Recommended Bridge OS

I recently installed ROCK on a new high end NUC to serve as my roon core. The experience was flawless. So much so that I want to upgrade to other endpoints (currently running roon bridge on windows) to behave the same way. Windows updates are constantly causing issues.

Does anyone use ROCK as a bridge only? I know by default it wants to be a core.

My setup would be a small DELL nuc-like PC with a dragonfly USB DAC, wired to the core via Ethernet.

Is ROCK the right solution here?

If the hardware allows you to run ROCK you can run it as a bridge. There’s a thread about MOCK which is rock on various hardware.

1 Like

I suspect a Rasberry Pi running Ropieee would be the cheaper / neater option. Put it in a small heatsink case like the Flirc one connect your DAC to the USB output and you’re done.

If you ran Ropieee XL (rather than the basic version of Ropieee) you’d also get Airplay thrown into the mix, which may come in useful if you ever just want to stream something direct from your phone.

https://community.roonlabs.com/c/audio-products/raspberry-pi/36

https://community.roonlabs.com/c/audio-products/ropieee/56

5 Likes

:+1: for this solution over a ROCK, or anything else, endpoint.

Excellent software and support.

2 Likes

I agree. Ropieee XL running on an Rpi4 solved all of my streaming woes. I now have a number of them spread throughout the house feeding various DACs. As mentioned above, the Flirc case does a great job of keeping the Rpi running cool. Cheap, tiny, sounds great, and will run in the background indefinitely with zero maintenance.

3 Likes

Well, since I already had the hardware in hand, I installed ROCK and connected my DAC to make a bridge endpoint . Worked like a charm. Thanks to all who responded.

Now hopefully Santa will bring that new DAC I asked for and my desktop listening setup will be awesome!

1 Like

Cool, glad that worked out. If you ever get the itch to add additional endpoints, consider the Rpi and Ropieee as suggested above. It’s such a great solution, and an easy/fun DIY project.

2 Likes

Why Ropieee over Volumio or Dietpi

It’s created solely to run Roon and the Dev is an active member of the forum so you get great support from him.

1 Like

Oh really? Good, I am going to flip from Dietpi to Ropieee. I am having issues accessing the menus on Dietpi anyway.

I’m curious about he ropieee solution. Since it disables the hdmi port, how do you connect a monitor?

Based on what I have read, this solution could be used to build a small endpoint that runs Roon attached to a 7 inch touchscreen monitor. I could then connec that unit to a USB DAC. Is this right? If so, you wouldn’t happen to have a parts list? I build PCs all the time, but have never messed with a PI before.

This will sound worse and consume more power than a RPi solution. But, I guess if you already have the hardware, it’s a bit cheaper in the short-term.

Best O/S I’ve found for Bridge so far is VitOS. Super easy to setup using their mobile app. Best sound (better than RoPieee, DietPi, and Arch Linux ARM).

1 Like

What is VitOS doing that makes it sound better than Ropieee? I’m skeptical that there’s any difference.

1 Like

You can access Ropieee via a web browser, so the touch screen isn’t really necessary. If you do want a screen, here’s a nice tutorial:

1 Like

I don’t know for sure. They claim the difference is lower network latency, but I don’t see how that could help. Only way for you to find out is to actually try it for yourself. Costs nothing (or, perhaps $6 for a spare microSD card).

Thanks. I’m happy with Ropieee so I’ll stick with what’s working well for me.

Sure. If I had done the same thing, I would not be enjoying better sound now…but your choice.

Both pass through bit-perfect data so there’s no logical explanation for why they would sound different is there?

Well, RoPieee has ~45 background tasks running, most having to do with operating it’s web interface. Others are dedicated to other non-audio tasks. One theory is that loading up an endpoint with non-audio tasks increases CPU utilization, and with it, phase noise and other contamination that can piggy back on the bit-perfect datastream, spoiling the analog output of the DAC. Another theory is that the VitOS uses a real-time kernel with scheduler optimizations that benefit streaming audio.

Again. I honestly don’t know why it sounds better. Many people have reported better sound with VitOS…not just me. But, if you are content with what you have now and uninterested in exploring other solutions unless you understand them completely, I can’t help further.