What do i need to just use Roon with streaming? Budget

Hey! I want to start to use Roon cause of the discovery features it has, but even after reading alot about Roon and devices, its still not easy to quite understand it.

How i want to use it:
I dont have any stored music at all and i want to just use Tidal Master streaming with headphones/ IEM’s.

I own a HP laptop and a LG V40. Can i just install Roon on my Laptop and use it as a Roon core? And then use my V40 to control it?

Or what is the best budget solution that works? I gonna use it on my bedside table. So i want something that doesnt make alot of noise and that is not huge.

Im gonna buy my self a desktop amp / dac. Thinking about ifi zen dac/can.


I’d suggest an Intel NUC to run your core, and a Raspberry Pi 4 as your endpoint connected to your DAC via USB. Run ROCK on the NUC and Ropieee on the RPi4.


The best budget solution is always to use what you already have. Just keep in mind that it may not be always the best technical solution (both user experience / sound quality wise) depending on many things.

You can install the core (and the controller for that matter) on the laptop but for the best experience make sure that it’s in the recommended specifications. And yes you can control it with the phone, just install the roon remote on V40.

Take a look here DragonFly Series · AudioQuest for some not so expensive DACs for headphones.

And do not forget: enjoy!!!


Thanks! Im gonna try to use my laptop! Reason i bojght my V40 was that i needed a phone and wanted a DAP
V40 measures very good so i bought that. Wonder if i can use the Quad Dac on the V40 on PC? Then i dont need f.ex a Dragonfly.

I do not need any powerful headphone amp since im mostly using my 64 Audio U12T IEM or my OPPO PM3. I just want to have full MQA decoding since i have it on my V40. I wanted the ifi zen dac/can, but a dongle that can fully decode MQA would prob be smarter?

Ive both read and watched YouTube videos and and everything starts to get advanced with RPi, NUCs,etc.

If the core should be powered on all time,maybe i should buy i second hand mini pc or nuc?

I have a V50 but I don’t use roon at all on the phone, I’m using instead the USB Audio Player Pro, which knows Tidal/Qobuz and personal library all together and it sounds very good too.

Im using UAPP myself and UAPP is very very good. Except for one thing it really sucks at. And that is finding albums/artists similiar to what you listens to. Its pretty horrible when it comes to that. Im using LAST.FM/scrobble and other services for discovery but its a hassle. Therefore i want ROON who seems to be all about discovery AND good sound:)

And i dont have a personal library. Everything is online/streaming.

Thanks! What kind of NUC/processor do you think i need as a minimum when i dont have any library,just online streaming and using some DSP for headphone/IEM?

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Roon won’t use the DAC in the v40 if your looking to playback music via the Roon app on it. Android is severely crippled for Roon due to Androids mixer, Roon uses androids mixer so it will ignore the capabilities of the Quad DAC and only ever give you what Android tell it to support whicg is likely to 48/24 for all output. So you wont get MQA masters working on it at all most likely. Use it as a remote and get a Dragonfly DAC for the laptop, not sure your can use the phone as DAC itself attached to to the PC.

There is a NUC for sale in my country. Is this enough for my usage? Just streaming and some Crossfeed DSP`s for headphones. I orib have just 30 albums stored on my Tidal playlist. i usually search for the album to play everytime instead of saving them=)

Intel NUC i3 processor, 12GB RAM og 256GB SSD for sale. New fresh Windows 10 installation follows. Videocards for two HDMI og WiFi.

  • Intel® NUC Kit DC3217IYE
  • Intel® Core™ i3-3217U Processor (3M Cache, 1.80 GHz)

its priced for 224 usd after value conversion.

and if its Roon supported it will run ROCK? if its not Roon supported, can i use the regular Roon app on it since it has wondows 10? just connect a screen to the NUC?

I second what @Xekomi said about purchasing a supported device. Anything other than that and you may be asking for trouble. I’m currently running a NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and a 256GB SSD (this is all overkill for my needs). I have a small local library and mostly stream Tidal (around 10,000 tracks), which is working really well.

a slightly different more conservativ view- Don’t rush into hardware quite yet , you probably have enough for a decent evaluation , a lot of “recommenders” here have “loadsamoney …”.

First what spec is the HP, Processor/RAM
Does it have an SSD (size = ?) or Windows/Roon Db
Don’t forget the Roon Library DB grows just the same with local or streamed albums (eg my library = 7000 albums my Roon folder is 19gb)

Provided the HP can cope the absolute budget start up is to use the HP as a Core PC running Roon
Use The V40 as a Combination End Point / DAC / Headphone amp. Maybe put your money into a good pair of headphones , Sony HW1000 or the like

I run (and have for 4 years) an i7 - 7700 Tower PC 250 SSD, 16Gb RAM, 4Tb HDD > Ethernet > Rpi4 / Allo Digione OS = Roipeee > Audiolab M-DAC Headphone amp DAC > Sennheiser HD800.

I use Audioquest Dragonfly Red via an Ipad via wifi for “patio listening” with headphones

When you are happy then go the NUC route , but its quite an outlay if you aren’t sure you’ll be going that route .Its the end point rather than the “evaluation rig”

Just my 2p

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John Darko…ROON ROCKS! - YouTube

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Im using 64 audio U12T as my main IEM and OPPO PM3 when i want to listen to headphones. Both easy to drive! Specs for my HP is:


Do u think it will work good? One thing is that the battery on my laptop is dead so need to buy new for 60€ or else it only works wired.

What do u use Rpi/ Allo for when u have an M-Dac? Haha, its quite confusing!

Checked out the NUC8i3 you linked to and it cost the twice in Norway! 380 euro! Hmm… That was not cool at all. Probably cheaper to buy second hand from a audioforum or here!

That HP will do fine for a starter trial, put local files on the SSD

The Roon architecture is

Core > network > End point > DAC > hi fi analogue

The M-DAC is a DAC headphone amp. It needs a Roon end point to feed digital from Roon to it hence the RPi

The Allo gives a coax output, in my case USB gives me 24/96. Coax gives 24/192 so I added the extra card to give higher res

Im up and running on my laptop now as a core and V40 as a player. Any way i can improve my settings?

Caution, you showed MQA in your settings and asked if you could improve them. This may open a rabbit hole that you didn’t want to go down! On a serious note I would just enjoy it for now before worrying about what else to do.

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Okey. So android OS still limitates the output? Seperate dac / amp will follow. Need to find out why the sound make a littke noisr every 5 second. Limitations on my laptop? Thanks for all help! Damn, it wasnt easy to figure out all=) UAPP still sounds better, but thats because of Android OS limitation