Q: Affordable mobile endpoint for headphone listening?

Hi all,

just started my Roon trial yesterday and am really excited about the possibilities.
My setup so far is listening at my work desk using iTunes and Audirvana and in other locations in the house using some Sonos players.

I’d like to add another Roon endpoint to my setup, specifically for listening through headphones as in the evenings I love to sit in the living room to read and listen to stuff. For that, my ideal setup would be something that’s battery powered and mobile so that I can move around and have different listening locations when desired.

So, in a nutshell I’m looking for:

  • Battery powered endpoint
  • Headphone Output
  • Connected via WIFI
  • Affordable price (up to max 400 USD OK)

I’ve not found anything so far, which is why I’d love to hear from the community about what you’re using for a similar use case? Is there anything, or do I have to wait till RoonBridge for iOS becomes available?


A what about an Android Phone or Tablet?

Thanks for the suggestion.
I’m quite invested in a pure Apple/iOS ecosystem and am already using an iPad.
Getting an Android device feels odd.
Would prefer a standalone device which is not a phone/tablet.
Alternatively, if an iPhone as RoonBridge will become reality, that plus a decent battery powered headphone amp/dac would be another option.
But I don’t know if/when that’s going to happen.

Surface 3, though you might have to buy one used to keep it under your price point.

I’m talking the low end version wth the Atom processor not the expensive pro model.

iOS, Android, Windows and OSX are you only choices for battery powered endpoints.

An RPi2 with wifi and an IQAudio amp hat - running the Roon software - powered by a decent rechargeable battery - works perfectly.

Battery like this - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VJSGT2A
PiDAC with headphone amp - http://www.iqaudio.co.uk/audio/8-pi-dac-0712411999650.html

Under $150 all in.

Only catch is you’ll need something else to use as a remote.

This hybrid tube amp HAT for a Pi is what I’m looking forward to for headphone listening. Will use a USB dongle for Wi-Fi. Needs a 24v power supply though, so not really (small) battery capable.

[quote=“Thorsten_Vieth, post:3, topic:13057”]
Getting an Android device feels odd. [/quote]

While I understand the discomfort of using tech not in your bubble, a used cheap android phone is exactly the solution to your question. It is a small, mobile, touchscreen device, on battery with WiFi that can act as an endpoint and play music out the headphone jack or streaming back out to a Bluetooth speaker. I have re-purposed my old phones for just this use case. Out on the patio streaming to a speaker for parties, plugged in with headphones while gardening. If you reconsider, send me a message and I"ll give you a couple of suggestions on which ones.

Well, you need a basic computer to run the software. So, if not a phone/tablet, you can go as suggested with a laptop (which is what I consider a Surface); although, I think that is less “mobile”. Perhaps an old used MacBook ?

Otherwise, the Raspberry Pi with portable battery pack, as mentioned above, sounds like a good option.

I just did exactly this using Apple’s Airplay to push audio from a Roon Endpoint (my Mac) to Airfoil (an Airplay compatible iOS, Mac and Windows app) running on my iPhone.

Worked great and pretty simple - took a few seconds to setup.

Here’s the product:

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Thanks for this suggestion. Some questions if you don’t mind…

  1. Is there a limitation in terms of sound resolution using the android?
  2. Does Roon need to be installed/running on the android?
  3. Can Roon running on the Android control it’s own output, or is another remote needed?
  4. Which Android phones/tablets are compatible with endpoint functionality?

Thanks much for your help!

Hi Johnathan,

Answering strictly in relation to Roon. Android devices cover a wide field and may have different hardware capabilities, but as regards the software:

  1. No, the Roon Android app supports all resolutions supported by Roon.

  2. Yes, you install a Roon app on the device, just like iOS and it has to be running to play sound.

  3. Yes. No other Control is needed. You can configure the Core and direct Outputs from the Android app.

  4. Any Android device that can run the Roon app can operate as an Output. See here for some suggested devices.

Hi Jonathan,

I might be giving some answers in difference to @Andybob but I’m sure he won’t mind me disagreeing.

  1. Yes there is an out of the box limitation in the Roon setup and with the Android OS. When you setup a Roon Android endpoint it defaults to limiting output to 24/48 because on older Android devices there used to be a white noise issue when going above that. Even though that has been solved, the Android application still defaults to that. That being said, even if you do set Roon to deliver 24/192, the OS will down-sample it to 24/48 (similar to what IOS does). There are ways around that which I’ll leave to a different discussion. Caveat, I haven’t played around with Android Nougat so I don’t know if there have been changes to the OS.

  2. You install the Roon application from the Android Store.

  3. Android Roon can control and send its output to itself, it can control other endpoints, AND if you uncheck the private option in settings, other endpoints can control what is sent to the Android phone. So for example, you can take the Android device plug it into a speaker and then use an Iphone to control what is sent to that phone.

  4. Android devices that run Lollipop or better, have 2 GB of RAM or better. My suggestion is a used Note 3.


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Hello @Rugby (Daniel). Thank you much for expanding on this. Very helpful!

So from what I’m taking away, there is no mobile remote, which can output to itself as an endpoint, at 24/96 + without a workaround

The new LG V20 has an ES9218 Quad DAC for separate music production. From what I’ve read, you can output audio through this dac and out the headphone jacks bypassing Android’s OS mixer. I haven’t tried it, but you might investigate.

Thanks daniel. Great suggestion, given a bigger budget, or if someone needed a new phablet anyway. For me, roon would be the only reason for the device to exist. The hunt continues…

You can use the following to play High Resolution Files:

  1. Old Note 3 or 4
  2. Android OTG USB Cable ~ $3.00
  3. Dragonfly DAC - 147.00

Hmmm…well I have a dragonfly. So i guess with the dac what you said above is not relevant, regarding “…even if you do set Roon to deliver 24/192, the OS will down-sample it to 24/48”?

Took the plunge and ordered a Galaxy Note 8.0. Found a great deal on Amazon Warehouse for only $107.

Hi, in that i said “there are ways around it”.

If you use an OTG usb cable and run the appropriate software, it will send the hi res out the usb port to the DAC to your headphones. Not quite an “all in one” solution, but it does work as I have done so on several phones before.