BEGINNER - Help with Endpoints

I am considering subscribing to Roon, but as I do not waste the free trial. I want to be sure I have a system that will work with Roon.

I keep my music on a Synology DS1817+. As I understand this will work as a Roon Core. It is the endpoints I am confused about. I have a Denon X3300W, this can access and play music from my NAS. Would this work with Roon without any additional components? If additional components are required, what would you recommend?

I also have two other locations that would benefit from Roon endpoints, my bedroom, and study. In the bedroom I currently have a standalone stereo system, it has 3.5mm aux input. Again, what would you advise as a Roon Endpoint? This location would be connected to the network via wifi.

The study is similar to the bedroom except that the amplifier I have here seems to have failed. I am still troubleshooting it. If it is fixable the same solution as in the bedroom would work. But as I suspect it is kaput, what would be a suitable replacement? This location can be wired into the network.

It would be nice to have a set of wifi headphones that worked as well, but this is not top of my list.

I am not an audiophile, but I do appreciate good music reproduced well. I would like the costs to be reasonable. If I have to spend more than £1000 on everything. I will abandon any idea of using Roon and develop a different solution.

 Sincerely R A Evans

Hi Richard, There are many answers to your question and they can depend on a lot of different things, what you are trying to achieve, how big is your music library, etc. etc. However, the good news is that you can try Roon out and see how it goes pretty inexpensively.

The Denon has Airplay which Roon will work with out of the box, so to speak. You should load up Roon and the Denon should just be available to play music too. I’d try it first with the Denon and see how you like it. If you decide you want to add in the bedroom, since Roon uses Airplay, you could add an Airport Express, and plug it into the 3.5 mm aux input on the bedroom system.

Keep in mind Airplay has ok audio quality but it should give you a feel for how Roon works. Then if you decide you like Roon but want to step up the audio quality then we can talk about the various other endpoints to use instead of Airplay.

One thing I did not notice in your description, Roon consists of a server (your NAS), endpoints which the music is streamed too (discussed above), AND a computer/tablet which controls the server and acts as the interface. The control computer/tablet is what you would use to setup/configure the server, and then to browse your library, choose music, etc etc.

Rugby makes good points and I wouldn’t go spending money until I decided roon was for me. Just be aware that Airplay is not the greatest for audio quality so just bear that in mind. The good news is that if you decide you like roon achieving a pretty good level of quality is well within your budget. If you want more info then describing your speakers and amps would be useful.

I agree with what’s been already said. I couple things I would add. One, setting up Roon Core to run on a NAS is not the easiest way to get started and may take some extra memory or adding an SSD just to get it to run. My suggestion is to download the full Roon onto a laptop. Configure it to use the Synology as your library. Plug the laptop into the front USB port and just run from your laptop to see if you like it. I’m not familiar with your Denon but a quick review of the user guide says that you can use the front USB to play from an iPhone, so I think this will work and it should give you better sound quality than using Airplay.

If you have an Android or iPad tablet, you can also try that for remote control of the laptop.

I’d forget about the other rooms until you’ve decided that Roon is for you. At a minimum, you’re going to need to add a Roon Ready streamer/DAC to the bedroom system and there are many choices. But you’ll need to think about how you will use Roon and what your budget is to narrow down that list. Also, the cheapest options may require some DIY skills, so you’ll need to decide how much you want plug in play versus build and play.

For the system that is broken, you may want to look for an All In One type device that is Roon Ready.

Thank you Daniel, that helps a lot.

I forgot about the controller, I would use an iPad and iPhone. I think this is were my confusion arises. You mention that my Denon connects via AirPlay. My question is why? If the Denon can access the NAS directly, why does my audio path need to be from the tablet via AirPlay.

Could I have your views on the Rasberry Pi route, I have found a number of solutions based on a Rasberyy Pi, but I am not keen on the self assembly requirement.

About the controller, some functions are not available on the phone app, especially setup. I find it easier to use a computer for the initial setup. The tablet a second.

Because your Denon does not have the Roon network protocol built into it. Your Denon speaks with your NAS using DLNA or UPnP. Both of which for audio quality reasons Roon does not use (and will never use). Roon Ready endpoints, like the Rasp Pi you mentioned, run Roon’s network Protocal called RAAT. Some other gear runs RAAT as well, like the 203/205 Oppo players, BlueSound, etc. etc.

Another point, when you say “why does my audio path need to be from the tablet via AirPlay”, that is not what happens. The control device, tells the server what music to play. The server grabs the music, processes it, and then sends it to the end point. The control device is (usually not) in the audio path at all.

Roon has made special efforts to add some side support for things like Airplay, Sonos, and Squeezeboxes. But, they do not use RAAT and can’t group outside of their own systems.

I think raspberry Pi and their kin are great. but, first decide if you like roon.