Help with trying to keep fully wired connections

I’ve been doing research on setting up Roon (after having some difficulties last year with connectivity issues and aborting) and would like some advice. I will purchase the suggested hardware for a NUC to run the Roon Rock, my music files are located on a Synology NAS, and I will be playing through the Oppo 205.

My issue is how to handle the recommended wired connections. I can connect the NUC to the Oppo through the gigabit connection. I can even move my NAS to the listening location and connect through Ethernet or USB. However, my cable modem/router is located on another floor and it also has a Ethernet connected device for the security system. I don’t want to have those devices in my listening room.

Any advice on how not to have the cable modem/router and security device near my listening room and keep all the connections “wired”? Routing ethernet cable through the walls seems too much like the late 1990’s.

Possibly, but it is the most reliable connection method.

I have a 1GB ethernet switch in my office where the cable modem, router, NAS, PC, printer, … are all located and connect to it. I then have another 1GB switch in my listening Roon, with the local HiFi and HT equipment connected to it.

The two switches are connected via a single eithernet cable.

The alternatives to hardwiring are WiFi or Ethernet over power … each with pros and cons. Lots of discussion on these technologies if you search.

I’m afraid that’s what you need to do to have a solid, reliable connection between all of the components. At least in my case, neither WiFi not Ethernet over power were reliable enough. So, when I moved to this house the first thing I did was to wire every room with cat 6, all joining in a switch in my office. The main router and cable modem are in a untility closet, the NAS and core NUC in the office, and the endpoints in the office and living room, the WiFI access point that mobile control points connect to in the stairs. Zero network troubles (well, modulo the still not fully resolved Android control point-Linux core connectivity mystery).

After you hard wire the connections, you’ll be glad you did from a reliability standpoint.

Second choice for me would be using mesh wifi, and using the modules as access points.

I have a slightly more relaxed view.

I have several islands of wired stuff, but those communicate through WiFi.

  1. In my main listening room, I have the Roon server (previously a NUC, now a Nuckeus) all wired to the main Meridian system and a headphone system. The server contains the music on an SSD.
  2. In my office, I have a computer and a NAS, which are used for downloading and ripping music, and backup. Transfer of music to the Roon server is over WiFi.
  3. The cable modem and main router are in a different location, and some other stuff is wired there.
  4. For some secondary rooms, and the mobile devices (iPad with headphones) I use WiFi.

So the serious music system is wired, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be wired. Note that even for this system, I pull Tidal over WiFi. No problem with this.

I have no problems with WiFi. I have had lots of problems with WiFi in the past, bought lots of equipment without luck. And then I got Eero, solved all my problems. Eero consists of several boxes (I have 6) that form a mesh and take care of everything. And each box has a wired jack, suitable for setting up these islands.

The only thing that is simpler for me is that I don’t pull music off the NAS for playing, use a local SSD in the NUC. But I don’t imagine you will have trouble with WiFi to the NAS, that connection is not audio critical, asynchronous and a small fraction of the WiFi bandwidth.

You can also look at the overall system cost. My 2 TB SSD in the NUC cost $700. That’s a lot. What does wiring the walls cost? What does a NAS cost? How do you value your own time troubleshooting?

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Thanks everyone, it’s helpful to get different opinions.

@AndersVinberg I think the cost/time/value is where I’m at, decision wise. Running an Ethernet cable costs very little but time consuming given the layout of the house. A NUC and Eero would run me close to $1000, but less time (if it’s reliable).

The barrier to entry for Roon is pretty high and without using Roon for some period of time, hard to see the value. Since my interest is having an improved interface (currently using iPeng with my Transporter) and an ability to find new music, I may just save for my next hardware upgrade.


I would say a very reasonable approach is to set up a test without regard for ugliness: if you have a PC or laptop, run some wires all over the floor, and see how you appreciate it. Or WiFi.

All this talk about the ideal arrangement — server outside the room, all wired connection, etc. — is about finetuning. The reality is that the step from not having Roon to having it is enormous, the Oppo is great, connect it with an Ethernet or usb cable, and explore. Once you are convinced, you can fine tune.

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Exactly! I think this point needs to be underlined. There is no need to wait until you have the perfect setup. Lets face it, every user might have a different idea of a perfect setup. The point is to dive right in and experience the UI and the meta data connections. You can start small and then expand; no need to birth the whole house system at once.

Update or final comments (who knows which):

I connected my laptop running the Roon core to the Oppo with ethernet (both downstairs) and used the wireless in the laptop to connect to the NAS and the cable modem (both upstairs). No issues with setup but major connectivity issues with playing music.

I moved the laptop upstairs to connect to NAS and cable modem through a gigabit switch. Much improved connectivity but still frequent drops.

I installed an Eero over the weekend with a beacon right next to the Oppo downstairs and all the connection issues went away.

I’ve spent a few days using Roon. The “wow” factor for the interface isn’t large (looks ok compared to Tidal) and I’ve yet to see much benefit in discovering new music. Showing me what’s released by a specific record label isn’t much value to me.

It’s a better interface than the iPeng/Transporter combination and with the future ability to handle MQA, it’s a great solution for me to replace the Transporter and not purchase a MQA streaming device. Selling the Transporter will help offset the cost of the Eero and annual subscription so it’s a wash money-wise with improved capabilities.

Thanks everyone

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I recently installed Ubiquiti Unifi mesh access points in my home - the downstairs one is wired to a gigabit switch. Upstairs talks to the downstairs unit to form the mesh connectivity. I can stream dsd to my lounge and bedroom systems concurrently with no dropouts.

Eero is good stuff. I have a four module Eero setup and no deadspots. I normally get over 100 mpbs via wifi signal. Take a look at the eero plus service as well.

Best. ——-Robert