Seeking a recommendation re:SonicTransporter/microRendu package?

I have a Roon and TIDAL subscription and a new Mytek Brooklyn DAC. I want to stop using my laptop for the Roon core. I’m considering getting a SonicTransporter/microRendu package to get more flexibility and better sound. Is this a good way to go? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

I have exactly this combination of server and streamer in my main system (though not the Mytek Brooklyn DAC–I use a Wyred 4 Sound DAC2), and it works wonderfully–superb sound through my trusty Adcom 555 Mk II amp feeding PSB Synchrony One speakers. Roon Core, Roon db and all my music (about 2500 ripped albums) are on a SonicTransporter-AP, playback controlled with an iPad Pro. (I will say that the latest Roon control app for iOS does not always behave well with Roon Core on the sT-AP, but an occasional reboot of the app usually solves the problem.)

I know a few people with ST’s who aren’t overwhelmed by them, but haven’t used one myself.
Would definitely consider a Nuc and the upcoming ROCK - Roons OS made for RoonCore only. Then you also have the option of turning it into a windows/Linux machine if it doesn’t suit. Or just get a generic computer, especially if you’re using a microrendu or similar.

A few microrendu users I know have changed to the SMS-200, which apparently has the edge (certainly looks well engineered inside) and is cheaper. There’s an SMS-200 ‘ultra’ rumoured round the corner too.

Steve, have you seen any user reviews comparing the uRendu with the SMS-200? Just curious. I will be curious to see just what the ‘ultra’ will be.

Not user reviews as such. Hans behkhauzen, (spelling apologies) and the odd user here and there on various forums changing. No other details about the ultra, just rumours based on an alleged sotm comment.

I have to say I like my rendu but wasn’t totally convinced when I looked inside. Theres not much in there - apart from the $50 plugin cpu module from solid run - it’s a handful of components. Nothing wrong with that in itself, except the device still appears to require other isolation - I don’t like mine without the Intona, which I hadn’t counted on needing. When you look at the price of the SMS-200, and it’s internals and case, it suddenly seems like a lot better value even if the same SQ.

Thanks for the Hans B pointer. Here’s the SMS-200 link for anyone else interested:

The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel: SMS-200 NAA

In the name of fair play, here’s the one for the Sonore microRendu

The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel: Sonore microRendu

I’ve been using the Sonore microRendu since it was released and have been quite pleased with it just using the iFi PS, but now debating whether it’s worth adding an Uptone LPS-1.

I keep thinking we’ll hear more from Devialet about the new OS/streaming board but not holding my breath.

Can you use the SMS 200 with a Sonic transporter? Will that be the same kind of “complete” system for running Roon that the micro Rendu combination is?

Thanks for ant thoughts!

You could use a SMS-200 with a sonicTranspoter. The microRendu has support for more DACs and sounds better then the SMS-200.

The sonicTransporter has a lot more features then a Windows PC and it a lot easier to work with. No dealing with a screen/keyboard or Windows updates etc.

Would sonicTransporter support ROCK?

It may, I have not tried it, but why would you run ROCK on it? Sonicorbiter OS has a lot more features and we are adding more all the time.

You mean “sonictransporter”?

One of the advantages of the server/renderer architecture is that the choice of server is less significant for SQ purposes. If you locate it in another room then you are also less constrained by acoustic and thermal issues.

Some will prefer turnkey server solutions like the sT or forthcoming NUC/ROCK combination. Others will prefer the savings and flexibility that can be achieved with a conventional or home constructed purpose built computer.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing a server is to take future library growth and DSP requirements into account. Providing an upside margin for those factors can extend the useful life of your gear.

Is it better than simply using a mac mini since the rest of my system is Apple/Mac?

@thyname All our hardware including the sonicTransporter runs our Sonicorbiter OS. It’s our own embedded Linux.

@Leslie_Reidel yes much better. With a mac you need a keyboard, screen, and mouse. You need to configure the OS and deal with OS upgrades, firewalls etc.

Also may MAC, NUCs, PC etc have small internal fans. all our products are fanless with solid aluminium cases.

The sonicTransporter is a plug-and-play network appliance. You attach it to your router and it runs Roon Server. No messing around.

If you purchase the sonicTransporter with an internal SSD you can use it to store your music as well on one noiseless box.

Currently using a top end MacMini as Roon server with USB attached 5TB WD disk for all my music. Works very nicely. Running headless (no mouse/keyboard/display). Using Roon app on iPad and using Splashtop app to manage the MacMini as needed. Can even create a virtual network via one Ethernet out direct to microRendu with a Thunderbolt/Ethernet out to wire into my WiFi access point. Very nice SQ. I happen to be even using public beta of Sierra without a hitch.

As @andybob says if you want to use all the functionality of Roon now and in figure releases it’s not a bad idea to get a powerful box.

Our sonicTransporter Roon DSP has a quad core i7 skylake. It can do any DSP functions available now and in the next few years. This is much more power than any Mac mini available.

On top of that is has two Ethernet ports for Ethernet bridging to your player. You can attach your RoonReady player directly to the sonicTransporter if you want and bypass your Ethernet switch. A lot of people are getting great results doing this.

Most importantly Roon Server, Ethernet Bridging and everything else you need are all pre-configured so you can get it all running in 5-10 minutes.

Can you explain the Ethernet bridging a bit more, I’m not quite sure what that’s about.

Certainly looks a great product, best of luck with it.


Steve, I was quite happy to see your post! I’m getting ready to establish a configuration very similar to yours. Mine will be:

  • Late 2012 MacMini (Server [with LPS, SSD 16gb])/Windows 8.1 Bootcamp/Splashtop/8tb HD/Ethernet to microRendu.

As of last night, I’m a new Roon user and I’m very impressed thus far! But I digress; I’m quite interested in the detail of your V/N “(Virtual Network)”.

For my situation, the Ethernet out direct to the microRendu is doable. But I’m unsure of the “Thunderbolt/Ethernet out, to wire into your Wi-Fi access point” portion. First, I didn’t know (until your post and some research) that a Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet Adapter was available. BTW, Thanks for that heads-up!

Second, I do have the ability to connect my audio room’s Ethernet cable directly to my late 2012 MacMini. And since the Mini will be within a few feet of my AT&T Gateway (Modem/Router), is it safe to assume that I could replicate your V/N by connecting the Thunderbolt Adapter directly into the Gateway. Is that essentially what you’re doing? If so, you obviously believe that this is sonically better than going through an unmanaged Switch? Or, better than just simply plugging the Mini Ethernet port and Audio Room cable into their own Switch?

My knowledge of LAN’s is sketchy at best. So I don’t understand the specifics of a “virtual network”. How your connection methods create one. Or, what the benefits of a “virtual network” are? I assume RF and other electrical noise isolation, but am only just guessing.

If you could elaborate a little and confirm that I’m heading in the right direction, I would certainly appreciate it!

HI. I’m following the approach laid out in this forum:

In my specific case I’ve connected the belt-in Ethernet output from the MacMini directly to the microRendu. I then use the Thunderbolt to Ethernet dongle/adapter to a Cisco 8-port switch and connect the switch to my WiFi access point. The access point is there just to support the iPad used to run Roon via their app.

I’ve used the Cisco simply to buffer the WiFi access point from the MacMini’s network infrastructure (hardware noise is the reason I’m doing so). You could avoid this by just using the WiFi access points switch infrastructure instead.