Roon and wireless quality


I presently have Roon on a Mac Mini connected via Ethernet to a server. The roon feeds my processor via Ethernet. I’m about to build an audio room, and I want to know if my sound quality would deteriorate if the Mac mini wirelessless grabbed the files from my server. That is, should I run a long Ethernet cable, or is that unnecessary?

WiFi will probably work, but if you’re planning on do a lot of high res playback then run a hard line.

That’s totally unnecessary if your wifi is stable.
I’m not sure you use mac Mini as core or endpoint or both, but it don’t matter either way.
If it’s core, it will first copy the file to local drive or ram to decode. The files copied from wifi connected server aren’t any different.
If it’s endpoint, it receives RAAT packages sent from core. The RAAT protocol guanrantee it’s correct and exactly what core sent out.
If it’s both, it’s like the first case though Roon suggest to use separate equipment for core and endpoint. That’s to reduce noise on the endpoint by using it as a dedicate device, but wifi or cable connection doesn’t matter.

That’s in a perfect world, but I’ve rarely seen wifi work perfectly. Audio streaming is all about sustained transfer rates and although the rates aren’t especially high you can’t have a connection drop for too long before there’s a dropout. The issue with wifi is outside interfence and/or congestion on the network. Too many devices trying to talk at once or someone running a microwave at the wrong time and there will be problems.

If you’re building a new room then run some network drops. Your life will be far less frustrating.


Roon runs on the Mac Mini, and then is connected right to the D/A convertor.

I was happy enough with wifi but had the occasional dropout at DSD256x48 because of weak wireless in the Cubox that feeds my dac. As far as sound, I did have a vague feeling that it was a bit thin. Running cable wasn’t an option so I added a wifi range extender with an Ethernet port and to my ears it solved both problems. I get a solid 80+ mb over the air and live in a rural area though, there isn’t another network for miles.

As I say, if wifi is stable enough. With today’s technologies, it’s not too difficult to achieve. I have ethernet near my system, but I use wifi because it’s stable enough. I hate cables behind my rack.

The vague feeling of thinness might be imaginary. But it’s definitely good to have more stable network.

Eh. There’s a big difference between the wifi and Ethernet connection of a cubox, last stop before my dac. It’s not about whether bits are bits.

I have a complex network. Wi-fi will work, but wired will be far better. Even Ethernet over power is a step up from wi-fi.

Run the ethernet cable to your entertainment area to a gigabit switch, and out to your components. I suggest Cat 6. You won’t regret it.

Can it be the cubox perform less reliable when using its wifi module?

I use Cat5e cables and basic 10/100 switches and never have an audio drop out. Cable is cheap and the best option IMHO. Nothing to lose really, you can still use Wi Fi.

I’ve used WiFi to an endpoint in two configurations. Firstly with the Auralic Aries, streaming DSD 128 (didn’t have the DSD 256 firmware). That worked really well. In fact Auralic reccomends their WiFi connection above Ethernet; I understand because it ensures no electric noise can propagate to the endpoint via earths. I really liked the WiFi sound from the Aries and would not call it thin. I couldn’t hear any difference between it and an Ethernet connection.

Second was via a WiFi dongle on this cute little fella. I use it as a headphone amp in my bedroom streaming PCM but have had noise problems with it which have been reduced but not entirely resolved by using a short extender to get the WiFi aerial away from the tube. I haven’t compared it with an Ethernet connection.

I would reccomend Ethernet cable for an inexpensive trouble free life. WiFi is certainly doable, but may be prone to more glitches and noise and may require more expensive hardware to get right.

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There is no point arguing whether WiFi or Ethernet Cable is more stable. Obviously Ethernet Cable is more stable. But if getting Ethernet cable to the system mean extra work, it might not be worth the effort as today’s WiFi tech is very likely to provide stable ENOUGH connection for Roon streaming. If OP already has stable WIFI in the position, switch to ethernet won’t provide better sound.

Also, I think OP is running the Mac Mini as both core and endpoint, it’s not even streaming. It’s just grabbing files from a remote server. Dropouts are even less likely.

No matter what, unstable wifi may cause dropouts, but will not affect the sound quality.

Drop outs should not be a problem, or they can be addressed. My only concern is if there are any sound quality issues. My thinking is that Roon should sort out any problems with getting data from the server, so I just wanted to confirm.

I would not put a wifi jump between the music storage and the Roon Core. I would suggest either: move the storage locally to the server in the audio Room or, even better, move the server to the music storage and put a Wifi endpoint in the audio room.

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Cat 5 cable is the best. HomePlug would be the next best option. Wireless if that’s your only options.

The problem with wireless is it can work fine for a while then you get dropouts because of a new unknown wireless interference source. Frustrating if you just want to listen to music.