Newbie searching for advice

I’m curious if you think it really sucks wireless, or wired, or both? I run Roon to all my devices via Ethernet/AirPlay which is the only way Roon sees my endpoints. Just curious. I have done a lot of A/B testing with music I listen to and just can’t hear enough difference to worry about AirPlay vs optical or coax or USB.

I guess it’s a matter of opinion, but I can’t stand Airplay. It just doesn’t sound musical. I don’t like optical either, which usually tops out at 96K.

I don’t have a golden ear by any means, but I can definitely tell the difference with those two methods and USB up sampled to DSD256.

I suppose it’s not the transport method so much as the resolution that can be had. On the other hand, my Onkyo receiver can decode to 192/24, so I’m assuming that goes for Airplay also.

Dunno, just a preference.

What’s Airplay over Ethernet or am I misunderstanding what you wrote?

For the longest time I was under the belief that AirPlay was only a wireless protocol, however one of the admins on this site pointed out that it was a protocol that would work wireless or wired. So my endpoints (which are Yamaha network 2-channel receivers) are all seen by Roon as AirPlay devices and will play to them, but the signal goes through my Ethernet in the home to them, as WiFi is disabled on most everything I have. More stable connection of course wired.

Having said that, the signal being sent is still limited to the maximum AirPlay supports, which is I think 44.1khz, so no DSD upsampling or other hi-Rez formats. JRiver sees my devices using DLNA which gives higher bitrate options but certainly not the allure of the Roon interface.

Of course, you’re absolutely right. My Onkyo has an Ethernet connection and, come to think of it, I never attached a WiFi antenna. It’s been going over Ethernet all along.

Doesn’t change why I hate it; it’s always been because of the res.

When I want to play music to the speakers that are attached to the Onkyo (I use them mostly for 7.1), I play thru a RPI/HiFIBerry DAC attached to an analog input of the Onkyo. This gives 192/24. Don’t try this; you’ll never be happy with Airplay, again.

One time, I accidentally used Airplay. Five minutes into my listening session, I was wondering what was wrong with the music. So, I know it’s not expectation bias.


Thank you for the response! I am hoping that one of these days I magically get an upgrade for one of my receivers that adds RAAT via a firmware update and Roon would magically send full resolution to the unit eliminating AirPlay! In the last year I got rid of all of my myriad of separate amps and preamps and DACs and everything else and went with an all in one box solution, I’m hoping to not have to start adding more boxes to the mix again LOL. I do have other interfaces that will pull the files directly off of my NAS but then I lose the benefit of the Roon interface! This audio world is a strange business, ha ha, always tweaking and changing things. Have a great day.

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The role of Airplay (software) versus Airport Express (hardware) continues to be a mystery to me. A friend of mine believes that ethernet and WiFi can transmit a higher level of information than Airplay does. So, it appears that the issue is Airplay and not the Airport Express which are very convenient. I infer that RAAT is a transmission protocol like AirPlay. (BTW, when people talk about Raspberry Pi in the Room discussions, are they talking about using these small computers are replacements for Airport Express?)

I got into all of this when my son-in-law gave me the Denon AV receiver and I upgraded my speakers. I noticed that digital sound was watery compared to CDs (even to my 70 year-old ears). I was streaming MP3 music at the time. So, I upgraded to Apple Lossless (re-ripped all of my CDs) and that improved things, but not quite to CD quality sound. And that brought me to finding ways of connecting my equipment w/o Airplay and to Roon. The suggestion to transmit via Oppo to the receiver via analog is very exciting. I’m awaiting cables. Then I’ll try Roon.

Airport Express is just Apple’s WiFI router, no different in kind from any other WiFi enabled router. AirPlay is, as I understand it, a transmission protocol.

An Rpi or Allo SBC, using either WiFi or Ethernet, can act as a transport device, but you will still need a router, which you already have.

Typically, a transport device is needed when your Roon machine and your audio components are in different rooms.
Roon machine -> Ethernet (or WiFi) -> RPi -> DAC -> Denon.

Your Oppo will act as a transport device (and DAC, for that matter), if it’s in the same room as your audio equipment.
Roon machine -> Ethernet (or WiFi) -> Oppo -> Denon.

Great, good luck. Have fun.

MY 67 year old ears can still appreciate higher res, so you will be most happy with the audio coming out of your Oppo.

If you are using the analog stereo output of a DAC into the analog stereo input of an AVR for 7.1 channel surround processing, then you just are redigitizing that previously converted 24 bit 192 kHz audio, A/D and D/A converting it again with the AVR ADC and DAC. Nothing gained. Not to mention, most AVR internal DSP maxes out at 48-96 kHz, so 192 kHz may get downsampled, regardless.

Your understanding of DACs, AVRs, AirPlay, etc., appears to be lacking in this thread. You are giving out some questionable to downright incorrect information. Please be careful when advising others, lest you lead them down an inopportune path.


That’s not what I described. I said that most of the time I use the speakers connected to the Onkyo for 7.1 processing, not that I was using the analog input for 7.1 processing.

My Onkyo has 192/24 on it’s digital inputs. My RPi /DAC is connected to the analog inputs labeled ‘CD’ on the Onkyo. Since it’s made for CD, I infer that those analog inputs will not be doing any further processing.

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So as was posted further down this thread, AirPlay is just a transmission protocol. It is a protocol that Roon can use to see as an endpoint, but, it is limited to 16/44.1 in terms of actual quality of the stream. So, no matter what your source file is, it will be downsampled to basically CD quality stream.

For me personally I don’t see that as a problem, I am fine with that generally. Others prefer a far higher resolution stream than would be offered by AirPlay, so, they use a Roon-ready device of some kind that will accept a higher bitrate data file. WiFi and Ethernet can indeed transmit far far higher levels of information than AirPlay can, the challenge is just having a device that Roon sees to send it to.

According to other people the Oppo acts as a true Roon endpoint.

I’m not sure if this means USB out or SPDIF (coax) out or both.

@Francois_Christen - It’s been a while, thought I ask how your Oppo endpoint is working for you.

Here’s an interesting link about Oppo 205, not that you would want to make the described modification.

Hi! Thanks for asking. I’m now a Room subscriber. Oppo works great as an endpoint. I’m having issues with Airplay and I need to try to solve them. Airplay is an alternative when I want to transmit music both to my main amp and to another NAD amp that I have in the kitchen. I have an Apple TV and Roon doesn’t “see” it for some reason, but it should be a legit endpoint. The Oppo mod seems radical and expensive to me. I can’t justify it with my 70 year-old hearing!! Cheers.

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@Francois_Christen - Congratulations, you now own a classic. Still, If I had the money to spend on a DVD player, I would still (while I can) buy one.

I’m shocked! I’m still glad I own a “classic.” Thanks for the heads up.