Cost effective Roon endpoints

Still a great option for 44.1/48/88kHz. Hopefully enough people contact Google and complain so that 96kHz support is fixed.

Of course: the CCA is a champion in its category. In tandem with a cheap good DAC (the new Schiit Modi 3 for instance), it delivers amazing quality for less than 150 bucks.
In my experience, Google has always fixed the problems with their Chromecast devices -many of them, as this one, created by their own updates. Remember that even casting Spotify to the CCA was a nightmare at some point. So I would hold my breath.


For good sound on the cheap with a small footprint, consider the Schitt Audio Modi 3 DAC with a HiFiBerry Digi+ Roon Endpoint. The Schitt Modi 3 is a significant overachiever priced around $100 US. This little puppy has a volume control and headphone amplifier in addition to single ended stereo outputs. John Darko reviews. And the whole bloody thing is made in the US. Yep, circuit board, case, and assembly.

Building a Raspberry Pi with a Digi+ hat is about $100 if you buy a case, power supply, and microSD card. You can connect the two with your choice of SPDIF or TOSlink.

A Chromecast Audio or an older Apple TV, the thin ones anyway, have TOSlink outputs hidden in the headphone jack and either will keep an TOSlink capable DAC fed. An Apple Airport Express also works if you can find them. Again, the headphone output also has a TOSlink emitter.

I’ve had a Raspberry Pi HiFiBerry Digi+ in the system for a couple of years and am completely happy.

With a Raspberry Pi, the tricky bit is getting the MicroSD card image installed correctly. It’s not hard but the instructions are not always complete. Use Etcher to transfer the image (bin not an archive) to the target media. Raspberry Pi foundation has a good getting started guide.


I use an Allo DigiOne. I love it!

1 Like

Thanks for the ideas. There seems to me to be an opening for a specific headphone amp with Roon built in (unless I’ve missed one).

I use an IQAudIO DigiAMP+ hat as a headphone amp with Ropieee all in a little box…in the link below I was using Volumio

I actually use the CuBox as an endpoint (to LAN with cable, and to the Qutest DAC with USB). It runs flawlessly and is less obtrusive in the living room, in my eyes

1 Like

The Apple TV images noticeably worse than the Digi+ or Chromecast Audio (now supported). This is attributed to the jitter on the ATV TOSlink output.

This an ATV implementation issue and not a TOSlink issue as the Chromecast Audio TOSlink images is dramatically better.

I now find my Meridian 218 and DSP 5200SE speaker system is the most cost effective Roon end point I could want. (I know it’s not RAAT)
Ok ok… I’m being controversial as it’s not cheap, but honestly… it just works so well and sounds so great that I’m not looking for anything else. I don’t even need to balance a door stop on top of things and who said cost effective HAD to mean cheap? (Although it can)

Exactly, you can start with a house brick or a breeze block, no need for some Audiophool doorknob! It is more in keeping with the size and shape of your Meridian kit anyway and would look great on top of the Meridian stack. Who would know you were being ‘cost effective’ if you wrapped it in tin foil anyway? :smiley:

1 Like

Hmmm, I’ll wrap up a pile of gravel perhaps… :joy:

My vote is for the regular Google Chromecast, not the Chromecast Audio, coupled with either a home theater receiver (with HDMI inputs), such as these Marantz units:

or either of these DACs, both of which have an HDMI input: or

I say this because when I switched over to Roon from LMS (Logitech Media Server) about a month ago I found that I now multiple ways to stream music to my home theater setup:

Method 1 - Roon -> Squeezebox Touch digital output -> Marantz HTR digital input - the way I had been streaming when using LMS

Method 2 - Roon -> Marantz HTR via AirPlay

Method 3 - Roon -> Chromecast HDMI output -> Marantz HTR HDMI input

Methods 1 & 3 both sound excellent, while Method 2 via Airplay does have some restrictions ( Plus with Method 3 (Chromecast) one can use the TV to show the now playing screen, which frankly needs a little work but does nice job of showing the lyrics, when available.

So for $35 or less the Google Chromecast is about the most cost effective endpoint there is and it supports 24bit/96kHz streaming.

Chromecast now apparently discontinued - not visible on Amazon at least.

As alternative. I just plugged in an old ( v2) Apple TV ( the one with a Toslink) to my Naim ND5 xS . Roon found it immediately on wifi network and (after you make sure the correct digital input on Naim is set to “on” - in set up dialogue) Naim will play stuff from Roon controlled from an iPhone. Simple - - and free as I had the old Apple TV!

There is a new google home device coming out soon - ‘google nest mini’ or something like that that will apparently have a 3.5mm audio output. I don’t know if it will be dual line + optical like the chromecast audio, nor do I know if it will support the various sample rates of the chromecast audio.

I dont not recommend regular video chromecast - as far as I can tell - everthing ends up sample rate converted to 48Khz for that - which is a common problem with many of these kind of small HDMI dongle like devcies.

Current google home mini has no audio output either, it can act as a chromecast endpoint, so I expect the nest replacement will also.

You can still pick up chromecast audio - it seems a lot of online stores still have some, or are least still listing them. I’m not sure its worth buying them however as I would not be surprised if they stopped getting updates soon, and then you will probably find there will be some change to chromecast protocol to cut them off entirely.

I dont like what google are doing to the home automation world - buying and then walling in nest is not good for this market at all. I know privacy was an issue, but I have real concerns about the future of this space now that google and amazon seem hell bent on polarizing it and walling everything into their assistants - so maybe the new nest will not be a usefulk option for many people if they really dont want an assistant.

I got an email from logitech recently to advise that nest connectivity has been withdrawn (due to google removing control APIs and walling it in). Not a good sign at all.

iPad basic model. $250 + camera connector… High res PCM. Will even stream DSD.

1 Like

Chrome cast is still available, from many sources, but Amazon (AFAIK) have only sold copies.

As far as I know, Amazon never sold it new because of their on going trade war with Google…

Having trust issues with ANYTHING Google, as I do, could using a Chromecast dongle result in personal info being sent to Google severs ? NETWORK passwords for example, I’d like to hear anyone’s thoughts on this please.

Could? Yes - anything you install could. The real question is about motive vs benefits to them vs legal risk etc and resulting business impact/backlash etc. Something for another thread maybe?

1 Like

Yes they are quite good. If you’re happy to power cycle a few times per week.