Using Roon With A Mac Mini M1 Directly Into Marantz Receiver

Costco has the new Mac Mini M1 going on sale shortly. I am not thrilled with using Roon over AirPlay and the sale got me thinking. I have begun ripping my music in ALAC and have also purchased some music in ALAC HD. If I used a Mac Mini solely as my music server and connected into the Marantz using HDMI would it play the music in the highest bitrate possible? I am going to buy the Marantz SR8015 or whatever Marantz upgrades that model to. It has an HDMI input listed as Media Player. Thank you for the help.

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There is no reason why an SR8015 wouldn’t see and accommodate your mini as it would a Blu-ray player, AppleTV, or other device. I play 5.1 files from a mini to a Yamaha AVR via HDMI; it works fine. 2.0 files play as well.


@Robert_Chatfield you read my mind/gave me a possible solution. I have a Yamaha CX-A5100 and use Airplay.(remote/living room) Thank You

I had problems on the m1 mini when it first came out with getting anything better than 24/48 2 channels…make sure they have a return policy if it doesn’t work

I tried asking the same question on the Apple community. I was advised that the Mini would not play the high res files via HDMI without downsampling. I am sure my old ears would never hear the difference. Just me being “weird” I guess.

The M1 won’t play high res through HDMI, but it will through an USB adapter to coaxial/optical and then connecting that to your receiver.

I have to admit I was skeptical about the M1 choking my 5.1 high res files through HDMI. I couldn’t image that the latest-and-greatest mini wouldn’t play what my late 2012 mini could – until I bought a new M1. It chokes the playback big time, as noted here.

So, I am sending it back. I have an appointment to modify my late 2012 mini with 16gb of ram and a nice ssd, maintaining the ability to play my 24/192 5.1 music files through HDMI to my AVR. Since I already own the 2012, this upgrade gets me where I want to go at a price far cheaper than a “comparable” M1. As a long time Apple stockholder, it makes me sad.

As they say, what’s old is new again.


Hi there @Mike_Rife,

I’ve just installed Roon on an old MacMini 2012. I have it connected to my AVR via an optical (through the jack in the back that looks like a headphone jack but is really a mini optical) wire.

Please see this thread I created on the support group, Roon --- MacMini --- Marantz NR1200 (via HDMI)

I have several questions about your setup, please humour me, I’ve spent days here and this is my first stereo system, ever. I’m not super tech savvy, but learn quick when pointed in the right direction. :slight_smile:

  1. how did you get the MacMini (my setup is also a late 2012 8GB RAM and only am streaming Tidal, no local music files) to transmit at full bitrate of 192KHz-32bit (mine sends 96KHz-32bit)

  2. how do you get the MacMini to only send music to your AVR (mine sends video as well as music to the AVR and the video then plays on my TV)

Thank you so much in advance Mike!
My regards

Tidal MQA 192kHz is delivered at 48kHz, and MQA Core decoded by Roon to become 96kHz. You will only get 96kHz with your non-MQA Marantz. This is normal.

Mine is setup like this: In the System Preferences folder, click on the Sound icon. Then you will see what devices are connected and recognized by your Mini. You should see the HDMI connection (to your AVR) and the optical output jack. On mine, I see an HDMI connection (to Yamaha AVR) and a USB A output (to an external DAC).

Then in the Audio Midi Setup, under the Window setting, you can view your Audio Devices and see the expected playback specifications. It is true that without a DAC made for full MQA unfold, 24/96 is the best you can do. Though I am skeptical that you can hear a difference between 96 and 192 unless your equipment is really high end.

I have three Minis set up for core and Roon Bridge playback. Hope this helps!


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I am sorry for my week late reply - thank you so much! You addressed all my questions (for now)

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