Is there any playback quality difference between a roon server and client?

Currently I have roon core running on a mac mini connected to my sound system.
But my better system is my imac.
Thinking about switching things around, putting roon core on my imac, and just using the mini as a client system.
Wondering if anyone has noticed any sound playback audio quality difference between a core system driving their audio and a client system.
Thanks for any thoughts!


That is Roons recommend method and may help reduce additional noise that could be created by the server which could get to the DACs analogue stage YMMV.

Definitely a matter of trial, error, opinion. Give it a try!

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^ good answer… though, I would personally steer toward a network connected endpoint rather than a USB connected one, and I think this is also the Roon System recommendation.

How do you guys feel about Chromecast vs other (and more expensive) endpoints? Amir seems to like them over on I might be tempted to get one or two better endpoints if there is a difference, but then AFAIK you can’t really cast to “Chromecast group + other endpoint” simultaneously(?)

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I believe you need to use RAAT to support several simultaneous endpoints, which Chromecast doesn’t support.

You can probably get more bang for your buck with other choices. The Allo USBridge gets good marks for the price and is very versatile. It plays well with Roon.

Thanks I’ll look into that one!

You can certainly play to all endpoints of all kinds simultaneously.

The restriction is about “whole-house party-mode”, I.e. playing on multiple endpoint perfectly synchronized — that works only within families of similar endpoints.

From the ASR review:

  1. Using a well-designed Dac like the Topping D50, there is no difference at all between Toslink from Chromecast or higher fidelity sources. All the jitter is filtered out resulting in the performance of the DAC itself being the limit.

#4 is a great news here. It means that if you have a good DAC and use Roon, you can turn your DAC into a streamer/renderer using the Chromecast Audio. For just $35, that is a superb addition. As such, the combination of Roon and Chromecase audio is highly recommended!

I use one and it sounds pretty good through my Headroom Desktop DAC/amp.

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