Recommended endpoints with SPDIF/AES digital out


I’m posting on behalf of a friend who I am encouraging to give Roon a spin. He is a complete novice with regards to networked audio. Given that I will end up being his remote “tech support” person I seek your collective help/recommendations with regards to the following issues:

What audio endpoints have either SPDIF or AES digital outputs? His legacy DAC does not have a USB input and initially he would like to go direct from the endpoint into his DAC.

Which endpoints are the simplest to set up? Ease of use and stability are preferred over ultimate sonic quality. I just want him to experience computer audio with minimal setup. He can later upgrade to more ambitious endpoints devices once he’s hooked on Roon.

I use Hifiberry Digi+ with optical out for my Kef LS50 Wirelsess while waiting for them to become Roon Ready :slight_smile: Works very well, sounds good.

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DCS Network Bridge

Probably cheapest solution with no DIY skills is Sonore Sonicorbiter

I appreciate your suggestions. The Hifiberry Digi+ looks too DIY for my level of expertise. I’d really like a turnkey solution, just plug n’play.

I like the idea of the Sonore Sonicorbiter but I am specifically seeking an endpoint that has a SPDIF or AES digital out as I don’t want to have to use a
USB>>SPDIF converter. Correct me if I’m wrong but it doesn’t look like the Sonicorbiter has a SPDIF output.

On the same note, is the Sonicorbiter Roon ready? I may not understand the difference between Roon ready/roon certified, etc but I’d like a device that just connects to the Ethernet cable and outputs the signal through the SPDIF

The DCS is swell but probably too expensive as a starting point just to get my friend into the realm of roon.

The sonicorbiter is defintely RoonReady. It requires an Ethernet input so you need to me able to connect it by Ethernet cable to a router. It has both USB and optical outputs. As far as I know optical output is the same as spdif/AES. Perhaps @Jesus_Rodriguez do Sonore can confirm so you can be Absolutely sure.

Bryston BDP-1 & BDP-2 have AES. BDP-2 is the current model. The inexpensive HiFiBerry Digi + is S/PDIF capable. I suggest you go to the Roon website and look at the Roon capable players which are made by Roon partners…Lots to choose from.

The far less expensive BDP-Pi would work as well with coax SPDIF (no AES).

Good point. The HiFiBerry is a $1000 bucks cheaper though.

Have you tried the Bryston pi? I still have the vintage BDP-1 as one of my endpoints.

I have not… I am also on the BDP-1. While the BDP-Pi has a faster processor and more RAM, I love the BDP-1 and its attention to detail on the power side of things. I think Bryston hit a sweet-spot with that design, which why it reviewed so well.

Sonicorbiter is definitely Roon Ready, and has optical output (to DAC), in addition to the USB output.

I can assure you my dead granny could assemble the hifiberry solution. Get it with the metal case and there are full instructions. You can use the dietpi image and it is all menu driven. This is most certainly the most cost effective solution by far.

There are no turnkey solutions. Not without spending significantly (300-500 £/€/$). Firstly are you willing to shell out a minimum $300 US to do this? And if you do this are you ok navigating a web or app based setup to get it working?

Sonic Orbiter SE is USB and optical out, optical limited to 96k.
Bluesound Node 2 has optical and coaxial SPDIF out as well as analogue outputs.

The Hifiberry Digi+ is much easier to assemble than you may think. Just press the Hifiberry card on top of the Pi card and put them in a plastic box, no screws, no soldering. Download the Hifiberry image and expand it to a micro sd card. Put the card into the Pi and connect the cables. Voila! Look in Roon and you have a brand new endpoint. No need for configuration or doing things with monitors and keyboards. As simple as it can get :slight_smile:

Perhaps I’m too late to the discussion, but I and others have been getting quite good results with the Chromecast Audio using its optical output.