Roon core for BW Formation Duo/Audio

My current audio setup:

  • B&W Formation Duos

  • B&W Formation Audio

  • Tidal HiFi

  • Sony A9F, Apple TV 4K, Oppo 203, iPhone


  • A way of playing hi 96KHz/24Bit / Tidal Masters music, as Formation Duo has native Roon but not Native Tidal
  • A laptop or viable Roon “core,” as I understand it


  • Apple TV Tidal app —HDMI (per Apple TV format “uncompressed multichannel LPCM)—> Sony A9F — optical (digital audio out: PCM) —-> Formation audio paired with Formation Duos (communicate with each other at up to 96KHz/24Bit)
  • iPhone Tidal app outputs to Formation Audio via Airplay 2.0

Looking for suggestions for a Roon Core, as I seem to have made it past few years with no PC/laptop!

Specifically, suggestions as to what would work well with the Duo (and outputting to Formation Audio Wireless vs Ethernet cable) for maximal audio quality, assuming my choice in core makes any difference with this. Also since my current audio set-up is centered around streaming Tidal with TV and phone, it would be nice if I could think about the core as little as possible and just use the Roon remote app.

So in terms of recommended pathways to setting up I’m thinking should purchase

  • Roon core device
  • Ethernet cable

Edit: I expect skewed results, but perhaps you could also recommended if it’s worth the hassle. I am mistrustful of my Apple TV -> Sony TV -PCM-> audio set up, as well as Airplay 2.0. So I’m interested in Roon to improve steaming quality and allow for hi res audio.

A Roon core can be any PC which meets the minimum requirements. As, to what exactly to get, my recommendation depends upon how much you want to put a little box together and load software VS. just buying something.

If you don’t want the hassle and just want something pretty much plug and play, then I suggest a Nucleus.

If you want to save money and are handy to do it yourself, then buy the parts and assemble an Intel NUC, loading Roon’s ROCK OS. The net outcome will be the same in terms of function and SQ. (Probably around $450 in parts as of today using the links in the FAQ)

what did you decide on?

my setup is simple for music… laptop —> ethernet —> router —> ethernet —> formation duos