Audio data route

I used LMS/Squeezelight before Roon. The audio data stream route was like Synology NAS > Ausus router > SOtM sMS-200ultra (Squeezelight/LMS handling the audio data stream)
I use Roon for some weeks now and Roon is installed on my PC. So i wonder what the audio data stream route is now:
A) Synology NAS > Ausus router > SOtM sMS-200ultra (RAAT handling the audio data stream)
B) Synology NAS > Ausus router > PC with Roon > Asus router > SOtM sMS-200ultra (RAAT handling the audio data stream)

I’m planning to update my network layout with an extra switch with a good powersupply, placed nearby the sMS-200ultra. And moving the NAS also to that location so the audio data stream is just through this new switch.
In case A that would be enough. But in case B i have to move the PC also to that location to rule out the Asus router and that’s not possible, because of the size) of the PC. So i have to buy a NUC or something like that with a small form factor and place it nearby the new switch also to have full advantage.

So my question, is A or B valid, or better said, is the audio data stream route always through the PC where Roon is running on?

The simple answer first. It would be more like “A”.

Correction, thanks @WiWavelength for pointing that out:

I’ve somehow mixed it up and missed the core (PC), so “B”; the remaining comments still stand, I believe.

But, assuming it’s the sound you care for - when we talk about RAAT packed communication between a Roon Core and a Roon Endpoint (see also here):

I cannot see why you would want to add a switch - nothing bad for RAAT comes from the router as long as your IP network is stable. And the router will be needed anyway and talk to a NUC too, because it’s still managing the networking (like IP addresses and other funny stuff).

If you hope for better sound the transporting network itself isn’t the problem. Don’t worry about the fact that the data transported via RAAT contains audio information. It will not suffer during transport - no matter which devices it passed on its way. Just bits travelling controlled by a well designed protocol which makes sure everything reaches its target as it should. It’s when RAAT ends - means, as soon as your SOtM unpacked the RAAT data to actual audio data and does its own thing where it gets interesting for sound.

(I’m leaving out possibilities of optically decoupling network transport - personally, I think there’s more philosophy than physics involved in that approach and it wasn’t on your agenda anyway. If you’re interested, ask the community - there are knowledgeable people around who could give advice in this regard.)

On the other hand, if you want to move things around, a switch may be needed to have the right connectivity. Unmanaged switches are what Roon prefers. As long as your network remains stable, no hurt for the RAAT transported data is to be expected here. Also, no audible gain - except maybe from the placement of devices which could influence each other. But that’s out of RAAT’s reach.

Speaking of placement, I’d place as less devices as possible near the SOtM to avoid unnecessary electromagnetic or whatever influences. So don’t put another power supply near it if you don’t have to. And no NAS. Better move the NAS away. It’s probably the device which cares the least for audiophile needs.

A last note: a NUC running ROCK is a fine choice for a Roon Core; it can also rest somewhere where it doesn’t hurt - for instance in a closet, besides where the NAS should be ;).

Topology B is accurate. I am unsure why u_gee indicated topology A instead.

From storage to endpoint, audio data always passes in between through the Roon core. In your network, that entails NAS -> PC -> endpoint.


1 Like

I’m also unsure… :thinking:

Oke, thanks for clearing things up!
I often heard that a “dedicated” switch with a good powersource could make a positive difference. But i understand now that as long RAAT isn’t compromised it wouldn’t make a difference.
Still, i want to move around some of the stuff, so move all audio related equipment to the audio corner.
Nr 1 on the picture as it is right now.
Nr 2 was the first idea with a simple switch to separate the audio stream from the rest of the network. But now i know that with Roon i can’t rule-out the PC.
So on nr 3, that’s where the NUC (or other small PC) comes in. When i think about it, it would be nice to have a extra PC just for audio, so it’s no problem to do it like that.
I understand that it’s not totally separated from rest of the network because of managing the switch and DHCP and stuff.
I also have to decide where to put the NAS, as you said to move the NAS away.

Another point worth checking out: if your NAS is powerful enough, you might be able to run the Run Core directly on it. With the right devices, it seems this can work well - I haven’t tried it myself.

Thanks u_gee, that’s a possibility, but i have a rather old Synology NAS (DS212+). So when I’m gonna look for a NAS just for audio, I’m taking that in consideration.

I know there are many who speak of the importance of such stuff.
But let me make a case for simplicity.

After trying many WiFi setups and hating them, i finally settled on Eero. It’s a mesh system, with a lot of small nodes that talk to each other. Two things I like about it: it works, and it has no setup, configuration, management. It just works.

My system consists of little areas that talk to each other over WiFi.

  1. The internet comes into the living room. One Eero node. A Meridian streaming endpoint hooked up to the home theater system. Also a switch to support TV, TiVo, etc.

  2. Main music room: an Eero endpoint, its two Ethernet jacks are connected to a Nucleus and a Meridian 818/8000. Also a Hugo 2 for headphone listening, connected to the Nucleus with USB.

  3. Library: an Eero, a Meridian streamer, connected to a DAC.

  4. A quiet corner of the living room: I used to connect the DAC to the iPad, but I recently put an Eero and a MicroRendu there, just to get rid of the tether to the iPad. Both work flawlessly.

  5. Bedroom: Audeze Cipher Lightning cable/DAC connected to iPad. Used to have an Eero —> Sonore SOSE streamer —> Geek Out DAC, got rid of it to simplify bedside table. Both work fine,

  6. Office: an Eero connected to a computer and NAS used for ripping, downloading, managing and backing up content. Don’t listen to music when I work.

  7. The deck: in summer weather, I bring the iPad and Hugo and headphones outside.

  8. All over the house: PCs, iPads, other stuff. Walkabout with iPad/iPhone and headphones, through Dragonfly or Audeze Cipher,

WiFi is my friend.

1 Like