I still don't get it - hardware / setup questions

I’m sorry, I really have looked but I still don’t get what setup I need to make the most of Roon.

What I have now:

iMac - nowhere near the hifi
airport express
Chord 2Qute DAC
iPhone 5 with Onkyo HF player to plug directly into the DAC to play hi-res files

I’m not really using Roon now (even though I have it) as I either stream from Tidal or Spotify or Apple Music, or plug in the old iPhone to play high res.

What I want to do:

Consolidate so I can:

Stream Tidal / Spotify / Apple music if possible
Play my high res files easily
Control all this from my phone including seeing what’s playing on Spotify or Tidal (which might mean I need to stream it FROM the phone???)

I was looking at an Auralic Aries but don’t get whether that with a SSD drive containing my high res audio files counts as a Core.

If I have to have a computer in there, then I want to stream from it in the study to the lounge room. (I guess I could get a mac mini and connect to the DAC directly but then what’s the point of things like the Auralic Aries?)

I want to be able to “like” songs that I discover in Spotify or Tidal from my phone.

Anyone want to help please?

I’m finding Roon way too “techy” and it seems like judging from these forums that it’s still a beta product.

Roon can only stream Tidal. It won’t stream Spotify or Apple.

You need to run Roon (or RoonServer) as Core somewhere in your network. This could be on your iMac or a more powerful NAS if necessary, just so long as your Core can see your music files.

Your iPhone can only act as a control, you can’t play music through it. Roon will see an Auralic Aries automatically on the network. Your other option would be to put together a Raspberry Pi to plug the DAC into. This would be a very cheap alternative to the Aries.


I believe I could stream Spotify using the Auralic in AirPlay mode.

I’m not looking for Roon to do everything, just for the best hardware combo to let me do it all from my phone without PC’s next to the DAC.

Does a NAS have a computer in it?

Can the iMac be the core and stream to the Auralic?

Yes, see my post immediately above your response.

Hi Simon,

Try this KB page on Roon Architecture as a guide to what can be done.

The Auralic Aries can operate as a Roon endpoint (it is Roon Ready) which will enable you to stream Tidal through Roon. In AirPlay mode it should also be able to stream Spotify and Apple Music from your phone. The Aries isn’t powerful enough to run the Roon Core.

You might look at the Sonore SonicOrbitor SE as a lower cost device that can do the same, but it is Ethernet only, whereas the Aries can be Wi-Fi.

Your hi-res files should go on an SSD where you run the Roon Core, or an Ethernet connected NAS. Don’t put those files in an SSD in the Aries and play them with Roon as they would then have to be sent by Wi-Fi to the router and the iMac and back again. This didnt work for me using an N router and I don’t think an AC would be different.

Iphone 5 and 5c are not Roon supported (only 5s is supported).

Ok thanks, i think I have it now!

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