Losing Connection between Roon Core and Meridian 218

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

2020 MacBook Pro (iOS Big Sur/Roon build number 1.7)

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Arris BGW210-700 AT&T-provided Router (WiFi connection from MacBook Roon Core to Meridian 218)

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Meridian 218 (connected via Ethernet cable to router, Software version: 1.0, build 185)

Description Of Issue

The Roon Core connects to Meridian 218 on start-up and appears as a zone. When I select a track, everything runs as expected at first. Selected track begins playing and I am able to control system volume through Roon app.

There are two types of errors that I frequently encounter, with the same outcome: First, sometimes when I start playing a track the sound cuts out after only a few seconds. Second, the sound cuts out when I change tracks.

When this occurs, I am presented with the “Select a Zone” button. When I click the button, the Meridian 218 no longer appears in my list of zones. I am disconnected from the 218 and no longer have control over it. Sometimes, but not always, the Roon Core will automatically reconnect to the 218 after a few seconds without any action on my part (however when this happens, the problem just repeats when I play the next track). Other times, I must restart the core in order for the devices to reconnect.

I have a gigabit home internet connection and my MacBook Roon Core is only 15 feet from the router, in the same room. I realize that the ISP-provided router is a piece of crap, but I have no issues with other devices or wirelessly streaming data-heavy 4k video. I should also add that I live alone and never have more than two devices on the network at one time. It’s not as though I have five kids that are all hogging bandwidth with various devices.

Unfortunately, I do not have the USB-C to Ethernet adaptor for my MacBook, so I cannot test a wired configuration. Although the whole allure of this setup was to be able to “cut cord” and control my music wirelessly from my desk or from my iPhone. The 218 performs flawlessly when connected to my TV or other devices. It seems that the issue lies somewhere in the WiFi connection between the MacBook Core and my router.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Welcome to the community, @Christopher_Peters!

What music source do you use? Is it Qobuz or TIDAL or your own local music files? If you’re using local files are they stored on the MacBook?

Ideally, you want to have the Core connected to the local network using Ethernet.

Hi Martin. I am exclusively using Tidal. I understand that a wired connection is ideal, but not what I want (although as the Stones said, you cant always get what you want).

Sounds like the least expensive way to try and resolve the issue is to get the Ethernet adapter for the MacBook. You may get by with your self described router once the core is wired.

Do you have any local files? Do these work okay?

The problem with a Wi-Fi connection on the Core is that files from TIDAL traverse your network over Wi-Fi to the MacBook and back again to the Meridian. Try streaming some 16/44 content. Does that improve things?

I recommend you buy an Ethernet adaptor as this will help you isolate and eliminate the problem (with help from the forum.)

Thank you for the feedback. I am going to purchase the Ethernet dongle right now so that I can use that as an acid test.

I understand your wired suggestions in earnest. Quite frankly, I went down the rabbit hole of Roon and the 218 for the purpose of cutting the cord. I used to run a Meridian AC200 with a cord that I would run to my laptop on the couch when I listed to music. I hated it and was looking for a way to just fire up my laptop, iPod, iPad, etc. and have it work.

I also rent so I cannot do any wiring work and my desk is in the middle of the room, so I once again face the reality of having wires strewn across the floor. At that rate, I would be better off saving my $20/mo Roon membership fees and just going back to a direct-connect solution. Candidly, I like the Tidal app interface better anyway. Just trying to give you guys some background on what I was aiming to achieve.

I suppose my other solution may be to run the Roon Core off of a Raspberry Pie tucked away in the credenza with my 218 and use my phone as a remote. I am looking for a slick solution.

Another strange observation is how sporadic the issue is. A couple hours ago, the system was crashing constantly. Now it is running OK, I have had it cut out once in the past 30 minutes.

Not a Raspberrry Pi, but you could do that with an Intel NUC.

Has anyone found a way to run Roon off of an Xbox?

I run Roon on a NUC/ROCK tucked away in the media closet wired to my router. Once that is done you can fire up your laptop and use it as a remote, no cable required. Total wireless is possible, I started out that way, but it requires a strong router wifi setup which according to your description you do not have.

For all that Roon does, it does require a robust internal Network.

I have not received my usb-c adaptor yet, but I listened to 3 tracks back-to-back tonight before the disconnect issue occurred. When I run speed tests, I have 250mbps real-time speeds. I really do not believe that it is a bandwidth issue for this reason. After the 3rd track, I selected a new song and the system immediately crashed. As I mentioned, it’s frustrating because everything will work flawlessly, and then it just crashes. This must have to do with some sort of network setting.

Newest development is that everything runs fine when I play a track. This evening I have not had the stop after a few seconds, but every time the song is over and the track changes, I lose connection. I cannot be the only person to have this issue.

This tests your broadband performance not the performance of your home network or specifically your Wi-Fi. The recomendation is that the Core is on a wired network connection since it avoids the sort of problems you are experiencing.

Hi @Christopher_Peters,

Was there any change in behavior by connecting directly via Ethernet (if the adapter came in)?

We generally suggest against ISP-provided networking gear, as we have seen a lot of these devices cause issues with Roon, please see our Networking Best Practices Guide:

Poor quality or underpowered routers can play a major role when it comes to networking difficulties. 802.11n was superseded by 802.11ac five years ago, so at this point, 802.11n routers should be considered obsolete. Furthermore, the performance difference between early 802.11ac routers and current models can be substantial due to differences in CPU/RAM allotments. ISP-provided routers are often underpowered and poorly behaved. Finally, we strongly recommend against using Apple network devices such as the Apple Airport Extreme and Airport Express (note: it’s fine to use the Airport Express as an Airplay device). To ensure the best performance, we recommend against using these devices.

Has their been a solution found to this? I am still suffering the same issues playing to a Meridian 218 in 1.8.

This thread and the issue is unique to the OP who was using Wi-Fi to connect the Meridian. If you haven’t done so already it’s best for you to create your own thread in the #support category.

Thanks. I have raised in another post but I haven’t received a response from @support since November of last year. I will chase them again.

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