Country of Origin


ZENith Mk3

This review first appeared in April 2020 on By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of Dawid Grzyb or Innuos – Ed.

Reviewer: Dawid Grzyb
 LampizatOr Pacific (Living Voice 300B + KR Audio 5U4G Ltd. Ed.)

Transports: fidata HFAS-S10U
USB: iFi audio 0, micro iUSB3.0 and 3x Mercury cables
Preamplifier: Thöress DFP

Integrated amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-M1, Trilogy 925, Bakoon AMP-13R
Power amplifier: FirstWatt F7

Speakers: Boenicke Audio W11 SE+
Interconnects: Audiomica Laboratory Erys Excellence, Boenicke audio IC3 CG
Speaker cables: Boenicke Audio S3, LessLoss C-MARC
Power components: Gigawatt PC-3 SE EVO+, Gigawatt PF-2 + Gigawatt LC-2 MK2 + Forza AudioWorks Noir Concept/Audiomica Laboratory Ness Excellence/LessLoss C-MARC
Rack: Franc Audio Accesories Wood Block Rack
Music: NativeDSD
Retail price of reviewed components in EU: €3'399 1TB SSD, €3'899 2TB, €4'499 4TB

Innuos are a specialty company focused on server/streamer solutions for audio enthusiasts. One could say how that's no longer anything out of the ordinary. But it'd fail to acknowledge that this particular audio house has exploded in popularity during recent years. Innuos sent their ZENith Mk3 my way so I could learn why. Have you ever tried to put together a multi-purpose PC? If you aren't tech-savvy, the hardware might strike you as a complex puzzle and rather difficult but it's not. To simplify, all you need is a power supply and motherboard to accommodate a RAM stick or two, hard drive, CPU plus cooling. All sub assemblies connect in just one way and then slot inside a case like so. If you leave behind brute force to be careful, the odds of failure are slim to none. Add keyboard, mouse, monitor and a thumb drive with your OS of choice. Powered up, this should result in a nice setup screen which will take you through the OS installation one click at a time. Easy.

Have you ever tried to build a PC solely focused on playback? Assembly is quite similar if not the same – unlike pretty much all else. Low noise now is top priority. It renders regular components feasible but not ideal. Linear PSU, cherry-picked motherboards, low-voltage CPU, passive radiators and low-profile aluminium enclosures come into play. You'll need to adjust a BIOS and it's more than likely that your regular OS isn't with it, either. The one you'll be running has to be stripped of all non-essential processes to only execute tasks related to music. It's essentially a skeleton of what you previously had. If you're a diehard geek with lots of spare time, you can mint an audiophile computer on your own, tweak it to the hilt and overcome all obstacles along the way. If you're into this Jazz, you've probably done so already. Kudos to you. If you're like me, you neither seek DIY challenges nor have time to learn how. Now a turnkey platform by a credible specialist is the way forward. Here Innuos step in. They're the geeks so you and I needn't be.

I saw my first Innuos product at the Munich HighEnd show 2018. It sat between Kii Three speakers augmented by BXT modules in a dark room of a MOC hall. Although the speakers had all my attention back then, in the two intervening years Innous have amassed so much street cred as to be quite unmissable. Their local reseller AVcorp approached me about a review. What happened next was unexpected. Early on I imagined Innuos to be a fairly small boutique operation. First hints to the contrary came with an introductory mail from event manager Amanda followed by a proper call several days later. The next talk involved Innuos CTO/co-founder Nuno Vitorino who keenly answered all technical questions and asked about the digital bits of my setup. Precise scheduling plus formal super-courteous communications spelled a more corporate vibe typical for professional enterprises that have everything locked and loaded. This wasn't artisanal audio business as usual.