Starting out with Roon and replacing a Sonos Connect- what do I really need?

I just hit the Sonos 65K track limit and am fuming. i was happy with my setup, which is mostly in 1 room (I have a speaker in one other room but hardly ever use it). Now after some research, I see I will be much happier with Roon.

I have my music library on a WD My Book Duo mirrored NAS (I know too well how often drives fail so I have it mirrored for peace of mind). I have that and the Sonos Connect wired to the router. The Sonos Connect is attached to a Musical Fidelity M1DAC, and that connected to the analog audio system in my main listening room.

Now, if I want to switch to Roon, do I need more than a small computer (MAC mini or other) then attached to the M1DAC by USB? Reading these forums, I am confronted by a bewildering variety of equipment, bridges and the like. But if the computer is placed a cable length from the M1 DAC do I need any of that for the first room?

The second question is, would it really be better to place the music library within the server (which would mean it would need a large drive) and have the NAS as backup rather than stream the files over the ethernet as I do today?

I think I am ready to make the investment, but I need a little hand holding is all.

1 Like

Take a look at the Sonore microRendu. There is a pretty decent review (2 parts) on Computer

It is a player that can support squeezelite, DLNA, Roon Ready, Shairplay, and HQplayer NAA. Ethernet Cat cable in, USB out. ($700 with basic power supply). You have lots of equipment options at more or less money, but the microRendu would be worth a look.

Did your Sonos connect go tilt, or just refuse to add further tracks. Just a thought, could you split your Sonos music library into two directories? With 65k music files, some could be placed on a lower priority drive.

Firstly, don’t allow yourself to be unnecessarily sucked into audiophoolery by adding exotic items to your setup. If you’ve a quiet computer (like a mac mini) handy then install Roon server on it and hook it up to the DAC via USB whilst pointing Roon to your music on the NAS. Streaming via ethernet is perfectly OK.

Once you’ve lived with this for a while assess whether or not you’re happy with what you hear. If not then consider adding a Roon Bridge transport using something cheap like a Raspberry Pi or other Armv7 based micro computer which you connect to the DAC rather than going directly from the MAC mini. The thinking behind this is that the MAC mini or other PC on which Roon Server is running has a lot going on and is thus electrically noisier than a low power micro pc that’s doing nothing other than running Roon Bridge to serve as a transport. I’m 99.99% sure it’ll serve your needs more than adequately and cost you less than $100.


If you’re into high end, Meridian has just announced a streaming product for $1,000 (very affordable by Meridian standards) that includes a number of audio inputs and both analog and Meridian DSP outputs. Called a 218 Zone Controller. A definite contender.

1 Like

So, I thought I would close this out with what I did and how it went (in case anyone ever reads this thread again).

I ended up going with Small Green Computer’s SonicTransporter / microrendu package. It really was the most plug and play solution that I saw, and I had no plans to use the computer for anything else (I did not already have a Mac Mini). It really was pretty easy to set up, and now I am a very happy Roon user.