iPad or Core as output?

I have an iMac that runs the Roon Core.
For best sound, is it best to use USB from iMac Core to DAC or USB from the iPad to DAC?

USB from core (iMac) to DAC. Your iPad could serve as a remote.

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I’m afraid I don’t understand. Doesn’t Roon recommend separating core and output?
That’s why I thought maybe running the iPad with Roon app straight to DAC would provide better sound?

I hope I don’t screw this up, but here goes…
I’m not sure that, right now, an iPad can even be used as a Roon core. I found a discussion on the topic from earlier this year when the new iPad Pro’s came out and some of the specs began to approach what is required to run Roon. It could be a possibility in the future, but for right now, does not seem viable.

Think of Roon as your music player (way oversimplified). As such, you can’t separate Roon from the output. Roon kind of is the output. Can you share where you saw that recommendation?

He wouldn’t be using the ipad as the core. Core would remain on Mac. The ipad would be an end point. Whether the ipad is a good endpoint, or even capable, I can’t say. Re separating core from endpoint, see

That’s what I was trying to say.

Would the iPad as endpoint with USB to DAC be better than USB from Core computer to DAC?
It’s all on the same desk. I just want the best setup :slight_smile:

How about Apple TV as a streamer for my desktop DAC?

I think he is asking about using the iPad as an End Point , and Control Point as well , am I right

That would be Core to iPad wireless then a lightening to USB connector to the DAC

Firstly wireless to an end point is not a good idea especially if you plan to play HI Res, I am not sure how the iPad handles hi res

A better option may be 3 way config a Core > Ethernet to Router then Raspberry Pi > Ethernet from Router then USB to the DAC and use the iPad for Control only where wireless is less critical. That is more in line with Roons Recommendation checkout the Knowledge base

If it’s all on the same desk, you should go iMac USB to DAC. Use your iPad as a remote control device for when you are not sitting at your desk and using the iMac to control Roon. The only reason to keep the core separate from the DAC is because of noise from the computer fan. If it’s on the same desk, you will hear the fan regardless.

Do not use Apple TV for anything. It downgrades resolution to 16/48, CD quality.

For a well-built DAC, there should be no difference. For a crappy DAC, yes, separating the Core from the streamer (iPad) might be a good idea. Try it, and see.

By the way, modern iPads (the iPad Pro line) have excellent internal DACs, and you might consider just plugging your headphones into one.

I forgot to mention i only use headphones. LCD 4. I did try it straight from ipad. And it sound excellent with roon app. Tidal app doest give the same high volume.

So it would not be much to Gain in gjetting a dedicated streamer? Instead of usb from imac core?

iPad (battery-powered and WiFi) to a Chord Hugo 2 (battery powered) to Audeze LCD-4z on the deck is lovely.


Have you compared Hugo 2 vs straight out of the ipad?

I have qutest and 430 had. And the ipad alone is remarkable compared to my desktop setup.

Yes, I have compared all forms of connection: USB straight from the Nucleus, wired to DAC direct or through MicroRendu, wifi to an Eero node, wifi to an iPad; DACs include Meridian, M-Scaler+Hugo TT2, Hugo 2, Benchmark DAC-3B, Audeze Cipher, Audioquest Dragonfly, SMSL SU-8. No differences due to the connection.

What makes enormous differences are various speakers, various headphones, with or without DSP room correction, different room correction filters.

But those are my views. In your case, simply try the options. If you can’t tell the difference, then you’re done.

Also a general statement: there is a lot written here about this and other subjects, search and you can find a lot of views.

(Note I don’t have a Mac so I can’t speak to that.)

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That would be my bet. Simpler is better.

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Have you tried lcd4z straight out of ipad 3,5mm and compared it to Hugo 2’s sound?

I have not.

You should :slight_smile: let me know if you do.

I doubt I will.
Note that I said I found no differences due to the connection.
I certainly found big differences due to the DAC and amp.
As I would expect, the prices range from $200 to $10,000.
And I no:longer use the $200 systems.
The lowest price system I use for headphones is the SMSL SU-8 with the Massdrop THX AAA 789: the 789 amp is fabulous, the SMSL DAC is adequate.