Looking for a cheap Roon ready active speaker

Anyone got any thoughts?

I already have two Roon driven Hifi setups in the house, both using Raspberry Pis as the streamer. I would like a Roon setup in the bedroom but space is an absolute premium. If it weren’t then another RPi with small class D amp and speakers would fit the bill.

So I’m looking for a single speaker solution and preferably cheap (as chips would be good!). Thoughts are to a used Sonos Play 1 or Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf. Any other really decent Roon enabled single active speakers worth looking at, particularly on eBay/FB Marketplace?

I suppose I could also consider a bluetooth speaker and use Roon on my Android phone.


1 Like

So I went through this, and ended up with a Raspberry Pi /RopieeeXL feeding a used Schiit Modi feeding a Nobsound TPA3116 that I leave on (power draw for a type T amp when at idle is pretty minuscule) powering old Paradigm Atom v.3’s that I had lying around. I tucked the RPi/Modi/Nobsound and power supplies behind a wardrobe and set volume via app, and it’s basically a cheap way of achieving the same thing. But I had a pair of decent bookshelf speakers lying around, as well as an RPi. So only cost was $40 for the DAC and $30 for the amp. I think I probably like the result better than I would any sub-$500 solve with active speakers. The tangle of cords behind the bureau bothers me, but in reality no one would ever know it was there, it’s fully hidden.

The real simple answer is to get a used or end of line Sonos Play:3. Even if you have no other Sonos gear, yours is the perfect use case - a combined speaker/amp/wireless network streamer. And they sound great for what they are. It’ll feel weird to just have a single zone, but if you just use it for Roon you’ll never notice that. You can’t group zones with it because it’s not RAAT, but that seems like a very small deal.

You might want to checkout Elac Discovery Z3’s. Single box Roon Ready solution, roughly the size of a large shoe box, with multiple amps and speakers. Hi-res Stereo without wide separation. Good sound. Best with Ethernet.

I have 4, (Kitchen Office and 2 bedrooms). First one was 499. but I caught the other 3 on sale for 229.00 during the holidays. That probably won’t happen again.

I cover the kitchen and patio with my old iPad mini, now superseded for control, with a Bluetooth Beoplay A1 , sounds good for what it is .

Your phone would do too, there are loads of BT speakers at all prices

Any old Android phone works splendiferously as a Roon endpoint.
Then connect to any powered speaker either by Bluetooth or as I do in my garage by the headphones jack 3.5mm aux .
Cheap and works really well.

Thanks for the ideas so far. My problem is that I don’t really have a suitable bluetooth speaker so if I’m buying something I might as well get something Roon ready if I can. Just easier.

I’m currently waiting to see if a Sonos 1 is still available on Facebook marketplace. It’s really cheap and probably adequate and it appears to come with a stand which means it would sit perfectly rather than take space on my already busy nightstand. Although if that falls through the Play 3 might be a better option, just have to wait for one at a good price locally.

That Elac looks almost perfect except probably a bit beyond what I really want to spend at the mo. Just want to test the water to see if we will actually listen to more music in bed before splashing out on something really good.

At a pinch I can get the tiny bluetooth speaker out of my campervan but hifi it aint! Actually just thought, I have a Google Chrome Audio somewhere, be better than bluetooth and any decent active speaker would then suffice.

Thanks again

Then I would suggest any JBL Link type speaker.
I use one for the pool.
Just make sure it’s Chromecast and it will be seen as Roon Tested and off you go.

This would be my pick, looks decent, small footprint, tidy, minimal wires/cables and will sound absolutely fine for bedroom use via AirPlay or Sonos.

Don’t overthink it, it’s not like you’ll be needing to sync it with your other RAAT zones and/or will be listening critically to it with one ear on your pillow :slight_smile:

Those small Sonos speakers actually sound pretty decent to me and you might also find it’s useful to have basic touch controls for pause, play and volume control without having to get your phone out while falling asleep. Ditto support for non-Roon content like Podcasts.


Any AirPlay enabled speaker should work fine. You could also pick up a used Squeezebox Radio for cheap on eBay and use Roon’s built-in Squeezebox setup.

1 Like

You could get the Bluetooth speaker of your choice and run Roon ARC from the phone. You would get all your libraries and playlists, plus Roon Radio.

As mentioned above JBL makes very good sounding speakers in a variety of sizes and prices.


I am also in the UK. I just changed my bedroom Squeezebox radio for a Sonos Play 1. Seriously, it got less than a few hours a week playtime. As a controller I use a Fire tablet on a charging stand…or my phone. Both audio devices have adequate sound quality for a medium sized bedroom and are also Roon friendly.
I would expect you could pick up either options second hand for around £100.

p.s. I currently do not have a use for my Squeezebox radio :wink:

Well, depending on the def of “really decent”…

I have $25 Google Home Minis scattered throughout the house, all of them being Roon endpoints. A bonus is that you can use the Google voice control to pause or stop the player, or skip to the next track or repeat the last one, or adjust the volume.

They are tiny.

For space constraint reasons I have had a Play 1 on the wall next to the bed for several years. Wife won’t allow a second one but it has always worked great and sound’s very good (excluding Roon/Sonos issues)

There is always the Bluesound option which is a True Roon Ready device.

1 Like

Any of Sonos Play 1 or Ikea Symfonisk is the best choice already.

1 Like

I have not listened to the V2 Ikea, but there is a significant quality difference in sound output of the V1 model compared to any Sonos Play 1. But the people who I know bought them were very happy with their purchases

I have a pair of Polk Hampdens in the bedroom. They have USB, Bluetooth and AUX in. I run a Pi to them via USB, but bluetooth would work just as well from the phone.

Curious why you’d use ARC vs just Roon (with the phone as an endpoint)?

If it works better, I’m all for it, but I’ve only used ARC when I’m away from the network.

(old pic. I don’t have that much gear on the dresser anymore)

Yes, if it has to be cheap and reliable, I’d suggest the Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf. Using that for my daughter’s room, with the ethernet connection, and it is a no-brainer.

1 Like

Yes, I have Roon and Roon ARC on my phone. I tried ARC with my BS Pulse 2i (a wireless endpoint on its own) and it worked/sounded great using bluetooth. My house is somewhat “wireless connection challenged” in that room and can experience some occasional dropouts while playing hi-res files over my wireless setup. The signal seemed more stable over the cellphone/bluetooth connection. Just another option. ARC was made for the phone format and I liked using it with high quality sound at home.

Ah, this makes perfect sense :+1:

Google Nest Audio is on sale at the Google Store. $89 for a stereo pair of smart speakers. Serious upgrade over the original Google Home Mini. I just bought two pair.