Best SQ inexpensive Roon endpoint?

Im new to Roon but have integrated Roon into my Audio listening room, it’s Awesome!

I’m trying to decide the best endpoint for my whole house audio system ( background music). Im considering sonos Connect but wonder if Chrome Cast audio is better . Need analog output for convenance.

Your advice is very much appreciated other solutions are Very welcome

Thanks Bruno

If you’re up for a little diy, a Raspberry Pi with a suitable ’hat’ for analog out, running RoPieee is (in my opinion) the best & cheapest endpoint.

8 Likes

Your choice might be dictated by whether you want to group the ‘whole house’ systems with your main listening room system. If you do, you need to pick something with a protocol that you can group and has an output that will feed the main system. Chromecast Audio might fit the bill because it has an optical output that will pass through a digital stream up to (I think) 96/24. A Sonos Connect will pass through effectively 48/16; it’s analogue out is probably better than the CCA for the whole house systems but is considerably more expensive. Pick your compromise!

AndyR

Thanks for your thoughts ! I believe both sonos and ChromCast can be grouped with My DEQX HP-5 preamp DSP for audio system inside of Roon.

Do you have insights as to which unit is better on analog AQ output -Sonos or Chromecast Cast ?

Thanks

Hi Bruno,

The DEQX HP-5 looks an impressive piece of kit - I’ve just looked it up!

I see it is Roon Ready, so I am I right in assuming you are using in that mode connected via Ethernet? If so, you need to note that you can only group devices of the same type/protocol within Roon, eg Roon Ready (RAAT), or Sonos, or Chromecast. You can’t mix them. I could not see any reference on the DEQX website to it being Chromecast compatible; I think you may not be able to group it except with other Roon Ready (RAAT) devices.

My normal listening is through a Roon Ready Naim streamer; however it also appears on the network as a Chromecast device and I could group this presentation with other Chromecast devices on the network. Unfortunately that doesn’t help me sync it with the Sonos Play 1 in the kitchen, so I have retained my old Sonos Connect feeding the Naim via toslink. Unless I’ve missed something in the spec, you may need to do something similar.

Is the Sonos analogue output better than CCA? I don’t know. I’ve heard both, but in such wildly different systems that I really can’t compare.

Andy

Hi Andy,

Thank you the comment on DEQX, I’ve built / modified Some open baffle speakers and use my own Class-D amps to drive each speaker independently using the DSP of the DEQX… (I like the Tinker with my equipment ).

Ok I bought a handful of these chrome casts audio pucks and think for $35 they are very cool to propagate Roon !

Digitally the Chrome cast is superior from your reply but I’ve gotta add a DAC.

Or Maybe I should use the raspberry pi . That’s another conversation

Maybe there is an in expensive DAC to use with the Chrome Cast with will out perform the sonos for less$$? Suggestions Andy

Thanks again Bruno !

Chromecast audio has a “close enough” dac/analog out. Uses the same 3.5 mm port.

Mr Neal in your opinion better analog audio than Sonos?? Then it’s very clear to use the Chrome Cast ??

Sorry, don’t know. Don’t have Sonos to compare. I was just responding to your previous comment that seemed to suggest you thought a dac was required for Chromecast audio.

Anyway, here’s a pretty good review:

This is an excellent article ! Perfect! I’m done going to use the analog output from the little hockey Puck ! Done

Thank you both for the conversation !!

Bruno

Cool. Let us know if it all works the way you want!

1 Like

Sure will so others can benefit

I have a couple and might just compare the analogue vs digital if I get some time to mess with them. Even grouping them to see how well they might stay in sync.

That would be valuable thanks … sonos connect and Chrome Cast units ?

I have a number of different Roon endpoints … linn streamer, Sonos, connect, Sonos amp and multiple Sonos speakers and. Raspberry pi.

My view is it’s about the use you want the integration ie, for the kitchen and spare bedroom I use a Sonos speaker so a Roon endpoint integrated into one device. In other rooms I use a Sonos connect to feed existing Hi-Fi system. For Garage a Sonos amp with speakers and bedroom a Rasberry pi optically feeding DAC and headphones. Have tried Chromecast type devices but the 3.5 inch jack plug output compromised on sound quality for me and more importantly didn’t give me rca Or coax or optical outputs. Even with those that had rca outputs then sound quality was less. Most probably due to PSU quality.

So for cheapest then, Sonos 1 complete speaker or Rasberry Pi would be my choice. The later being slightly cheaper but not by much with all bits needed like, Pi, HAT, memory, case, psu etc,.

Thanks Robert, yes the PSU will play a part in SQ and I should try something better than the $3 wall wort . I hooked up a ChromeCast to My whole house system just background music, NuVo Tech 16 zones and 6 sources and for $35 sounds as good as a Connect used for one of the sources as a comparison.
So either the whole system is
incapable of producing the difference or Chrome Cast is better

A refurbished LG quad-DAC phone (like the V30, 35, 40)is your best value for top sound quality, and as a bonus it is not only a DAC and endpoint but also a controller.

Sound quality is on par with $1000 DACs, it supports MQA, it’s small enough to hide away or you can put it in a stand as a clock, and it works both as a Roon endpoint and client, plus supports any other Android application.

You don’t need a phone plan to use it (although 911 services will still work without a plan), just connect to your wifi.

And refurbished ones can be had for less than $200.

So I take it that one can connect the phone’s analog output to one’s audio system?

Thanks Robert yes I just saw this on Darko you tube goof suggestion. I still think there’s a less expensive approach

I’m wondering if acrylic A50 can be a Roon endpoint ?

Hi Guys,
Isn’t Chromecast Audio discontinued, don’t know if you can buy these anymore.

Jay

1 Like