12 responses Add your response
I hate to muddy things but have a Zenith MKII by Innuos and am very pleased by the sound, and I haven't had any issues with using it. In fact, the one or two questions I have had along the way were answered very promptly by Innuos. To my ears, the Aurender seems to do a great job with the upper half of the register and the Innuos seems to be bottom-up, so maybe that info is of help to you.
I suspect either will be a great choice, but wanted to share my two cents!
I had the opportunity to audition an Innous Zenith used as a music server over the network. This means it just had music files and transmitted the file data to a DLNA player/digital transport DAC. I found that it colored and smoothed the sound even when used as a music server. Switching to an Antipodes music server, the sound really improved. It became more natural sounding and the bass was stronger.
I did see a youtube video doing a review on Innous Zenith. The reviewer chose Innous as the best digital transport for a DAC. In comparison with an Auralic G1, he said the Innous was smoother sounding. The Auralic was more dry sounding. In my point of view, I think the Auralic is more neutral and un-colored. I think this would be the same for streamer/transports such as Aurender.
A note on the Innous re-clocker. To me, the reclocker makes things even more smoothed out (colored). It deviates further from the neutral un-colored sound. Just my opinion. I know many love Innous and the Innous reclocker. Ultimately, I think the Innous is changing the waveforms through DSP.
Thanks for your feedback. The smoothing out (coloration) you are referring to is Innuos attempt to softening the edges often referred to digital glare. It’s a matter of personal preferences, some may find this more to their liking.
I have yet to find a dedicated audio server under $10K that is as musical and neutral sounding as Aurender N10.
@solarjam, I own the Aurender N10 Music Server and like it very much. I listen to Qobuz Streaming for their outstanding sound quality. My stored CD albums also sound excellent.
Aurender Customer Support is excellent. I have contacted them with requests and also questions on the operation of the Aurender.
As you can see from above many posts, the selection of a music server is not an easy decision or process. It seems, everyone has a DIFFERENT server recommendation. I suggest you make a list of the important features your music server needs and your questions. For example, please review:
1) What is your price range for a music server?
2) What features does your server need? For example, I wanted my CD albums stored in the same box, wanted Tidal, Qobuz Streaming Services and also Internet radio stations. And, also the ability to add more additional streaming services when they become available.
3) Do you want a DAC built into the streamer or a separate DAC? For maximum flexibility, I decided on an external DAC.
4) What digital outputs do you need? I decided on a Music streamer with BOTH USB and AES/EBU digital outputs to my DAC. In most cases, I prefer the AEB/EBU connection (a high priority for me). Some servers offer an Ethernet audio connection for output.
5) Is a Roon interface important to you? If needed, you need a Roon enabled server. I decided that Roon is not required. In my case, the Aurender Conductor App DOES exactly what I need. However, several of my friends purchased a Roon enabled server and likes it very much. Another friend purchased the Roonlabs Nucleus by Roon Music Server and recommends it.
6) Your server needs a controlling App that runs on an iPad or something similar. You need to review the App to ensure it supports your needs to easily find and manage your music selections.
7) Does your server offer Remote Internet Technical Support? The Aurender does. I used this once and they solved my user operational issue very quickly (my error). This is a very important feature especially if something goes wrong and you need help.
8) Sound quality is the MOST important. In my case, I asked many questions, talked to many people, read many reviews and auditioned various servers to help me make the right decision. I selected the Aurender N10 Music Server for its sound quality.
I also agree with @lalitk1 post above that the Aurender N10 Music server is very musical and neutral sounding. In summary, I like the Aurender N10 Music Server very much and highly recommend you audition it. The combination of its sound quality and its ease of use using the iPad makes it an amazing piece. I highly recommend the N10.
I hope the above helps you make a decision. Thanks....
I just switched from an Aurender N100H to the Innuos Zen Mk3 and I must say that the Innuos beats the Aurender 90% of the time.
I was considering the new N200 but decided on the Innuos for a change after reading many good reviews about it.
The Innuos turned out to be very satisfying - airier highs, more holographic soundstage, better decay, higher resolution, better bass slam and definition, silkier midrange.
I could go on but enough said. Back to music. :)
I’ve heard both the zen mk 3 and n100 side by side earlier this year. In the system I heard these units on, neither was clearly superior to the other but rather they both had strengths. It becomes a matter of preference and between the 2 I thought the n100 was a bit more in line with what I like. But if someone gave me the zen mk 3 I’d be pretty satisfied too. And indeed not all streamers sound alike. I listened to the innuos statement and thought it was really nice. Even better, but at a different place, I heard a $20k plus naim streamer that was just plain killer. With all that said I’ve not yet committed to any streamer hardware aside from a dual use MacBook Pro and I know my current streaming setup is lacking. Sort of reminds me of early digital. Very clean and superb bass; highs can be fatiguing and limited depth