Innuos Zen Mini MK3 / Roon

So after a much enjoyable time learning the Raspberry PI for UPnP duties, thanks to members on this forum. I have also been down the Cisco switch route (still am) and even a media fibre bridge with LPS.

I always wanted the Uniti Core but for me the cost versus the functionality, plus the software issues, really put me off. So I looked at NUC’s, Melco, even a basic Roon Nucleus, but I did not see the appeal of Roon.

Again thanks to forum members making further suggestions, I callled me dealer and currently home demo’ing the Innuos Zen Mini 3 1TB.

I took all of 5 mins to decide was so easy, versus the Raspberry Pi the sound is wider, more 3D, better bass and clearer vocals. I purposely kept the Pi in place so I could just switch one ethernet cable to compare.

The Zen was a breeze to setup and use, so easy I thought i wasn’t using the Zen. Sadly I assumed it came with an app, it does not just a web portal for Zen setting, which is very basic and functional.

So I realised the demo unit retained all the dealer account settings , including Roon. Side story, myself and the dealer laughed at the carry bag in the box thinking why, well simple you could unplug take it to a friends, holiday home, a party wire it up and bang it’s all systems go. Dealers are missing a trick here, as with these products allot of the demo time gets wasted in setup or assumes you have all the accounts.

So my Zen is on order, all being well Tuesday collection, I intend to site on my Hi fi stand under the Nova, but to also remove the Cisco 2960 and repurpose the Belden mains cable with SR fuse for the Zen, so I am expecting it to get allot better.

Zen is whisper quite, is instant no issues, coupled with Roon it all starts to make sense, plug it all in, keep it simple = great results and no streamer/app issues. So I will be signing up to Roon (insert humble pie here).

I also plan to load all my ripped media to the Zen and then search the garage for a big stash of old CDs, then let the ripping begin.

The Pi in comparison sounded very 2D, constantly some issue, latest being it would play two tracks and stop.


Good move, identical set up to me although I have the mk2, Roon works well on it and it’ll also handle Qobuz if you wanted

I have Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz, keep trying to downsize to just one, but each offers something the other does not for me.

Spotify for the best playlists, Tidal for Android Auto and Qobuz for Hifi.

You can import music from a NAS or even attach. Alternatively, if you have Roon let it do the work.


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Welcome to the Roon family. I like you have all three services.

I sensed you had been trying to convert me for sometime :grin:

Out of interest how does one make use of the DSP functions, so it only via a desktop app. Not sure the Zen 3 processor can handle it.

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Zen Mini 3 1TB. Is there also including a dac inside

I believe so as It can connect direct to an amp.

Found the DSD conversion under the volume settings, started via laptop but the Zen seems to handle it fine, even Innuos say not powerful enough.

Any difference can say I can tell so far.

Yeah it won’t be up to heavy duty stuff as it’s too weak a processor. You can setup DSP settings on tablet or pc remotes not the phone as it doesn’t have the screen dpi or real estate but when it’s setup you can toggle it on/off load presets etc. The experience is much better using a tablet but I end up using my phone more as it’s always at hand.

I never really used DSP much before apart from playing around with upsampling, and making a mono mix for a single speaker endpoint I use in the bedroom. The eq and stuff is a dark art to me and I tried doing some stuff myself but never sounded great. Now I got a professional to create the convolution filters from my readings it’s in a different class now. But this side of things will make the Zen cry I feel.

What’s the processing speed showing? You can check that in the signal path. Anything below 1 you will be in trouble. Even mine only gets to 3.7x with upsampling to dsd128 and it’s an i7, although not a full desktop CPU on e.

With convolution its dropped to 2.3x

1.5 to 1.6, it sounds better but my ears are hurting.

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Upsampling to DSD can sound a bit more organic I find. But it does’nt work for all types of music. Try playing with the upsamping filters, and the Sigma Delta Processing. I use 7th order clans as it the most recent version.

I set to 7th order, but cannot see the up sampling options. Activated headroom it was clipping now set to -2.

Filter options are here I use smooth minimum phase. You can in the sample rate converter choose custom and set upsampling based on initial rate and bit depth. This way you can configure which ones sound best rather than a one fits all.

After an hour my ears are ringing.

From too much upsampling?

Maybe just listening again, but head started hurting.