Innuos Zen Mini MK 3 - Feedback Request


I have fairly eclectic taste in music, but within my collection I have had no issues. I suggest that if your dealer can lend an Innuos you try for yourself. Roon give a 14 day trial, but Innuos support gave me a 60 day trial code.

If you already have a ripped collection of music on a NAS just attach it to Roon and leave it to identify the music. Use Roon’s metadata as it is much richer than other sources and allows Roon to suggest similar music to play once your playlist is empty.



However good metadata lookup is I’ve never found something that’s perfect so I have always found it important to have good editing tools. That way you can tweak the metadata. I also feel it is unimportant to have every last detail as there are many places you can look this up if you want to know it. The important thing is being able to find the piece you want to play - same as it ever was. For the most part, we want to listen to music rather than read about it.

Innuous makes some really good boxes. It may possible to build a cheaper one of your own, but that’s often true. I like the idea of having something that just works with no DIY required.


Hi, Thanks for the insight re the Innuos servers, very informative and interesting. I am currently considering purchasing either the Zen Mini Mk3 or the Zen Mk3, my dealer recommends the Zen over the Zen Mini from a sound quality point of view. Reading the specs apart from storage and the linear power supply I can’t see much difference.
What is your experience ? do you think the Zen is worth twice the price of the Mini ?
Thanks, Malcolm.


Hi Malcolm, I can’t find any details of your system to know whether you are playing via a dac or streamer etc. I think you will be happy with either, but the best thing would be to ask for a home demo starting with the Zen mini. If you find a difference you like with the Zen then the LPS upgrade to the mini would narrow the gap. For spdif output to an nDAC the Zen needs a USB to coax convertor such as the M2Tech. I would use Roon on a free trial rather than iPeng (I had to pay £9!).



Thanks for the quick response, much appreciated, I would be using the Zen with a streamer, a Nova, so connection will be by ethernet from the router and also between the Zen and Nova. I think this is the best way from what I have read.
Will speak to my dealer along the lines of your suggestion, the Zen units seem to be a bit thin on the ground in terms of supply.


It wouldn’t do it for me when I trialled Roon back in 2017…


Hi IB, Nice to know they have been busy with the dosh that must be flowing in! I thoroughly tested the ripping on the Innuos which I was pleasantly pleased with. It was a relief that Roon did so well though! Most of my late cousin’s operas got recognised as box sets. When first imported the album count was 400 higher, and then it got working. There is nothing worse than having opera fragmented and not being able to find all the CDs!



Has anyone compared the Innuos Zen Mini to a Naim Streamer? I’d like to know which Naim streamer is nearest and which is definitely better than it, preferably using Tidal. Thanks!


Even the top of the range Innuos (£10k) is only a music server. You can do as I do and use spdif into nDAC.

It would be nice if someone can report on uPnP into a Naim Streamer such as NDX2, ND555 or ND5XS2. The older streamers seem to need fixes to receive Roon.



Hi Filipe
I would be connecting the Innuos server to a streamer, the Nova, I’m interested in any views you have regarding the difference in performance between the the Mini and the Zen, do you feel there is much difference in performance/sound quality ?


Hi Malcolm, Look above for my reply to you 7 hours ago. You need to try these things and decide. Our systems are different.

It is on my list to ask my dealer to borrow a NDX2. He has ND555 but…Phil


As my dealer wants the Zen Mini back I have backed up it’s music store and Roon. Many hours laters the music store is on the Zen Mk 3 and Roon is ready to continue playing where it left off.

In the meantime I had been using the CDX2 and thought this morning it was sounding good playing Mary Blacks ‘The Collection’ and ‘Shine’. Though that I could live with the CDX2.

Later I moved on to ‘Selling England by the Pound’ which it did pretty well. However, the guitar on track 3 ‘Firth of Fifth’ did not have the high frequencies coming through perfectly.

Now I am playing it through the Zen Mk 3 off it’s music store using the massive buffer so the disk is not needed. Well this is really good. I thought it was revealing stuff I had not heard before!

So for those of you contemplating spdif output I think more money is buying something special. I still can’t tell you about uPnP.



How did you connect it to your dac? What converter are you using?


I hope he isn’t using any converter, as the Mk 3 has coax SPDIF output.


I’m using the M2Tech that Innuos loaned me with the boxes. No coax output that I can see. Wish there were @ChrisSU.



Hi Filipe
I think the Zen Mini Mk3 has coaxial out, the Zen Mk3 doesn’t.


Woops, sorry, I missed that you had switched from the Mini to the full fat Zen - just ignore me!


I’m getting close to pulling the trigger on the mini and keeping the ndac. It just seams the price of the Zen plus converter is now around $3000. Starting to feel like it might not be worth it vs the $1250 for the mini. Unless you’ve experienced some good sq improvement.

Otherwise for my own logic… If I were to spend that much … I’d just go with NDX2, build my own roon core for about $600, and use a pc to rip. Feels like more bang for the buck.


I’ve been back and listened to Zen Mini + LPS with same coax and same Ethernet cable. I think the Zen Mk 3 is now better, in fact it sounds staggeringly good. One way to describe the difference is that the Zen Mini playing Firth of Fifth sounded a bit overblown. There is more subtlety in the music which the Zen Mk 3 brings out. This is a new level and all thoughts of needing NDX2 are receding.

So I need to explain that running two grouped endpoints off the Zen Mini did not do the Zen Mk 3 a favour. Furthermore having both on the Cisco 2960 switch at the same time seems to drag the Zen Mk 3 down. Noise is such an evil.

Johnny, this may not be what you want to hear! But I have to give a fair account. Only you can decide with your system, boxes and ears.



Today the very helpful and responsive Innuos support pointed out that there is an experimental fix to allow Roon to use the 4GB RAM buffer explained in the latest release notes.

Their own player used by iPeng does use the buffer. Looking at the release notes reminds me of the stuff on one of the current Roon threads. Their instructions look simple by comparison!