The British-Portuguese company Innuos has been delighting experts and hi-fi fans alike with its ZEN music servers for several years. Design and price are right, the hardware is of high quality and optimised for musical purposes, and a self-developed operating system ensures both the best possible sound and very stable operation.
It is above all this equal consideration of hardware and software that explains Innuos' success, because both have a direct influence on both sound quality and everyday operation. For example, the developers do not rely on standard off-the-shelf PC components, but have their motherboards custom-made by one of the largest suppliers worldwide. Short signal paths, maximum shielding of sound-relevant areas and specially selected components form the basis for the best possible sound and reliable operation.
This is then the basis for innuOS, the company's own operating system programmed exclusively for music playback and management. Like the hardware in the servers, this software contains nothing that does not serve the intended purpose; everything unnecessary has been left out. And so it cannot interfere with the actual task, as would be the case, for example, on a normal PC without extensive additional measures.
Innuos sees itself as a hi-fi company, not a computer manufacturer. That's why a lot of attention is paid to the housings of the ZEN servers. On the one hand, the units should look good, as they are often not used in a control cabinet but in the living room. On the other hand, they must also be solid and immune to unwanted vibrations for sound reasons.
Innuos also aims to offer a system that is as flexible as possible and compatible with all existing or future streaming and music solutions. For this reason, the open standard UPnP is used for control - an Innuos server can communicate with most streaming devices from other manufacturers, and a variety of control apps are available for all platforms.
Recently, Innuos has another trump up its sleeve, which should make discerning digital highbrows particularly happy: From software version 1.2, the innuOS operating system is compatible with Roon. As a user, you then have the choice of using the Zen server as a fully-fledged Roon Core Server, as a Roon Endpoint/Player or as a combination of both.