Innuos Zen Mini - a Journey into Streaming Audio

I haven’t, I’m a bit of a NOOB in regards to streaming, serving etc.

I quite like the idea of an all in one unit that does it all.

Rips CD’s, stores on SDD and serves to a DAC etc.

Like most things in hifi though, separating these jobs to dedicated units is usually the best sound quality way to go.

The big jump, in my experience, is separating the DAC from the streamer, which you have already done. It’s possible to spend large sums of money on further server uprades, but we’re talking about small incremental gains that cost thousands, which makes them pretty poor value in my books. Others will have a different take on this of course.

I’m not sure how much of a compromise it is to put the ripper in the same box. I imagine it could degrade sound quality if you are ripping/downloading/editing during playback, but I can’t see it being a problem when these parts are idle.

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Having compared the full Innuos server range, I felt the Zenith was very much the sweet spot. The Statement was obviously better but at 3-4 x the price, it was more than I’d budgeted for at that stage.

I’d recommend going with a Zenith and demo both the PhoenixNet and M Scaler, you’ll probably want both but it’ll help you decide which one first.


I ended up with a Zenith mk3, should arrive to my dealer early next week.

The Innuos isn’t that clear in the manual, what is the easiest way import all my ZENMINi mk3 music over go the Zenith ?

Just get a USB>USB cable and import that way ? Or do it via Ethernet cable and the NAS Option.

I also wouldn’t mind making the music into WAV files again, they are in FLAC format currently.

I’m unsure how to do this, I “hope” it’s in menu somewhere when I do the transfer over from my ZENMINI.

And I’m pretty sure that I can also do a transfer from my iPhone of the iTunes songs that I have purchased. Like the very hard to find singles that I cannot get on CD anymore. Some I can’t even find on Tidal or Qobuz when I was trialing those services.

It doesn’t need to be in the instructions as it’s all within Sense. If you backed up your Mini then plug that into the Zenith via USB; hit restore from backup and the job is done.

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Good morning @Seacat77
I’m sure you will be more than happy with the ZENith. It’s a great piece of kit.

Did you consider or demo’ any other options, like the ZEN or the Pulsar (streamer only )?
Just curious if you had any thoughts on comparisons and how you arrived at the ZENith.

Best wishes

Hi R, I didn’t as my dealer only had the Statement and ZENmini (which I already had) on display.

I guess the main reason was the SSD the ZENith has as well that swayed my decision.

I’ll see in a few more days if my choice to buy unheard was a bad one or not.

Okay. Thanks for the feedback.
I’m sure you will be fine. The ZENith is a great product.

Happy listening.


Thank you, great post .

Very informative


I would suggest getting the SSD version with the external PSU if the budget will stretch to it.

I’ve had a Zenith Mk III for a few years and, despite missing my CDX2, I would swap back. UX, software updates and NAS backup are a breeze. 4TB storage should be enough for your collection.


Just checking, who are you addressing, in your recent post?

FWIW, for my part, already have SSD (upgrade to S version) and also external LSPU…
So, would agree with your main idea, for other users too.

In case you missed it, read this…

Best wishes

Happy to share. I’m sort of hoping that one day Naim will one day do a standalone DAC that has a USB input and then I’d think about using using the Zen direct into the DAC and replacing the 272 with a preamp. I could still keep my CD rips local and then stream Qobuz or Tidal hi res streams. I’m in no hurry though, I’m pretty happy with where my system is at.


They did – The DAC-V1.
I’ve got two (well, actually the 2nd is a brand new unit in an unopened box that I grabbed the last stock of from Addicted2Audio couple years back…just haven’t/didn’t end up using….)

It’s a shame they stopped their separate DAC range really, just for the options……the nDAC seems even more loved now than at the time…always the way I guess.



Yes agree - a nice shoebox traditional chrome bumper one to match a shoebox CB streamer both to match the recently released NAIT 50 :+1:


The nDAC gets a lot of love, I’m surprised that Naim don’t have a separate DAC, using the ND5 XS2 as a transport into a DAC seems to get brought up regularly.

I won’t pretend to know anything about manufacturing electronics, would it be easier to make a DAC than a streamer?

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Well it’s going to be interesting when it comes (if it does) to replace the “lower”
range such as the nd5xs2 QlderBrad

But I agree would be good to see a separate DAC but unfortunately I don’t think Naim will reintroduce one

I have an nDAC and it’s very very good I must say ( now using with the Core)


Merge the capabilities of the DAC-V1 and nDAC (i.e add the Asynchronous USB)…Drop the Headphone Amp (now that the Atom HE exists), restyle in Unity/NC casework, shoebox or full size….Job done!

But what do I know….I’m still waiting for the AV3…! :roll_eyes::slightly_frowning_face:



Hi @Seacat77
Hope you don’t mind me checking back with you. Just curious, how are you getting on with your new ZENith .


Haven’t really listened to it ,much. Will give it a decent spin this weekend. On first start up etc. It is fast, as in ripping CD’s, starting up a playlist etc seems much snappier than via the Zen mini.

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Give it a good time to run in, especially the 3 power supply rails. If you are using Sense as a control app, then +/- volume control buttons are coming. Will be be available from InnuOS 2.5.5. :blush: