Roon Core + Output on NAS

I am seeking for a NAS that could host the Roon Server as well as output sound via S/PDIF on Coaxial or Toslink. I looked into QNAP and Synology products but couldn’t find any with S/PDIF output. Am I missing something ? Is there such a NAS on the market ?

Alternatively, should I just purchase one standard QNAP/Synology NAS and plug a an HDMI to S/PDIF converter into its HDMI output ? How good is the conversion in such case ?

My ultimate goal is to connect my NAS to my amplifier thru a DAC; and play music using a Roon control app (Desktop or mobile) that would command the NAS to stream the music directly to the DAC (hence I would not use Airplay/DLNA from my mobile device).


i wouldn’t go for an HDMI to SPDIF Adapter (don’t know if this even works on a NAS). I currently have a cheap QNAP TS-251A with external SSD (Dualcore 1,6GHz - 2,4GHz Celeron) running Roon Core. Directly connected via USB is my DAC/Amp DENON PMA-50. There is also a relatively capable 24/192 analog output on this NAS. Even on such a cheap device, Roon runs relatively well with my 1500 Album Collection (max. Resolution DSD64) controled from iPad Pro, iPhone and Mac.

To have the best Sound, whenever possible try to go the USB Direct Route to your DAC. If this is not an Option for you i would recommend building a Linux-NAS yourself with a Motherboard that has optical out or use one of the Roon recommended NUC-Solutions with optical out.

Interesting ! In such config, you control Roon from your mobile but the server (on the NAS) does the output into USB, right ?

I must admit I didn’t think about this option. I thought the USB port of the DAC was to connect it to a computer - I wasn’t thinking that the NAS would also be capable to use the DAC as a sound card directly. But, hey, the NAS is a Linux computer… So I assume you have configured QNAP to use the DAC as as (USB) sound card ? Where does this get done ?

Thanks for your help. I would have tried this myself if I had a QNAP or SYnology NAS already :wink: but unfortunately this is not yet the case.

there is nothing to configure on your NAS, just plug in the USB Cable to the NAS/DAC and turn your DAC on, then you have the Option to choose your DAC on your Mac/lPad, whatever under Audio Settings, connected to core. Thats it. I even have a very long about 10 m Quality USB cable which works fine.

But this all depends on your DAC Type/Model, it may be that your DAC didn’t get recogniced if connected to core (NAS). Mine works fine. Just try it.

I see.

I’d like to avoid buying a NAS that wouldn’t recognize my DAC over USB. Am hesitating between QNAP and Synology. Has anyone succesfuly connected an Audiolab M-DAC+ to either of these NAS (if so, what model) ?

I have exactly that configuration. Roon server running on qnap ts251+ connected with my cyrus lyric, that has a DAC included. This works fine since months. The only issue I actually have is, that my DAC is able to accept up to 24/192 resolution but roon does not recognise this. It reports that the DAC’s capability is only up to 48kHz. Is this a driver issue? What can I do to improve this?

Oh gosh. Just realizing I might have gone down all this path for nothing…
So I bought myself a QNAP NAS, installed Roon Core on it, and plugged it to my DAC using USB. Although the NAS seems to recognize the Audiolab MDAC as a USB AUDIO device in the console (as seen on the VGA output - also, the NAS shows “PCM/DSD 11Mhz” on its screen), the Roon Core on QNAP doesn’t seem to see the DAC as an output.
As a result my Roon controller shows no device under ‘Connected to Core’ in the Roon Audio setup tab.

What shall I try to fix this ? Am at Roon 1.3 build 223 on the Core. My QNAP is a 459 Pro II (with QTS 4.2.5), with 4gb RAM and an 120 SSD. Do I need to upgrade to QTS 4.3.3 ? Or will this not help ?

Turns out this model cannot be upgraded to QTS 4.3.x. So I am stuck with QTS 4.2.x.
Any idea, anyone ?

I am exploring this same architecture…recommendations welcome!

I ended up buying another QNAP NAS model with QTS 4.3.x. Runs flawlessly.