Hitting the road with Roon. Your experience?

Hitting the road with Roon this summer. So if I’ve got WiFi at a park/campground what will my Roon experience be like?

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I use Audirvana away from home since I don’t take my Roon Nucleus with me.

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How are you going to make Roon portable? Are you bringing your Core machine along with you?

Disappointing. Pay Spotify for a month, who’s quality is more than good enough while camping.


I assume you realize that Roon will not currently “talk to your core over the internet” as a mobile app , or is that what you’re asking.

Before the dreaded COVID , I was in the midst of moving house and faced the prospect of no high speed broadband for a while , I asked the question “can Roon run without internet” Roon answered that Roon has to do a License Check every so often (Monthly?) but other than that will run normally without an internet connection.

If you use Roon normally at home, I suspect if you analyze the network traffic of your core you would see quite high usage just in traffic to and fro the Roon Cloud bits .Now consider doing that on a 3G/4G type connection and will cost a lot of bandwidth if you use it “normally” as you would on a normal “home installation”. A lot of the traffic is metadata sync I suspect and any streaming service of course.

I think @Jim_F has the right idea , a laptop, built in HDD and a more compact player (Audirvana or JRiver) would make a much more compact arrangement. I think Jim was staying in a house with relatives/friends rather than camping.

A few years ago we actively caravanned for 2-4 week stretches. My caravan set up was just that a Laptop, JRiver (it allows video too HDMI to a small TV) and a Bluetooth speaker (B&O A1) and Bluetooth headphones. OK access to only a portion of your library but do you really need 27 full sets of Beethoven Sonatas :rofl: (or if you are really desperate a 4TB Eternal USB HDD). The internal HDD usge keeps it to one Box.

In the same way you could use Roon with a local library on the laptop HDD and transfer your license to the laptop.

My suspicion is wifi will provide an OK Roon Experience but obviously at a price and maybe slowly (see dropouts) depending on the wifi quality and whether you stream Tidal etc. Beware wifi usage with Roon Radio as it ALWAYS goes to your Tidal stream (Qobuz) rather than local you could use wifi without noticing it !!

Stop Rambling …

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I bring my library in the shape of a MacBook Pro and a big ass portable USB drive. It works just fine, with a couple of caveats:
Unless you plan to keep your Core powered up at all times, it takes a few minutes for Roon to be usable. (Around 5Tb media)
Your online content will be dependant on connectivity and perhaps cost.
An all-in-one portable Roon will most likely be compromised on the soundquality part, but most likely so would your speakers. (I use decent headphones along with a Mojo)
But all in all it works fine, and i enjoy music in my cabin regularly.


My remote kit is very similar to @Mikael_Ollars and it works well. I use a Linux laptop and a Chord Mojo. I have a smaller hard drive (external 2TB SSD so matchbox sized) but Mikael’s music collection is obviously bigger than mine :wink:

The SSD startup times are pretty instant though :slight_smile:


Thanks everyone for your responses. @Jim_F I will look into Audirvana. @mikeb I will look at Spotify.

I’m thinking of Nucleus or NUC wired to a wireless router, then wirelessly connecting to my Bluesound Pulse 2i for portability. I have my phone and Ipad for control. I wonder whether the Nucleus will find Roon over internet, using multiple wifi connections while traveling from place to place. I have 500+ M4A files on my phone that I can bluetooth to the Pulse 2i, a 1TB external hard drive, or I could just use BluOS with Qobuz and not use Roon but I’m addicted to Roon at this point.

Still not clear on what you are planning. Are you bringing your Core machine with you or leaving it home and hoping that you can connect to it while you are away? If that is your question. Well you can’t and don’t really understand how Roon works. If you are planning to bring your Core with you then of course that will work.


Or migrate Core to laptop (strong enough laptop).
When coming home - again migration.

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My question was about using Roon with a park or campground WiFi. The question was answered by @Mike_O_Neill @Mikael_Ollars and @mikeb . Thanks again.

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Just adding here, but are you in a camper/RV at these times?
There might be good usage in bringing a WLAN/WWAN router though.

In my cabin, i dont have a router, but i share internet through my iPhone, to both the MacBook and my iPad, and i can control Roon through the app. All in all, there are a multitude of options!

(Some people set up a VPN to their Roon Core at home also!)

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@Mikael_Ollars yes we have a tag-along RV. Looking forward to traveling again. Thanks for the suggestions.

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I found an answer ages ago. Its called Tidal. I really dont see the point of the extended argument for roon portable.


Mojo poly with memory cards for the well off, Apple iPod with ssd conversion for the less well off…

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That certainly hasn’t been the case for me over the last few weeks. We have had serious issues with the NBN network since last November, apparently there is a 70m cable in the street that needs replacing but for some reason the NBN will not do it and keep sending technicians (six so far) to apply band aid fixes.

Two weekends ago we had no internet for four days straight, Roon 1.8 would not work at all without an internet connection, MacOS, iOs and iPadOS apps would just freeze and not respond.

I set up a Telstra 4G USB WifI + dongle on my ASUS router in failover mode. This was plenty fast enough for Roon to work and incidentally for Netflix to stream with no issue.

I can’t see why this would not work whilst camping if your signal is strong enough for a 4G dongle.

Take a NUC as Core and a small wireless router and you could easily set up Roon.

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I did say that’s what they said , it was why I asked the question.

I shut down my entire system, network everything overnight in the summer. When I start up if I don’t wait until the router has done its startup routines and the “blue internet” light is on , Roon will fail to start. Once “lit up” Roon starts fine and stays fine.

Does that imply a license check at startup ? Roon certainly “runs to mama” at startup .Who knows . All I know is I asked the question , probably 2 years ago now I admit and that was the answer. Things may have changed

(Why shut down you may ask ? In Johannesburg we get viscous lightening storms that a few years ago wrote off much of my hifi, Streamer, video streamer, Router , Switches , AV Amp … next door had a palm tree take a direct strike which ran back down my phone lien and zapped the entire network . We are “unconductable” fibre now :smiling_imp:


Yeah, Ive seen it said many times, either it has changed for 1.8 or something is wrong with my set up.

It actually really bugs me that we can no longer listen to our music without an internet connection. That really seems insane to me.

I have seen Roon-confusion on the few occasions my ISP has had issues. And in my environment i have my finger pointed firmly at the router in those situations. I dont know why, but loss of internet access seems to disrupt the whole routing nowadays.

But i have no issues running Roon without internet access. The Roon guys have even fixed the annoying issue where internet access was required to find local audio devices on startup? Go figure?


I regularly stay somewhere in the mountains with no mobile phone or internet access. Before I leave I change my core license from my NUC to the laptop. However, I keep a separate database on each machine. I have my music library backed up on a portable drive which I take with me.
When I get there I connect my laptop to the DAC and turn on a WiFi hotspot on my mobile, connect my laptop and iPad to it, then use my iPad to control the music while sat in my armchair in front of a roaring open fire. It’s a strange mix of old world and new, but it works great for me.
I don’t mind having different databases as I have separate playlists and don’t really use tags there and obviously there is no access to Qobuz. I have never had any problems with a Roon license check while there but am only ever there for a week at most. Perhaps the authorisation of the new core before going means another check isn’t needed for a while…?
I know this has little relevance to the OP use case, but just wanted to share that Roon can be done wirelessly without an internet connection!