Using a bridge versus Airplay2 for streaming

So Roon sells “network bridges” but I am wondering why I would want/need that if Roon is already working fine with a new PC as the Roon Core and using Airplay2 to connect to my A/V receiver? Is a “network bridge” better than just using Airplay2? Will it deliver better sound quality? They say “more information” can be sent with a bridge, but the setup seems Ok too me. I have a mesh Wifi system and very high speed internet, a new computer as the core and a brand new A/V receiver, so all components are modern. Would adding a network bridge enhance this or is it redundant and unnecessary? Note, I cannot connect the modem via ethernet to my receiver, so I need too use Wifi.

Roon Bridge uses RAAT protocol that is music centered. Airplay sometimes resamples in order to ensure good connection over wifis. If you could test the two protocols would be great in making your mind and further purchase hear. Maybe use a comp wifi connected and stream with RAAT and then use Airplay. If you have multiple end points you can group them only as long as they are using the same protocol (in living I have a Yamaha that does only airplay so it does not matter if the volumio in the kitchen has Roon Bridge, I have to use also airplay in the kitchen in order to group the two end points together)

It depends on your library and what you may want Roon to do with other devices. AirPlay is limited to either 16/44.1 on non-video endpoints or 24/48 (or 16/48) on Apple TVs, so anything with a higher sample rate or bit resolution is downsampled. If this matters to you, then this could be seen as a limitation with higher resolution files. AirPlay also cannot play multichannel files, so again if this matters, it may be a limitation. Finally, AirPlay cannot be grouped with non-AirPlay endpoints such as Google Chromecast or native RAAT devices (those that are noted as “Roon Ready”). I use AirPlay throughout my home without any issues as I have an all-Apple ecosystem and my files for the most part are not higher resolution than 24/48. All of my connections are on WiFi without issue (although I may be in the minority here).

If you have or plan to have a mix of endpoints that do not have AirPlay, then these again cannot be grouped with AirPlay, but they can be grouped to each other, and can play higher resolution files and multichannel files.

One of my Windows laptops has Roon Bridge configured on it and it plays files fine via USB to an audio interface and connected monitors.

This really is up to you to decide if a Bridge matters. AirPlay works for me but so do Roon Bridge and other Roon Ready endpoints. It’s really what sounds best to you.

1 Like

Thank you. My Onkyo TX-RZ50 receiver is brand new and is in fact “Roon ready” and it seems fine with Airplay as the streaming. Was really just wondering if spending hundreds of dollars for a network bridge would make any difference. It seems like I need to try and compare to be sure. Not sure that is worth spending the money on.

1 Like

Has an ethernet port, it is Roon Ready so from my knowledge already you have a bridge with RAAT in it. Others will correct me if I’m wrong. The only thing I have never tried is over wifi
If Roon Ready you should see that in roon settings audio, in a separate group (in the settings window the audio outputs are grouped by type)

I think you mean Roon Tested not Roon Ready. They are very different things.

They are not they are Roon tested via AirPlay or HDMI.

AirPlay is a protocol for convenience over quality but is still very good. If you have no intention of playing hires files and are happy with it no need to change.

1 Like

My fault, did not check but the image of his wonderFULL back. Thanks for the correction

1 Like

Yes, thank you, you are correct!