Looking for Endpoint help - streamer without a DAC

I currently have a mixed bag of Roon endpoints. I have a Sonos amplifier, Sonos Port X 3, and a Bluesound Vault 2i. I like to stream music throughout the house but of course I can’t do it all because you can’t mix the Sonos and Bluesound streamers. Most of the streamers have outboard DACs with them.

My “Reference” system has the Vault 2i running into a Schiit Gungnir DAC - Freya+ pre-amp - PrimaLuna Evo 400 power amp - Sonus Faber Sonetto III speakers.

I would like to find a system where I could play music from at least 3 sources but with “nicer” streamers than what I have. The Vault 2i running into the Schiit Gungnir is pretty nice with a good sound stage and separation.

I’m currently building a Nuc 7i for Rock as my Core, but right now I’m just using my gaming PC to do that.

After searching and looking at what would seem best I’ve found the Senore Ultrarendu and the Bryston BDP- Pi as the top choices.

Any thoughts on those streamers? What streamers do work together? I don’t want to run into the same situation I’m now in with multiple streamers that cannot be used all at once.

Thanks for any help you can be.

Whatever you do, don’t visit the “Benefit of ‘High End’ Streamers” thread! :rofl:

Could you say a bit more about what you want to replace? Are you going to keep the Sonos? If so, don’t you need a Sonos-compatible streamer and use the Sonos protocol to talk to it? Or, if the Vault2i sounds good, are you thinking of using a Node2i to talk to the Sonos gear?

What do you particularly mean by “nicer”?

Oh, and which three sources?


I have no experience of these I’m afraid.

If you can get hold of any, the Raspberry Pi4 with Ropieee are good for many.

Would you consider more Sonos Ports? They have a digital output.

Edit: can Sonos not be grouped. Not tried it.

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Sorry Stanton, could we use your threat to discuss the benefits of a high end streamer, please?


My biggest problem is I live in a rural area and don’t have any access to a place to demo “nicer” streamers. I guess I’ve bought into the hype that Sonos and Bluesound are ok but much better SQ could be had with other products.

I have 4 what I would consider decent systems that I want to upgrade or make compatible. The “reference” system I mentioned, a NAD 356BEE running into Von Scweikrrt VR-1s and 2 AVI 7.4.2 systems running Onkyo recievers into Polk towers. All the systems have REL Ti7s on both front speakers. The 3 Sonos Ports are actually the older Connects and all are reaching the point Sonos won’t be upgrading them. So I guess I would just replace them with Bluesound Nodes if I wanted to make everything compatible.

It just seems a waste of resources to buy streamers with DACs when all I want are nice streamers. They actually all sound decent to my untrained ears. Compatibility is probably my biggest concern.

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Absolutely we can discuss high quality streamers.
Or are you saying that tongue in cheek?


Well, if you had all-Blusound, you’d be able to group them. A popular DAC-less alternative is just a Raspberry Pi running RoPieee, but they’re hard to come by now. What about the iFi Zen Stream? It’s Roon Ready, apparently, so it speaks Roon’s RAAT protocol.

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@Coltrane Ouch, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and squeeze lemon juice in it? :stuck_out_tongue:

We almost reached a consensus before the thread was abruptly halted by “The Management”

@Stanton_Bailey If you have good DACs, and by that, I mean DACs which are immune to time domain variations in the input data stream (jitter), a RPi running RoPieee or similar will do the job nicely.

If your DACs are sensitive to jitter, then better quality streamers with tighter clocking may offer an improved soundscape.

Sonos doesn’t play nicely with Roon’s RAAT, as in you can’t group it. The Vault works over RAAT IIRC - I haven’t had a Bluesound product for over a year. RPis should group quite happily with your Vault.


I confess it was a bit tongue in cheek, as the other conversation was just closed by the moderators (even though I think all participants had just turned the corner and were on a positive way forward :wink:


Completely agree, I hope they open it up again. We were all behaving well :wink:


You can group Sonos endpoints with other Sonos endpoints in Roon, but you can’t group them with Roon RAAT devices.

I have 3RPis and 4 rooms with Sonos speakers. I can group the RPis, I can group the Sonos, but I can’t mix RPis and Sonos in the same group.

Hope this helps to clarify.

Cheers. I thought they could.

Off topic, but :relieved::smirk:

There were accusations of Ad Hominem attacks. I hope they weren’t aimed at me. I can be quite challenging, but if accusations of attacking can be justifiably laid at my door, then I need to re-calibrate…

I think we’re highjacking @Stanton_Bailey thread a bit too much here. :grin:

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I am not the snitch. Don’t know, for me it was controversial but not over the top.

Didn’t think for a moment you were. I’ll have to wait and see if there’s any formal communication from the management team.

Thanks Graeme that’s that is just the info I’m looking for!
That seems like a plausible way forward.

Raspberry Pi are amazing little pieces and as they can run roon bridge they can synchronise with any RAAT device. As your Sonos are reaching what sounds like end of life (from a support point of view anyway) a simple solution would be to replace your Sonos with Rpi.

If your DASC has a USB input a Pi 4 would be preferable as the USB is less impacted by ethernet as I understand things.

If you need to use an SPDIF or optical a Pi 3 with a HAT would be the way to go. Ropieee is practically plug and play as I understand it but I started with dietpi which is still pretty foolproof and also opens the doors to roon extensions.

A Pi 3 with a HiFiBerry Digi Plus HAT into a Hugo TT made me give up on my 6 times more expensive Naim CD555. I now have an Auralic Aries G2 after having had an ultraRendu with LPS. You won’t go wrong with Pi as above it you are really into the area of diminishing returns (obviously my ears, my room, my opinion). It really is a sweet spot for Roon.



Bluesound node 2i are a few years old now and can be found on the resale market for about 50% their original price. If you plan on using just the streamer I think its a great solution, considering you’re already in the Bluesound universe. Additionally if you don’t like it you could prob sell it for what you paid for it.

While I have no experience with the Rendu they are well reviewed and fairly in expensive.