Sonos Connect vs Roon Bridge vs other Roon Endpoint - Sound Quality differences?

Keeping in mind that Sonos Connect is limited to non high res material of course…

What if we compared lossless (e.g. AIFF, FLAC, etc) across Sonos Connect, a roon bridge running on a mini pc or other dedicated hardware and finally a Roon Endpoint like a blue sound Node etc?

I have been able to compare the first two: Sonos Connect vs Roon Bridge (on a dedicated fanless mini PC). Mini PC via USB to Musical Fidelity V90 DAC. Sonos Connect via COAX to Musical Fidelity V90 DAC.

Playing lossless AIFF tracks exclusively I can detect a slightly livelier sound with the Roon Bridge mini PC. The Sonos Connect results in slightly smoother (i.e. less lively sound). Some perception of increased clarity in midrange with the Roon Bridge as well. My Sonos Connect hardware is relatively recent so subject to the (claimed) non bit-perfect performance.

This is of course a very crude, sighted and non level matched test so all sorts of biases apply.

Overall I prefer the Roon Bridge but of course the Sonos Connect offers ease when using Spotify and when syncing with a Play 5 I have.

Any other experiences on the above?

Trouble is you’re comparing apples, oranges and pears here:

  • The coaxial output of the Connect (which is frankly not very good) vs. the USB implementation of your mini PC (unknown)
  • The coaxial input of your DAC vs. its USB implementation (known only to you)
  • RAAT/Roon Bridge vs. Roon’s emulation of Sonos’ UPNP dialect

While RAAT is impressive (you can read about its philosophy and design goals here in the Knowledge Base), I think the first two play a far greater role in the audible differences you perceive.

Comparing the Bluesound streaming protocol to RAAT/RoonReady using the same coaxial output on my Node 2, there’s no difference to these ears. Then again – I would be troubled if there was.

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I take your point :slight_smile: Just tried adding the M2Tech USB to Coax interface on the mini PC and the sound improved further.

Apples, oranges, pears and bananas :slight_smile:

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