Need advice about buying NUC parts

Hi All -

I am new to roon an am liking it. I am thinking of building a NUC, and have read the Roon guide to doing so, but I am overwhelmed by all the options. I am hoping you will give me some advice.

I have to be able to use the NUC in two different parts of the country (I will ferry it back and forth as needed). Each place is somewhat different. In one, my listening station is in the same small room as my ethernet box. In the second situation, it is quite far.

I am guessing I should thus buy a Akasa fanless case. But from there the details of what to get get hazy. Here’s my situation:

  • I only own a few hundred albums.
  • I run convolution filters
  • I don’t anticipate running HPQ
  • At some point, I hope to add a second listening station, hopefully speakers in addition to my current headphone.

I’d appreciate guidance in learning what parts to buy. (I am not worried about assembling them, since I have help for that). (I’ve seen this earlier thread but not sure if anything has changed.

I am also confused about the best way to connect my NUC to my DAC. I take it wireless is better than USB? So I would need something like a Zen?

I very much appreciate your help.

Why? After initial audio analysis you will probably never hear the fan.

Why not just install Roon on a laptop that you carry between the two locations and just plug the DACs in via USB?


Thanks for the reply.

Doesn’t a NUC improve the SQ vs a laptop running Roon, or am I mistaken?

As to the fan, I definitely hear my desktop fan while listening to music. I presume a laptop would be the same.

Any moving part has the potential to cause audible noise. If you are sensitive to that then quite simply, don’t compromise.

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No difference.


Do you mean a laptop dedicated to roon? Or just my regular laptop? I thought roon claimed a dedicated machine was better for SQ? And I’ve seen lots of forum posts about how USB to a DAC is not ideal?


I think it’s more about reducing the complexity of support for Roon.

Superstition, mainly. Some older DACs do not do USB well, and it could be a problem. If you have a modern DAC, shouldn’t be any issues.

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Roon make few if any claims about SQ. They aim to get the best over all user experience and to get bit perfect digital audio from a to b. A dedicated machine built as an appliance meets those aims most consistently. As for USB, it isn’t always ideal. It lacks consistency but if you choose well you won’t necessarily regret it. Ultimately go for what fits in for you and make Roon work remembering that everything flows from a good user experience.

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