Why can Roon not detect the DAC attached to the Chromecast Audio S/PDIF output?

I have CCA as an endpoint. CCA is connect to Gusdorf X-16 Optical input. The DAC can do rendering with optical input. The Roon signal path doesn’t recognize DAC. What am I doing wrong?

*Gustard X-16. I have one too.

Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought optical or coax s/pdif is an audio data only stream. There is no conversation as there is with USB where the downstream DAC will announce information about itself back to the source.

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That is my understanding too. The Chromecast itself can’t even tell if the other end of the optical cable is connected to a DAC or not.


Sorry for my brain freeze. You guys are absolutely correct. Only USB connection identifies DAC.

BTW my setting for Roon was “Rendering”. Gustard showed OFC indicating MQA rendering.

Thanks guys,

But congrats on the X16. Great sounding DAC. I’m a fan.


Which do you suggest for a Gustard setting.





For S/PDIF, the X16 is just an MQA Renderer. Over USB, it’s both a Decoder and Renderer.

Sorry for not being specific.

I meant over USB - should I use decoding and rendering on the DAC or should I let Roon do the decoding and DAC do the rendering.


Those are two different questions. The two are not related.

You should accurately configure the zone in Roon to match the capabilities of your endpoint.

Enabling Roon’s MQA Core Decoding is a separate decision. I generally prefer the division of labor, but that’s a personal choice.

Hi David,

Agreed that we should configure endpoint according to capabilities of device.

I agree completely regarding division of labor. My interpretation is to get max processing from Roon and minimum processing from DAC to obtain the best sound stage.


Hey @Steve_Mato

Thank you for jumping in with this answer. This thread is a great example of very knowledgable Rooners providing each other answers and advice. We love to see interactions like this. :purple_heart:

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The X16 will do a great job in either configuration. If you’re serious about sound quality, I’d suggest looking for a better network audio transport than Chromecast Audio. The best sound I’ve heard from the X16 came from a VitOS bridge. You can build one for about $75. I’d like to be able to recommend the iFi ZEN Stream ($399); however, I’m experiencing some compatibility issues over USB. S/PDIF is fine from the ZEN Stream.

A good DAC should not care where the bits come from (S/PDIF, USB etc.) Chromecast as a digital transport is as good as any digital transport. If you want to use USB for greater flexibility, RPi with RoPieee is a great choice. That’s my config. You can even add a 7" LCD touchscreen and still be on the cheap (around the $100 mark).

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Thanks everyone for all your responses. Really appreciate it.

I was recommended Roon for its UI and capability to process the different formats and then use an appropriate end point for outputting.

Just to clarify, I have been using CCA for a very long time. First time as a Roon endpoint because I saw it on the Roon approved list.

I am currently using Gustard X-16 connected to an AR tube preamp driving Aragon Palladium 1Ks which are connected to B&W 802Ns

Source is Rpi 4B with VitOS. I have configured Roon to decode and Gustard to render and am really pleased with the sound.

I also connected CCA to the S/PDIF optical input on the Gustard since Gustard provides rendering for the S/PDIF input. Gustard was diplaying OFC which indicates it is rendering the MQA Tidal tracks.

My initial question was based on that Roon did not recognize the DAC connected to CCA. And I thank everyone for the answer that can only recognize DAC on USB input and none of the others, which makes sense.

I use RPi 4/VitOS for critical listening (XLR out) and CCA for listening to music in my backyard (RCA out).

Once again I am so happy to be part of the Roon community and thanks for all the support.



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