Feedback from a fairly new user

I’ve had Roon for a couple of months. Been trying different things, seeing how different endpoints work, even different server platforms.

Started with a Mac Mini M1 that I use as a workstation. Didn’t care for Roon consuming the resources on my workstation. No, Roon server isn’t heavy… but giving up performance on a base Mini (8/256) just wasn’t working for me.

Looked into the Nuk/Rock platform… Can’t justify the cash when I’ve got computers laying around. It’s just a dedicated Linux port… I really don’t understand why you’re limited to Intel NUK mainboard. Seems like any platform capable of running the Linux kernel should work… Oh well.

Downloaded Ubuntu Server. Took me about an hour to set it up on an I7/64gb/500ssd Dell laptop I had laying around. Followed Roon’s instructions on setting up a command line server… no big deal. Samba shared a directory and copied all my FLAC files over… all good. Performance is excellent, resource usage minimal, fans at idle… I think it’s going to work out well for me.

As for endpoints… I had a couple Chromecast Audio devices. They work… kinda. Also had an Airplay device. That seemed to work better… so I picked up a couple more. Andover Songbirds. I’ve got 4 zones, and when company is over, it’s nice to have the same music throughout the house. So… trying to group 3x Songbirds and an Airplay equipped amp. Ugly. Stops and starts, out of sync… I was NOT pleased with performance.

Did some reading, everybody says use a Raspberry Pi. Ok, so I ordered an RPi4, with a HiFiHat (Dac2 Pro), power supply, microSD, case… about the same price as the Songbird was. Loaded up RoPieee, and off we went. The HiFiHat’s DAC is pretty good, for the price. The DAC in the Songbird just sux… but it’s got a Toslink port, so I was using external DACs. One less component to plug in.

Picked up 3 more RPi4’s. Group well, no problems, stable, sound quality is excellent…

Only complaint I’ve got… I specifically purchased the HiFiHats and Cases made by the same company, FOR THEIR HAT. Came with plastic mounting hardware to attach the hat to the Pi4. Great. Only problem, you cannot put the Pi4 in the case with the hat attached, and you can’t attach the hat once it’s in the case. Oh, and I had to dremel out the case around the 3.5mm analog out, as well.

If I were to do it again, I’d print my own cases, thanks.

So, after a couple of months… I gotta say it’s a rather steep learning curve, but I think I’m gonna like it here.


Chris it’s great to have you on the forum’s and to get your feedback as well. Some nice thinking from your side there to make use of what you already have lying around and to get it working so well.

Hopefully you will continue to enjoy your Roon journey.

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HifiBerry has a plastic case with different punchouts for components. it’s $20ish US.
I’ll entirely agree though. I have a hat from another that makes putting it into a case impossible.
I 3d printed my own.
Good to be a geek.


That’s exactly the case I have… times four. Their own HiFiBerry DAC2 Pro board has a 3.5mm output, which I’m not using, but it doesn’t line up to any of the holes or cutouts in the case… and if you mount the hat on the RPi, it will not ‘click’ into the case. If you mount the RPi first, then you can’t properly mount the hat… so it’s just kinda sitting there. Oh well, not like I’m going to be tossing them around regularly. Should be fine.

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I have their dac/dsp. It took me a half dozen times to get it to fit right but it worked.
It would slip around as order of assembly matters somehow. The screws were upside down, something weird, I forget.

Good luck.

My IQaudIO hat now . . .