New Roon setup with ROCK, McIntosh C47, large Sonos setup

Hello, and thanks in advance for any guidance!

I have an extensive whole-house Sonos setup, for which my music library is on a NAS. I recently bought a great McIntosh 2 channel setup and want to add Roon for better sound and all of the other stuff that Roon offers. Please let me know if what I want will work without messing up the rest…

  1. I am planning on configuring a NUC as a ROCK. If I plug this NUC via USB into the same NAS that is currently supplying my Sonos system (via ethernet), then will the NUC/ROCK also see the music files and be able to use them in parallel with the Sonos system?

  2. If I plug the same NUC/ROCK into the McIntosh C47 via USB to use as an output, will that work to get lossless sound from the NAS to the Mc? Currently, I am in the process of re-ripping my CDs to FLAC files (that the Sonos can also read), and I can add new folder(s) to the NAS for hi-res formats just for the Roon setup.

  3. I do not want to risk messing up the native Sonos functionality. This is one of the few technological things that my wife actually uses, and as wonderful as the Roon experience sounds, she’ll just give up… Can the Roon and Sonos systems coexist? Can I access a Sonos unit through Roon as an endpoint, while my wife later accesses the same unit through her Sonos app?

  4. Is there a better way to do this? In summary, I want to use my NUC/ROCK to also supply data via USB to my McIntosh C47. I would prefer not to have to add anymore “things”, but will do so if needed.

Again, thank you greatly for any advice, input, or suggestions!!

  1. No. Connect the NUC via Ethernet to your switch/router and then mount the NAS’s music share on the NUC.
  2. Yes. (I don’t have personal experience with McIntosh, but I assume it is audio class compliant.)
  3. You can use both. When Roon plays to a Sonos zone, it will take over the zone. It will also break any zone groupings. You have to re-create the zone groupings from within Roon. And then when you go back to Sonos control, redo it again. If you just use Roon for everything, and get your Wife to use the Roon app as well, then you eliminate this hassle. On the other hand, if the Wife predominantly listens to something like Spotify, then she’ll have to continue using the Sonos app.
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One other setup you might consider is physically separating the Nuc/ROCK from the McIntosh. Here, you could put the NAS and Nuc in a different room, both connected to your ethernet network, usually by an unmanaged switch (they are cheap). Then you would connect your McIntosh to the ethernet network via a Roonbridge ( ). The ethernet plugs into the Roonbridge and USB connects the Roonbridge to your McIntosh DAC.
It is extra stuff, but less than $200. This gets all the computer stuff out of the room for a neater look. It may offer some improvement in sound quality, but it may be minor.


Roon does not control the files used to store the music, it simply creates its own catalogue of them. Therefore it can coexist alongside many other kinds of systems, Sonos included.

As you already have your NAS supplying music by Ethernet it would make sense to do the same with the NUC.

If you build your NUC with a fanless case I would recommend attaching it to the McIntosh via USB. If you keep the standard NUC case with fan and noise is an issue then connection by ethernet and using an endpoint to connect to the McIntosh will also work well.

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Thank you all!

I am planning on using a fanless NUC/ROCK. From what I’m understanding from all of your thoughtful replies, I can (should) connect the NUC to my NAS via ethernet and let it access the music files the same way the Sonos system does. I can also then connect the NUC/ROCK to the McIntosh via USB, and I’ll be good to go… ?

Yes, that’s right (similar to my configuration). Note that you can also maintain the Sonos connection as well (on a different input to your McIntosh). Since you can’t groups Sonos zones with non-Sonos zones this will allow you to have the best of both worlds. Pick the Sonos endpoint from your Roon controller when you want the option to group it with other Sonos zones, or pick the NUC endpoint if you want the ability to play hires tracks (assuming your McIntosh built-in DAC can handle the higher res tracks).

You can see in the attached photo both my Sonos:Connect (actually an ancient ZP80) and the Raspberry Pi running RoPieee to create a Roon endpoint. Both are attached to my Hegel Rost amp (the Sonos to the Coax digital input and the RPI to the USB input)

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Awesome - thanks for the tips!