Roon Ready v/s USB Audio

I thought i would create a new topoc for my below question:
A question to whoever knows best.
When sélecting an output device i can see the USB Core Audio 851N and Roon Ready 851N device. Which one would give a better Audio output. Does the Roon Ready output run through the USB input of 851N or through WiFi or AirPlay. Noting that when choosing Roon Teady device i get an output of 384Khz.

The ‘Roon Ready’ certification commonly applies to a class of devices known as ‘network players’ or ‘streamers’. This is, devices which can connect to your network and receive on that network the bitstream of the audio they will process.

In the case of Roon, it’s the Roon Core which can send out that bitstream in your network to the receiving network player using the RAAT protocol. And if any such network player is Roon Ready Certified, it speaks RAAT and you can rest assured that you will get the best experience out of it in the context of Roon.

So, if your device is Roon Certified, connect it to your network (preferably via Ethernet), and select it in Roon as a Roon Ready device.

Thank you Andreas,
According to you choosing the RoonReady device would give a better result than USB Audio connection.
I could notice that in fact but still doubtful for the below reasons:
1- USB Audio transport sends analogue data via high end USB audio cable directly to the DAC which in turn upsamples The data internally and sends to speakers via amp.

2- Roon Ready (From I understand from your answer) sends digital data Through WiFi airplay or Ethernet to the DAC and then to speakers via amp.

In scenario 2 it seems that Roon is upsampling to 384Khz whereas in scenario 1 USB audio it is the Cambridge Audio DAC that upsamples the analogue data received.

My finding is that RoonReady gives a much more detailed sound (however I feel it much digitized) whereas the USB has less details but more analogue feeling.

Does all this have any sense?? :slight_smile:


If you’re judging results on audio sound quality, then I expect for most cases, it will be a draw.

Roon Ready means that the endpoint device has the RAAT protocol implemented directly into the device itself. That gives some additional improvements to the user experience such as:

Two-way control integration . Artwork and now-playing information can be displayed on hardware devices. Front-panel controls and IR remotes can control Roon via the device. Volume controls on device front panels can be kept in sync with Roon. If you’re talking to a device that has multiple inputs, and start music in Roon, the input automatically switches to Roon’s input.

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Yes, WiFi or Ethernet, but not Airplay which is another streaming protocol from Apple altogether. Roon uses its RAAT protocol and can be configured to deliver a bit perfect stream to the receiving device.

This I believe can be configured in the Roon audio settings for your device.

I don’t know your device and can’t comment on the performance and sound quality of its integrated DAC. But you can experiment with the oversampling options of Roon and listen carefully, and decide upon which sound you prefer.

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In both cases, the only processing being done by Roon is volume levelling. Any upsampling is being done by your 851N.

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Digital data.

No, Roon is not doing it. Your device is doing it as part of its automatic upsampling feature:

Digital data.

By the way, if you have not set your device to invert phase on purpose (for XLR connection to a pin 2 cold device such as Accuphase or Luxman), I suggest you to correct this.