New to Roon and running a simple system: what will adding a Raspberry add for me?

I’ve just been dipping my toes in the waters of Hi-fi so please bare with my noobness. There could be some dumb assesments or questions in this post.

I’m currently trialing Roon, currently on a very simple setup.

I run the server on my Macbook Pro, which streams to my Marantz NR1200 AVR and i use my iPhone 13 mini as a remote and my local files are on a NAS.
I even got Roon to group-sync the music into the kitchen where i have 6 wifi speakers set up which surprised me since i assumed this could never be done. Pretty cool.

This is all through Airplay, expectedly. (Which i’ve had not so much luck with outside Roon with a lot of dropouts but Roon seems to be very stable with it, maybe bc it’s not Airplay2? Anyway that’s not what this post is about)

I’m a little bit in the fog how you guys do this with Raspberry Pi’s and what the upside could be for me, if any. I’ve read the raspberry related posts but it’s a bit misty how it could apply for me.

I have 1 Raspberry Pi 3 laying around collecting dust in a drawer.

I’m curious if i could use one of these Pi’s to improve my setup, for instance for avoiding Airplay all together and get a higher bitrate.
I don’t care very much about audiophile quality per se but i’m feeling the rabbit hole a little and i just like tinkering with this stuff, especially since i recently got my first pair of really nice hifi speakers so it’s worth a try to get the very best quality out of them imo.

One thing -i think- i find important, for now at least:

  • i really like when the AVR turns on automatically when i cast music. It just makes me cast more music because it’s so easy.

I’m running a Qobuzz trial so i wonder if including the RPI3 will allow me to stream in high-res because i know Airplay is capped.
From what i gathered, i can use the Rpi3 as an endpoint, and connect it to the AVR with usb or an audiocable? How would my receiver know there’s audio coming from usb?

Will the Rpi3 just show up as an output in Roon? Will casting to it trigger my AVR to turn itself on? I doubt it but … maybe with an optical cable?

I think i almost get it but i’m not entirely there.


Edit: its a Raspberry 3B+ and has ethernet


A RPi running RoPieee with allow you to stream at higher resolution over Roon RAAT instead of Airplay. An RPi4 can use ethernet (preferred) or WIFI if your signal is sufficient.


Using a Pi will indeed allow you to stream higher resolutions. That in itself is not a benefit in my view. I am using two Pi’s as endpoints and always stream CD resolution when I can. Since Roon can down-convert any source resolution to that, you can play anything you want already.

Higher resolutions themselves won’t improve anything. Again, if that’s the only thing you’re concerned about, it’s not worth going down the rabbit hole.

Yes. You can use USB and let the receiver do the D/A conversion. This way, you don’t need a HAT for the Pi.

You’ll have to check the manual and/or experiment with a USB audio source. If the receiver can’t detect it, and if you like the auto-on feature, there’s one more reason not to change anything. You already have a working system, and the speakers are the single most important factor in terms of audio quality.

Yes on the first question. For the rest, you’ll again have to experiment.


Thanks for the detailed response!

Higher resolutions themselves won’t improve anything. Again, if that’s the only thing you’re concerned about, it’s not worth going down the rabbit hole.

Yeah, i kind of figured.
I don’t know much about hifi but i’ve been in music production professionally for 20 years and have been a bystander (rarely a participant) at the high-res discussion for all that time.
My basic philosophy is that if you think it sounds better because you know it’s super high-res, it will probably sound better to you. But i won’t fire up that discussion in this thread and it’s probably been had on this forum 1 million times.

Using that psychology i might feel an improvement using a Rpi over USB and therefore enjoy it more but it’s doubtful that’ll last long.

One thing that triggered this post is that the past few days i’ve had a really bad time with Airplay on my AVR streaming from my Iphone. Qobuzz was pretty unplayable and so was Plexamp and even Spotify through Airplay. Just not through Roon, that was all good. But it made me a little suspicious of Airplay altogether.

The power of my entire house was cut off this afternoon because i had some electrical work done and for some reason airplay seems stable again so for now there seems to be no need for Rpi integration other than… to have something to do and maybe experience a little power-up in my audio perception psychology :') Also i just don’t want to go through Airplay dropout sludge again or even think about it.

But taking your point of view, not really a point at this time. Cheers for chiming in.


There is really no reason not to try it. RoPieee is free and you already have the RPi3.


One way to use a Pi is to set up an unobtrusive listening station away from your regular stereo system. I’ve got one sitting on an end table next to a comfy chair in my office, with a USB DAC connecting the Pi to a set of headphones. I’m using a Schiit Fulla for the DAC, because it has a volume knob, but almost anything will work. Ropieee also lets you connect an inexpensive remote control to the Pi, which I’ve done. But a phone or iPad with the Roon app works fine of course.

You might also want to look in to rooExtend as another way to integrate a Pi into your Roon setup. It lets you connect various wireless volume knobs, etc. that make listening easier/more fun. The rooExtend software is not free, but IMO it’s inexpensive and worth it.

Good luck!


That is also true!

1 Like

What a fun application! Hadn’t thought of that.

My headphone listening is a RPi4 running RoPieee connected by ethernet with USB out to a Chord Mojo 2 and Focal Clear headphones. Of course there are less expensive DAC’s and headphones.

My main listening room is WIFI to a RPi4 with USB to Meridian Prime and RCA to Denon AVR-2805 and Pioneer HPM-60 speakers.

Away from home, I use a Dell laptop with WIFI to RPi4 and USB to my Chord Mojo 2 and Focal Clear.

In other words, I use an RPi4 in every instance except with Carplay or walking my dog. I use Qobuz and would never settle for Airplay whether or not I could tell a difference in a blind test.

Psychology notwithstanding, a DAC might work better with some resolutions than others - there are a couple of manufacturers that resample internally to a fixed rate because they have concluded it’s the optimal rate for that specific chipset - and a ‘hi-res’ file might be a different master or maybe a different transfer from an analogue medium.

Some more rabbit holes to look into… :wink:

1 Like

That’s absolutely true about the different masters.

I figured out my receiver doesn’t do audio in USB so i postponed the Raspberry project for now. While in the attic looking for the raspberry stuff i did find a Chromecast though so i have an alternative for Airplay now anyway, with a higher samplerate. So far it’s been running smooth.

I have 5 pi’s as endpoints.
1 has a spdif hat and is connected to a meridian digital theatre (5 dsp5000’s and an rel stadium iii sub. Controlled by a G61R which I can stream hires audio into - it also has av sources into the g61r)
1 has a dac hat connection to a Denon amp and a couple of tdl rtl3 floor standers.
1 has an amp hat and a single speaker (dining room for background music)
1 has an amp hat and a pair of monitor audio bronze speakers (bedroom)
1 has a spdif hat and a meridian dsp5000c (my work office and spare parts for the digital theatre if ever needed)

The meridian gear is fed hires 96khz stuff irrespective of its source (up or down samples as needed)
The single speaker setups all have roon creating a mono feeds.
The amp hat based systems are completely controlled by software (no switches anywhere) with software volume control.

I can play different music to each, group them anyway I like and Roon makes the most of each solution (so they all sound nice). All play from the same source files, all get the best data feed they can. Some have Ethernet connections, some use wireless. I did try the usb connection into the g61r but the mereidian doesn’t support high data rates that route so I went back to spdif.

I am not aware of anything else that could do what I have setup - apart from using pi’s as endpoints. Pi3’s work well and use less power at idle than pi4’s (and are cooler) and none are even slightly stretched by running 192/24 data streams. And none of the pi’s cost much more than £100 (including the hats)

That’s an awesome application and it’s amazing Roon is software that lets you do that.

I circumvented the Pi option for now and went for a Wiim Pro. Works fantastic for now: cheap, simple and bit perfect and recognized by R.

The best thing about Roon is that i can add my kitchen to the setup, which has totally different wifi speakers, and it just works.
It works. That’s when you know when you got some good and flexible software in your hands.

I’m of the age when i had to wait 45m to download 1 new Aphex Twin song on Napster through ISDN so i’m pretty impressed how Roon got things to work together paired with a very musical UX

My experience with Airplay is not so great. Over the years it seems to have deteriorated and transferring from one location to another is buggy. Roon on the other hand is very robust and over the last few years of use have resulted in no glitches ever. The RPi with Ropieee is an excellent solution for Roon endpoints. So are the Wiim streamers (external DAC recommended).

I resisted diving into the world of Rasperry Pi devices when I needed a Roon endpoint to feed my Arcam AVR.

I went for the microRendu from Small Green Computer which is a very clean ethernet transport to connect Roon via USB to the Arcam.

Look for a second hand microRendu if $ are an issue… if not then the more recent (and pricey) upgrades of this marvellous little device are available.

If you want wifi connection rather than ethernet then perhaps the budget answer is a WIIM PRO with its optical and COAX digital outputs (to your AVR). This little device is getting huge amount of attention as a streaming platform, but its Roon endpoint capability is what makes it fit your needs.

Enjoy the music.

My experiences with Airplay are also not great, they used to be better.

I’ve ended up with the Wiim Pro as an endpoint. Happy with it.

One of my Raspberries is now running Pianoteq to drive midi and return audio into my digital piano so it’s not gone unused : )

Happy holidays!

1 Like

i’m using;
Raspberry pi-4 running rasbian Os
(the 3 you have should be fine)
(also tried both Ropieee & Hifiberry Os’s )
installed a Hifiberry dac+pro which now gives me the High rez output

and it actually has 1/8" stereo jack, left & right analog audio RCA’s out

and its reachable by any device running roon remote.

place it anywhere as an endpoint, powered speakers, headphones ive also added a zerotier vpn and it works anywhere (work office…)

very stable stable going om 2+ years.


Really like the idea of having a Pi as a headphone endpoint. Super flexible and small footprint

1 Like

BUT what are you using between the Pi and the headphones. I guess that the Pi headphone jack/DAC will be pretty low key

I use a AudioQuest Dragonfly Red occasionally from my Desktop to Bose QC25’s

The OP says [quote=“Larry_Barbatsoulis, post:17, topic:258757”]
installed a Hifiberry dac+pro which now gives me the High rez output