Innuos Zenith MKIII as Roon Core

Hi there, I see that Innuos is about to release a new version of its music server called “Zenith MK3”
I have read on this forum that the old MK2 was not as good as the Nucleus(or an equivalent NUC) for the core functionality and this was due to its processor.
Now the new model is using a new processor, will that make it a better Core ?
Here are the specs:

Zenith MKII : Intel Quad Core 2GHz
Zenith MKIII : Intel Quad Core N4200


The N4200 is a Pentium, and apparently has a lower performance than a Core i3. Given that Roon Labs recommend a Core i3 CPU as a minimum requirement, I think you can draw your own conclusions… :grinning:

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I have the ZEN MK3 on pre-order. I am in USA, so it should probably arrive in January, according to dealer.

Totally aware of the processor. However, people who actually own Innuos report that there is no problem with running Roon Core with large libraries, UNLESS advanced DSP processing is utilized via Roon. Which I use none.

I will also try it as an endpoint, via USB to DAC. I am particularly excited of the new Beta feature that lets the Innuos be a roon endpoint via its LMS (Squeezebox) player.

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Thanks for your input!

Hi, if you compare benchmarks for the N4200 with a contemporary i3 it doesn’t fall far short in performance terms.
And as it is another companys’ product it is up to them and not necessarily Roon to provide the appropriate support. It should run Roon satisfactorily if you don’t want to run any heavy DSP or convolution.

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I spoke to Innous directly and they claim that it will work nicely subject to no heavy DSP use, also as confirmed by Henry_McLeod

Could you please elaborate on this part?


Just keep in mind that is something they built and Roon officially does not support playing to a software Squeezebox player.

I am totally aware. However people over at CA are reporting it’s working fine

Indeed, I’m using the Innous Zenith MK.III with Roon as Core for nearly 4 weeks now and I cannot complain.
With only 15k tracks and no need for DSP options so far, I’m not a very challenging user. The setup was as easy as it can be, the response time is fine and sound quality even better, compared to my previous NAS solution.
I’m currently using a Linn Majik DS as Streaming/DAC, hence the connection is Ethernet and the Squeezebox player is not an option so far. This may change when I’ll hopefully get my new Ayre EX-8 within the next days. After burn-in procedure, I will compare the Zenith as Endpoint with or without the Squeezebox Player, connected with USB to the EX-8 with the EX-8 as Endpoint direct connected via Ethernet to the Zenith or using my AQVOX switch.

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Are in US? I am, and I was told today that my ZEN MK3 I preordered weeks ago won’t ship until January. Bummer!

No, I’m located in Europe.

Were you able to make the comparison with your Ayre?

Hi thyname,
my EX-8 arrived on Friday last week, just in time for Christmas and I want to burn-in the device first before doing some experiments. You know, that this procedure will take some time and there will be an update of the streaming boards firmware, soon. I don’t want to do things twice, so I’m waiting until all components of the EX-8 are in best condition for a comparison.
As far as I know, the EX-8 has the same streaming board as the QX-5 and most people who has compared the inputs prefer the USB port. I think, Ayre is aware that there are better streaming solutions as the ConversDigital board out there and I hope that they will find an advanced alternative that fits Ayres and their customers needs ASAP.

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Thanks! I look forward to your impressions

Before enabling Roon core on a Zenith MKII, I reached out to Innuos tech support about the perceived “performance problem.” From tech support, " The MkII can run Roon very well, the only reason they suggest such a high system spec is for performing DSD upsampling which is by far the most intensive process Roon has. For normal usage and bitperfect playback, the MkII can easily run Roon, no problems there."

I enabled Roon a couple of days ago. I’m running it with two RAAT end-points in one zone and five Google Chromecast endpoints in another zone. I am NOT doing DSD upsampling.

I have experienced some problems, but I think they are related to the Roon software (or the way I set it up) and not the MKII.

  • Problem #1 - My RIVA WAND wireless speakers are Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Chromecast enabled. I could not get any sound using AirPlay grouped speakers. I can get music if I play them individually, but that’s essentially useless because I want them synchronized.
  • Problem #2 - I can get synchronized music using the Chromecast protocol; however, I have to play through the Google home “device,” which I don’t like - but that’s a Google thing not Roon. Today the Google home device showed music playing but no sound came from any speakers. I had to reboot the MKII to wake-up the Chromecast zone speakers, which are playing as I type this message.

I moved from Logitech Media Server to Roon. I had no problems with LMS. Having said that, I much prefer the Roon interface and functionality (except the fact that I cannot synchronize across different zones).

Hopefully, the Chromecast issue is fixable.

I have a. Zenith M 2. I use it as a Roon server. I have connected it to my PS Audio Direct Stream via USB and Bridge 2 Ethernet. These are set up as separate zones. My DAC upsamples all inputted music to 20X DSD internally. So, I use no DSP. I have 58k tracts in my library. 800 GB are on the Zenith drive. I have no issues with performance unless the files are 128 DSD or above. The Innous is a very good choke for Ethernet related noise, since it has 2 bridged Ethernet inputs. The Zenith also feeds a Auralic Aries in my second system wirelessly without issue. As far as LMS goes, the Zenith uses LMS to feed the USB. I have found that to be superior to the SQ on the Bridge, which is really saying something. Have had no issues running it other than it falters occasionally when skipping tracks.

Since the reboot, I’ve had no problems with the RIVA speakers. Hopefully, it will stay that way.

Are you using both Roon and LMS? If so, why? I’m just curious.

As far as LMS goes, the Zenith uses LMS to feed the USB.

I think the sound is better using the Innuos as Roon server and also as LMS endpoint. This is a new option in OS 1.4. I then run USB to my DAC using the low latency setting. The sound is superb.