I have tested Roon on a QNAP NAS Server (HS-251+) and it worked fine. On the other side of my music chain I have active loudspeakers CANTON Smart A45. For the test of Roon I used an Apple TV 3 as Roon endpoint, connected with an optical cable to the loudspeakers. That was for the test ok.
But now I’m thinking about the real working configuration and I have heard that the sound by the Apple TV is not optimal because of the downsizing to 48KHz. Now I am looking for a Roon endpoint without this limitation and I found 2 solutions. The first one is the ELAC Discovery Connect. It’s a Roon endpoint with several outputs and additionally it offers Airplay 2. But I am not sure about the quality. The second solution is the brand-new pre-amplifier from CANTON Smart Connect 5.1, fitting perfect (??) to my loudspeakers. This device offers several inputs and outputs and comes additionally with a Chromecast built-in support. I think Chromecast built-in is compatible with Roon? But I don’t know anything about the quality.
Perhaps someone here can give some more information about these devices, the sound quality and also about alternatives.
Recent noob, but I strongly suggest you build a Roon endpoint with something like:
–Raspberry Pi 3b
–Hifiberry Digi + pro (with coax or SPDIF output; you may need different depending on your speakers’ input needs)
–Case of your choice (I used a clear one from Amazon)
–16gb SD card.
–Ropieee xl software
The whole shebang was about $110.00. Works and sound great.
I am hardly a computer person, but by following directions, I was able to successfully build and configure. Now, I can avoid my apple tv bitrate limitations. Using XL also gives you an airplay endpoint should you still want one.
Lots of support here.
That sounds good, thank you!
But I have one question regarding the handling. How can I switch between Roon and Airplay? Or switches RoPieee XL automatically?
You don’t need to do any switching. It shows up as airplay on an airplay device, such as your iPhone. It shows up in Roon as both
Actually, those speakers have a USB input, you can feed it directly from the Pi’s USB port, so you don’t need this, I’d think. Brings the cost down to $60 or so.
I’m sure the ELAC box will also work fine, but it’s considerably more expensive for little added value, I’d think.
The chief advantage of using the RoPieeeXL solution is that you will be using Roon’s own RAAT transfer protocol, instead of the AirPlay or ChromeCast protocols. This gives you the ability to do everything Roon can do, instead of being constricted by the protocol’s limits.
I should say that this is true for any Roon Ready streamer, as well. So the ELAC Discovery Connect would also be using RAAT.
So as an endpoint, a Chromecast enabled device is still potentially limited in its Roon operation. A full RAAT enabled device will be transparent between Roon and the full capabilities of the DAC you employ, be that in an amp or a stand alone device. So if your DAC is fully 192/24 capable, or even DSD capable you will be able to use that. But with Chromecast you would not.
I do not know details about the audio transfer via USB. Offers it the same quality as SPDIF or Optical?
Better. It’s two-way, and can sometimes pass bit rates and data types that the S/PDIF connection can’t.