Adding MacBook as a network device

Roon Core Machine

Synology DS218+

Networking Gear & Setup Details

NAS connected to Cambridge CXN Media Streamer via wifi

Connected Audio Devices

I currently have the ROON Core installed on NAS which uses wifi to the media streamer.

As a second option, I have a DAC with USB connection that I am directly connecting my MacBook Pro to in order to see if playing files through ROON directly from Mac to DAC will provide better audio quality.

How do I add the MacBook as a new network device in ROON app on MacBook? It does not auto appear and not sure how to input the path, etc. to have it added to list.

I am likely doing this backwards (should be ROON Core on MacBook and add the NAS as a second network) but want to test the difference between direct from Mac vs wifi from NAS and like the convenience of not having the MacBook placed with system all the time.

Is this possible?
Thank you

Do you not see it when you go to settings: audio as a new device waiting to be enabled?

Based on the ROON help docs to set up a new network device, they show Macintosh already in the path/list.

Seeing as I have ROON Core on the NAS, I assume I have to add the Mac.

Are you saying I need to enable System Output to get the MacBook enabled?

That would enable it as an audio endpoint in Roon.
What are you trying to do with it exactly?
Sorry, maybe I am not understanding it clearly.

I want the option to play audio files that are stored on the MacBook directly to the DAC via USB.

For example, have a folder on the MacBook with files that ROON can find - allowing me to select a music file that way.

Thanks for sticking with me :slight_smile:

Roon is not like other players in that all music goes to the Core first to get processed into PCM (or DSD), and then sent to the endpoint. If the music is on the MAC, then it would first be sent to the Core on the NAS, processed and then sent back to MAC and onto the DAC.

Thank you. So there is no point then seeing as it ends up going to the system via wifi.

To achieve the option to send files directly from the MacBook to DAC, I would need ROON Core installed on the MacBook? And if yes, I suppose I could then add the NAS to the list and access those files that way?

I do keep the MacBook always connected to the wifi, so would this be a better option then the keeping the CORE on the NAS?

In the end, I was hoping to have the option of playing directly to DAC (assuming it’s a superior audio result) then over wifi which is my only option now.

Only way you are going to know if the SQ is better is to try it?
Just set up Roon Core on the Mac, deathorise the existing one and give it a whirl.
You can always easily go back to the original Core if it does not bear fruit.

If you set up the MacBook with the Core, then the NAS will just be file storage, and you will have to define it on the MacBook in Settings>Storage>:nas-music-folder:

Roon is a Core +client(s) +endpoints system.

If your Core is on the NAS, then the MacBook is the client, and possibly also the endpoint (with your DAC)
If your Core is on the MacBook, then the MacBook is also the client and possibly your endpoint, but your files reside on the NAS.

Much more info here:

That way you likely introduce performance problems by not connecting the core via hardwired Ethernet, as Roon advises in it’s best practices help article.

I ran Roon Core connected by WiFi for over a year on my MacBook Pro, and it worked well. I did have a good WiFi connection (router in the same room). However, I didn’t like that I needed to keep my laptop running just to play music, and recently I switched over to a Roon Rock on a NUC, this time connected by Ethernet.

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