I am somewhat new to Roon. I am wanting to add a Roon endpoint to my audio system. Below are possible alternatives I came up with for adding an endpoint. If possible, I would like to add the endpoint for under $750. The following are the options I am found. Please make additional recommendation for endpoints if they are not listed below. Thanks for your help.
1 - Allo USBridge Signature (recommended by John Darko Audio)
2 - Pro-Ject 2s Ultra Streamer
3 - Somt sms-200 neo
4 - MiroRendu v1.5
5 - Pi 4 with USB Perfect (recommended by Underwood Hifi)
6 - Pi 4 (Pi uSB out to dac; I seen debates if purifier or regenerator helps)
One other question. Are there endpoints that would allow me to play both Roon and Pandora? Main focus is on Roon. So if no Pandora alternatives that is OK.
Thanks for your willingness to help.
Go for No. 6, and you can add 10 of them with your budget. USB is data, not audio, it all sounds the same. So save your pennies. More expensive streamers add features (not required with Roon), not SQ.
Mike thank you very much for responding to my request. Appreciate your thoughts. Greg
I’m currently using 6), but I’m running VitOS on my Raspberry Pi 4. Sounds great and was easy to set up. More info here: http://www.thunder-data.com/vitos-for-rpi4
This is Roon-only, no Pandora.
I also have the Allo USBridge Signature with Shanti LPS. It’s a nice combo, but Allo has been doing a poor job with software updates, so it’s rather temperamental lately. I’m having regular issues with missing networking drivers and pops/ticks, depending on which Linux kernel I’m using. Given the cost and flakiness, I can no longer recommend @allo.com products.
The SOtM sMS-200 and Sonore microRendu are mature products that may be worth their ~$500 price, depending on the characteristics of your DAC and the rest of your system. I would not rule them out, but the RPi solution is a low-risk way to get started. In the USA, I’ve found that PiShop.us has good prices on RPi boards, cases and accessories.
This may be a little above budget but worth consideration.
Stack Audio Link II. Power filtration and USB isolation built in to a Pi 3 compute module based device. The designer is the same person as designed the ProJect in your listing. Software is a commercial version of Ropieee.
I’d you use Ropieee, you can get airplay support, so would give you the option to stream Pandora to it with that if you have an iPhone.
Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t rule out a cheap small form factor Windows pc with an i3 or pentium. There’s a version of roon bridge for windows. Option to install full control/playback with hdmi display if you wanted. Has all the network and usb built-in. Easy to install software and drivers if needed. You can also easily install other players like pandora or whatever. Can be setup to run headless and unattended. Should be able to find something decent in the $300 to $400 range or maybe less.
Yeah, but it drags in all the overhead of Windows and Windows updates and all the rest of that horror, and it costs 3 times as much as a Pi with Ropieee. So why give yourself that headache? Just get a Pi and put Ropieee on it and you’re set.
Bill thanks for your regarding he Window PC. Greg
R_Neal - thanks for the suggestion regarding the Windows PC.
Bevan thanks for the great suggestion regarding regarding airplay through Ripeee. Greg
Henry thanks for the suggestion regarding the Stack Audio Link II. I will checkout. Greg
David thanks for answering my request. I appreciate thee info on Allo (sorry to hear). I appreciate the link to PiShop.
Have your done a comparison between VitOS and Ripeee and which sounds better? I have one Pi and it is running Ripeee. Thanks for the suggestion regarding VitOS. I will do research on VitOS.
Again, thanks for your help.
Results may be system-dependent, but VitOS sounds sufficiently better to be worth the small bother of setting it up. If you don’t need all of the extra functionality of RoPieee, I think VitOS is a nice solution.
David- Thanks very much for your help. I will give VitOS a try. Thanks again. I really appreciate you answering my request. Greg
David thanks for your recommendation of the VitOS. It did sound better. Had a little trouble getting it to work. I re-flashed the SD card and it work just fine. Again, thanks for your help and recommendation.
Late response here but I highly recommend the microRendu. I have 3 of them around the house. They sound great and are very stable in operation. You can get a cheap linear power supply for $80-$150 to power them. Updates I find are best done by ordering the $20 update card from Small green Computer. For some reason the online updates don’t work for me but otherwise this is a phenomenal bang for the buck at $400 new and less used on EBay or Audiogon.
I did a live stream today where I showed differences in network latency among VitOS, RoPieee, and DietPi and demonstrated the assembly and installation process.
Number 6, with any decent software, such as Ropieee. Can’t be beat. I have run quite a few experiments with neutral listeners, in which the bare naked Pi4 was put against some seriously highly rated and expensive streamers, and in most cases, people could not tell the difference. As long as your DAC is good, just go for the Pi4.
David- thanks for sharing your video with me. You did a good job.