Trying cheap usb soundcard - Roon Ok, Airplay Choppy. What sound cards work with Airplay?

I’ve set up a RopieeeXL in the garage, as a cheap and cheerful setup.
I tried using what I had lying around, a $10 ebay usb sound card. Worked fine with Roon but very choppy with Airplay (I tested the ropi board with another sound card and it worked fine, so it’s not the board)

So, I’m wondering what is the minimum spec sound card that will work for both Roon and Airplay?
Anyone had any success with a cheap soundcard that works with Airplay? if so, what did you use?


Soundcard has nothing to do with airplay on a pi. It’s controlled by opensource software not the card. Likely issue is the soundcard it may have a dodgy USB controller that’s just not supported well under Linux. What model of pi is it vers 4 or earlier as the older ones share the usb bus with network port and if using Lan can also have issues . Later 4 does not have this issue. Google well help find what’s inside it and if it’s supported or not.

It’s strange though because the following is happening:
It’s on a Pi 3 B+

Playing Roon RAAT via cheap card = works perfectly
Playing AirPlay via cheap card = choppy
Playing Roon RAAT via Steinberg UR24 = works perfectly
Playing AirPlay via Steinberg UR24 = works perfectly

I thought the same as you are saying, i.e. shared network and usb but surely then the highlighted in bold shouldn’t work?
I don’t suppose you know a sound card that would work with a 3 B+? I was tempted to try one of these: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Play! 3
but am a little nervous in case it doesn’t work :frowning:

Sorry I dont, I only use USB DACs with headphone outputs on the PI’s I have all work fine. It might be an issue with how the airplay code interacts with the card, odd that it works with Roon @spockfish is the best to answer your question though as he is the developer of Ropieee and might be able to find out the reason.

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FYI for anyone reading this thread:

RopieeeXL works fine with a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Play! 3
Both Roon and Airplay
(Although the output is a bit quiet. I added a line level signal booster to get it to HiFi friendly levels)