a world of difference between that and market leader. 
The implication of your post was that you switched server sides based on the reports coming out of these forums and yet now you can’t remember any links? Try harder. Right now you’re a dealer selling BS.
Maybe I should have said the Auralic has a more resolution and less dark sound than the Innuos Zenith and Lumin U1 mini.
Having owned the Evo Aeon it has a notable lower noise floor then the Innuos Zenith MK 3 with side by side comparison using selected ripped CDs . The dac the dealer had in the listening room was a MSB select . The Evo Aeon was notably better with human timbre then the Zenith , vocals were a stand out.
I wasn’t expecting to spend the extra on the Evo Aeon then compared the model below the Aeon to the Zenith Mk3 about the same retail price.
Today with the new firmware updates to the Innuos product line including adding the Phoenix reclocker with the Zenith I can only guess where this would place vs the Aeon.
I can say with first hand experience the Aeon is an exceptional sounding server .
I’ve had the pleasure of comparing both once again since the move to 2.0/Sense app and, putting aside that I would have agreed with you re: noise floor but disagreed re: timbre which is really DAC dependent, the drop in the noise floor with 2 has been widely commented upon. It is now significantly better than the Evo and pulling away with each new update. I get better results with a £30 wiriest grudge with the Innuos than with a £400 Chord ethernet cable on the Evo.
That’s before you even start discussing apps, where the Innuos is now effectively one of the market leaders if not the market leader.
Mahughes I assume you replied to me ,,..,..Timbre ? where did I mention timbre ? and what do you find significantly better with each passing new update over the Evo Aeon ? you forgot to mention that ,.
I no longer have the 432 Evo Aeon i prefer a Innuos Statement however the Evo Aeon is definitely a very good server that doesn’t need a separate $3200.00 add on USB reclocker for a lift in performance….
Another interesting note the latest Evos are considerably different Then the units they were building a few years back

The latest units have a new cpu clock and soundcard

And of course an older evo can be completely brought up to current specs

Mahuges I bet you wish your innous could be upgraded

In the future when Innous comes out with improved hardware

Yes we will stick to a modular and upgradable platform that can always be state of the art

audio intellect nj
Us importer 432EVO


your continuous shilling of archane fringe products is tiring and not contributing anything of value. 
Antigrunge what are archane fringe product.

432EVO music servers are s very well respected European brand
five years ago nobody in the states ever heard of innous now they are everywhere

Give it a rest @audiotroy. For those of us in Europe and who have heard all these products it’s embarrassing. The 432EVO is sold on the back of a gimmick. It sounds decent but, given the gimmick it’s decided to bet the house on, it’s basically one of many servers in a middle ground and nothing outstanding. Contrary to your repeated assertions, in Europe it’s had a couple of good reviews in mags but the feeling in forums is largely scepticism as people see the gimmick as pseudo science and an error of judgement in marketing terms. It has had little publicity; bang average sales and is going nowhere fast really.
there is no gimmick the 432 up sampler can be used or not used 

the server sounds amazing either way

the reviews say different the aeon review states the aeon was the best sounding server the reviewer has tested.

at 432 EVO intends, it’s also the best USB source I’ve tested to now and if I used one all the time, it would negate the presence of the SOtM I have in my setup as a head unit. Finally, the 432 software is capable of imparting genuine improvement to a wide selection of music and, on the occasions where the benefits are less clear cut, it’s easy enough to bypass. The Aeon shows that there are some intriguing further possibilities to audiophile storage and consequently it’s a device that will delight a great many listeners •


432 EVO Aeon Review - Everybody Hertz (

the guy on this forum  prefered the Aeon to a pink faun
There are levels, once you get beyond basics as in dedicated LPS to the separate sections, system tuning ect. It is important to have a dedicated USB card, not one mounted on the same board. And isolate it, have a dedicated clock. The Zenith is nothing special, I would try more units to know for sure. I find even servers at 6K and above there a big differences. The Pink Faun is tight and detailed, not so natural IMO for example. 432 EVO has the detail and the accurate timbre, really hard to get both. The 432 EVO Master is better than the 2 box Pink Faun, I have tried both. The 432 EVO AEON is a killer server and at just under 5K a great

and another Looks real nice in all black Geoff! The 432 Servers are super machines, really high performance well above their price points. We tested pretty much all the main contenders, and found the 432 Master above models at 20K and above.

REVIEW: Comparison of 5 High End Digital Music Servers - Aurender N10, CAD CAT server, TotalDac d1-Server, Auralic Aries, Audiophile Vortex Box | Page 99 | Headphone Reviews and Discussion -

The AEON is also super high performance and is 5K euros list.
Until recently they were not well known outside of the Netherlands, where they are based and have a healthy fan club.

you are just an innous fan boy with hurt feelings that your server does not sound better and is designed to become obsolete.
I own Innuos Zenith Mk2 and have been followed threads about 432EVO. At the same time, I also build my own music server. I only do local SSD playback.

My favorite motherboard is ASRock J5040-ITX which is also used by 432EVO current top models. My own music server with own multi-rail LPSU and Win 10 LTSC + JPLAY outperformed Zenith Mk2, even when compared to Innuos 2.0. Unfortunately for Innuos music servers except Statement, the USB Audio output uses motherboard’s 5V supply. When building own music server, we have the option of adding USB regen/hub card which costs a lot less than external USB reclocker.

Yes, Innuos 2.0 has improved SQ significantly compared to version 1.4x. I am amazed how software alone can make such a big difference.

@audiotroy said "The latest units have a new cpu clock and soundcard" which is very misleading. There is no clock input to the motherboard. There is no soundcard. What 432EVO uses is SOtM tX-USBexp, which is a USB regen/hub with a good clock and PCIe noise filter.

In WBF, Fred made accusations that a competitor (aka Innuos) copied their product due to using 2-chassis design (Statement). Due to that, no internal pictures of their 432EVO were published except their LPSU sourced from SBooster. I am keen to know if PicoPSU-like DC-DC converter is used internally, since for AEON there is a 12V DC rail for motherboard plus another DC rail for SOtM USB card.

Seriously, if one has the ability to assemble a desktop PC inside a nice chassis like Streacom or HDPLEX, I recommend DIY instead of buying ready-made music servers. We have total control for choice of LPSU, motherboard, RAM, how many internal SSDs, internal USB regen/hub card, and O/S + playback software.

Anwar there is aseperat clock and soundcard ther higherer end models do not feed off the motherboard the dac connected to a seperate aueb board only the standard uses the motherboard usbs 
Spoken to people in Europe and the 432 EVO is nothing special. All say it's ok but many others easily beat it in SQ and features. YMMV
Let me clarify.  I have no interest in buying 432 EVO.  I am reading this thread due to audiotroy spreading misinformation and attacking a brand he used to sell.  I am surprised there is no moderation in audiogon forums.
anwar we are not attacking any brand.

We are pointing out a better alternative that many people do not know about.

After selling that brand for many years and noticing how many people are pissed off about the only way to upgrade is to sell off your existing server and buying another.

if you notice we are being attacked by a devout Innous fan 

that is laughable there are many dealers selling the servers that say otherwise, also a glowing number of reviews that also state the servers sound fantastic.

then there  are our clients, who have all been blown away by the sound quality.
audiotroy the only thing laughable is YOU. I'd believe customers not other dealers in Europe. 
Post removed 
mahuges no where did we put down any product.

what was said is that the othere product is not upgradable this is a fact

you seem to take offense to that.

If your clients are blown away I suppose they must be hard to find. Wisdom is knowing when to be quiet.
Post removed 
Anti grunge I guess reading is not your strength read what inshore said about these servers

In shore didn’t purchase his evo from us he was one of thef first units in  the states he purchased directly before we became the importer

And another post

For those of you that have been waiting, I am the happy owner of the Evo 432 High End. I don’t have any experience with streamers, but I do own a very well thought of server. I was happily surprised at how much better the Evo was than my previous server. Yes, its a little more expensive, but I believe it to be good value. I expected the streaming to be significantly worse than my carefully ripped cds, but the difference is quite small, depending on the recording. The 432hz tuning does make a subtle improvement, and you have a wide choice of tunings from 444hz to 415hz. The bottom line is that it sounds great.


Innous zen compared to an older aeon not the newermk2 Aeon

The modular nature of the servers allow for easy upgrades from model to model which means you can easily increase sound quality by by improving the sophistication of the isolation of the data as you move up to the higher end models

Dave and troy
Audio intellect nj

Us importer 442 Evo music servers

Went on the largest UK forum. Not a mention. Went on the largest pan European forum. Not a mention. 
Unclear how @audiotroy is going to enhance their reputation using phrases like “I guess reading is not your strength”. 
How to alienate potential customers.
sorry mahuges it was the headfi and whats best forums posts mentioned above  sorry for mentioning that it was a european post

mahuges i dont really understand why you are so upset here there are plenty of owners and reviewers that are very impressed with these servers,

if you like your innous that is great
mahuges you would not be one of our customers so we were not worried

you were presented with two owner testimonials plus review findings and you are still negative

as per forums look what was written above Netherlands, where they are based and have a healthy fan club.

so i guess because you couldnt find mention of the server on a uk forum you presume they are not well discussed in the netherlands?
Post removed 
I’m not one of AudioTroys customers I live in another country, each to our own , I had owed a Innuos Zenith MK 3 and loved it for a while then I listened to the 432 Evo Aeon server . The dealer lent me to directly compare to my Zenith. One of the very first things I noticed was the Aeon was much quieter then the Zenith resulting in a lower noise floor which anyone here knows what that results to for your listening pleasures .

After over a year owning the Evo Aeon I have upgraded to a used Innuos Statement server , I have never fallen in love with stereo components nor have I married any of them so I would rarely ever get offended like some do on these forums.
Would be interested in your view @in_shore as regards the Zenith 3 with 2/Sense. I’m on 2.08 now and the noise floor keeps dropping and is now measurably ahead of the Evo. That said, if you’ve a Statement, you’re not really going to care :)
Mahughes the two servers do sound different and after I took delivery of my Aeon in 2019 a new clock board became available.

Evo do not not reclock but directly clock the USB board , the topology of this server is different of course however I had the new clock board installed by the dealer later further upgrades to the SSD and CPU including firmware updates, it’s a progressive design.

Initially when Innuos released their , “I felt very expensive reclocker”the Phoenix plus the added cost of a 2nd quality USB cable and a decent power cord brought the cost over $4,000.00 USD was a turn off for me which sparked an interest what was available in another brand of server in and around the price of the Zenith and Phoenix combined .
With some back and forth chatting a local dealer lent me the Aeon to  compare with my Zenith and as good as the Zenith is the Aeon much better and the sound was different which I preferred this was before the new clock board and other updates to the Aeon .  

Fast forward to today I now use a Innuos Statement that I like very much , it is a clear upgrade from the Evo Aeon for about the same price on the used market as a new Evo Aeon .

There are a few claims the Phoenix with the Zenith will get you 90 % of the performance of the Innuos Statement for thousands less , maybe, maybe not anyway the best way to determine what’s best for you is to actually listen to said components in your own system of course.

….’maybe, maybe not anyway the best way to determine what’s best for you is to actually listen to said components in your own system of course.’

Amen to that: the Zenith is quite sensitive to tweaking the USB link to the DAC: using an Intona Isolator as well as an Acoustic Revive RUT-1 Terminator helps quite a bit. I use a two pronged USB cable with the second leg providing clean 5V to the Dac. Furthermore setting it on a proper isolation platform helps as well: I use a Gingko Audio platform with good results. Finally putting an Acoustic Revive REM8 EMF canceller under the torroidal clears up fuzziness.