I want to use LAN to add a room to basic Roon installation

I am happily using Roon in a basic desktop Win 10 installation. Music library is onboard computer. How do I connect a 75 ft cat 6 cable to distant room system to play through Roon in that room? What kind of device do I need in that room to convert LAN cable to audio input, either USB, Optical,Coaxial,or HDMI? Device is a “Essence High Def Audio Control Center” . And how do I setup output from my computer? I have an Arris router. Do I need to install a new card? Is there a USB to LAN adapter, for both output and input?
I am asking for two reasons 1. How do I make this work, and 2. What is the best way to make this work for ultimate audio? All of this may be on your site already, I looked, but couldn’t find it. Thanks for your help, ROB

HiFiBerry (rpi3), Sonore microrendu, Sonore Ultrarendu… there are many more

If you have strong and stable wifi you could use a bridge, or access point.

In that room there is a standalone stereo system including an OPPO 95 disc player.

For hardwired LAN, an Allo USBridge (USB, I own one of those) or DigiOne Player (S/PDIF coax) running Ropiee or DietPi are the lowest-priced good quality solutions (you can go cheaper if you build your own Raspberry Pi-based streamer, but to reach the same quality you’ll end up not saving much). Everything else is significantly more expensive, and I don’t think it it would make sense to get a streamer that is more expensive than the DAC you are using.

Thankyou, The USBridge is affordable!

Thank you, I do have an old squeezebox duo stored somewhere, but the wifi I had 20 yrs ago was terrible. I will try again with better quality wifi, but ultimately want to go hard-wired.

I actually had my house hard wired from the office to the media room with Cat 6. About 40 feet. Best way to go if you can. I also use eero router module and use a nearby one as an access point for one device.

For Ethernet to USB, I might also recommend an ASUS Tinkerboard running DietPi as an inexpensive starting point. Unlike the RPi, it’s Ethernet and USB aren’t multiplexed, and it’s GPIO port is pin compatible with the RPi, so you can add a SPDIF or USB HAT later if you want. I’m listening to a Tinkerboard driving an Oppo 105D as I type this…

Good luck!

The USBridge that I recommended does not multiplex Ethernet and USB either. The USBridge’s audio USB port is on a separate hat, and the main board is a Sparky, not a RPi. Its main advantages are that it has a lower-noise USB output than a single-board device, and it comes all assembled and ready to go. Having used a wide variety of streamers, from $XX to $XXXX, the lowest-priced one in my test set that performed acceptably with respect to injected electrical noise into good DACs is the USBridge.

No argument. However, a complete Tinkerboard setup is $72 + power supply of your choice, while the Allo is $162. Pay more, get more is how capitalism should work…

Two questions, as I respect your knowledge: 1) how did you test, and 2) have you looked at the HifiBerry products?


  1. My testing is informal, typically source A vs source B with the same downstream components (DACs, amps, transducers). To reduce self-delusion, I often ask my wife to compare, as she has very keen hearing and does not know or care which is A or B. I started with low-cost Ethernet>USB devices (CuBox) and Volumio, and along the way I’ve used other USB sources (SOtM sMS-100, microRendu, Allo USBridge), various USB>S/PDIF converters (BelCanto mLink, Schiit Eitr, Singxer SU-1) and also higher-cost streamers with multiple outputs (Auralic Aries, Metrum Ambre). Many pairwise comparisons along the way, with multiple headphone amps and speaker amps. Of all the Ethernet>USB gadgets I’ve owned, the only one that I still have is the Allo USBridge, currently with an sBooster LPS. In general, I’ve found that all the DACs I own or have owned do as well or better with AES or S/PDIF coax than with USB. The only one where I can’t hear a difference is the Soekris dac1541 I use at work. I’m keeping the USBridge around because it is convenient as a backup for experiments, but for my two main systems I use a Metrum Ambre and an Auralic Aries, which both beat everything else I’ve tried for the DACs they are connected to (Metrum Onyx and Schiit Yggdrasil, respectively).

  2. The only Pi-based system I’ve built is a stand-alone source for my work system with a Pi 2, a PiTouch screen, and a Pi 2 Designs 502DAC HAT, connected to the DAC by S/PDIF or AES. I went with the 502DAC instead of HifiBerry because of the good reports and measurements I saw, and I’m really happy with it. In fact, in a direct comparison with the Metrum Ambre, it’s only very slightly harsher and less limpid, and that might be because it was with a Metrum Onyx DAC, which takes I2S from the Ambre but AES from the 502DAC.

All in all, most of these are small differences that only show up in close listening with fairly expensive components. I did hear more of a difference when I moved away from the cheapest single-board Ethernet>USB streamers, but once one gets to USBridge, it’s diminishing returns. Why do I still do it? I listen to lots of well-recorded classical and modern jazz, and even small improvements make the experience more enjoyable over time.

This completely makes sense: for many audio components, the case and power supply are the two most expensive items on the BOM. The USBridge doesn’t have a fancy case, and any fancy power supply comes from you…

Given that the Metrum Ambre is RPi-based (see https://metrumacoustics.com/metrum-acoustics-ambre-a-network-player-that-connects-in-more-than-one-way/ ), albeit with a custom I2S interface, nicer case, more outputs, and I trust a good power supply (see also the Bryston BDP-Pi for another similar product), it’s not surprising that there are more similarities than differences. I2S makes much more technical sense than SPDIF; it’s unfortunate that it’s comparatively rare, and there seem to be multiple dialects of it that aren’t always interoperable.

I entirely concur with the pleasure of listening to well-recorded music of one’s choice!

Thank you all for your clarity and specificity. Extremely helpful. Rob

Hi Fernando, I dug out my old Logitech duet, and tried to get it to work, and couldn’t - and was reminded of how much trouble it was 20 years ago.
So, you have convinced me to get an allo Usbridge. There is an option to get with 1. DietPi + Allo GPI or 2. Volumio. My goal is to use with Roon. Which option do I order? Thank you, Rob

I’d go for 1. Volumio is really intended as an all-in-one player, with a lot of stuff that you don’t know for Roon. As a result, it is slow(er) and way more complicated to set up, in my experience.