Questions on using Roon

I am seeing emails from Roon prospecting for new customers with a free trial period being offered.

Can Roon users please advise how one gets started with Roon?  I have a basic streaming setup running - in my case I am using a BlueSound Node 2i as streamer, with wifi connection, and then I use the Node's digital output to run into an outboard DAC which is a Schiit Gungnir Multi bit.  The sound is very nice.

I am now using the Blu OS app on a Samsung Galaxy Android Tablet to control the streaming.

I know the Node is considered a 'Roon endpoint', but I see some say that in addition to this, a separate computer is needed just to run the Roon program.  Is this true?  So a user that does not already use a computer be it a PC or Mac to stream needs to buy a computer just to run Roon?   That would be make cost of entry pretty high, despite Roon's low cost trial.

Also can the Roon system (computer, end point) run using wifi?  I live in an older house and do not have wired LAN in every room.


I encourage you to contact Room - they have good customer service and if you go to their website the chat is with an actual person.

Yeah you gonna need some type of computer to Run the Roon Core. Find an old imac or a laptop and install the Roon Core. Then you configure your streaming service in Roon or index local storage of music files. Then configure you endpoint , In your case that would be the BS Node. Although sub-optimatl it all should work over wifi.

Roon has three pieces to its software architecture: Core (server), Renderer (playback), Client (controller). All three of these things can be one computer, like if you install everything on one computer and then just listen to speakers or headphones connected to your computer. Or all three things can be different pieces of hardware, like Core on a computer, Renderer as your Node 2i, and Client as the Roon app on your iPad.

The reason the Core needs to be on a computer is because it is a persistent server like a web server or mail server providing Roon service to anyone on the network. It still runs and does work if any of the Renderers or Clients are turned off. It doesn't need to be a powerful computer, unless you start turning on a bunch of extra processing stuff, but it does need to be always on.

Any of the Core, Renderer, and Client devices can be on Wi-Fi if supported by the device. Desktop and laptop computers, and phones/tablets, are all pretty much guaranteed to work over Wi-Fi, so that covers the Core and Client devices. But Renderers may not support Wi-Fi in which case you'll need to purchase a Wi-Fi extender.

OK thanks for the details.  I have a laptop PC I could dedicate for the purpose of running the Core program.  The computers have fans and make some noise so it would be nice to put it in a different room, then hopefully the endpoints can run off wifi in the room where the music is played.

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When I first started using Roon, I tried to run the core program on an older Mac mini. The computer just did not have enough horsepower so I went to a dedicated server and purchased a small green computer I5 model. It works really well sending the program to my Roon endpoint, a LUMIN T2 streamer dac

 I use the Roon app on my iPad as the controller

This raises an important question for me.  Is there a mininum computer (say PC) capability in terms of processor and RAM needed to run the Roon programs for best possible sound and responsiveness? 

I am thinking about using a spare, 6-7 year old Windows laptop to run the core, then use a Samsung Android tablet as the remote.  It seems very costly to need to buy a Small Green Computer server computer much less one from Roon that runs well over $1000.  Even a new Windows laptop with a CD drive to rip CD's is only a few hundred dollars on Amazon.

ROON does not need a powerful box to run. I was at one point running 4 ROON Zones with 2 of the zones running DSP in the ROON Core (Convolution files). My cheapo machine handled it perfectly. I have had no issues for years though in the last 2 months there is something going on in my home network that is causing ROON to stop on occasion. Which requires me to click the PLAY button on ROON.

I do see a pattern of how this happens, and I doubt most users would run into the same issue as me. My network has a lot of activity going on and I need to investigate a solution for this. Should be fun. This has no bearing on the type of hardware that ROON is running on.

One way to minimize (or eliminate) the effect of a cheapo ROON machine messing up your DAC with network noise, is to use Fibre Optic cables just before the DAC. I use a Sonore OpticalRendu which takes Fibre from this network switch. Ubiquiti Networks Networks UniFi Switch 8-Port 150 Watts, White : Electronics

It then converts it to USB and then into my DACs. The last conversion to USB is not ideal since that could be a little noisy but none of my DACs support Fibre directly (all have USB). The 3 DACs that I know of that support Fibre directly are the Lumin X1, Lumin P?, and the new $40K Linn DAC.


Also can the Roon system (computer, end point) run using wifi?  I live in an older house and do not have wired LAN in every room.

I used a PowerLine adapter to extend my home Ethernet to other rooms in my house via the copper wires in the walls. I have my ROON Core in a far away room that was connected by the copper wires. Now this was fine in distributing the streams to my 4 zones. However, there was a high res version of George Harrisons - ALL THINGS MUST PASS that was chirping at a particular point in one song. So, I was able to reproduce the problem every time. I figured out that the PowerLine part of my network was not able to transfer the larger payloads of high res. So, I just moved my ROON Core to another room that had direct wired Ethernet connectivity. This fixed the high-res streaming issue for all my zones.

So, putting the ROON Core on a machine connected to the network by Wifi would not be my first choice. I would put the ROON Core machine close to the router + switch. I have setup my Windows ROON Core machine to start up every morning at 7AM (via BIOS) and shut down each night at 1:30AM (via scheduled TASK). I also have a scheduled TASK to start ROON Core when the machine starts up in the morning via BIOS. So, I am hands free of my physical ROON Core machine.