New with Raspberry: need some guidance what Raspberry is needed for stereo analog output

Hello All:
I am new with Raspberry Pi: I need to setup a Raspberry Pi that connects via Ethernet to Roon and has stereo output for a pair of analog speakers.

Can someone please provide some guidance:

  • what raspberry I need to purchase (I understand that this is some sort of DYI system, but do not know which component to choose)
  • what software I need to install so it operates as a Roon endpoint

Many thanks and apologies if these questions sound too trivial.

I use a Raspberry Pi 4b running Ropieee XL straight into a DAC and then an Amp, for your needs you will need to get a combined DAC/AMP Hat (There are many of these at different price points, part of the fun is deciding which to use!).

You’ll need a Raspberry Pi 3B+ or 4, plus a DAC amp hat, e.g., IQaudIO DigiAMP+. Incidently, I have this card, and it is excellent.

Thanks @Glimmer !
I am actually getting a bot confused with so many choices around. Can you please send a couple of DAC/AMP HAT options? The only option I have found and exploring at the moment is DigiAMP+ and trying to understand what else is needed on top.

You’ll need these items:

  1. Raspberry Pi 3B+ or 4
  2. DigiAMP+
  3. Micro SD card (16GB) to install Ropieee
  4. Case designed for RPi and hat (specific to models chosen)
  5. A power supply–not the standard RPi variant since this will also drive the amp (this is what I use)
  6. Speaker cable
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Do you have a budget in mind? This would help to narrow down your options.

This is excellent advice!

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You can’t go wrong with a HifiBerry Amp+ HAT. You need a case, SD card, the 19v power supply and Ropieee XL software to install on the card. You can then connect this direct to speakers. I have used two of these for years.


This is also excellent advice!

No budget really. But I do not need anything of very high quality, it is just for my patio.

It would be helpful to know how you plan to listen. Are you connecting an amplifier or powered speakers? Or will you use headphones. These aspects might determine what your best option is

Software is easy - just use RoPieee - it’s foolproof

You can use a Raspberry Pi 3b+ or 4. You can also use a Pi Zero 2 W but there are some complications to using that which we won’t go into here (no Ethernet)

There are two options in reality:

  1. Pi with DAC HAT
  2. Pi with USB DAC

Both have their own advantages. My preference is to use a usb DAC which allows for easy future upgrades. The SMSL SU1 is currently a bargain and opens the world of DSD and MQA for very little money.

If you already have an amplifier with a built in USB DAC you can simply connect the Pi directly, saving you time and money.

Great thanks, that is all clear to me. The speakers are passive, not powered.

I was under the impression that software wise I need to transfer the Roon Bridge software on the as card or raspberry only. I didn’t understand the part with RoPieee though. I don’t want to bother you with too many questions as I am new to this.

Couldn’t find a link in Roon support explaining how the software is installed on raspberry.

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Ropieee is an operating system for Raspberry Pis that’s been designed to run Roon and a few other audio related things. You download it and copy it to SD card following the instructions. It was a simple web interface you can access from a pc or a phone to set up some of its settings. You need it to wired to your router to start with to let it install all its components off the web, after initial setup you can set it up on wireless. Just follow its instructions to the letter and it’s plain sailing. Don’t look at other operating systems for the pi as it will be more confusing to configure. Also the creator of it is on the forum for assistance.

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I’d second this, I have a HiFiBerry Amp powering a pair of B&W patio speakers and it does the job perfectly.

The standard Amp 2 board is currently out of stock, but otherwise I would have pointed you to this bundle as it contains everything you need (you can skip the heatsink, HDMI cable and remote). Could always email and ask them when it’s due back in stock.

They also sell a slightly more powerful 100w Amp Hat but you’d need to find your own box/case to house it in and source a Raspberry Pi separately as it’s not sold as part of a bundle. Although if you email HIFiBerry they may be able to sort something out.

In terms of software you’d need to flash a micro SD card with Ropiee (instruction here) or HiFiBerry’s HiFiBerryOS if you want to take advantage of HiFiBerry’s DSP features of prefer their UI. Both support Roon, both are good choices, both are free.

RoPieee is simply the easiest way to get Roon Bridge running on your Pi.
So the speakers are passive, do you have an amplifier for them?
In order to install RoPieee go to the RoPieee website, download the RoPieee image and then use Raspberry Pi Imager (available at official Raspberry Pi site) you write the image to the SD card. You then put the card in your Pi and power on. There is a very good install/beginners guide on the RoPieee website.

Thank you all so much for your invaluable help. I think I can manage from here, I need to some reading myself but your guidance was fantastic.

I do not have an amp so I might need AMP2 or AMP100 I guess.


In that case, you might even get away with using the Pi’s analog audio output. No HAT, no DAC.