Sonic Advantage of Using 2nd MacMini as Roon Bridge?

Long story short…I recently replaced a 2010 MacMini with a 2018 MacMini. I was running Roon Core on the 2010 Mini which was connected via USB to my DAC. The 2010 was connected to WiFi with a mesh node nearby to improve WiFi speed.

Since the 2010’s processor is obsolete according to Roon’s minimum system requirements, I retired it for a 2018 MacMini to run Roon Core.

I have since come to understand Roon recommends connecting a Roon Core to one’s internet modem via ethernet. I hope my understanding is correct.

If this is true, then would I hear any sonic benefit by connecting the 2018 MacMini via ethernet to our internet modem, then using the 2010 MacMini as a Roon Bridge connected via WiFi, and connecting the 2010 Mini to my DAC via USB?

I think that’s going to be a maybe for sound quality… but what’s often termed ‘snappiness’ of the UI should be better because of the Ethernet connection to the router.

I think you have everything you need to try it to hand - let us know if it’s better!

run Roon Bridge on the old 2010 mini…wifi is not the best so if possible LAN cable is better but try wifi and if its working you are good to go. sound improvement is subjective normally but it shouldn’t be any worse.

remember in the mini to turn on startup after power fail, auto login for your user name and in the menu bar roon icon turn on launch at startup (right click)

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Good tips on auto start up and log in.

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I wonder if it makes sense to use your 2010 Mac Mini as a Roon Bridge. There is a lot of discussion going on saying that the Mac Mini somehow ,pollutes‘ your DAC with noise coming from running many threads in the background. Whether this is true, I don’t really know.
Maybe a better approach would be to run Roon Bridge on Raspberry based systems. I have a USBridge Signature to which my Mac Mini streams. Fabulous set-up, extremely clean. And not so expensive.

I have read those threads. The point is I already own the 2010 Mini which is presently in a box in my office. I could put it to use.

My only question in this thread is if it would provide any sonic benefits by using it as a Roon Bridge and connecting my 2018 Mini to our internet modem via LAN in another room.

I am not seeking advice in this thread about other Bridge devices.

Try it out and you‘ll see. I don’t see why it should not work.

Good luck with your endeavor!

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You know you want to…

I think reading these forums promotes RoonNervosa…LOL…

My current set-up with a 2018 Mini running Roon and connected to our mesh network via WiFi, and USB to my DAC is running well and sounds great. I think I will leave well enough alone.


I would not expect any difference in SQ.


… that might be the first time anyone, ever, on this forum, has said that! :wink:


Reviving this old topic, but wanted to share the following: I had retired my 2011 Mac Mini as I recently moved Roon Server to a M1. For reasons outside of Roon, I had to move the M1 to the attic and decided to revive my 2011 Mac mini and install Roon Bridge on it. To my surprise the sound improved because of the changes.

The M1 was connected to my DAC (Classé CP-800mkII) via USB and now my bridge is connected via USB to the DAC. Both Mac Minis are connected via Ethernet with Wifi turned off.

The improvement to the sound is hard to describe, but would say it sounds snappier and more dynamic. Cleaner in a way. I can even hear it when listening to Live Radio via Roon. So I am happy with the results.


I’m trying to do something similar but I can’t get it to work, and I’m having trouble following what you have installed where. I’m hoping you or others can help.

I installed Roon Core on a MacBook. For sake of clarity on what device I’m talking about, I’ll call this CoreBook. There’s nothing else running on this CoreBook except Ventura 13.5 (and what comes with the MacOS) and Roon Core. I have no external devices connected the CoreBook. The CoreBook is in my closet connected to my network via ethernet. I have one NAS share with audio files mounted on the CoreBook. I setup the library and can play music files from the mounted share playing through the CoreBook (MacBook) built in speakers with no issues.

I have another MacBook in my den with Roon (acting as a remote) installed and connected to the same network via wi-fi. I’ll call this my RoonBook. The RoonBook is also running Ventura 13.5. I have a SMSL M300 SE DAC connected to the RoonBook via USB and the DAC output is connected to a pair of active speakers.

My goal is to keep the CoreBook in the closet always on, so I can play music from my RoonBook in my den out through the DAC and active speakers.

From the RoonBook in my den, I can start Roon and connect to the Roon Core on the CoreBook, see the library, and can access my albums. The problem is the audio output is coming out of the built in speakers on the CoreBook.

I go to audio settings on both the CoreBook and RoonBook and my DAC doesn’t show up on either one. I read in this community in several places that Roon Bridge is included in the the Roon app and shouldn’t need to do a separate Roon Bridge install. However, I did install Roon Bridge separately and it didn’t help. I still can’t see my DAC in audio settings.

All I want to do is run the Roon Core on my CoreBook in the closet, use my RoonBook in my den to play music through its connected DAC. I have no issue playing audio outside of Roon on my RoonBook through the DAC. I even went as far as to deauthorize the Core on my CoreBook, so I can run the Core on my RoonBook. When I did this, my DAC shows up on Roon’s audio settings, and I can play audio via Roon through my DAC.This tells me my DAC works with Roon. But when I went back running the Core on the CoreBook, my DAC doesn’t show up in Roon audio settings on either the CoreBook or RoonBook. Firewalls are turned off on both.

What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I see my DAC in audio settings? Why isn’t Roon Bridge helping?

Should the Roon Bridge be installed on the CoreBook in my closet or RoonBook in my office?

Appreciate any help.

Well, looks like it was my McAfee firewall. After I turned it off, my DAC showed up in Roon audio settings. Also verified I don’t need to run Roon Bridge separately. So, I have Roon Core on my CoreBook in my closet always on and Roon (as a remote) on my RoonBook in my den, which I use to control playback that now goes through my DAC. I’m a happy camper.

Now I just need to figure out how to allow Roon Core and Roon Remote to talk over the bridge and through my McAfee firewall.

I have been using a 2012 i7 Mac Mini for almost 7 years as my Roon server and works great. The biggest reason is I have replaced both HDD’s (one for Back up) with 1 Gig SSD’s. One of the reasons I like my 2012 is I removed the 120 volt AC Power supply and run it exclusively 12 VDC as the older Mac Mini’s were designed to work mobile in Autos …so it supper quiet with no AC noise on the line. The only update I can install are the security ones that Apple sends out…Now I do use a M1 Mac Mini for my Roon Core where I also store my HAF DSP files for Room Correction. I’m hoping to replace my 2012 Mini with my current M1 and get an M3 Mini to replace my M1. The form factor seem to always work…