USB or LAN? Any difference?

Hi guys. I have built my own ROCK CORE (Intel NUC) about a year ago and it works absolutely flawless. I did invest in a CXN V2 vom Cambridge which is Roon ready and bought an expensive USB cable, because I thought this would be the means of transporting the data. But since the Roon Ready is much easier to handle the question is simple: is there a difference in Sound quality when using USB or LAN? In the end its Bits and Bytes, but maybe you guys can help me understand.

Supposedly, Ethernet is immune to electrical noise whereas USB isn’t.

I use a ROCK NUC with the USB into a Mutec reclocker. The Mutec is probably just superstition, tho.

I’m afraid you will find posters who definitely disagree.

Roon ready is certified with the highest quality transfer of the bits and other functionality to make sure the stuff works optimal.

I would def. make use of roon ready with your equipment. You can also hide your other electronics in the closet with the rest of the network gear.

As far as I understand it, bits are bits. The difference between USB and a network cable is mainly the ground connection of the USB cable. Depending on your setup, the ground connection may be a path for noise getting through to the DAC and, thereby, influencing the analogue output of the DAC. Some may hear a difference and others don’t. I’m still waiting for Hegel to get their Roon issues sorted so I can try it out as well.

Anyway, you can find many different opinions on such topics. Personally, I watch Paul McGowans (PS Audio) Videos on YouTube from time to time. He knows his stuff and I find his explanations reasonable. I must say however, I’m not an expert at this very technical stuff!

RAAT protocol is there for a reason. Gives you access to the full Roon ready functionality combined with an optimized data transmission. This is at least how I understood it.

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Bits is bits, but LAN provides galvanic separation, and a 2-way protocol where Roon can tell what’s happening with the signal path. RAAT over LAN is an upgrade over USB.

AMAZING Guys. Thanks for the help. I will keep using RAAT and enjoy music!!!

How do I close the topic?

Dunno, but if you’re implying here that USB doesn’t use RAAT, that’s wrong. FWIW.


Audio over USB will use USB Audio class 2 protocol which is part of USB specifications.

It make sense that the list contains RAAT for the USB device as a device class (USB audio class 2 in this case) specific RAAT API implementation will be used. I guess there is an implementation that serves as a network proxy to another device driver implementation for communicating over a network to a remote audio interface or vendor embedded implementation of RAAT APIs.

Obviously this is just a guess from a programmer familiar with the problem domain as I have no connection with Roon or any related vendor, but having implemented similar in the past (VST plugins for audio workstations being proxied over a network) I can probably make a good guess as to likely architecture and broad implementation choicies.

Worth checking with a LAN cable, USB won’t provide artwork on the CXN none of the digital inputs do. LAN should . Also as stated Roon’s preferred connection is to split coefficient and end point over LAN

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