Please check my configuration!

Hi y’all,
new Roon user here!

I’ve been using a Bluesound Vault 2 for a couple of years now, and I’m a Tidal user.
My Bluesound is connected through an ethernet wire to my internet router. If I’m not wrong, the Bluesound device receives the Tidal “signal” and plays it.

Now I just installed Roon core on an old Mac Mini (2012, i5, 8GB ram), that is currently only connected by wifi. The Bluesound Vault is used as an audio output.

By reading Roon’s recommendations, I see that the core should be connected by ethernet for a better sound. I’m a bit puzzled: does it mean that now it is my Mac Mini that receives the Tidal “signal” and sends it to the Bluesound vault, which is not the Tidal receiver anymore?
And I don’t really understand how wifi could deteriorate the sound quality, any clues about that?

Sorry for the rookie questions, I’m just new to this system!


It doesn’t, it’s mostly that hard-wired is more reliable, which can help in some cases. If what you have works, don’t worry about it. If tracks suddenly stop playing, do start worrying. :wink:

Right, that’s clearer thanks!

Yes, that is correct. Roon runs almost all of its services on the Mac Mini. It scans your music library (if you have one), creates a large database of information on your music, it communicates with Tidal to bring in its music and integrates chosen albums into the database, and it sends music to the Bluesound Vault.
The music will sound more-or-less the same if your Mini is wired or wireless. HOWEVER, Roon running on the Mini is doing a LOT of communication through the internet beyond just streaming Tidal (at least at times). So the music might sound the same, but lack of a hard-wired connection can lead to problems.
You’ll have the best experience if your Mini running Roon is hard wired.

no prob !

to elaborate a little bit on the “Tidal-from-the-core” thing, and also why “wired” is recommended, the library management side of Roon actually isn’t the most interesting feature, as far as playback is concerned: there’s a full-blown DSP engine in there.

What this means is that you can do cool stuff like room correction or enhancing the sound of headphones, but it’s also how more simple stuff, like volume control, often happens.

It also implies that there’s quite a high demand on the connection between the core and the endpoint: let’s say you take an 320kbps .mp3, and lower the volume a little bit, or do convolution to help with how your room sounds, and upsample it to DSD128 or 24/192, the volume of data that’s going to hit your endpoint isn’t a 320kbps .mp3 anymore, it’s full-blooded DSD128 or 24/192 or whatever the precision of Roon’s DSP can muster, so something like 30 times more (if my math’s correct, 320kbps vs 9.2Mbps and 11.2Mbps, anyway, much more) data being sent than was in your original file (or Tidal’s 320kbps non-hifi tier, and before you ask, core=>endpoint can easily be an order of magnitude more data than Tidal HiFi as well).