USB Type B or Type A dongle (with Ethernet in or WiFi on-board) as Roon endpoint

Hi there All
quick question, is anybody aware of product which would be, essentially, a USB dongle and serve as straight Roon endpont? Potentially would/could have an Ethernet IN or, even, have WiFi onboard. I’m thinking something like a DragonFly but not DAC or anything, just USB out.
The reason for the question is that many (if not most) AVRs, DACs, and other similar products have Type B or Type A USB in as their signal. And everything is sorted out from there…
It appears that there are many options to go for as Roon enpoints but not a simple dongle you’d put into a device and “roon enable it”. Any thoughts? Anybody knows such product? Would be great IMHO.

raspberry Pi

Hi there, thanks for chiming in. Not really a USB dongle isn’t it?

i’m thinking something like Sonore ultraRendu but as dongle :slight_smile: Or, even, without ethernet port but with WiFi on it. If that makes sense…

I don’t think there is a dongle with ethernet/wireless in and a usb port on the other. There are boxes but not small devices.

Agreed. That appears to be the case… There are WiFi dongles, there are Ethernet dongles, there are DAC dongles even…
But, IF there would be an Ethernet USB dongle and/or an WiFi USB dongle that could do as Roon endpoint… it would be awesome IMHO.

Like Chromecast but USB - it would be great.

Because, IF there’s audio AND all the 4K video capability on that - definitely doable as Roon endpoint USB out only… and it would make ALL AVRs, DACs and similar Roon Ready. It might be needed, as Step 1, connect to computer to configure WiFi (or nothing in case of Ethernet version) but then… just plug it in.

Would be great as product sold by Roon directly bundled with 6 month subscription :smile:

Now, how we get Roon PLM owners here to brainstorm, huh? I think it was @danny here owning all tech domain, isn’t it?

I think that’s usually called a “streamer”, isn’t it? A Pi in a box comes about as close as I’ve seen. When you call it a “dongle”, what are you thinking it would dongle from? A computer? A phone? Usually dongles plug into USB ports, and if you’re doing that, why not just use a USB cable?

Or are you suggesting it would be powered by the downstream DAC/AVR/whatever? Can you even do that (with USB)? Even the Chromecast has a separate power supply connection.

well… the thinking here is to get by with USB power only. And dongle - yes, plugged into a device. For sure it can be done through cable as well. I was thinking that IF device like DragonFly which is a DAC sufficiently powered by USB it should, IMHO, be sufficient to power just Network->Digital (USB).

Well there’s your next Kickstarter project! :grinning:

Take a look at VoCore.

Looking at the USB page on Wikipedia, it looks like you would have up to 7.5 W for USB 3.0 and USB C maybe up to 15 W. So you should be able to drive a stick computer of some sort with that.

That’s insanely cool, but it’s a MIPS CPU, right? Is there a version of Roon Bridge for MIPS?

I’ve got a Fiio M3 portable player… about the size of a small pack of playing cards. It runs Roon as an endpoint and has a USB-C connector. I bought a USB-C to USB-B lead and it connects to my Kef LS50w as a USB source. I suppose that’s as close to a Wi-Fi ‘dongle’ as you can get.

Downside… it doesn’t charge from the Kef’s USB, I doubt any DAC would supply power to the source component.

I don’t use it in this configuration as I prefer to stream directly to the Kefs wirelessly, but I just bought the lead just as an exercise really to see if I ‘could’.

To give you an idea of size… this is what the Fiio looks like on the LS50w.

Another downside is it’s maximum 96Khz/16bit due to the use of Android operating system.

You’re correct, it’s MIPS architecture. Really cool though. Unfortunately, no Roon binaries for this platform.

I would expect most USB ports to supply power on any device. I know all Naim DACs and streamers do, usually with the option to disable it to reduce electrical noise.
I suppose if the Fiio demanded more power than the post is designed to supply, that may stop it from working.

Are you sure the USB-B ports on Naim products supply power? The square USB Port like that on a printer?

I agree most USB-A ports supply power, because they power up memory sticks and such… But USB-B ports? I’m not so sure.

Anyway… I guess it’s a case of “Try it and see”… the USB-B port on the Kef LS50W doesn’t supply power to the Fiio, and it’s not a power hungry device, it’ll power up on a 5W supply.

Great chat so far IMHO. My line of thinking was, primarily, how to get ppl NOT into 1K++ DACs but into easy music setup. Apparently (check Sonos market share dynamics) people are into easy music listening… hence how you enable that? And i’m fine with Sonos, maybe i’ll even grab a few for wet zones or outdoors. However, since USB ports were/are on many devices wouldn’t/couldn’t it be looked into as possible getting ppl into music listening AND making zones, sync, etc. available?

There would be two port types - one a dedicated DAC input (yeah, maybe missing DC there, but not all - Marantz, for example, is powered) and second - USB host to read MP3s :slight_smile: There are many of those, not sure if that could be “turned”, probably not as it is “starting read/and further by device itself”. Any USB interface specialists here that could chime in?

Yes, I’m sure they supply power. They were originally intended to be used with iPhones, or with the current models, with USB drives. Although USB power on regular USB2 and USB3 is 5V, they may not all be designed to supply sufficient Amps for higher powered devices, although I would imagine your Fiio wouldn’t demand too much for a battery charge.