Best Roon Setup?

I’m just a newbi for Roon.
I want to know which the best of Roon setup?
A) USB ditect to DAC
B) Endpoint to DAC

Thank you…

1 Like

The correct answer is “B”

From Roon

FAQ: Audio Basics

Our Recommendations

Rule 1: Core and Output on separate devices

To get the best sound quality from Roon, plan for an ethernet cable between your Core and Output components.

One way to accomplish this is with a Roon Ready hardware device.

You can also get there by using Roon Bridge–our lightweight endpoint package. Combine that thing with a Raspberry Pi or Cubox and an audiophile-grade power supply and you have a great little network bridge to use with your existing USB DAC.


I think it probably depends on proximity of your DAC to your NUC and if the NUC is fanless. You don’t want a noisy NUC sitting next to your DAC in your listening area.

1 Like


Nuc > ethernet > DAC


You will get a million replies with what others consider to be the best. Tbh go with what fits you best, I can give you my two cents. I am an endpoint guy so I have a few endpoints and connect my USB dacs to them. Ether way you won’t go wrong imoh.


As @Jason says, Roon’s recommendation is setup B: Core > LAN > Renderer > USB > DAC. Ethernet galvanically separates the core and DAC (except they’re probably still joined through the electrical ground), so is preferable. Having said that, if the core is physically close to the DAC, I probably wouldn’t want to add unnecessary extra hardware. Definitely “keep it simple”.

1 Like

Which works for you should be based on practicality and ease of installation.

An endpoint connected to a dac will
Sound the same as a core connected to a dac.

But if you have a NAS in a cupboard and the ability to keep mechanically noisy components elsewhere then why not.

But if your core is fanless or at least operationally silent from the listening position then there’s little to gained by adding a middleman.

Those advocating endpoints, tend to be those selling them :wink:


Or a desktop.

1 Like

There are other very good reasons for going with setup B (ethernet to endpoint to DAC).

  1. When using the endpoint approach one is not limited to the location of the audio system with respect to the Roon core, in this case a NUC.

  2. And most importantly - by using the endpoint approach one is well on the way to having other endpoints in the future and a single core with multiple endpoints is one of the best features of Roon. At the moment I have 8 different endpoints which gives me access to my entire music library throughout my house, everywhere from my main listen room to bedrooms to garage to a headphone listening station.


I have endpoints for other rooms.
But in my main listening room, with a fanless Nucleus, I have tested several highly resolving components, both speakers and headphones, with direct USB, Ethernet-to-endpoint and WiFi-to-endpoint, and I did not notice any difference.


I think that the set up recommendations in Knowledge Base are more about potential issues that might arise due to less than optimal equipment than actual differences of sound when using properly setup and maintained equipment.

So for example, if one has the Roon core directly connected to the DAC via USB and the core machine is using a really cheap power supply than this may cause issues with the audio from the DAC.

And the recommendation to use Ethernet rather than WiFi whenever possible is less about “sound” and more about experiencing trouble free operation, since
WiFi is subject to more potential connection issues than Ethernet.

Overall I think the KB guidelines are very reasonable and followed correctly will yield both excellent sound and trouble free performance.


Not all DACs have ethernet input. Just curious why you are recommending ethernet over USB? Not trying to start a sound quality discussion here :slight_smile:

Direct connection via SPDIF, Toslink, USB has all kinds of RF, jittery issues, unless you use a top-notch DAC such as the Chord Dave. Consensus that Ethernet cables are fine, but some may disagree.

2 things to consider:

  1. usb is flawed
  2. why would you want any computer in your audio room

The better dacs have ethernet

They are usually called streamers (eg Linn Klimax DS).

1 Like

Is all fine :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Is your response for my reply “the better dacs have Ethernet”? If so, you are incorrect. If that is the case, you would be able to run Roon/A+ for example on your dac. Ethernet and I2S are better interfaces to use on a dac

It probably depends on the implementation details.
Currently, I alternate between option “B” and something similar to @Rugby’s approach, to optimize either for SQ or for functionality (multiroom grouping, flexible remote transport control … which are limited/non-existant in my “B” USB path involving HQPlayer as endpoint). But I also agree with @AndersVinberg that, if you implement all these approaches well, you won’t necessarily notice big differences in SQ.

I am new to Roon and would like to know the best way to store and play your music files

  • from a NAS with Roon and music files or

  • from a SSD USB 3.1 hard disk with Roon and music files to

  • Roon ready ExaSound Play Point to Exasound e38 multichannel DAC, MQA ready

Thank you,