Innuos Zen Mini mk3 better sound quality than a MacBook Pro?

Hi, i would appreciate some advice!

My setup:
Macbook pro i7 running roon/tidal master>nordost blue heaven>schiit eitr>bis audio vivat digital rca/coax>chord qutest.

My budget is about 1.5k - looking for a streamer or roon core…my goal is to get a better sound quality than what my mac is giving me…i thought maybe allo digione Signature, innuos zen mini mk3, bryston PI… I saw the Lehman limtree bridge, but it seems to oversample everything, and maybe not the best for the qutest…so i am open to suggestions :man_singer:t2:

From what I have heard from others, the Innous sounds a lot better than a Mac Pro. Its also an easy solution. The alternative is a good endpoint, optionally in combination with networking tweaks like fiber media converters, LAN isolators etc. Or maybe the opticalRendu which is immune to up-stream changes.

If you have optical out on the Mac, be sure to try that though on the Qutest, its very good at handling jitter and obviously optical can’t transmit electronic noise. Maybe invest in a real glass toslink cable (I have used Lifatec and liked it a lot better than the previous plastic one I had).

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Ok, thx! The innuos is really tempting :hugs:

I am not going to say anything about Innuos, as I own Innuos, and I am somewhat biased, but generally, using a purpose built for audio streamer, is often much better sounding than a general purpose computer as a streamer

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Sound quality is more about your DAC, amp, and speakers. Your Roon core device (server) is more about smoothly running Roon with no dropouts, skips, etc., and having the computing power to do any DSP you might want to do and dealing with your library of music files.

A dedicated Roon core device connected by ethernet is usually your best bet for smooth running of the Roon software.


No dsp since my dac is a chord qutest…i understand a dedicated server/streamer …looking to upgrade my digital end by isolating or removing the noise from the mac. I have looked at innios zen mini mk3, bryston pi, allo digione sig, moon mind 2…the mutec reclocker could be a great idea…i would prefer going coax since i already have a great cable…

You can keep your computer running Roon Core for now. Just use a separate streamer. Even if it something as cheap as Sonore microRendu or SOtM sMS-200. There is actually a good deal on a microRendu on US Audio Mart right now. Then if you like the results, you can upgrade the streamer. Then upgrade the Server to something Roon dedicated only, like a Nucleus, NUC, or SonicTransporter

I don’t understand why people buy a separate streamer then a core device. Why not buy a Nucleus or NUC and use that as the streamer?

Roon, and not only Roon, recommend keeping server and streamer separate. Do you want me to find that on Roon Knowledge Base? Hopefully you can figure it out how to search yourself.

Having said this, do whatever you want. I was just giving my two cents to the OP.

If I where you, I would do this:

  • But a used Node 2i, and use toslink from it
  • Buy a quality glass toslink cable
  • Spend the $1000 you save on room acoustics

Well i got a great deal on a moon mind 2. Connected via bis audio vivat coax custom terminated rca/bnc. Ac is Shunyata Research - Venom NR-V10 Noise Reducing Power Cable

Smoother, more musical sound. Bass is back and much tighter. More musical overall…

The mac is running roon core. A cisco modified switch with audioquest cinnamon cables are use throughout the network.

Time to enjoy a drink and smile :slightly_smiling_face: