Roon via WiFi instead of Ethermet

I am a happy Roon user and look(ed) with disbelieve at all those Emails about problems.
But then I started using Roon with WiFi instead of Ethernet.
I have a Win10 Laptop that I carry with me between two different location. In one location all is wired up with Ethernet and Roon is perfectly stable feeding 2 Raspi4 endpoints, one Hdmi and one Win10 endpoint via Qobuz and local SSD hosted CD rips.
In the other location I use the same Laptop feeding three Raspi4 with WiFi, and the laptop itself is fed via WiFi too. It is a small wooden building with WiFi strength around 70% everywhere.
I stream Qobuz reduced to MP3 as my DSL connection is only 2.5Mbit there.
Songs are skipped playing Quobuz the very moment a little extra network traffic happens while still being below my max. network rate. Endpoints are dropped for good once a song starts skipping or worse, when the webradio has a dropout. The very same webradio plays perfectly being streamed by Volumio. Playing a Qobuz song that skips and then playing a local song gives the message that the network is slow (I am not streaming anything!). I can see all the strange things that I am reading about happening too me. I can reproduce parts of that at my first location using WiFi instead of Ethernet.
So my conclusion is that RAAT and WiFi does not work well. (The Laptop‘s Wifi is fine, I can stream Video w/o problems)
I am still a great Roon fan. And I think I read somewhere, that WiFi is not preferred for Roon. Yes.


Roon is moving a lot of data from your router to your core. Then, data is moved from your core back to your router, then to your endpoints. For this reason, Roon recommends your Roon core be connected to your router using ethernet. Your endpoints can be connected by WIFI if you have a strong signal, but ethernet is preferred. I have everything connected by ethernet except one portable RPi4 with Dragonfly that uses WIFI.

My Roon setup is similar to yours. I have a Windows 10 laptop running Roon (and nothing else) that is connected to my router via Ethernet. My endpoints are all set up via WIFI , which include an Auralic Aries Mini, an AVR receiver with built in Airplay, and a Audioquest Dragonfly Red/iPhone for headphone listening.

I have had minimal issues streaming from Roon to the AVR receiver and the iPhone/Dragonfly. The AVR is located in a cabinet underneath a TV and it only works on the 2.4 Ghz WIFI network. That is less than ideal, but it works just fine.

Getting the Aries Mini to work reliably was a different story. Before I used Roon, I had intermittent WIFI issues with that device for quite a while until I updated my home WIFI network with a Netgear ORBI system. With the ORBI system, I used the Aries Mini on WIFI for a couple of years until I started having intermittent issues again.

It took some analysis to determine that the new intermittent issues were occurring only when the Aries Mini was connected to the 2.4 GHz network. I figured out that there was no way get either the Mini or the ORBI system to use only the 5 Ghz network for one device. Fortunately, I had an Apple Airplay Express that could be configured as a 5 GHz only network extender. The Aries Mini is now connected to the Airport Express via ethernet, and it works very well both with the Auralic LDS application and Roon.

The bottom line is that WIFI can be problematic no matter where you use it. If you have a device that needs bandwidth, like Roon Core, Ethernet is essential. For other devices, it can take some work to get them working well on WIFI.

When using Volumio for streaming off the internet it is the sole device being used and has only one hop over wireless to the internet . When using Roon then the raspberry pi endpoint is not pulling the data from the router directly. Roon core is pulling the data wirelessly , then this is routed back to the raspberry pi endpoint wirelessly. Therefore using two hops simultaneously. WiFi can only send or receive for one device at a time, there for in this setup you get latency. This latency can be greatly increases by WiFi setup itself , if it’s using 2.4ghz band and in a busy WiFi area ( other users WiFi ) then this will affect your wireless effeciency and airtime. All this then adds up to poor music playback experience. When using a server and endpoint system it really pays to have wired for the server, wireless is fine for clients but not for a server application that needs to read and send at the same time and compete with other wireless devices.

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Competing experience:

  1. Urban location, lots of WiFi networks in the neighborhood. Two ISPs (300Mb cable, 50Mb DSL) in connected to a load-balancing Ubiquiti router. AmpliFi WiFi. Roon is all wired except for remotes. Zero issues as one might expect.
  2. Rural location, no WiFi network above -80dBm except for ours. 300Mb fiber ISP. UniFi Dream Machine WiFi, meshed to a UniFi FlexHD AP provisioning a partial wired network. For (lack of) wiring reasons, we have to run our main living room speaker system on WiFi for now. Feared the worst from all the reports here. Nevertheless, both a temporary Naim Mu-So Qb 2 and our current Linn Akubarik system work perfectly over WiFi.

I’m more skeptical of your very limited internet connection. I know that theoretically it is enough for what you are streaming, but Roon has a lot of other network traffic going on to get metadata etc.

Bottom line is WiFi can work and indeed many users report it working fine as long as your coverage is butch enough.

But it is susceptible to all sorts of issues . Competing neighbours , anything running 2.4 ghz the classics being Microwaves , Baby Alarms, Mobile Phone base stations (if anyone still uses them). Not to mention stone or brick walls, Parrot cages that cause absorption !!

It also depends on what sample rate you are using , obviously 24/192 uses a lot more bandwidth then MP3.

Just my example , I use an iPad as an end point with a Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen , I usually give up if I am using the microwave !!. My previous woes were the 18:00 blues when all my neighbors came home !!

Funnily enough my microwave doesnt effect the one 2.4ghz WiFi endpoint I have and it’s sat right on top of it in the kitchen. But then the ap is only about 6-7 feet away so I guess that helps. :wink:

I am not „concerned“ about the usual problem with weak WiFi and DSL signals. What strikes me, is the similarity of all these posts about loosing endpoints, skipped files and even slow local playback. I can see all this happening simply by a combination of slow internet and WiFi. Sure, Volumio needing a hard reboot after a dropped stream from Roon is probably a Volumio problem. On the other hand, it plays the direct stream just nice. Roon skipping a local file because it just skipped a streamed file is very strange. And things get very bad trying to do multiroom with that kind of weak WiFi and internet. Trying to stream to bedroom, kitchen and bathroom in the morning is a sure recipe to miss work while rebooting endpoints and troubleshooting Roon.

Core and endpoints on WiFi for Multiroom is a sure fire way of it not going to work well scenario.

Connect your Roon core to your router using ethernet. WIFI for the rest will probably be OK.

I use home plugs, not recommended by Roon but four end points work perfectly.

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If it’s not convenient to hook your computers up the the main router connected to your modem, it may be enough to connect your PC to a local/additional mesh router by ethernet. even though that mesh router is wifi connected to the network, this may give enough performance edge. This is especially the case if your PC is s bit far from the main router. Read on if interested to what happened at my place…

I just moved to a new house and at least for now the modem and router are at the other end of the house to my PC, sadly. Ultimately i may run cables but I’m renting etc etc.

With my PC and Roon streaming to an endpoint airport express used as a cheap DAC, it was solid, even with the distance between the PC and router being quite far. Well i do have 3 google mesh wifi routers around the house so maybe the distance is negated (google mesh is very automated and its not easy find if PC is wifi connecting across the house or to the puck sitting next to it…)

When i went to two airport expresses simultaneously i got very occasional dropouts. Then going to three airport expresses simultaneously i got reasonably regular dropouts.

Reading the various threads which placed importance on connection of the Core to the network via ethernet, i doubted if connecting my PC to my nearest google router (which is wifi connected to network) would make much difference but i did the experiment and turned off my PC wifi to be sure. Rock solid, even with 4 airport expresses.

Now, connecting the PC by ethernet cable to the local mesh point may have removed one wifi hop, if the PC was indeed connecting by the wifi to the local point, which then connects wirelessly to the main point. So one can see how that would help

Alternatively, even if the PC wasn’t previous connecting to ths local point as an extra step, maybe with google puck is just better at transmitting data wirelessly than my PC wifi.

Obviously i am not a network guru. So others may chime in.

I raised this because it most posts say you must connect your Roon core to the ethernet, but my findings are that a wired connection to a local and capable wifi mesh point may be sufficient to end many people’s woes. This is not to say people are wrong about direct ethernet connection all the way to the main router (which is of course the best option), but you can get solid results with a wireless house setup if willing to experiment.

Location #2. Rural, away from other WiFi networks. Great performance.

Eventually we’ll rework the cable coax in the walls to carry Ethernet via MoCA adapters so that the WIFi connections to Living and Study are wired, as we did at location #1.

No issues with WiFi here. Running two years now with a NUCi5 core (win10 x64) connected by WiFi (about 30 ft from access point) accessing QNAP NAS (ethernet) and Tidal. There was no network drop at the main listening area… NUCi5 connected USB to PS Audio DL3 and also HDMI to Yamaha preamp.

Have my Rock plugged into my wifi router and then feed the DAC with an Auralic Aries Mini connected to network with wiwi. Has worked great no issues for over a year.

Some do some don’t it’s all down to the signal strength of your WiFi , what congestion, brick walls, parrot cages …

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Exactly. WiFi here in a rural place (with a great private fiber ISP) nails it. In the city where I spend the rest of my time, forget it.

Forgive me if this is answered elsewhere. Please assume I have a decent wifi connection around my house and am somewhat forced to use it for wifi streaming. Im wondering about the following setup…I have a wireless access point which I connect into a reliable network switch. Attached to the switch also via ethernet are my Roon Core and my DAC. Would I be right to assume in this situation that only the Roon Core would be dependent on the wifi connection, as the 1’s and 0’s arriving there from the internet are essentially a different set to the 1’s and 0’s sent out by Roon to my endpoint via RAAT and which only need to travel through the switch and into my DAC? What would be the potential issues (again assuming wireless dropouts etc wasn’t a problem) if I only wanted to support 96Khz 24bit streaming? Wouldn’t buffering etc in the Roon Core address any potential issues from the wifi and wouldn’t the net result into the DAC be the same as a wired connection? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

If your core is using a wired connection all the way back to your router via the switch then your not using WiFi at all for the core so any locally attached DAC via USB is not limited by anything other than the specs of the DAC. I assume from your post that is how you have it setup? Both internet streaming from services such as Tidal and local playback all use the same path wired. If your additional zones around the house are using WiFi then as long as you have a good signal should not have any trouble playing back. Issues mainly arise when Roon core itself is using a WiFi connection to connect to your network not just your endpoints.

Hi Simon. Not exactly. The Core will be connected to a switch, as will the DAC. The switch connects to the internet via a wifi endpoint, not a wired connection back to the router.