Denon AVR-X8500H connected by Ethernet vs. airplay

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
Windows 10 PC.

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

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
Denon AVR-X8500H

Description Of Issue
I am still under trial period (I have to say 2 weeks is NOT enough time, but oh well, onto the point).

I was wondering why when my receiver is capable of handling all of the highest quality streaming that Roon and others use (via USB or network) - and it is connected via ethernet - why does roon not connect that way and have high quality, instead of forcing airplay connection and lower quality output?

Network connection is network connection – Ethernet or Wi-Fi is irrelevant in this context. Your Denon AVR does not support RAAT, so via network connection, AirPlay is your only Roon compatible option. Unless your Denon AVR also supports Chromecast.


Unforunately, Denon will never support Chromecast (or RAAT) as they want you to use their HEOS ecosystem instead.

OK, thanks makes sense. I wasn’t thinking in the right terms. I was thinking since the Denon unit can handle any file you throw at it (higher quality than Roon can support) that it was Airplay that was limiting things. But you are saying (if I understand) that the limit is not Airplay, but the ability to fully “talk” to Roon? So let me ask a follow up: for all the manufactures and units listed as “Roon-tested” do they suffer the same inability to talk to Roon (RAAT) as the Denon? Is that (in simple terms) the difference between “roon-tested” vs. “roon-ready”? Thanks!

The Airplay protocol is ten plus years old, and limited to essentially CD-quality playback. There are other streaming protocols that handle much higher formats, Roon’s native RAAT protocol being one of them.

Your X8500H has a rear USB input, and is also listed as “Roon Tested” according to the Denon marketing website. I presume they submitted it for certification using the USB input. To get maximum resolution our of your AV receiver, you need to use an external streamer. You could either purchase a pre-made (lots of vendors at price points ranging from medium to crazy), or if you want something very inexpensive to test with, use a Raspberry Pi 4 running RoPieee to act as a Roon endpoint and connect to the Denon via USB.

It seems kinda silly to me that Denon didn’t include RoonBridge in their own built-in networking, when they went through the trouble of submitting their hardware for “Roon Tested” certification. But just goes to show, they are trying to facor their own HEOS ecosystem…

In short: “Roon Ready” means an internal network streamer that speaks the RAAT protocol, certified by Roon. “Roon Tested” means its USB input has been certified to work with Roon, but requires an external streamer (or direct connection to your Roon Core system – not recommended).

Nope, almost certainly not on the rear USB input. If it is USB-A, that is for a memory stick or drive. The number of AVRs with USB-B for direct computer connection can be counted on one hand. Primarily, a few Pioneer Elite models, all several years out of production now, if I am not mistaken.



I realise that your question is about a network connection to your Denon, but there is also the Denon’s HDMI connection available, which would give you higher resolutions and multi-channel. This may not be an option for you in your trial setup, but perhaps something to be aware of should you decide to go with Roon in the future.


No, Roon tested means a devicr has been tested in-house and proved to work with Roon up to the devices capabilities. In the case of your Denon then Airplay is the only way it will work with Roon natively without something else as an input and this is limited to cd quality. Other Roon tested devices such as USB DACs use USB Audio protocol to connect to a pc that’s runs Roon core or small computer device like a raspberry pi or more bespoke streamer like a Sonore MicroRendu or SMS 200. Some Roon tested devices use ChromeCast which is capable of 96/24 in some cases.

I am using Denon AVR-X4500H and facing the same issue here. Looking forward for an enhanced solution without adding another device. My current low cost solution is to add a Chromecast Audio connection to Denon connected via optical cable and Roon talk to Chromecast Audio and output 96/24 high quality.

I have a Denon AVR-X3600, I connect my core to it via HDMI. My core is a Mac Mini, which I also use as a HTPC.

I can stream up to 96/24 to the Denon. I can even stream 96/24 5.1 files for surround music when I want.

So… if your core has an HDMI, that’s your best bet.

Or… you could buy a Mac mini and use it as an endpoint with Roon Bridge on it :slight_smile:

Maybe use a Raspberry Pi with an HDMI out as an endpoint. Someone else would have to chime in here as I don’t know about this.

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No, this still doesn’t work, AFAIK - certainly not for 5.1 multichannel. And if you’re using Ropieee on the RPi, it definitely won’t work - Ropieee disables the HDMI connection.

Some folks are using a low-cost NUC (using an Intel Celeron processor) with ROCK as a networked endpoint, and using the HDMI connection on that to deliver multichannel audio to their surround receivers.


Thanks for clearing this up Geoff.

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Late into the party. Why don’t you try the mRemote App and stream (Tidal/Qubuz) from your Mobile to Denon via UpnP. The sound fidelity is pretty awesome.

I’ve researched this far and wide. The simple and more costly solution is to connect the Roon Nucleus (plus) via HDMI to the AVR (Denton AVR X8500HA) to play any DSD file.

Hello Michael, and welcome to the community.

A couple of items concerning your comment.

You can build a NUC/ROCK (DIY Nucleus +) for about 1/3 the cost. That is what I have connected to my Denon AVR X8500H via HDMI.

That setup will play hi-res Multi-channel PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution but will not play DSD files. DSD will be converted to PCM during playback. That is unless there is a difference between the 8500H and the 8500HA that I’m not aware of.

I’ve seen that you can do the DYI. I was able to get a Nucleus Plus with a Samsung 4 TB used for $1800, so I’m happy with that. I’m hoping that Denon will get RAAT compliant at some point. I mean, Being the quality that the X8500HA is, that should a given being Roon ready. But, if I’m not happy with the HDMI, I will have to bypass this via 5.1 DAC option going into the analog input. I wish Oppo was still around. The used Oppos are to pricey.

I keep reading that DSD 5.6 should be available via Ethernet? The Roon support team stated that as well, not using Airplay?

So, just in case, what is the best way to convert HDMI to 5,1 analog for DSD 5.1?

Sounds like you picked up that Nucleus + and internal drive for a good price. Nice music server setup.

I recently upgraded to the Samsung 870 EVO 4 tb in my NUC8I7BEH. The 1TB SSD I started with was fine for my small 300 CD library but then I started purchasing MC DSD 256 and Stereo DSD 512 files. I was surprised to see those files could be around 25GB each. I haven’t ripped my SACD collection yet but have the space now.

Also upgraded the Ram to 32GB. I read that Roon won’t use all the memory but I found a G.Skill 2x16GB kit for $100.00 and thought what the heck, maybe someday they will.

I was content with the NUC to receiver HDMI setup for a while after discovering the HDMI and Roon Ready LAN connections to my OPPO 205 would not play DSD, and the USB interface to my OPPO that did play DSD and MQA was 2 channel only (no sub channel). That was disappointing since the OPPO was what introduced me to Roon in the first place.

I gave up on trying to get Roon to play DSD over HDMI. Maybe someday, along with Video over HDMI.

An article in Stereophile by @mitr introduced me to the ExaSound S88 MC Streaming Roon Ready Dac. I love MC and had to have one. It is connected to my X8500H via the 7.1 analog inputs.

Can’t use the 7.1 analog inputs for the OPPO 205 now and playing SACD’s with the OPPO feeding the X8500H over HDMI leaves a lot to be desired. The OPPO playing SACD’s via the 7.1 analog connections and using it’s DAC sounds fantastic, but it is just a transport mechanism over HDMI with the receiver DAC processing the DSD.

The S88 was expensive at 6500 and now the Mark II version is 7500. It is the most expensive component I’ve ever considered for my system but I would do it again in a heartbeat even if I had to sell my beloved JD tractor. Well, maybe anyway.

Enjoy the music…

I just came to the Same conclusion, except i think I only need the E68 DAC – 8-CHANNEL DSD256 AND STEREO DSD512 since Roon already has the streaming function built in for Tidal and Qobuz. This would be $3900 vis $7600. Are you connecting it via USB? I have an older Marantz (It plays 5.1 - Can’t find that easily today - I wish Oppo would return).(everything is in a box since we are doing a whole house remodel - living in our Airstream) SACD player I can connect via HDMI (my SACD collection pales compared to vinyl and hopefully soon to be downloads - And mostly available digital stream, which, I’m sure will evolve with time). I will use the Nucleous for music storage and use backups on my iMac and Dropbox for for music files (I’ll do the music backup at night for Dropbox….)