Hi all, I’ve been using Roon for a few years now. In the beginning I had the core running on my Mac Mini Intel i7 and it was flawless with my Sonos system. But over the years a few things changed and it’s not so flawless anymore.
The Mac Mini i7 was upgraded to an iMac M1 and the core was very resource hungry on a M1. It wasn’t optimised for M1’s at that time, so I moved my core to my Synology through RoonOnNas. Further, around that time, can’t remember if it was before or after, we had the whole Sonos S1/S2 thing and I sticked on S1 since I had a few older Sonos units. We had a few software updates on both Sonos and Roon and it became kind of unstable. Sometimes one of my (stereo paired) Play:5’s stopped playing, if I adjusted the volume it wasn’t responding, things like that. I have now replaced my old Play:5’s with new Sonos Fives, upgraded the whole system to S2 and at the same time Roon 2.0 came out. But I still have the same unresponsiveness sometimes. It’s better, but still not perfect. So, I’m thinking: is this maybe the Roon Core which runs on my Synology through Docker? Is a NUC with ROCK better and faster? I have a quite high spec Synology: DS720+ with 10GB RAM and while playing with Roon it uses only 6% CPU and 30% RAM in total, but I can imagine that this is not optimal. Any ideas? I don’t mind upgrading to a NUC, but I want to know if it gets better or that it’s just the combination of Roon and Sonos and that I have to accept it.
My Sonos has two Fives, two Ones, a PlayBar, a Move and a Play:3
FWIW I have similar problems and have had them for years with a wifi/airplay collection of end points (Libratone). As an example the update last week caused one of the endpoints to stop any of them playing as a zone. I had to remove and add the end point to get it to work and then the group plays. I have plenty of similar examples. I am running ROCK on an NUC.
I couldn’t recommend anyone without IT and problem solving skills attempt running a group of endpoints with Roon. It’s not reliable to an appliance level.
Of course a lot of community members will be stroking their beards and muttering about network issues but the data required for 44/16 over airplay is 5mb per endpoint. On a network that can reliably sustain 400-600mb transfers.
Thanks! That’s useful information. You are right about the network: I have a mesh network and can get easily 200MB down and 50MB up (that’s the max of my ISP) everywhere in the house on speedtest.net That proves that my wifi is healthy I think
I was referring to transfer speeds within the network over wifi. The problems with Roon are more likely just to do with the complexity of the problem they are solving and the legacy of existing code within the Roon OS.
In fairness lots of people seem to run relatively simple installations without problems and some of the simpler aspects work for me but generally it’s not stable on a week to week basis and some aspect of my installation always seems to need attention.
Yes, I know you mean within the network. But I recently did a speedtest over wifi in different locations in the house and I assume that gives also a good impression of the wifi quality within the network.
The main WiFi failures that affect Roon (of for that matter UPnP/DLNA) wireless streaming are bursty packet losses, which speed tests are not designed to measure. Bursty losses can be caused by many things, from a slightly RF-leaky microwave to neighbors with out-of-spec WiFi APs.
Roon is a pretty interesting piece of software (the Core and Remotes) and network application (RAAT protocol). What is unique with Roon is that it places a bit more demand on the quality and reliability of the local network based primarily on the synchronization requirements across endpoints, and if these endpoints are not connected reilably, then playback issues may result.
I’ll be the first to say that all endpoints should be hardwired with Ethernet cables, but in my home this is not possible in any way. Therefore I use WiFi for everything, but have made sure I know what and how each device connects to the network. Certain endpoints (e.g., Apple AirPlay devices such as the first-generation Airport Express of which I use many) use older WiFi technology that is both less reliable and bandwidth constrained.
I have configured my network to best mitigate these constraints by making sure my SSIDs are separate for my 2.4 GHz and both 5 GHz networks. However, Roon may stutter, or grouped zones may fail, if any part of the network hiccups. So far it has been stable. And that is with 25-30 devices on my network, not counting the huge leap when our kids are home over school breaks.
When my musician wife notes that it’s cool how I can keep the music synchronized between multiple rooms (and basic Apple AirPlay cannot), then I know it’s working.
But this is my case, @Igor_Blauw if we can support you, please let the community and staff know.
I recently upgraded my home WiFi to a new WiFi 6 Mesh network. The Roon Core is wired to the main router and my main endpoint is wired to one of the satellites. The occasional Roon glitches I used to have before are completely gone!
Not necessarily you testing one device at one time, Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t just about speed it’s just as much about the latency of that signal, interference from other neighbouring Wi-Fi and routers. It’s never stable and can drop very quickly. Only one device can communicate at any one time with a Wi-Fi access point, if you only have one AP and many many devices then this can choke very easily as latency arises as they all cram for the limited airtime and for something like audio sync that requires very strict timing requirements it can fail. Every Wi-Fi device and access point is cramming for airtime all the time, including your neighbours deivces. 2.4ghz networks even more so as they have limited channels to stop interference from other Wi-Fi routers. Sonos made its own Sonos Net to aid so each device acts like a Wi-Fi mesh for another unit. Roon I don’t believe can utilise this so is reliant on your Wi-Fi setup which to Sonos is only 2.4ghz band and more susceptible to issues. This is why mesh wifi help a lot of users withissues. Or wiring solves it all. I have a wired mesh system with 4 aps covering the entire property I can multiroom very easily without drop outs at all and 99% of them are connected via Wi-Fi.
if you have a extensive collection of songs the problem could be your database on the synology the linux variant of the .net is not as good as the one in windows. i had several problems RoononNas to so i installed Virtual Machine on my synology with a lean version/image of windows10 and the RoonCore for windows, and the music files are in the normal folder on the synology (music) so i can also use audio station
maybe this helps, its a free option to try
Mmmmm, so now I still don’t know if it’s worth investing in a NUC to solve the buggy behaviour on my Sonos speakers. But I’m afraid It won’t help: I just moved my Roon Core back from the Synology to my main computer (iMac M1) since Roon is now M1 optimised. The iMac is connected with an UTP cable to a switch where’s also a Sonos Boost connected. It’s more responsive now, but still far from perfect: there’s still a delay in the volume controls and every time my stereo pair of Sonos Fives start a new song, it’s one Sonos Five starting to play music and a few seconds later the second one comes in. Very annoying! And it’s definitely Roon, because when I play through Tidal directly in the Sonos S2 app it’s flawless… And yea, I could move back to S2, but then I can’t integrate all the normal speakers in the other rooms in my house
I just want one system. not two.
I believe at least some of what you are experiencing is specific to Roon’s Sonos integration. I have a variety of endpoints including a bunch of Sonos devices (ports, amps, ones, subs) as well as a couple of Linn devices and a couple of KEF speaker sets. I frequently experience the delay in volume controls that you describe but only with my Sonos endpoints. Roon just does a lousy job of managing Sonos volume.
I’d love to see Roon look at this - it’s frustrating.
Yesterday I took the risk and bought a NUC. There was a significant improvement in responsiveness after I moved the core from the Synology to my iMac and less volume trouble. Only I hated the fact that my iMac never could go into stand-by anymore (I use ARC in my car) and after a reboot I had to think about restarting the core etc. So, I installed ROCK on a new NUC 10i7 yesterday. And it even got better than the core on the iMac. I hardly experience the volume delay in the Sonos anymore. It went from frequently to ‘now and then’. Only grouping multiple zones is still buggy - takes about 1 minute before everything syncs and plays (so still room for improvement for Roon on Sonos here).
Haven’t got a real library, I primarily use streaming so far. Only 5 FLAC albums of my old library were not available on Tidal, so these are the only ones on my network share. You say it’s best to have the library on the NUC itself? On a HD? And then backup these back to the NAS?
Congratulations on your new setup! It’s clearly a better setup for you.
It’s interesting to hear that you see an improvement in Sonos volume control responsiveness. I mentioned earlier in this thread that I see the same issue you described with slow volume response on Sonos. My core runs in a docker container on a high-end (rack mounted) Synology with 32GB and an SSD cache. My setup is Sonos (all S2, Ones, Connects, Amps), a couple of Linn devices, and a couple of KEF Roon Ready speaker zones. The Sonos devices are the only devices that demonstrate any volume setting issues. The others respond nearly immediately. I also have 5 rooExtend instances with a combination of dials and a Nuimo. Even while using the dials/Nuimo, volume response is almost instant for everything other than Sonos zones.
I do hope that your Sonos volume continues to be quick and responsive but I’ll be honest - I think the issue is more about Roon / Sonos integration than the platform we deploy our cores on. If you have a moment over the upcoming days to provide an update on what you see over time, I would appreciate it. If your experience continues to be positive, maybe I’ll dust off the unused NUC I have and move over to it.