I want a new Roon endpoint that is not a computer

I’m almost afraid to ask this, but here goes. I want a new Roon endpoint that is not a computer. I do not want to spend the money on a microRendu, although it sounds wonderful. One of the reasons is that I will be ordering this from Canada, and the exchange rate at the moment is not particularly good. The other is it will be going back to Brazil with me, and it will exceed my customs limit so I run the risk of confiscation or heavy duties. Of the cheaper options, which seem to range from a raspberry Pi up, which is likely to give me the most satisfaction? In all likelihood this will be going to an O2+ODAC DAC/amp combo. Definitely not speakers. My network configuration allows it to be connected via ethernet cable, so wifi isn’t necessary. I am technologically competent and capable of fiddling with whatever I buy. I’m not a big believer in spending a lot of money to get that extra 1% or 2% improvement, but I’m willing to spend moderately in order to get that extra 10%–just not as much as the microRendu. Opinions are welcome.

Pi 3 b with Roon Bridge. It’s excellent and doesn’t appear to interfere at all with the engrossing sound of my Dac.

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Can you point us please?

Ah… nevermind… Google is (for now) my friend…

Thanks. Is that with or without Pi audio accessories? I don’t need toslink. The DAC will be connected via USB.

Thanks.Got there before me. I’m really impressed with this little board. It’s currently sat with my Dacmagic 100 via USB. Wonderfully solid hooked up to ethernet and an impressive sound. Early impressions are that it betters my previous Squeezebox Touch Endpoint though if this is expectation bias it’s at least as good, so very happy. I am currently using Roon Bridge but intend to go the PiCoreplayer way when I receive my 7 inch screen this week. Both work well though.

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The Pi 3 USB attaches to my Dac via USB.its great!

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Your choice of which small device to use should take into account two things:

  • What resolution do you want it to handle ? The Pi3 is good up to DSD 64. From DSD 128 up it suffers from pops and clicks because of the shared bandwidth between Ethernet and USB. The Allo Sparky, CuBox and BBB don’t have such issues and work for DSD 128.

  • What software do you want to use ? The HiFiBerry Roon Bridge image is the simplest, but takes over the Pi meaning you can’t run other software, such as the HQP NAA. DietPi is an excellent menu driven lightweight distro that now includes Roon Bridge and NAA as options on setup.

I’ve tried a Pi2, BBB and CuBox. These days I’d choose the Allo Sparky with DietPi, but the Pi3 is quite fine below DSD 128.

and, ahem, then there’s the ODROID-C1 or C2, which also work perfectly with DietPi :wink:

In the words of the very man / legend that brings you DietPi:

“The ODROID-C1 is esteemed to be the most powerful low-cost single board computer available, as well as being an extremely versatile device. Featuring a quad-core Amlogic processor, advanced Mali GPU, and Gigabit Ethernet, it can function as a home theater set-top box, a general purpose computer for web browsing, gaming and socializing, a compact tool for college or office work, a prototyping device for hardware tinkering, a controller for home automation, a workstation for software development, and much more.”

“In our eyes, the Odroid C2 is the best ‘all round’ SBC on the market today, and, years ahead of Raspberry Pi in terms of performance. Exceptional CPU and LAN performance which is great for multiple uses. Couple the C2 with an EMMC module and you’ll experience next-level SBC filesystem performance at upto 140MB/s transfer rates. The C2 is innovative SBC perfection, and, because of its excellent all round performance, we even have a few dedicated to daily DietPi testing.”


Good advice so far, thanks. My DAC in Brasil handles only up to 24/92, so anything above that (of which I have little) will be downsampled. So far, I’m not really into DSD. I use Tidal HiFi with Roon, but it sounds like Redbook would be no problem. Using the Pi only for Roon would not be fine; I have a couple of older non-Roon-compatible early Pis that I use for Kodi and other video purposes. I have another DAC setup in Canada (Schiit gear that deals with higher resolutions) but I’ll be dealing with that at another time. Now, damn, now some of you have thrown other suggestions into the mix, lol.

So other than PCs and (various forms of) Pi, there are no other choices for End Point to be used with Headphones DAC/Amp combos?

Pi’s look very confusing to me.

Pis are computers but putting that aside are extremely easy to setup and use.

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The Sonore SonicOrbiter SE is a CuBox with software pre-installed. Works well as an endpoint.

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So to use a Pi as a Roon end point, I need to buy a Rasberry Pi 3, and HiFiBerry? I have my own headphones DAC / Amp with USB input.

Can you point me to the right place to purchase the entire thing? It is so confusing…

Also, how do I connect them to internet? Do they have built in wifi?


I would have purchased it immediately if it had built in wifi

www.hifiberry.com. The software is free and downloadable from that site. If you don’t want to include a DAC HAT or digital out for the Pi you only need to buy the RPi and a case to put it in. The are many other places you can buy a RPi3 and case from, just google. The RPi3 has buitin Wifi. Personally I would use DietPi www.dietpi.com as the software. Very easy menu driven setup for roonbridge, wifi etc. There are a lot of DietPi users on this forum to help if you need it.

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Little platforms like the Pi, FriendlyArm products, ODROID, etc are great. I run a couple of zones like this myself, as do a ton of our users.

Brian, of those you’ve used, do you have a preference or do you find the sound pretty much the same?

Probably above your budget but may be an option is the PS Audio LANRover. Basically takes USB from your computer over ethernet straight to your DAC’s USB input. Super simple and has received great reviews so far, but yes a bit expensive.

Would this work?

What else do I need to get a functional Roon endpoint with built in headphones AMP and DAC?