I’m a lifetime member and until now have been very happily using Roon to stream to my KEF LS50 wireless using an 11" iPad Pro to run the remote. I love it but now I want to push things a bit further that will require me to venture into the Android world if I proceed.
I recently purchased a pair of Shure SE846 IEMs plus the Shure BT2 Bluetooth cable (https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/shure-rmce-bt2). They’re fantastic by the way and my reason for purchasing was for initially somewhat compromised listening when on a plane because Apple currently only supports 256kbps AAC over Bluetooth. The BT2 does however support the AptX HD codec which I hope that Apple will eventually support but in the meantime I’m thinking that I might get a cheap(ish) Android phone that supports AptX HD and put the Roon remote on it so that when at home I can stream from my Roon server to my Shure IEMs as follws …
Roon Core -> WiFi -> Android phone -> Bluetooth 5.0 / AptX HD -> Shure BT2 -> Shure SE846
What I’m wondering is obviously firstly whether there is any reason this wouldn’t work (I certainly can’t think of any) and secondly, after reading a few threads expressing frustration with the quality of Roon’s Android app vs the iOS equivalent, whether I might experience any issues of missing functionality or stability issues.
I realise that Android is a more complex ecosystem that iOS because there are so many different devices out there and differing qualities and revisions of Android implementations so maybe issues of stability are difficult to comment on (and highly contentious I think - I hope I’m not starting any flame wars here) but if it helps the phone at the top of my list at the moment to buy solely for the purpose of running the Roon client is the Huawei P20 Lite which costs about £160 in the UK. I have checked on both the Huawei site and on Qualcomm’s APtX HD supported devices site that it does indeed have the AptX HD codec.
If it all works I think this might be quite an exciting alternative to something like a Chord Mojo + Poly (which I do own for my wired headphones) which will be more pocketable, be smaller an lighter and probably have better battery life and with the added bonus of a control screen on the device. Admittedly this only works with IEMs that can plug into the Shure BT2 cable but with the addition purchase of something like a Dragonfly Cobalt to get around limitations of the on-phone DAC and headphone (3.5mm) amp it could also be a cheaper alternative to a Chord Mojo+Poly combo for wireless streaming to any 3.5mm wired headphones (or 6.25mm via an adaptor of course).