Advise on SONOS DAC versus dedicated DAC (+ Streamer)?



Computer Room
Roon evaluation version,
Roon library on Sinology NAS 918+
Roon core on Macbook Pro , planning on moving to SSD/USB on the NAS, or on my ASUS router.

Living ROom
Sonos Connect (digital out to the Cambridge Dac, so only doing the streaming, while D/A conversion in the cambridge)
Cambridge Stream Magic Dac
Wired ethernet available
LFD LE V Signature Gold amp
Esoteric MG-20 speakers

I did the test setup with Roon , and was up and running in just a couple of minutes , very, very impressive….

I do have a couple of questions though

  1. Is SONOS deteriorating any of the sound quality while streaming via the Sonos connect ? so I have mixed opinions about this…. in other words… is SOnos the weakest component in the setup ?

  2. If so, is the Cambridge stream (it’s being serviced as we speak, so could not test) magic Roon Ready ?, I do not think to have seen it on the list
    And if it is not…. Would it be worth it to invest in another Roon-Ready DAC ? ( there are lots of ‘stories’ on Sonos’ internal DAC )…. My most critical question then is whether it is sufficient to be just a DAC only , since Roon-ready would mean that Roon will be able to care of the streaming part ?

Thanking you in advance to get some confusion out of my limited newbie knowledge regarding ‘devices’ like ‘Network Players’ , ‘Streamers’ , ‘Renderers’ , ‘DACs’ and their respective capabilities and functions


Sonos is a good product as long as you are fine with not playing higher than CD quality music. You can add as many end points as you wish through your home.

Hello, thank you for your fast response
I understand your feedback on sonos indeed, it is ‘limited’ to cd quality…
Supposed we would like to go higher than CD quality… is a Roon-ready hires capable ‘dac-only’ then sufficient… in other words… roon is taking care of the streaming up to that device then, and done… no need for other (redundant) functionalities on that device…
Thanks again… i was so impressed on last evenings session with the roon-trial-version… that you will have a new customer very soon. Just trying to find my way in the wilderness of devices and their functions :wink:

Not sure I understand what you are asking. Are you not happy with the Sonos? Are you wanting to be able to play higher Res music? If so get another Roon ready DAC that can play all file resolutions. You can mix and match DACs and Roon will play through all of them providing they are Roon ready but the DAC determines what resolutions it can actually play. Roon software can up-res a file to match your DAC’s highest output.

You got me right, thanks…
I am currently using sonos the sonos connect to get the streaming towards my hifi gear… however not using its internal sonos DAC… so D/A conversion is taken care off by my Cambridge DAC (not roon-ready)
That one was serviced twice last month and might need a replacement soon. So my question was then, if i raplace it by a roon-ready dac… that would allow me to have full roon-driven streaming and D/A without longer needing the sonos connect (that i can then re-use elsewhere in the house…) , correct ?

1 Like

You will need something that serves as the streamer and something that serves as the DAC. Sometimes these are combined as one unit (the Sonos is an example). Most DACs are NOT also streamers.

Lots of choices on DACs and streamers. Consider an rPi running Roipee for your streamer. There is a dedicated thread on the Roipee. And there are many other streamer options too.

Ok great I am glad I understand you. As mentioned you need a streamer but you can just use your MacBook as the streamer until you get a separate streamer whether built into your new DAC or a separate piece.

Another thing that i am trying to understand…
Roon Core is running on a MacBook Pro
I can stream perfectly to all my sonos players and connects in the house, but only as long as my MacBook Pro is using the WIFI connection.
Whenever i switch WIFI off and hook it it to the ethernet Lan connection, i am no longer able to play to the sonos devices out of Roon… they are still visible and selectable as output devices, but i get the message that ‘Roon lost control of the audio device’…
Is that the expected behaviour ?
Thanks again.

That sounds like something is wrong with your Wifi router’s settings. while I do not have any Sonos device I have absolutely no problem bridging roon audio from my ethernet to wifi and visa versa (using a netgear R8000P router and some netgear managed smart switches).

I cant even think of a likely router setting I have come across that would impact this either (IGMP related settings being the usual culprit). It is odd that it is discovering the devices, but cant stream to them. Often I have come across the opposite problem with networking in general (not specifically Roon) where discovery does not work, but direct connections are fine due to multi-cast traffic being blocked in some manner.

Do you have a segmented network where ethernet and wifi are on separate subnets (address ranges), for example ethernet on and wifi on

Hello, thanks for your feedback.

Without Roon, my Sonoses are clearly reachable from my MBP, whether in wifi or in ethernet connection, no trouble at all.
So not sure this is a router think. All my sonoses are , as usual, visible in the network map of my router.

Within Roon, all my Sonos devices are visible, even while in ethernet mode.
But for one reason or another, Roon is losing the device connection when trying to play.

My entire network is in the 192.168.1.* range.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.