Connecting Marantz NA6006 to Roon (Airplay mode vs RAAT)

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
Windows PC

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)
Spectrem router on Ethernet using

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
Marantz NA6006 via Ethernet

Description Of Issue
Hello, Recently new to Roon on trial mode, My network receiver Marantz NA6006 automatically was recognized by Roon as an Airplay device. Wondering if I am listing at highest quality in this mode?

Would it better audio playback if I ran a long optical cable from my PC sound card? Is there way to switch from airplay mode to RAAT with my current equipment?

Or do I need to purchase an expensive audio DAC bridge?

Yes, if you ran Optical it would definitely be better than Airplay.

If Roon can see the optical output on your computer and you enable it and select it as the output of choice, then Roon will automatically be using RAAT. Nothing to do on your end, but, select the different device.

Please elaborate? Why would that be “better”?

Well, the OP used the term, I was just following up with the same language. But, sure, I can elaborate

Optical can handle “under spec” up to 24/96; but I regularly get 24/192. So, “better”, as I mean it, because it can send higher native resolutions without having to potentially down-sample to Airplay resolution.

Additionally, there is galvanic isolation. But, the above was my main thinking.


This second part of your statement is not correct, RAAT is a network protocol… used to communicate to network connected Roon Ready endpoints (RAAT SDK) or those running Roon’s endpoint software.

Sorry to digress, but this is also interesting!
It was my assumption also, that RAAT was used internally, when a combined Core+Bridge was playing music? I mean over the local ip stack. Hmm…

And @Rugby, thanks! Yes, there are limitations that put further limitations on AirPlay. However, the compromise between a long run of optical cabling (for Toslink conn) and a network based transfer via AirPlay may not rule in the favour of what one might expect.

Isuggest the OP try it out, a functional optical cable is not very costly, but i suggest that AirPlay will be the better alternative, within the 16/44.1 limits of the protocol.

Edit: A raspberry might very well be the optimal solutions here, pretty low cost and the result will sound at least as food as optical/airplay, and through the use of a short USB to your Marantz, will be able to utilize all sorts of formats and resolutions.

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Mikael , Thanks for your input sounds like its a wash but will think about next steps.

It also uses the protocol internally between subsystems in a computer. So it would use it to communicate to an internal or external sound card, or indeed a USB DAC connected to the core.

Hi Chaps,

You are both correct these days RAAT is also used by Roon internally it is now part of the application’s architecture.

However, in this case the discussion was about Airplay vs. TOSlink (SPDIF) … the former is a network protocol (for data) the later is not, it’s a bitstream to a DAC when the the timing of the stream can’t be governed by the clocks in the DAC. So whilst RAAT is the internally within Roon it is used in quite a different context.

Those posts are referring to USB DACs or internal sound-cards with DAC’s when the DAC’s clock controls the flow of data to the DAC … and it can signal back to RAAT to manage the data rate.

In the case of an external SPDIF / TOSLink connected DAC there is no feedback, and thus the source device controls the flow … Roon still uses the RAAT architecture within the Core to drive the output but it is synchronous so not really using the feature set of RAAT.

I guess this is why I typically only reference the uses of RAAT for network connected devices (and asynchronous USB DACs) … I conceded that this is a simplification but (dare it say) fits well when discussing SPDIF/TOSlink connected DACs.

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Hello All,

I recommend reading our CTO’s post on this exact issue, it should clear up any confusion about the differences between AirPlay and RAAT:


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