Innuos zenith mk3 - impressions and advice for demo

I have an Innuos zenith mk3 on loan.
To be honest - I really like it. My hdx - which I preferred over a melco n10 - has some issues.
Streamer as server only feeding an nd555.
The melco had more details and space but was less involving for my old ears.
The zenith is not so detailed as the melco, but has more groove (more like my hdx).
Also it has has some more details and is really good I’m displaying the room. I am a bit surprised and happy as well :slight_smile:
The sense app is a masterpiece!

Will write more of a review later here.

One question:
There is the opportunity to use the sense app controlling the nd555 (upnp bridge).
Should I do it (app is really good) or should I prefer streaming via naim app.
Read in another post about statement that the bridge is preferred as is plays from cache. @Michaelb or anyone - thanks for a suggestion!


Why not try it as a streamer? Half the Innuos is redundant if used just as a server. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how it stacks up as a steamer.

The Melco for me was all detail but no flow.

Hard not to enjoy the Sense app. Elsewhere people debating what happens next with Roon. Few Sense owners care.


With nd555 afaik I only can use it as server and nd555 as streamer.
I know as server only it is a bit over the top.

And correct - melco is was all detail but less flow - innous is not overall detail but a lot of flow.

Too bad that the demo unit can not stay as it is 1tb only - want 2 or 4 to.
And with this comes the burn in horror… ;o/.
Any experience with burning in zenith.
I managed to burn in phoenix net as well - all fine

I’ve a Zenith 3. Mine is 2TB. Can’t comment on burn in as I had it from new and simply didn’t notice any. It was great from the off and it has remained great. Mayes no sense ri use it just as a server though. It’s great as a steamer. The server element is a bonus.

I intended to have a Naim or other streamer but I heard the Innuos stream and it was simply better.

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Nd555 is a great streamer as well :smiling_face:

… but do you need it if you have a Zenith?

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Yes I do :grinning: and I want :laughing:
Nd555 is streamer and DAC / zenith is Server land streamer … did. not work on its own. Both ones.
Nd555 should be more on level with Innuos statement or maybe above.

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Zenith is an excellent streamer, especially with a pheonix USB connected which let’s you get the best from sense. I tried a number of streamers connected to my zenith and none of them sdded anything I needed

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Zenith and a decent DAC and you’re done.


Thankful for any suggestions… for the app usage - bridge or not?
I connected him as a server - think tha LAN port is correct.
Is there any option to disable the player (port). As it es a demo unit the DAC is not available - but I can not disable the port in the menu.

What do you mean by that? (I am not familiar with Zenith.) Is it serving over ethernet network, or is it also rendering and feeding direct to usb or spdif digital input of ND555? If not tried that way, perhaps it is worth doing as you would then avoid any network contribution. I would only consider latter way.

I agree, it makes more sense for me too to use the Nd555 as a streaming dac and Innuos as a server. Use the Nd555 only as a dac would be more waste of money than not using the streaming part of the Zenith 3.
And using the Nd555 only as dac would necessitate an usb to Spdif converter.
Those running the Melco use it also as a server with the Nd555, not as a streamer.


Zenith is similar to the melco he is also a player rendering and can be fed via usb to a DAC.
As Frenchrooster mentioned - if nd555 used as DAC only, it is even more unused expensive potential.

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Thanks - I was coming from the same route as many here with melco (which is also a streamer) running as server only (like you iirc :grinning: )
I understand that both melco and Innuos are good streamers - but as I have heared there is also a difference in SQ as server only.

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Connect the ND555 to the PhoenixNet and the Zenith to the PhoenixNet also, then play from the Sense app. To me it sounds better like this with the Innuos Statement, but maybe not with the Zenith. Overall, I also prefer the Sense interface to the Naim app, though the latter is much improved.

Decide with your ears rather than overthinking what using the Streamer section of the ND555 is likely to do. One could equally argue that letting it do less improves how the rest of it works….


Connected exactly this way. I prefer the sense app as well - have not compared soundwise but will do so.
Only downside is that with each skipping in songs the nd555 is lightening up showing some „bridge logo“

Are you running the latest version of Sense?

Is the Zenith set to “Standalone” mode in System mode under Settings?

Equally UPnP integration should be set to On with Sense integration enabled and the ND555 selected in the Audio settings then displayed

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Here my first review after 2 days.
System is: hdx, PN, nd555 (one ps), 52, 135, SBL
Hdx was faulty again so I decided to look again for a server.
Had melco n10 on demo for 10days (run in unit) and it did not click in the end. A lot more details- but I preferred the rough touch of the hdx more.

Innous zenith mk3 and naim core on demo. Hdx (knock on wood) working now.

Core (only had a quick chance to look at by now - will do more):
Core against hdx

  • very nice build (like a rock)
  • the software integration (metadata) is less good than with n-serve
  • a lot of albums I copied (from the download folder of hdx) do arrive without cover pic. There is a lit work to do - I think I will find a workaround for it.
  • hdd is louder to hear from the outside than the one from hdx. This could be disturbing when placed near the sitting position
  • soundwise it is near hdx - but first impressions are that it more similar to my synology and hdx is a bit above with less harshness.

Zenith against hdx

  • nice build - like it as there are no buttons or screen on it.
  • feet are good BUT placing it on quadraspire rack is a task! Rack is SVT and it is hard to arrange the feet not to touch the hole. Have a spare Fraim shelf and ball joints - maybe I put it underneath?
  • software and app are phenomenal - fully in love it.
  • there are also some albums (quobuz loads - old ones) which are arriving without cover (in naim app only). But this can be solved with sense app. A bit to do - but can be managed
  • soundwise…
  • also a bit less rough than hdx (but in a lesser margin than melco)
  • sound as Full as hdx (melco was a bit on the lighter side iirc)
  • more room and air - sounds and instruments can be better seen - are more separated
  • therefore a bit less together than hdx
  • voices are more upfront again (this was a bit reduced with PN)

Without direct comparison I think that melco is more airy and resolving with much room
Innous is more full and smoother with a bit less resolution.

Overall really good for now.
Too bad, that the demo is only 1tb…and burn in is not my cup of tea.
And that price tag is also a number… when decided finally, I will get in touch with my dealer…

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Yes - stand-alone and nd555 as player selected with standard profile
Still on display (short lighting up) the symbol
With naim app it stays dark when skipping

It is worth trying the Zenith’s CD ripper functionality as well. You can explore ripping to WAV or FLAC format. That will answer the question of whether the ripper functionality makes a difference to the sound quality you hear on playback. It will also reassure you that the metadata found by Innuos is good.

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