Innuos has been consistently pulling me into their rooms at audio shows for quite a few reasons. First of all, they’re super nice people and they always take the time to explain their technologies in easy to understand terms that an analog guy like me can understand. Secondly, they always conduct an interesting A/B comparison with their products at shows, one that brings out easily discernable differences in the overall sound. Finally, it’s because they assemble some truly wonderful systems, like this Innuos and Estelon rig at Munich 2023.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
I’ve had a few people ask my opinion on Estelon speakers in the past, and the answer is “I’m not sure.” Truth is, I don’t have the seat time with this Estonian company and all I can usually contribute is that they make gorgeous speakers and I always love the colors they pick for the enclosures. I’ve taken a listen a few times, but I’m not sure I’ve defined the Estelon sound yet. In the Innuos and Estelon room, with Pilium electronics, Kubala-Sosna cabling, dCS digital and the superb line of Innuos servers and streamers, I found that I truly loved the overall sound. I’m now quite intrigued with Estelon.
The A/B comparison in the Innuos and Estelon room involved the flagship Innuos Statement server with NextGen power supply, and the new Pulsar network streamer–which can also be used through the Statement. The Pulsar only costs about a third of the Statement, and it’s a slightly different product, one for people like me who just want to stream rather than store files. But I was surprised when the sound quality of the two products were fairly close. The Statement offered more air and detail in the Innuos and Estelon system, but the Pulsar still managed to sound spectacular. I’m planning on reviewing this network streamer ASAP.
One more reason why I love the people at Innuos–whenever I enter their exhibit rooms, “Chocolate Chip Trip” is cued up. In the Innuos and Estelon room, I was impressed with the earlier part of the track where the drums are moving laterally from channel to channel. This gear captured the aggression and power of this movement and started to feel like an enthusiastic dance partner who leads with force and has the strength to make you slightly dizzy in the process. Did I say I love spending time in the Innuos rooms? Cuz I do.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from Munich 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
Also don’t forget to check out our latest collaboration – a solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800g of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top which also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.