End point advice

Hi folks, I’m getting Roon set up in my system. So far I have a Mac mini running the core software. This is connected to a Hegel 160 and that’s it. I’ve seen people on YouTube saying that a better option would be to use a Raspberry Pi4 plugged into the Hegel and stream it wirelessly from the mini. Apparently this would negate any noise problems etc in the mini and give me other advantages which TBH I don’t understand!

Anyway, I’m not a nerd, far less a geek, and in fact I’m just a confused old man trying to make sense of all this stuff. Is this truly the best route for me to go down ? I don’t want to spend a lot and my budget is around £400 max but less would be really a lot more comfortable. Also it seems I need to put the pi together myself which sounds a bit daunting, and there’s the supply problem too. I have also heard about the I-fi Zen Stream which might be an alternative. What say you?

Are there other/better alternatives I should consider?

If I stream and get better results then I’m in. If that’s the case, simplicity would be great. If not then I will stick with what I have.

Thank you

If it’s working well and sounds good with no noise and no drop out’s, etc. I would leave it alone.


@William_Scott, as the adage goes, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”, I’d agree with @Jim_F and do nothing unless there is a specific problem. There’s nothing wrong with a device connected directly to the core, and with the system you’ve described, this seems to add complexity for very little, if any, gain. Noise is only an issue for you if you can hear it.


that’s why I wanted a

I did: usb from core to dac. Now moved to: ethernet Zen Stream usb to dac, yes things are a little better but that is clearly a LITTLE. For me the zen was a gift as I did wanted but if to put my $$ for it just to get that little better I would not be 100% sure. Now if you want to move your Mac than the $$ become ok as the zen is one box solution. Or if you plan on using Spotify, Tidal, Airplay, NAA, etc. all do come with the Zen stream and now the $$ are really well spent.

That’s bad advice. Roon over WiFi can work well if everything is just right, but even then it’s second best to fully wired connections. Reason is that WiFi is often subject to congestion from other services besides Roon, and other WiFi networks nearby. I run 3 different Roon setups at 3 different locations, and the only trouble I’ve had has been with WiFi links to some Roon endpoints.

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15 posts were split to a new topic: Raspberry Pi SD Card Lifespan

While I think streamers can make a difference in perceived reproduction, I would recommend you start with your Mac mini and your Hegel 160. Just enjoy that combination for some time before considering some changes.

With that said one thing you could do is using the H160 with airplay, preferably on a different source such as a phone, and directly compare that to the same music played from the Mac mini. If the mini with Roon performs to the same level as the airplay I would argue that a streamer isn’t necessary.

While I haven’t heard the H160, but I did own a H190 for a couple of years. I was positively surprised how great the H190 performed on airplay. Guessing the H160 should be similar.

Thank you everyone for your help. I will try the airplay option as suggested by @Quaerit and see how I get on but it seems likely that staying as I am is a good option for now. It’s easy to get caught up with all sorts of new ideas when you start on a new venture so …

Anyway, thank you all, and have a great New Year


Certainly avoid WiFi like the plague , if you do add a streamer use Ethernet. I agree leave well alone until you see a need to change

The Pi build is over exaggerated , it’s a screw driver job , the only fiddly bit is getting the SD card in best done before fitting the case or use tweezers you only do it once. I am 72 , arthritic, with hand problems , it was pleasantly surprised how easy it . Getting a Pi 4 is the hard part.

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Well, there are a few. For like double or triple the price. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Well, I did the experiment with Airplay. I won’t be doing it again! Sound was definitely inferior to what I have wired up at the moment. I don’t know if it’s my system or set up or what but there was a clear difference to my ears. Ah well, at least I didn’t waste any cash

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is this the one?

Why you want a bridge when 160 has LAN?

Did you ever tried to connect the 160 to your network using ethernet?

You can try and link m1 to 160 using ethernet. You just need a dongle, USB to ethernet, and that you put on your Mac mini. Connect with the dongle to your normal LAN. Now that you have the ethernet port of mini free you can connect with a short ethernet cable to your Hegel. A dongle should be no more that 10$ (I think)

Thank you. To be honest, I’m not that unhappy with my sound. An improvement would always be welcome but I’d read that if I got away from wires, the mini wouldn’t dictate sound quality in any way and that this should improve things. I could try your suggestion though. I believe I have such a dongle around somewhere so I will have a look in the morning

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here are the settings if you want to try

But the H160 is not Roon Ready. So if you connected via Ethernet you’d have to use Airplay to the amp.

Oh, thanks, I did not know that (I was assuming that it cannot be like that)

I didn’t know that either. I knew it wasn’t Roon ready but assumed the ethernet would still work. Told you I was busking it here :grinning:

I was really just trying the Airplay suggestion made by @Quaerit above to see if using a wireless connection would or would not improve my sound. On my experience so far, it doesn’t so I will save my £s and stick with what I have

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:+1: best like that and no need to hurry