Connection between PC and Denon x3800H receiver

Hi guys. Im new to Roon. Still on the 14 day trial but im very impressed so far and will probably end up subscribing.

I have a question if anyone can answer please. Im running Roon on my PC which is connected to my Denon X3800H receiver via a HDMI cable from my RTX 3080 Ti graphic card.

Am i getting the best sound using this method or should i connect the PC to the receiver using an ethernet cable from the motherboard to the network port on the back of the Denon?

I prefer a wired connection rather than stream using wifi.


TheDenon has heos streaming I think which isn’t compatible with roon. I think there is a roon extension written by a user that can use heos but it doesn’t work with roon by default.
So, unless you tinker to get heos working HDMI is your best bet.
Edit: here is the link to the heos extension information

Hi and thanks for reply. Thak you for the link to the extension. Might give it a go but im not a fan of the Heos app.

Is there going to be a quality difference between using Heos over using HDMI?

Or will switching over to an ethernet cable from the PC directly to the receiver make a difference?

I want the best sound possible. Ive posted an image of the signle path Roon is showing.

Only you would be able to say if there is. If it sounds good to you now I would just go with what you have.

Asking the internet for an opinion is an exercise in futility IMHO. :blush:

This “Or will switching over to an ethernet cable from the PC directly to the receiver make a difference?” won’t do anything, it doesn’t matter how you connect them via network Roon won’t see the receiver.

Haha. Yeah i know. Im one of those who wants to get the best out of their equipment. Might give the ethernet route a go and see how that sounds.

Ive noticed when i stream using airplay, the signal path turns green in the chain. I use Dolby Atmos a lot and Heos is not compatible with that.

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Hello and welcome to the community.

HDMI is the best connection between the Roon core device and the Denon receiver. That will give you the highest resolution your Denon can resolve, (PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz), with Stereo and Multi-channel files.

Ethernet connection to the receiver will be Airplay 96kHz and Stereo.

I have the Denon 8500H with HDMI and Ethernet connections, and while I have used Airplay my preference is HDMI for the higher resolution and Multi-channel playback.

Hi Mike. Thank you for the response and advice. I guess i will stick with HDMI then. Will the Nvidia HD audio driver be needed at all?

Im guessing the Graphics Card passes the signal directly to the receiver without any editional drivers?

Thanks again.

Sorry, not up to date on PC sound cards or drivers.

That would be my guess as well.

I have a NUC/ROCK server setup with the OS and music server software provided by Roon. Nothing left for me to figure out. Ethernet to router and HDMI to receiver.

When/if you move away from running Roon on the PC that would be the way to go. Dedicated music server and no other software/hardware to be concerned about.

Nvidia has audio drivers.

Does the denon have mqa decoding? If not then turn the first decode step on in Roon.

HDMI is a good way to go but you are tethered to the receiver.

Consider introducing a raspberry pi or other endpoint as a permanent connection rather than your laptop?

Lots of folks happy to help on this community.

My app basically replaces the HEOS app with ROONfor basic functionality such as play/pause, grouping and volume controls.

Hi and thanks everyone for all the replys and for the info. Still learning. I dont think the Denon has MQA decoding. Im not really fussed about that as im moving from Tidal to Qobuz

According to the manual the Denon x3800h supports airplay 2. But i guess thats just for apple devices.

My desktop PC is in the man cave which is where my setup is and where i listen to music. I will probably just keep it tethered to the PC as mentioned with HDMI.

Thanks again all.

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Hdmi will be just fine.

Hi Peter,

I’m seriously considering getting a Denon X3800 now that it supports Dirac Bass Control. I use Roon and I want to keep using it. I see that you have developed an app for this purpose (many thanks for that!).
What would be the best way to have the chain? I currently run Roon Server on a PC which I have it connected to my current DAC. If I get the Denon, I would probably run a Roon Bridge on my RPi4. But then, how is your app (installed on the RPi4) communicating with the Denon?
Many thanks for the help!

You can’t run Roon on an RPi4.

Thanks Jim, you are correct. I meant Roon bridge… which probably answers the question that I can’t connect the RPi4 to the Denon and make it work. But happy to hear any thoughts on that

Maybe you could install a “hat” on your RPi4 that would give you a connection that matches up with the Denon. Optical might work.

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It bridges the connection between them. It advertises itself to Roon as a squeezebox device which Roon supports. There is then the bridge software that then uses the UPnP renderers of any Heos device to this Squeezebox endpoint. So it can play via Roon upto 192/24. Peter has added some extra Heos features to this to allow multiroom and some other settings. I use it daily it’s great. It does have some limitations but is a neat solution as the pi can be hidden anywhere on your network.

The other option is to not use Heos and use the pi as a digital playback device. For this you would need an additional board to add Spdif output via Optical Toslink or coaxial. These vary in price and quality of build. You will sacrifice direct volume control of the amp using this method but gains some features like scrubbing you can’t get via the bridge. I have both but much prefer using the Extension and Heos.


Great, thanks a lot, this is very helpful.
1.where do you have the extension running?
2. Does it need a physical connection between where the extension is and the (Denon) receiver?