Fundamental question on Roon's architecture :)

I have a rather fundamental question about Roon - and hopefully I can frame it properly! I have tried to search for the answer, but to no avail. It’s simply to understand how Roon works, nothing more!

I have an NAD M10, I have a NAS drive for my library and have also subscribed to Qobuz.
My Roon Core is on a 14" MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip).

What I think happens is this - but I am not sure!

  1. Roon sees and curates my library wirelessly.

  2. I select a track and my NAS talks directly to my M10 - not NAS to MacBook, MacBook to M10.

  3. Any EQ settings added in Roon are communicated to the M10 from the MacBook and applied.

  4. Roon sees Qobuz.

  5. Track selected on Qobuz on my MacBook

  6. My M10 communicates directly with Qobuz - adding any EQ sent to it from Roon.

Is that roughly right?! I am trying to see what part my MacBook is playing in all of this - where it is in the path.

No it isn’t. Your step 2 is wrong. Files held on your Nas are accessed by the Core on your MacBook and sent to the M10.

Step 6 is equally wrong. Everything goes through the Core and sent to Roon Endpoints - in this case your M10.

Read the KB on Roon Architecture :smiling_imp:

The core does everything , the NAS Stores files , the M10 receives a stream and plays it to speakers etc

The core is the bit in between doing EVERYTHING, try turning the core off — SILENCE …

Bit like disabling the engine in your car :sunglasses:

@Geoff_Coupe is quicker than me

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Thanks both, I will read the links. I am quite confused about how it works!

Don’t run your core over WiFi…asking for issues. See

IIRC they used to have diagrams in the How it works section of the roon website. Too bad they got rid of them it would have answered this question for the OP with out having the hunt for it as much.


Hmmm, I hadn’t seen that advice before. I cannot wire my MacBook directly to my router, so am stuck with (decent, fast) wifi. Currently it is working well and sounds better than Spotify. My NAS is wired directly to my router by the way.

Maybe you didn’t look hard enough, TLDR … here you go, where it says…

Your Roon Core should always have a wired connection

You’ve been cautioned, so don’t come back with support requests when getting drops and other intermittent glitches…

For some things it work ok, for others not so much, just remember when it’s not working and your system has slow loading or stuttering this is where it’s most likely to be an issue.

I’ll chirp in my 2p about WiFi, don’t do it . Roon is pretty network dependent, WiFi is the most common complaint on this forum, at leat once the complaints settle it’s inevitably the reason

I didn’t. But thanks for your advice.

I might cancel my sub to Roon and revert to Spotify.

DON’T you will regret it

Many users have been at it for years , I am approaching 6 years

My original comment was have a 2 week trial then try to stop.

The best advice is get an Ethernet supporting PC for a core and enjoy it :sunglasses:

Hi Neil.
While the advice over WiFi usage given could have been phrased a little less tersely, it is still sound advice I’m afraid.
Very few members successfully run Roon Core over WiFi without experiencing a less than satisfactory result.
And obviously we would prefer you to enjoy Roon to it’s fullest with all the features it has to offer.

Now that’s not saying that WiFi can’t work but it’s the exception rather than the normal and certainly usage of DSP and Upsampling would likely be very limited.

If there is any way to provide a wired Ethernet connection I feel your experience would be vastly more enjoyable.

I ran my Roon Core on a 2012 MacBook Pro for about three years, sometimes on ethernet, but often on wifi. It didn’t always work - the odd glitch here and there - but for the most part it was satisfactory. Bottom line, if you’re happy to accept that you may experience some problems, don’t worry about it.

You mentioned that you can’t connect your MacBook to your router. Is this because it’s inaccessible, or you don’t know how to do it?

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I live in a 14th Century property and the router is in the wine cellar… it would be a fairly big job to have my MacBook connected directly to the router.

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At the risk of being flamed, I have to disagree with the recommendation to not use WiFi. What Roon recommends is to connect the core to your network using ethernet. Your end points can be wireless. In fact, some prefer wireless end points because it isolates the output device from potential electrical interference. Most of my end points are wireless and I have experienced zero problems with them in the five years or so I’ve been using Roon.

I’m sure I will be corrected if I’m overstating things here, but I think the consensus on the most reliable way to use Roon is to run a dedicated core using something like a NUC or a Nucleus or a MAC mini with attached storage. In most cases that can be a USB drive or an internal hard drive. With a dedicated core you can control Roon using your MacBook, an IPad, a phone or any other tablet that can run the Roon app. That way the core can be in the wine cellar right next to your router. Or you can put it anywhere on your network you find convenient with a switch. All of this additional hardware is relatively inexpensive and will definitely return your investment with convenience.

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If you read the op’s setup description his core is on WiFi and he is streaming from his nas to another endpoint over WiFi. This is where the issue will be.

Moving a core to the basement would be a viable option but that involves more hardware than perhaps he has

Depending on what NAS he has could run the core on it, but like WiFi you might need a beefy NAS to do any DSP or Upsampling.

Also, it depends on what type of WiFi network, and how fast the Access points are, and net congestion, etc. etc. Bottom line is if he says he has not had issues, then all this is academic.

The NAS in your setup is only a storage device. It plays exactly the same role as if you had files stored locally on your core, or an external storage device plugged into it. Some NAS’s can serve as core (it’s what I’m doing) but not in your case.

I also disagree about WiFi, I have had no problems.
That is true since I installed Good WiFi™.
I did have problems in the past when I used Bad WIFI™,

Specifically, my good WiFi was an Eero mesh. Sprinkled WiFi nodes around the house, the Eero nodes are inexpensive.