Roon core on wireless laptop

Good Morning Everyone,

Recently I’ve been getting into trying to understand the basics of streaming music whilst improving my headphone system along the way. It’s been an enjoyable journey and I think I’m nearly at my conclusion, however I have learnt that its often not quite as simple as it may seem and to ask questions to confirm what I think should work will work!

So with that in mind I’d like confirmation (or otherwise) that what I’m thinking will indeed work, and work well with no negative effects on the sound quality.

Will a Roon core work from a laptop running wirelessly? The ‘streamer’ (Ultrarendu / SOtM / Lumin U2 or whatever finally triumphs) will be connected to network via ethernet cable, and then into my DAC /AMP and onto my headphones.

This also assumes that I continue to use Roon (likely but not guaranteed). If I were to swap to Tidal only (and assuming that the ‘streamer’ was Tidal compatible) would this set up also work?

Simply, can I get away with the laptop running wirelessly or does it need to be connected via cable to the network.

I understand that this may be a dumb question but I’ve had plenty of dumb thoughts whilst getting to grip with all of this and don’t want to dump another load of money into it only to need another box / cable / anything…

Thanks for any help / advise

I have never tried. I would say that is risky. I see no point in having the bridge on ethernet and the core on wifi. I see the point of having the remote on wifi (it does not process the sound it is only a user interface). If we are talking about a streamer and using the laptop with tidal connect it is another setup I think, in that case the app on the streamer does the processing while the laptop is only a remote.

Shoot all of your questions.

The answer is, It depends… :slight_smile:

As you ?probably? know, it is not recommended to run the core from a wireless connection.
However, it has been done and could work if your wireless signal is strong and there is not a lot of other interference/signals to get in the way.

The only way to find out is to try it. Maybe sign up for a trial of Roon and test it out?
The issue will how strong the wireless is and how much you use DSP, also if you move the laptop around a lot it the wireless strength could vary quite a bit.

In the case of only using Tidal, this might work better as Tidal is not as demanding on the network as Roon. But again this depends on the wireless strength/interference/bit rate of the music. And again the only way to know for sure is to try it out.


It might work and it might not.
Roon recommends the core be connected via Ethernet.

Some people successfully run their cores on wifi but a good number of the problems we see here in the support forums can be traced back to a wifi’d core.

Tidal via its own app will likely be fine.
It’s far less demanding on both the host computer and the wifi as compared to Roon.

When I’m away from home, at the MIL’s house, I use my iPhone or iPad cellular hotspot for internet access. I connect my Dell XPS 15 laptop Roon core by WIFI. I also connect a Raspberry Pi 4 running RoPieeeXL by WIF with a Mojo 2 DAC connected to the RPi4 by USB. It works perfectly. ymmv.


In the case of only using Tidal

I do tidal on phone having very weak wifi connection with a Yamaha streamer connected by ethernet. It works because the music does not pass the phone. The phone is a remote telling the streamer what to download and play. The “heavy lifting” is done by the streamer. For roon the core it is the streamer and the endpoint (bridge) just an extension as a convertor from network to USB/SPDIF or so.


MacBook Pro M1 as the Core, wireless via TP-Link Deco 5300 mesh, 400+ mbps internet connection. Works great with USB DAC , across home downstairs to iFi zen stream that’s Ethernet from a Deco unit and Sonos in bedroom fully wireless as well. I know it’s not the most recommended setup but I forgot my Ethernet dongle at my other home and so far so good.

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The core is the most important thing to run connected by ethernet. All music runs through the core, so when you stream with Roon, the stream is sent from the streaming provider to the Roon core, processed to PCM (a much much larger audio stream) and then sent out again to the endpoint. If the core is on wireless then the in/out over wifi can saturate that connection and cause dropouts.


Hello Rugby, Perhaps I’m just lucky. Two different homes, TP-Link Deco mesh in one. Apple AirPort Extreme in other and I’ve not had any difference with using the Ethernet dongle or the Wi-Fi. Do you think perhaps the MacBook Pro M1 has an advantage over most other computers that makes Wi-Fi work so well? It’s the only wireless computer that I’ve used with Roon so far.

Edit: I will note that when I have ran a speed test I get the same results either way with the Apple AirPort Extreme router using Wi-Fi or the Ethernet dongle.

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The issue is bursty packet loss on WiFi, not raw speed. One can be lucky for a while with WiFi, but just have a neighbor get an overpowered WiFi access point, and your nice network starts dropping packets. While TCP retransmits the packets, and Roon’s RAAT sits on top of TCP, retransmits can introduce long enough delays for Roon to decide it can’t keep up the stream and skips the current track.

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Hey @Fernando_Pereira , yes I’m aware of the opinions that many have about using the Wi-Fi, I was simply describing my personal experience using it in my two different locations with Roon. Not sure about your neighbors experience with Roon or what equipment he uses? I’ve always got the option to plug in if needed, probably will when I get back to my home where I left my Ethernet adapter but I’m not going to buy another one as long as it’s working brilliantly so far. Now I’m not using the ARC system and probably won’t until it is fully sorted out. I just need my music in my home in a few different places and Roon is doing it great ( other than the Gapless thing currently)

Have a good one sir, thanks for the advice I’m still learning :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m glad Roon Core over WiFi works so well for you :grinning: But it’s a fact, not just an opinion, that it does not work well for others. Even streaming RAAT to WiFi endpoints can be problematic. I have Roon on three locations, with comparable high-quality WiFi networks. I can’t use WiFi Roon (or DLNA, for that matter) endpoints reliably at location #1, which has a very crowded WiFi environment, but I can at the other two, one a rural location (no close neighbors) and the other a city location with a less crowded WiFi environment. I measured the conditions at #1, there are occasional packet loss bursts at busy times that align with Roon issues.


When at home, I have an ethernet connected Nucleus. My internet is AT&T U-Verse and is only 50/12 mbps. Roon works perfectly with Tidal and Qobuz. However, I also have a Roon core on my WIFI connected laptop and it works perfectly also. I live in a neighborhood of 40 houses on 1/4 acre lots with neighbors on all 4 sides.

Bottom line, it just depends. WIFI works well for some, not at all for others, and everything in between.


Could this be a major factor and possibly should be considered by the OP? I’m thinking yes. Now in my case both my homes are single family with no apartment building or business in nearby areas. This TP-Link Deco has impressed me in my two story home that is spread out, the other location is smaller and one level and the Apple Airport has also been very solid preforming. Maybe a combination of location and equipment good recipe for success? You got me my friend but I’m grateful not to be fighting with the problems I see in the support topic :face_with_peeking_eye:

Wishing you the best results :+1:t2:

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Hey Jim, that’s right you have had fine results as well, could be our locations are less congested than other folks. Or we’re just blessed so far :man_shrugging:t2:


Yep, bottom line………try it

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just wondering what congested is. For me:

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Dang Traian, you’ve got some RF going on there for sure :grimacing: You live in a flat in town right? Here’s mine off the iPad

Both the Arlo and the HP printer are mine, maybe the location has more to do with it than I was thinking :thought_balloon: You have everything hardwired Ethernet?

Some good network names on the list :joy::wink::rofl:

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Yes. But not downtown. I have my job downtown and there the list takes 2 pages.
3 Phones and kids 2 laptops are on wifi, the rest (3 computers, Roon Core, end points, nas) all on ethernet.
I guess in here everybody is internet addicted. 2 days ago one of my girls picked a book called “10 days with no internet” - thanks god they still read from paper :slight_smile:

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Getting off topic but glad to hear you have a reader, I’m always happy to see the kids outside bouncing their basketball and riding bikes. Too much internet and video games. Tik Tok……ugggh

Perhaps when folks are considering Wi-Fi a site survey should be mandatory to evaluate their chances of success. Our locations are quite opposite it seems as far as radio congestion.

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