Multi-room playback: Squeezebox or wait for RoonSpeakers?

Hi everyone

I’ve been using Roon with two apple tv’s as endpoints for the last couple of weeks - one device is wired and the other is wireless, with no possibility of wiring it. Unfortunately, I’m getting a lot of dropouts, why i’m now considering other (affordable) multi-room solutions with Roon. Would it make sense to buy squeezeboxes to use as endpoints, or would it make more sense to buy e.g. Raspberry Pi 2’s to use with the forthcoming release of RoonSpeakers? And would this and the former solution offer more stability? If Raspberry Pi’s is the way to go, which version should I go for?

Thanks a lot.


Using Pi’s, you could start off using Picoreplayer for Squeezebox emulation right now and change/upgrade to RoonSpeakers (or whatever it will be called) when it’s out. Picoreplayer is a small Squeezelite-based image that is not officially supported by Roon, but works flawlessly in my experience.

As for different Pi options: it all depends on what you will be connecting them to. A basic Pi 2 is great for hooking up USB DACs. If you need digital out, a Hifiberry Digi+ is an excellent HAT-board, providing HQ S/PDIF out (optical and coaxial). If you need analog out, you could check out the PiDAC+ from HQAudio. They even provide a small DAC+Amp HAT, to which you can connect speakers directly. HQAudio has hinted at future RoonSpeakers compatibility.

Choices, choices! :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot Rene. I would be connecting one with optical and the other to a USB-Dac, so I’ll have a look at both the Hifiberry and the basic Pi 2.

Best regards Christian

Which DAC will you be using? There is list of directly supported USB DACs at the Picoreplayer website, but it is far from complete.

A word of caution with the Pi. They can have a soft pop or crackle with USB and DSD. It is occasional (but annoying) with DSD128 but people have reported it as more problematic with DSD256. These reports are using a Pi as an NAA with HQP, but it appears to derive from how USB is implemented on the Pi, so can be expected to be there with RAAT also. The CuBox, BeagleBone and WandBoard seem not to have the same problem, but may not all be capable of optimally running RoonSpeakers (BeagleBone could be a bit light on).

Allright - thanks Andy. Do we have any recommended system requirements out yet for running RoonSpeakers?

I will be using a [Hegel HD11] (, which uses the TE7022, so I suspect it will work.

Nothing final reported on RoonSpeakers so far.

@andybob : how have you been doing so far with your Pi regarding USB? I’m pondering setting up a headphone zone (Roonserver > HQP > Pi NAA > iDSD Nano) upsampling to quad DSD, just to get my toes wet on the DSD side of things and to have a tinkering setup without annoying the hell out of the rest of my family…

Could try first with my current Pi I guess, but hey – a second Pi is small change in the grand scheme of things. I could always play it safe with a Sonic Orbiter SE I guess, but it is probably too perfect for fun. :smiley:

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Hi Rene,

I really enjoy the Pi as an NAA with 128DSD but there is that occasional soft pop or crackle, with quad DSD and headphones, those artifacts would be more frequent and prominent. I wouldn’t recommend it for that use. I suspect a Cubox would be a better solution there, but have no experience of one.

Thanks. I picked up a Cubox i2 for €40 today. Nano will be in tomorrow. Day after tomorrow it is probably time for a new Mac mini, once my poor little Roonserver starts upsampling in earnest… :wink:

Will let you know how it goes!

Do I hear an obsolete Mac Mini i5? :innocent: