Let's discuss functionality: USB wifi dongles


Quite a few times the request for USB dongle support has been raised.
And thanks to a donation I’ve now got my hands on an @allo.com USB dongle.

So before supporting it I’m wondering what the typical use case is. Obviously it should work on a Pi 2 without built-in WiFi, but what to do on the PI 3 models?

I was thinking on doing this ‘automagically’: on presence of the dongle always prefer the dongle above the onboard wifi. But maybe someone has a better suggestion :wink:


That seems a good approach to me, fwiw. WiFi dongle support is the main reason I’m using Volumio rather than RoPieee so would be great to see that added (I use the Edimax EW-7811Un N150 to good effect - the on-board WiFi on the RPi 3 was hopeless for me).

Good news is that this is the same chipset as on the Allo one.

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Thanks Harry, that’s helpful to know and sounds rather promising.

Is the use of these dongle’s supposed to result in better audio performance or just a more stable connection?

Wouldn’t they amount to the same thing really?

The built-in RPi wifi is pretty hopeless, especially for an application like Roon.

I use a external Netgear wifi bridge (much better antennae) and connect it to my Ropieee RPi with a short ethernet cable.

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For sure, a music reproduction system really isn’t performing very well if there are dropouts.

I also use a Netgear adapter (WNCE2001) with a streamer which doesn’t have its own wifi receiver using a 1ft ethernet cable from BJC. It works great and I like how it looks.

However with my RPi connected to the network with its built in wifi receiver I very rarely have any connection issues. This made me wonder if others were in the same boat but though that a usb dongle improved sound in a more nuanced way.

Minimize dropouts particularly when streaming hires / upsampling.


Hi, this is really good news. For me, using RPi 3, the issue is to get a more stable and faster connection using a good USB dongle. Crossing my fingers!

Edit: And the «automagical» functionalty would be fantastic.

The Edimax EW-7811Un N150 is interesting to me because it is affordable and available on Amazon. It would be great if this dongle and implementation of this feature fixes the occasional dropout issue I have with my RPi 3B.

Anyone using the Edimax EW-7811Un N150?

How is the led behaving on the RPi?

Mine is showing a solid blue led but according to the Quick Installation Guide the led should be flashing when transmitting or receiving data.

It seems to be working though, no dropouts while streaming Tidal.

I take it now so that RoPieee supports 802.11n. How about 802.11ac?

The reason for me asking is simple - I live in an old house with THICK concrete walls and really have some issues with my WiFi. Having now the latest mesh-structure from FritzBox! --> Roon & Ropieee works fine when connected on either ethernet (limited possibilities) or via external 802.11ac wifi unit & short ethernet cable. The moment I turn off the .ac-functionality from these external units and use only the 802.11n, the performance of the system goes south. Badly. Tried the dongles - useless.

Now, the use of Ropieee’s means I need to have an 802.11ac repeater next to them added with the Ropieee itself and the amplifier. Lots of cables, lots of wall warts, not good. I’m now planning instead to make a RoPieee “all inclusive” in one box (RoPieee, DAC, PSU, Amps (1 or 2 channels)) and therefore the use of 802.11ac dongles is somewhat critical…