So I have an Apple iMac sitting in my Home office and serving as Roon Core… this streams to the dedicated listening Room and further to the living room.
I have now come to own a Bose Lifestyle System which I would like use in the home office. My thought is to connect the Core straight to a Roon Ready device/DAC via hardwire (USB?) and have this feed the Bose via Aux input…
Any affordable recommendation for a little home office solution ? Maybe a little Schiit or so… ? Other setup suggestions?
Chromecast Audio will work fine and is inexpensive. The drawback is you can’t group Chromecasts with other non-Chromecast zones. Sounds like you don’t have any of those now, but if you plan to expand in the future, this might become an issue. So the other route, as mentioned by Ged, is a small Raspberry Pi-based setup running RoPieee or DietPi. Since you are using it to drive a Bose, any add-on audio hats will be overkill. I’d just get a Pi3 and use its built-in audio to start. You can always add a dedicated audio hat later, if you want.
@cwichura ropieee doesnt allow use of the 3.5 audio and the audio from this output is really terrible - I would steer clear of 3.5 audio out. Also chrome cast can’t be grouped with anything as far as I know…not even another chrome cast.
@Christoph_Longree you can get a reasonable HAT for the RPi from Allo or IQAudIO or HifiBerry. This is what I would go for and use Ropieee OS
… I have no Idea how a Raspberry works… I use a dedicated Stereo System in a Music Room with Auralic & McIntosh and I use a Chronecast hooked to a Marantz A/V Receiver in the living room… both work fine and the Bose is kinda left over and so just thought it‘d be nice to use it in the home office. Obviously I would‘nt want the other areas to be troubled by this… (maybe I‘m misunderstanding things here though)… is a Raspberry a HiFi component or more a computer based thing… how do I use it from the iMac/Core to the Bose…?
Kind of both.
The Raspberry as such is a computer.
In your case, you would want to add a DAC hat board, if you want to use the aux input on your Bose System. The hat board is more of a hifi component.
Don’t worry about the assembly. If you can figure out what parts to get, you’ll be able to put them together.
It’s best practice to connect the pi via a wired ethernet connection. You can use wifi on the newest pi, but if you listen to higher sample rates, things tend to get wonky.
Best to go wired from the pi to your router or a switch.
If i didn’t need grouping and was using a similar speaker I’d start with a chromecast audio. They’re small, simple, made for audio and you can get an adapter to feed power and wired Ethernet.
I’m using pis as chromecasts weren’t supported when I started, but if I were starting now I’d avoid them. They’re big when you add cases, messy, and the price adds up when you get HATs cases pi and psus. They’re also more work to setup. Completely overkill for ‘just getting music to a Bose speaker’.
That said I haven’t tried my cc with Roon yet but it’s where I’d start. And aux out of msc also a good option.
How much does the use of an external DAC matter to you? If it’s just for casual listening while working, I’d suggest just taking the audio out from your iMac that’s already your Roon core, and hook that up to the aux in on the Bose system. (I’m presuming the Bose is an active system, and doesn’t require a pre-amp - which I think is correct?)
If you’d like to not use the onboard sound, something like a Schiit or one of the many ChiFi DAC’s (e.g. Topping) hooked up to the iMac USB should do the trick. I have a Schiit Fulla 2 as my desk setup and love it - and it would also give you the added bonus of a good headphone amp at the desk too.
External DAC is not necessary if it works without… but I thought the best and easiest way would be to use a USB output from the iMac and run it straight to a DAC and from there to the Aux input on the Bose…
As long as the distance from the iMac to the Bose AUX-in isn’t huge you should be fine. I’d give that a shot, and if you want to step things up a notch (or want a headphone option as well) look at an external DAC or DAC/Headphone Amp.