Multi-room Audio

Can anyone explain to me what level of multi-room support roon offers and how that compares to the competition out there?

I’m considering roon to replace jriver media center. The move would be easier to justify if it does multi-room (well)


It’s the best computer based multi room solution out there and is very sophisticated. Works with tons of third party hardware too.

Multi-room support is one of the main selling points. Roon calls it RAAT.

You run a Roon or just the Roon Server on your Mac/PC. That feeds various endpoints running Roon Bridge.

The Roon Bridge software will run on a RPI, ODroid, or Allo. All ARM based SBCs. Those would feed your DAC.

Dead nuts simple - use an RPi endpoint running shareware DietPi or Ropiee.

I used to use JShiver. Roon is vastly better and easier to setup.

Ok thx for that. Getting my family to go for speakers in each room is one thing. Having them accept ‘yet another box’ beside the speaker chewing up power sockets and table/shelf space is another.

I assume the bridges are required for interfacing to non-RAAT speakers? If my speakers are RAAT then no bridges required?

You would still need this for JShiver, no?

Not sure what you mean by this, unless you speak of something like a KEF LS50W.

Couple of setups -

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> KEF LS50W speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> SBC device running Roon Bridge --> DAC --> powered speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> SBC device running Roon Bridge --> DAC --> receiver --> speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> SBC device running Roon Bridge --> DAC --> preamp --> speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> SBC device running Roon Bridge --> DAC --> amp --> speakers

Roon Server machine --> AirPlay --> receiver --> speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> Roon Ready DAC --> powered speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> Roon Ready DAC --> receiver --> speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> Roon Ready DAC --> preamp --> speakers

Roon Server machine --> ethernet --> Roon Ready DAC --> amp --> speakers

Etc., etc.

An RPi running Roon Bridge is the size of a cigarette pack, if you remember those. You can buy a DAC HAT ( i.e. a daughter board) that connects directly and internally to your Pi motherboard and so is contained within that footprint.

Just to be clear I use jriver simply for library management and to output to my DAC and amp. I have no other speakers atm.

I thought RAAT, aside from what it offer re: high res, would allow direct play to RAAT capable active speakers. But that seems to not be the case. Thanks for making that clear.

You see, to me, multi-room audio should be completely utilitarian and accessible to the people I live with. Ultimate sound quality comes a distant second to ease of use. If I have to be the admin, which is what I am for the hifi centric stuff right now, isn’t really going to win me any brownie points. This isn’t a criticism of Roon, more a cry of frustration at the way audio gets done currently and the grindingly slow rate of advancement in the architecture of music delivery around the home.

I will acknowledge that it’s getting better, which is why I’m here discussing this right now. But when the target audience is family members the technology seems way off both functionally and aesthetically (box clutter). The fact that I’ve never seriously considered multi-room audio before despite having quite a high end music setup perhaps tells its own story.

Still don’t know what you mean by this. The only RAAT capable speakers I know of are LS50Ws, which allow a direct, i.e. no DAC, connection via ethernet or WiFi.

If the choice is between JShiver and Roon for multi-room, they will both need similar endpoint setups.:sunglasses:

Quite. Which is why i’ve never considered jriver for multi-room :slight_smile:

You don’t have to admin anything. Each user can have their own profiles. The SBCs on the Roon endpoints can be, as I do, left on. Control of Roon is usually via Android or iOS phones, tablets, etc.

You should get a 1 month free trial and check it out to better understand.

Maybe some Sonos users can chime in; that might be what you want for Roon.

How good are the HAT DACs for RPi?

Well, they aren’t $5000 DACs, but many people use them. It depends on your ear. I would think that for a multi-room setup, i.e. not your audiophile-centric listening room, that they would be more than adequate. They only resolve to 192K, no DSD.

I use one for a headphone setup.

How easy is speaker config and grouping relative to sonos?

Hi David,
No worries with you asking question, however, do check out the Roon Knowledge Base it’s a good reference source for new and experienced users alike.

Additionally, download a free trial and many of these questions will be resolved.

When you have the software installed it will result in more targeted questions.

Thanks, I’ll have a look. Will give the trial a go at some point. Even if it just manages my library better that would be a win.

I’m looking at the device matrix. I have a Resonessence Invicta DAC. Will that work with Roon? This is the scenario where I swap jriver for roon, outputting to the DAC and on to my amp…

Bluesound speakers are RAAT capable - this means that they can be grouped with other RAAT endpoints. Other devices (Sonos, Airplay) can only be grouped with others of the same type.

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