Roon fails constantly yet unpredictably, networking to blame?

Another thread asking for mesh network recommendations had me on the verge of hijacking it with my own issues but I managed to restrain myself and see if anyone here has thoughts on solving a persistent issue, or is it issues?
The issue/s: Roon can’t find the core. Roon ‘thinks’ its playing, sound bars jump along next to the track, but the track progress bar showing a little bar swinging back and forth: no audio and no movement forward. Roon drops the song, but is fine when I try again. Other programs stream fine, Apple Music, Spotify, Qobuz (I’d also like to know why I’m paying for three services… ) all stream directly from their apps, Roon no go.
I have an Eero mesh network. I’m probably 20 calls into it with them. (Their CS is incredibly responsive but alas not really getting me anywhere). Roon core is on a SonicTransport i5, I’m probably 10 exchanges in there. SMG/SonicTransport owner Andrew suggested it was a networking issue and recommended AmpliFi Alien. {the SonicTransporter is on new TrendNet switch, which is connected to the Eero base} I picked one up on a BF sale. I had no Roon issues after installing but it hasn’t been up long enough to say for sure- I can go days without issue then have the SonicTransport be DOA for days. Then I’m back up with a random salad of any/all of the above. Then I’ll be trouble free for days. Not planning to keep the Alien as it’s coverage is so much weaker than the Eero mesh it’s inadequate in my house (3000 sq ft) as a single point router/network, and based on the response I got from their support staff I’m not inclined to throw more money their way to see if a second base station/extension would do it.
I have multiple end points and have had the above issues with all of them. It’s hard to know how to troubleshoot all the dependencies. I’ve done enough lurking and reading to know that many here are way more equipped to chase this down. Any ideas?

I have occasional issues with my laptop not seeing my core, my endpoint not showing up, etc. Very infrequent. I used to go try to troubleshoot the individual piece of equipment but eventually figured out that rebooting my router always fixes the problem. I have a Linksys velop ac4600 that I’m pretty happy with but I also see momentary glitches on my laptop where it has to “reconnect”. So I’m thinking of upgrading my mesh. I’m looking at the Netgear AX6000 which is more expensive but highly recommended. Good luck.

Did you look into getting a second Alien? The more you have the better the coverage is.

Briefly but the coverage I’m getting with one is so weak. An iPhone with WiFi 6 is seeing 40% strength on 2.4 and this just 20 feet away in the next room, no signal at all in the room next to that on my laptop, also Wifi 6 capable. I can get it slightly better in those two locations, but unusable in the upstairs, in a different spot. Both positions roughly central in the house. Two would do it I imagine but then there’s an office above the detached garage that needs service and three would be ridiculous. I’m covering everything fully with three non-wifi 6, 3 year-old Eeros. Makes no sense given the coverage claims for the Alien but when I contacted support I essentially got a virtual shrug. Maybe they’re more tuned for speed than coverage?

Out of curiosity with those having these issues…what device is acting as your network router? Not the WIFI part…but the bit that does the heavy lifting for all things network - DNS - DHCP etc…
Do you have an actual router or are you using the mesh router base stations as routers?

I’m using the eero, its single Ethernet connection is to a trendnet switch, with two more switches hanging off that down the line. Maybe a stand-alone router would solve it?

If you have one to hand it could be worth testing the theory. There seems to be some issues with some of these wifi routers that have issues routing mdns packets. Since I changed to a modular network setup and used a standalone router with (Orbi in my case - flaky on router side) wifi as Access Point only and having core hardwired at the router, any dropouts and weirdness went away.

I have my modem set in bridged mode, my Orbi master handles all connections.
Has been very stable.

Good to know. I don’t have a router to try the idea but definitely would be willing to get one to test the theory out. @agillis Perhaps you’ve seen better results with the Alien due to it having a more robust router. Any suggestions for stand-alone routers that’ve proven reliable with your stuff?

The AmpliFi Alien is the best router we have seen so far. It not only improves a Rendu + sonicTransporter combination but my customers that have one tell me it resolved issues they were having with TV streaming and also made the internet much faster on computer and tablets.

A good network is very important for streaming music.

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Perhaps I should have given the alien more time but given that there are no beacons, just the router unit, or base, it’s a fairly extravagant way to create a mesh given coverage from a single unit. t In my house anyway.

1st thing I did was get rid of the i5. Got a NucleusPlus.

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There’s another thread on here somewhere about issues with i5.

TBH get everything connected via ethernet and almost all issues disappear.

And did that resolve some issues you were having?

Well yeah, that’s the thing, the i5 is of course connected via ethernet but that doesn’t stop it from disappearing at random intervals.

  • Sounds like all the devices are on WiFi, are they all on 5Ghz with a decent signal strength? What other networks are on the channels? If there’s a lot of other networks on the same channels causing interference, that could cause quite a few of those issues - you might be able to change to a different channel if there’s one more free.

I’ve done a bit of this optimising and my experience has been that in some environments it’s quite difficult or even impossible to get reliable WiFi (e.g. an office or apartment where there’s usually tons of interference), while in other situations (e.g. if none of your neighbours have 5ghz so there’s no interference and everything has a strong signal) it’ll be very reliable if you have good quality devices. Still though, wiring is the most reliable method. Maybe try temporarily moving everything to be right next to the switch and wired in and see if the issues go away.

  • Re coverage on the Alien - I’m not sure how the antennas are setup on that but it’s not uncommon for more enterprisey networking gear like most of the Ubiquiti products to actually be designed to have shorter range - in a busy corporate wifi environment less range allows you to fit in more access points to improve the overall bandwidth

  • What are your endpoints? If there’s Raspberry Pi based endpoint you could SSH into that and run a ping command on it to test the connection to the Roon core - if you saw dropped packets or slow packet transfer times on that connection it’d be a sure sign that the network is the problem. You could also just ping the roon core from your laptop etc and see if the ping times are consistently low.

  • Maybe it’s some sort of crash on the SonicTransport i5? It looks like a linux-based box, so I’d see if their interface has any logs available or SSH access to look at the logs though that.

Have you looked at Ubiquiti UniFi?

We have a large implementation that includes six AP’s, five managed switces, and a security gateway with 1GB fiber internet on our property. Two of the AP’s are wirelessly bridged. We also have 5 Roon endpoints all using either micro or ultraRendu endpoints. All five zones can play simultaneously without issue including Chromecasting to a local display.

I’m not affiliated with them in any way. I just like stuff that works. Like the xxRendu’s.

The Ubiquiti UniFi is amazing. That is actually what I use in our lab here. It’s designed for businesses not homes and does require some configuration. Because of the small amount of added complexity the AmpliFi Alien is still a better choice for the average non-technical home user.

There is also the AmpliFi HD this is another product designed for home users and is cheaper then the Alien. It does have the ability to use more endpoints in a mesh. So this is a good solution for large or oddly shaped homes. You can actually use HD and Alien product lines together.

You can’t go wrong with products from Ubiquiti. But it’s important to find one that works for your location and technical skill level.


Agreed been a happy user here for a number of years. Full Unifi setup for router, switches and aps. Have 3 aps for the house and one for the office outback. All hardwired back haul. I still live in an overly saturated WiFi area and bombarded and it works well.

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Key observation here is “all hardwired backhaul”. Even consumer grade stuff works when you wire it. I had TPlink decos at a friends house I was borrowing during lock down and they worked like champs when everything was wired.

But my home gear is all cat6 wired Unifi gear, with ROCK on a docker container on my Synology and almost all endpoints wired and everything is rock solid.

Wires ftw.