Country of Origin
This review first appeared in March 2021 on HifiKnights.com. 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 – Ed.
Reviewer: Dawid Grzyb
Sources: fidata HFAS1-S10U, LampizaOr Pacific with KR T-100 or LV 300B and KR 5U4G
USB components: iFi Audio iGalvanic3.0, micro iUSB3.0, 3 x Mercury3.0, iPower 9V
Integrated amplifier: Kinki Studio EX-M1
Speakers: Boenicke Audio W11 SE+, Børresen Acoustics B-01 [on loan] Headphones: Vision Ears VE5, Beyerdynamic T50i
Interconnects: Boenicke Audio IE3 CG
Speaker cables: Boenicke Auduo S3, LessLoss C-MARC
Power components: GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO+ w. LC-3 EVO cord, LessLoss C-MARC, Boenicke Audio Power Fate
Rack: Franc Audio Accessories wood block rack
Network: Fidelizer EtherStream, Linksys WRT160N
Retail price of components as reviewed: €11'000/11'500/12'100/13'600 for 1/2/4/8TB
Top tier is when manufacturers go all in and all out with their know-how and resources to land the very best they possibly can. As its name implies, the Innuos Statement is such a product and now we'll find out whether it measures up. It doesn't matter whether a newcomer introduces a costly flagship first then moves down or vice versa. At some point every design team wants to show off what they can truly do. As a full-time reviewer, I'm just in no rush to jump into the deep end. I like to start small and work my way up. Although this hasn't failed me yet and I rinse and repeat whenever possible, once in a while this recipe gets turned upside down and I adapt. That's my track record with Portuguese company Innuos. Upon first contact a year ago, I wanted to start small but only their second best ZENith Mk3 was available on loan just then. It turned out to be voiced different than my reference but performed on the same tier – amazing when mine costs nearly double. The second Innuos dispatched several months later wasn't a server but USB reclocker which quickly emerged as the best of its kind I'd heard.
Afterwards it seemed time to return to the usual plan and finally move to their most affordable stuff. But Mandy De Castro had different ideas. She proposed their Statement built upon the ZENith Mk3 platform and internally fitted with the PhoenixUSB reclocker. Due to my familiarity with these, resistance was futile. That's how today's gig came about. The Innuos Statement arrived inside double cardboard with foam inserts that locked its two hefty residents each wrapped in a cloth bag in place. A generic mains cord and two short DC umbilicals were the accompanying accessories but paying customers will also get an owner's manual.
This is an audio server designed with sound quality as its top priority so distributes digital music exclusively over wired LAN. It features internal SSD storage (1/2/4/8TB) like my reference and is powerful enough to operate as Roon Core/Bridge while its in-built optical drive allows easy disc rips. Although on utility the Statement doesn't exceed its more affordable siblings, it's still more generous than a fidata, Lumin or Auralic. The Statement sets itself apart by being the only full-sized Innuos that features a streamer and linear power supply in discrete enclosures. Upon stacking them, they measure 42x35x19cm WxDxH and weigh 21.6kg so get big and heavy. Four differently angled planes spread across two sandblasted fascias for modern utilitarian optics that I thought very attractive. The server displays its CD slot and secondary on/off switch with embedded multi-color LED whereas the beefier PSU's fascia beneath it remains unadorned. This duo thus gets by without any extra buttons, dials or displays and their lack in fact contributes to the sharp dress code. If silver doesn't float your boat, there's black at no extra cost.
The ZENith Mk3's steel hood was heavily perforated for extra dissipation but the Statement's aluminium case doubles as heat sink to require no vents. The PSU's rear houses one Neutrik ORP8F 8-pin DC terminal on each side plus the IEC inlet with fuse compartment and mains switch in the middle. The name plate lists design and assembly in England and Portugal respectively. The server's business end features the same locking DC ports while the central sockets become an HDMI service input, 2 x USB type A ports (blue 3.0 for backup/external storage, black 2.0 for digital audio out) and 2 x RJ45 to use the Statement either as network source into a DAC or as storage for a streamer of choice. The USB2.0 port baptized 'USB DAC' is purposely separated from the group and quite special. More about that in a moment.
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