Innuos Zenith MKIII as Roon Core

I can’t see this will happen as its believed it won’t help other Roon devices. Innuos is a server and player and a
closed box system, most Roon endpoints are just a player and rely on a seperate core, so the belief is RAM playback is not that beneficial and the device itself would need to support it, not the server so this is highly unlikely to happen in all endpoints. They all offer some small buffering anyway but not to the level of Innuos.

Roon also don’t want to effect anything to do with the smooth interaction of their product and they believe RAM playback would. The CTO has made it clear that for Roon in general RAM playback is not advantageous. It might help the Innuos but not all products, and having split development for a small set of users I imagine is not desired. The other thing is they don’t officially support Squeezelite either only Squeezebox hardware as they are fixed and are not prone to development changes any more I guess.

If Innuos player works then their is no need for Roon to do anything and you have the best of both worlds. If it’s is a little flakey then that I guess is the trade off RAM playback with Roon as it was never designed for it.

They might change their mind but I would not hold my breath.

1 Like

I understand very well that Roon needs to see the big picture.
I just wish they wouldn’t just sacrifice this support on the altar of profit. I just enjoy it as long as I can.
It doesn’t have to be Sequeezeplayer, it could be any other player that allows 3rd developers to work here and improve things.

Particularly when other developers were working on it, the described problems could probably be solved

Maybe a too pious wish …

Roon has meanwhile too dominant a market position and a little competition would not harm here.

Hi Phillipp
Have you had any experience in the meantime? I would be very interested in them?

It’s not all about profit, to implement RAM playback the streamers have to support it it’s not down to just Roons player. Roon runs on a lot of devices remember and most don’t have that much memory for it. Innuos built their devices with a large amount of ram for this purpose. But to make a bespoke player for one set of devices would likely be frowned upon. Look at the negative feedback they just got for adding cd ripping to RoonOS.

Personally I’d ignore the negative feedback. Roon is that big now you simply can’t please everyone.

I still don’t fully understand what Innuos have done here. I have experimented with RAM playback on Roon endpoints and differences are minimal compared to conventional running in AudioLinux. Also Ropieee runs in RAM. This isn’t to do with endpoints. It has to do with the core and I think ties in to the way you use it as a USB host. The question is, if you do this across a network do you still get the gains? Because there is no incentive to make Roon a beast in core USB mode but less effective in the networked, multi-roomed environment that is the vision of the creators of Roon. What do you sacrifice on the alter of ultimate sound quality? And of course and most importantly for me, this still isn’t stable. Next experiment may be to load the core into RAM. I won’t connect my library, I’ll just sign into Tidal and see how it sounds across a network and via USB. The endpoint will be the same device, an NT-505.

Hi Henry

Personally, I have never sacrificed so little for better sound quality even though the operation is not perfect. And I can use Roon !

That’s a good question.
I think that the better sound of Innuos besides the memory playback is simply due to the classic hifi attributes:

  • High-quality power supply unit
  • General shortest signal paths
  • Core+Endpoint+Hard Disk in one device

Maybe even the fact that the processor unit is not so fast … :wink:

Sorry, we spent the weekend on a farm… Ok, back to the topic: I’m just starting all the experiments, my listening time is unfortunately very limited.
First - before the Matrix arrived, I tried the Squeezebox feature. But as I experienced sounds dropouts (stuttering) three times in one hour, I decided to revert that setting. Soundwise it was no clear difference, it sounded as good as before (OK, with just one hour listing) - but dropouts rob the fun completely. I just can’t stand that.
Now the Matrix worked on its own for two days while I was away, so it should be on working temperature now. I’ll give it a listing test just now. With a normal HDMI cable, as the WireWorld had not arrived yet. And with no external power, just using the USB 5V. Step by step. I’ll report back.

Hi @Hugo_Sharp, I have experienced with the Innuos Zen Mini as a Roon Core, but also with my PC as a core, both using the Zen Mini as an endpoint also. I did not hear big differences in sound. Maybe the Innuos sounds a tadd bit warmer as Core, but it’s not that big difference. I noticed my PC is faster in finding artists and albums than my Innuos Mini (MKII).

So, I can confirm it isn necessary to seperate the endpoint from the core.

With me the sound difference is obvious immediately after switching. I don’t have to listen back and forth for long. An unmeasurable feeling of well-being immediately sets in.
However, I also have a particularly fine resolution chain, which does not necessarily make me representative here.
There are also dropouts from time to time. I found out that it is better to pause a song before selecting the next one. Besides, it’s better to select the whole music than individual songs immediately.
I also deactivate the background audio analysis and the speed of the audio analysis if necessary I switch off.
Now I’m waiting for the Innuos Firmware Update 1.4.3.

I made another interesting discovery. If sample rate conversion in Roon is disabled, there were no more dropouts till now.

So, although you didn’t state which Innuos model you have, at least the model you have can’t run Core.

Do you have more than one endpoint?

Curious as to what your chain is that an Innous streamer should make such a big difference. How were you streaming before? Did you ever post your chain here? -

Not trying to be snarky or singling you out. Please don’t take offense.

The OP asked how the how the Zenith MKIII was at running Core and, in spite of any protestations to the contrary, by the evidence of your own post, Zenith MKIII is not as competent as a lowly i3 NUC.

I suspect the Innous Statement isn’t much better since at 13,000 Euro it still uses an N4200 Pentium. By Roon’s own spec sheet that is not enough CPU.

I like the Innous products and especially the OS (Roon could take some pointers for ROCK OS), but they overstep when the say they can run Core.

Hi Slim, my Innuos Zenith MKII (with 1 TB SSD) is running as Roon Core since Feb 2018. It performs very well, even with basic DSP. Only DSD upsampling clearly stresses the CPU (but I don’t need that anyway). And I rarely play more than two zone at the same time (but when I did, it worked flawless). I also have only 3500 albums in the library. So for such a basic (but not unusual) setting the Zenith MK II (which is now the old model and replaced by the MKIII) works very well.


Hi Slim

Which Innuos model I have, I have already written before in this thread, a ZEN MK3.
I wonder if the model really matters, because Innuos keeps the processor performance the same on all models, as you wrote correctly.
In the Experimental Modus and the Seequezplayer you can use only one endpoint.
In pure Rooncore mode I had no technical problems with 3 endpoints, but the sound was not good enough for me.

For me the rule is confirmed once more: Start at the beginning.
Data that are already bad here cannot be reproduced optimally even with the best chain.
Before I had an Aries Femto with a linear power supply.

My chain is in my Profile.

But maybe I should put it in the thread you linked.

What is an OP ? :thinking:

CPU performance back or forth, - too much or too little, or whatever … :grin: with me it sounds fantastic even with the small CPU power. :wink:

Thanks for the reply.

OP means original poster, i.e. the poster who started the thread.

If you put your chain in the thread I linked, use pictures please.

Everyone likes HiFi porn. :smile:



For info - 1.4.3 has been made available now. :grinning:


Adds support for import from USB in exFAT!!

1 Like

Anyone knows if it’s possible to replace the hd by th euser and/or upgrade the ram in the Mini mk3?

Hi @Luca_Alebardi i’ve asked Innuos before if i can swap in a bigger SSD. They advised the only way is to send in the unit. The quote was huge compared to the retail price of the SSD i was asking for (and that was with no return of the current SSD too).

Thanks Hugo, that’s unfortunate.
I don’t know why, but I bet that it should be possible, just swapping the hard disk by the user.
One easy test could be swapping the hd with another one you already have, and if the Innuos don’t recognize it, simply reattaching the existing one.

Same could be possible for the ram modules.
I don’t own an Innuos so I can’t try.
Too bad.

From internal pics online, they look to use normal SuperMicro motherboards and Teac CD drives. The HD is under the CD drive and not quite visible, but looks to be connected via a standard sata cable. It might be possible to pull the drive and clone it to a larger drive. The memory looks like basic laptop DDR RAM and as long as you are using the same type should be a easy switch.

But, those are expensive items and I’m sure that doing so would void any warranty from Innuos. If I had one to mess around with, I could probably pull it apart and see whats going on.

1 Like