Help a newbie with the setup

Roon Core Machine

MacBook Pro 2013

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Apple Extreme router Wi-Fi connected

Connected Audio Devices

Onkyo TX-8150 connected with optical toslink to MBP

Number of Tracks in Library


Description of Issue

I have the Roon core installed on my MBP that is wirelessly connected to my router and optical cable to my Onkyo. Is this the best setup for my gear or is there anything I can improve?

If it all working fine, then it’s fine :slight_smile:

Roon recommend connecting the machine ruining the Core to your router via a wired ethernet connection. But if your WiFi network is solid and has decent throughput and it’s all currently working without issue for you, then there’s no need to change anything. Optical out from the MBP is fine.

It won’t bring about any improvements in sound quality quality, but in terms of convenience you might want to look at getting a dedicated Intel NUC (a older/used NUC 7 or 8 is ideal) and install ROCK on it — that will allow you to have Roon Core running 24/7 without your MBP needing to be switched on. Think of this as a DIY Nucleus.

Likewise you could also look connecting a small Raspberry Pi with a DigiHat running Ropieee XL directly to your Onkyo — to act as a standalone ‘Roon Endpoint’ (the DigiHat provides an optical output to the RPi). Think of this as a small network bridge/dongle that you can attach to your Onkyo in order to add Roon RAAT support to it. That would allow you to place the machine running your Core (MBP or NUC/ROCK) in another room, away from your main HiFi setup and remove the need to connect your Onkyo to it directly. Ropieee XL also adds support for Spotify Connect and AirPlay which might both be useful as fallback protocols. But again this is purely about convenience, it won’t improve sound quality.

If you haven’t done so already you might want to have a read though Roon’s Networking Best Practices.

1 Like

Thanks a lot for your feedback Jamie much appreciated!
The NUC setup sounds just perfect for my needs. I have an old Synology DS213+ but it won’t run Roon Core so a NUC would be perfect or a newer Synology maybe.

Unless you have imminent plans to upgrade your Synology I’d go with a NUC.

You can pick up a used NUC 7 or 8 fairly cheaply on eBay (check the recommend models on this page).

Not only will the NUC be more powerful than most NAS servers (even the high end NASs tend to have fairly low spec CPUs) but by running ROCK you’ll be getting an OS that is optimally designed to run the Roon Core.

Perfect, then I will go for the NUC!

Just don’t go for the gen 11 Nuc as it’s not going to work for ROCK, but if you rather run windows then probably ok.


“ Think of this as a small network bridge/dongle that you can attach to your Onkyo in order to add Roon RAAT support to it.”

Will the optical connnection from the MacBook to my Onkyo not support Roon RAAT?

Not for rock, but linux works fine on a generation 11 nuc and if you put the settings right, it feels like rock.

Yes, that will work fine too — I assume that is what your doing now.

I was just pointing out other recommended Roon setups, if you didn’t want to keep your MacBook open and running in order to use Roon, or if you didn’t want to directly connect your MacBook to your Onkyo.

Aah ok. My MacBook needs new battery and there’s no OS updates any longer so I need to buy a new setup and the NUC sounds very interesting at the moment.