Best Practice for two households or even three

If that’s true, you are in enviable position: you have a USB DAC that sounds good connected Core, and things can only get better. :slight_smile:

I use the HDMI connection on my fanless ROCK NUC to drive my AVR. It’s the home cinema system, and is perfectly fine (to my ears) for 5.1 surround sound recordings.


I use an ethernet connection and HDMI from my Nucleus and they sound the same. Both are great.

If you’re after a cheap endpoint, you can use an old iPhone. Connect it using Appel’s CCK.

Squeezebox Touch is another option, but you need an LPS-1 or LPS-1.2 in order to make is sound good.

I don’t know the Innuos gear, but I’ve used a range of other streamers at different price points, and this is as good or better than anything I’ve used for S/PDIF, AES, or I2S output, if you are willing to do a bit of DIY. For USB output, I don’t know.

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I am a new and novice user and I have three homes and would like to have similar set-up and same content in all houses. I have read this thread with great interest, but I haven’t found any amicable solution. For me this is a deal breaker - I am not going to travel with any type of content storage and I don’t want to spend any time to setup or configure to be able to listen to music when I arrive. The person who set-up and configured my Roon and HiFi systems in my primary home say he doesn’t know how to do this in the other houses. Have I just missed something - this can’t be true for supposedly the best HiFi system? So, is there any solution to use Roon in multiple homes in an easy way? If not, I am happy I haven’t bought the life subscription yet.

With those constraints, Roon has nothing for you.

So I have a point of view that’s been expressed elsewhere here. I keep it simple and don’t worry about keeping things synchronized. I have two homes, of which one is definitely “secondary” - more of a weekend cabin. So I feel lucky I have the network and internet connection to make Roon even possible.

Here’s my setup:

  • ROCK at home, 2TB USB SSD plugged into it is now primary local library (daily back up to local NAS, and from there on to Glacier); new music goes straight into the SSD
  • ROCK at cabin, same model 2TB SSD plugged in
  • when I get to the cabin, I log in to Roonand unauthorize my home core, and when I get home I log in to Roon and unauthorize my cabin core
  • once every 3-4 months I remember to bring back my cabin SSD and get a fresh copy of the local FLAC content from home.
  • other than that, the only synchronization is that Tidal and Qobuz favorites are synced from their clouds, so if I add a new streaming album at home it’s in my library at the cabin and vice versa

So the drawback is that I don’t have bidirectional sync. The plus side is that I have virtually nothing to do. As more and more of my listening is via streaming, I may not even bother with updating the cabin SSD but for once a year. So it really feels like no muss no fuss. However, compared to many users here on the forum I am very “lean back”. I stopped grooming my tags / library some time ago thanks to Roon. It wouldn’t work if I was a groomer. Frankly I’m almost tempted to take the cabin SSD out of the equation (I don’t have a critical listening system there) and run streaming only when I’m not at home.

Happy to answer any questions and good luck… in this configuration, a lifetime at $699 plus 2 ROCKs/NUCs and 2 SSDs was absolutely a great investment… at least up till now I think it will have been. But I love what the team is doing with 1.8, and I can imagine it will only get better for my use case.

NB: This is a very “set it and forget it” approach that will not appeal to a lot of folks here. I’m more of a control freak at home than I am at my cabin, and I’ve leaned in fairly heavily to streaming, though I love my hard-won local collection too, I just don’t need it as much when I’m relaxing.

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It’s of course your choice not to travel with any gear, but here’s what I travel with between my two homes: a Zotac CI662 nano fanless PC with a 4TB SSD for Roon server (running Ubuntu Server as operating system), and an appropriate Pelican case. It takes a few minutes to shut down the server, unplug it, and pack it into the case. Reverse at the other end, plug into Ethernet.

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Let’s say that you settle on Audirvana or JRiver instead. How will you keep your local library in sync across all three locations? There are technical solutions for this, but I’m curious to know specifically what you have in mind.

As you look into this, you’ll discover that this falls outside of the scope of a media server. What solutions you find that work with other media servers will work with Roon too.

Also, you can have several Roon subscriptions associated with your Roon account. When you do, a few things are synced across them, like users preferences.

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I read through this thread since I just bought a vacation home and will be facing this problem. In short this isn’t an audio problem, it’s a network problem. The way I was going to solve it is:

  • Single Roon core in primary residence (3 zones in this residence)
  • Have a VPN between the homes. I need to do this anyway for direct view of security cameras. I don’t trust cloud managed cameras. Plus there is an extensive video collection on large NAS here.
  • Vacation home will have 2 zones but will control them via the Roon core from primary residence over the VPN. Will also be able to stream video collection over the VPN, and view all the security cameras at the primary residence while I’m in the vacation home.
  • Using hardware I’m already familiar with since I did something similar streaming camera video with a rental property. Peplink Balance 305 with Speed Fusion VPN, 2 internet connections at each house for redundancy.
  • This solution can scale to multiple houses. The Balance 305 comes with 2 Speed Fusion licenses so you can connect 3 homes in a triangle config. It gets expensive with software licensing above this, $1000 for a license for 30 Speed Fusion peers for the home that has the Roon core, your hub. But then you’d be set. Put a Peplink MAX HD2 Mini in your yacht for $600 no problem, it’ll tie right in. We all spend way more $ on audio gear. The networking should be the easy part.
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I agree that audiophiles tend to underspend on networking and overspend on just about everything else. :wink:

I’m interested to hear if the peplink VPN solution will work seamlessly with Roon. While some folks in Tinkering have managed to get Roon to work over a VPN, it’s not for the faint of heart. Roon wants to see all outputs, controls, and displays on a flat network with no router interfaces to traverse. I’ve not tried it, but I suspect that doing an Ethernet Bridge VPN may simplify things. Good luck!

Thanks @David_Snyder. I also read @JeffH 's solution using Palo Alto’s. Funny… I also had a PA220 for a while but, that’s not my day job anymore, and have found the Peplink’s much easier to configure. It’ll be a few months before I’ll have a chance to get everything setup. Awesome community here!

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I have been using a setup with two homes for around two years with (almost) no issues. My setup is simple:

  • Identical ROCK in both places
  • Identical NAS
  • One 2.5" 500GB HD attached to ROCK where Roon configuration backups are stored automatically every three days

When I move from one location to the other I do the following at the “old” home

  • Sync the music on the NAS to a USB HD (using a Windows PC and TGRMN Vice Versa)
  • Turn off Roon Server and unplug the Roon Config Backup HD

Take the two disks to the “new” home and do the following:

  • Sync the music to the NAS using TGRMN Vice Versa
  • Plug the Roon Config Backup HD into the ROCK
  • Turn on Roon Server
  • Restore Roon Config from the Backup HD

As Roon backups its configuration automatically to the HD, the fuss is really minimal.

Given Roon is a network audio platform, surely the sensible thing (if budget is not the key factor and decent bandwidth is available at all locations) is to pay a network engineer to implement a network/VPN solution that allows Roon to work seamlessly across those locations.

[*] not suggesting this is trivial to setup (hence the ‘pay a network engineer to implement it’ comment) and that reconfiguring your existing network topology isn’t without issues — not least the fact that you may have to move all your exiting devices onto new subnets. But if seamless usage of Roon in multiple locations is your goal (and money/time isn’t the key factor in that) then tackling this at the network level would seem the sensible approach. IP networking isn’t inherently constrained by physical location, although admittedly setting up a network that spans physical locations while allowing Roon to function without issue will play a key factor in how the network topology is designed/configured

That sounds interesting. I have 2 homes and have a Room nucleous set up currently. Can I simply take the nucleous with me to my other home and plug it into my network, won’t it just discover my Roon compatible devices and still have all my data on it? Or will that mess something up for when I return to this home?

My two ROCK instances stay in their respective homes. They don’t seem to have an issue discovering the devices on their networks after the library restore.
I guess you could also move your Nucleus between the two homes and connect it to the network. It should find all Roon capable devices on the network. You may have to enable them on the settings / audio page the first time after the physical move.

Thanks, that sounds easier for me and should avoid having to effectively have to do a new core migration every time i move from one home to another (if that would work).

It’s possible to do by using iPfire and IPSec VPN.

I’ve tested Roon as RoadWarrior, and it’s working for sure.

You would need some HW to install the iPfire SW.

I considered multiple options when I started to switch regularly between two places last year, but I eventually decided to just carry my Zotac CI662 nano core machine (Ubuntu Server 20.04, 4TB SSD) safely in a Pelikan case back and forth. Leaving a location, shut it down, unplug, and pack it. Arriving at the other, unpack, plug in. That’s it.