Innuos Zen Mini - a Journey into Streaming Audio

Hi ratrat, glad this info was useful to you.

Yes we’re also an Apple household, and my kids who are now teenagers, want their own music streaming and be able to use their Sonos devices. So I’m trying to find a way where we can all use one family streaming service, but also where we have access to the music we like, and for me it needs to be lossless and compatible with my HiFi. Not as easy as it sounds, I have discovered.

Exactly the same in our household
I share your pain :flushed:

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Our Zen Mini returned home on Friday.

So that was just two weeks for the around trip. Including the shipping to and from Innous in Portugal. Plus the time to undertake the upgrade work.

Unfortunately, I’m away from home right now. So looking forward to seeing how it all works, once returned.



Deffo want to hear what you think , after getting a price from Tony…especially as using it as Roon core

You will get 44.1 only 48/24 is for av only. Also luckily as it’s legacy AirPlay not AirPlay 2 it will be lossless at that quality and not aac like it is via AirPlay 2

Inspired by the previous thread “Show Us What’s Inside”.

Here is a short picture story of my Innous ZEN Mini mk3 recent upgrade to “ S “ Specification.
(My thanks to Innous and their staff for providing images).

The upgrade to S specification involves several changes…
(1) Replace HDD for quiet, lighting quick equivalent size SSD. (In my case 1TB).
(2) Upgrade the RAM from 4GB to 8GB, for additional performance benefits when searching for music or copying files, etc…

It also has a power-loss protection circuit so if power is lost, you don’t lose the music.

Picture story follows…

Image (1) : Before the upgrade
The ZEN Mini mk3 external casing is open with all the original components still in place.

Image (2) : During the upgrade
The ZEN Mini mk3 after the HDD disk is removed and the new SSD (and support) to be installed.

The Teac disc drive, (seen in image 1) and other elements are then re-installed above, before the casing is re-fitted.

Innous customer services explained that our music archive was copied over from old HDD to new SDD and the unit was soak tested and checked prior to being released and returned back to us.

As I’m away from home right now, any comments or observations - on results - will have to wait.

Our thanks to Tony @BasicallySound for arranging everything.
Picture credits : Innous. (Sincere thanks to Innous for sharing the photos).



Back at home again, (after lots of travelling) …
Now had time to re-install our upgraded ZENmini mk3 S

Apart from it feeling a little lighter to handle, not really anything outwardly different of note.

Decided to bring our nDAC into the room, for some critical listening.
So currently using ZENmini mk3 S + LPSU → nDAC → NAC72, etc.

First quick impression, not sure if it’s changed the sound in any significant way ?

Further thoughts to follow.


Saturday morning musings…
Moving things between rooms, swopping in a SN3 + HCDR…

So, now using ZENmini mk3 S + LPSU → nDAC → SN3 + HCDR, etc.

Still can’t decide if the ZENmini sounds any different since it came back from upgrade to S specification. My previous reference point is comparing the ZM with our Naim CD5XS. So, I should probably sit down and do this soon. But, in any case, the main reason for doing the upgrade was more tech’ or performance based, adding SSD and more RAM etc.

I’ve been using the ZM with our nDAC together for about two weeks now. Although I’ve used these two together before, for the odd occasion, never for such a long period. Over this period, to settle in and get used to what these two do together across a broad range of music is a different thing. Actually, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Playing the odd album, thinking oooh, not heard that bit, or note, or inflection before. Sitting up and taking notice… So, I’ve gradually become aware of actually how good this ZM machine is, used with a decent external DAC.

Another thought : I had the opportunity to listen to a Naim streamer recently. (Which I enjoyed and was impressed). However, I felt the Innous Sense app’ UI was a much better tool.

In the meantime, more recently…
Swopping in the SN3 + HCDR changes thing too. Most immediately, a more modern Naim presentation. I would say a little more detail and bass weight, control too, compared to the Olive system. But most noticeable is just a different presentation. Maybe more “HiFi” compared to 30 years ago.

Currently playing Trentemoller, Memoria : Glow
Brilliant piece of indie / electro’.

Have a great weekend.


Hmm wondering if the Nait etc were mine I traded in ….small world if it was!

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It can be an unbelievably small world (sometimes) :thinking:

Just listening to Alex Bone, Falling on Infinity : In Dream (Ft. Nile Rogers)
Rogers on electric guitar.
Bone on Sax’.
Nice jazz funk rhythm. Brilliant.

Happy Saturday listening

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Thing is, much of this doesn’t matter. You’re listening to music and enjoying it. What else matters.


Thanks Mike.
Couldn’t agree more.

You’ve following this thread, so I can assure you, it’s all about the joy of music. (Which is shared for anyone that wishes to join in).

Albeit, with the diminutive Innous ZENmini mk 3. It’s a great little package and has allowed us to rediscover our 1000+ CD collection this past year.

From the ZENmini…
Currently listening to Kate Bush, 50 Words for Snow : Among Angels. The vocals and piano work are quite beautiful.

Have a great weekend listening to music :+1:


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I’m not a fan of playlists and I can’t say I was enamoured by the addition of Smart Mixes to Innuos Sense but over the past couple of weeks my wife and I have tried the “Play Anything” option. It selects about an hours worth of music and as it nears the last five it generates further tracks and… it’s wonderful. A far better way of browsing through 26,633 tracks than scrolling through A to Z and we’ve been playing the Zenith for pretty much any hour we’re not watching TV or reading.

Have rediscovered stuff I’ve not heard in years and albums I’ve favourited I’d never gotten around to listening to. Strongly recommended. It’s addictive.


When our ZM returned from its upgrade to S, Innous had already set up the latest s/w version. I’ve seen that feature and others at the top of the page view.

In the short time since our ZM came back, I’ve been so occupied just playing a bunch of albums I know and love. But, up to that point, I had been doing a much more “old school” thing. Now that we have ripped all our CD’s, I have been making a point of going through the collection alphabetically and playing them one by one.

Like you say, it’s a pleasure to be reminded why you bought a disc, (even though you may not be playing it anymore).

I listened to several Aztec Camera albums recently and really enjoyed them again.

Thanks for the recommendation.
I’m going to give that particular feature a go now.


It’s been eight days @ratrat. Is the Smart Mix still running :slight_smile:

Haha :joy:
Sure, ill write a proper reply soon :+1:

@ratrat … wondering how your getting on with the upgraded mini… is it better as Roon core? I’m finding mine slowing up with recent updates, so wondering whether to upgrade or chop it in for Roon nucleus

Hello @Hifi-dog

First, apologies for radio silence. Been busy recently, with little time on the forum. Sorry to miss your post and question.

When I originally bought our ZM, I didn’t envisage using it for Room Core duties. Somehow, I wasn’t convinced it’s specification was up to the task. Maybe the newer S specification might suit the task better.

My longer term thoughts - explored earlier in this thread - is to add a dedicated box for this task.

Hope that helps

Good luck

No worries! I’ve since sold the innuos combo and bought a used Roon nucleus rev b… way faster and better sounding for Roon.

And how did you find Smart Mix?