Air Play vs. streamer with cable connection to the receiver

Core Machine (HP AMD 3.2 GHZ 6 core, 32GB DDR, 1TB HD, 1 TB SSD-USB3.1)

Hello Everyone, I am trying to “squeeze” the most of my FLAC and Hi Rez files and have the following dilemma:
Current setup - The core described above is Wi-Fi6 connected to wired Synology NAS which is ethernet connected through hub to the receiver. However all I play trough Roon is via Airplay 2.
My question is: How much quality of sound can I gain by adding a Roon ready streamer which will be directly connected to the XLR inputs on my Yamaha RX309080

Thank you in advance!

Welcome to the forum, @Peter_Novev !

I believe you will see improvements by using Ethernet to connect your Core to the network. Similarly, a simple Raspberry Pi based streamer, also connected via Ethernet, will be a marked improvement over AirPlay (AFAIK Roon doesn’t support AirPlay 2.)

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Hi Peter

In my experience it will be well worth putting a streamer in place. Although if you’re using the XLR inputs on the Yamaha that implies a streamer & DAC. As Martin says an RPi solution should give you a marked improvement. There are plenty of DAC HATs available to make the RPi into a DAC as well, the main thing being whether they have XLR outputs (a very few do, some also have the capability but need you to do a bit of soldering)

Back to Airplay vs streamer. I reviewed the Quad Atera Solus Play recently. It uses DTS Play-Fi so isn’t Roon-ready. I therefore started out using Airplay for Roon. Then I switched to an RPi - it was maybe not quite night and day but a significant difference. I didn’t go back to Airplay

Cheers, Phil

Thank you so much!!!
I am looking at Cambridge Audio CXN V2 for the job.
Have you had a chance to sample it?
Thank you again!

I think this may be overkill for what you are trying to achieve with Roon since a lot of what the CXN can do Roon does a better job. That said, the CXN V2 is good value for money for the specification. There are owners on the forum, so I suggest you post in #audio-products for some feedback.

You may also want to check some threads, e.g.

Thank you Martin and Phil,
As a final question… In order to circumvent Air Play even with the Core machine being on Wi-FI ,
(obviously streamer with or without DAC is a better way to go. BTW - the Yamaha has a decent DAC)
Do I still need to have the Core Machine ethernet wired to the network hub?
Thanks again!

In order to have an optimal and trouble free experience with Roon, you should always wire your core and its highly, highly, highly recommended to wire end points. A simple search in the forums on “wifi” will highlight the challenges that many users have utilizing wifi with Roon.

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Thank you Craig

I have a Yamaha RX-V2085. It has an excellent DAC. I built a HIfiberry Streamer using an RPI and clear plastic dogbone case from Amazon. All in about 125.00 more or less.

Happily, my router lives nearby. If I can build it, so can you :slight_smile:

I connected via Ethernet to router and then ran RCA cables to an auto input. I use a Harmony remote to switch input and can see the Roon display with a chrome cast on my tv.

It sounds and looks glorious, for very little money.

Good luck!

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Thanks Peter, I am checking this setup out