Why does nucleus require a hard ethernet connection?

i have one hifi system with a mac mini as source, running roon. all my music is stored on a 3tb hard-drive (fast approaching its limit). i do not stream music. i do not plan anything in the area of “home automation”.

instead of hard-wiring the nucleus to my router, can i use a device like airport extreme, cabled to the nucleus with ethernet? assuming the answer is Yes, what nucleus functionality will i be missing?

Any Roon core device should be connected to your router using ethernet. It’s because your network is moving lots of data from your router to your core, back to your router, then to your Roon end-points. Some people have success using WIFI, but Roon recommends ethernet. My Roon experience was a disaster until I got everything wired with ethernet. It’s been 100 percent flawless for 7 months since.

thanks jim - but how does this differ from running roon software on my mac, using wifi. as i said, i have no plans to stream anything, and i have but a single hi fi system. i’m assuming that the nucleus doesn’t even have a wireless option, and that it would be necessary to “fool it” into believing there is one by connecting to a wireless relay like airport extreme. what data is moving around between nucleus and router that isn’t moving between mac+roon and router?

Hi @Stevan_Apter,

The Nucleus only comes with Ethernet capabilities, so connecting it via Ethernet is a requirement.

I would suggest staying away from Apple Networking Gear, as we have often seen poor performance from these devices, as mentioned in our Networking Best Practices Guide.

If you can’t pull an Ethernet cable from router to where the Nucleus will reside, then a mesh-style network such as Eero/Orbi/Google with a Ethernet output would be the next best solution.

It’s all the same data including your music and the Roon metadata plus any DSP, etc.

I don’t think that you realize that you are streaming your stored library to your end points so when you say that you have no plans to stream anything you are not taking this into account.

thanks john. so one way to test this assertion would be to turn wi-fi off on my mac mini and see if roon continues to operate. right?

Never mind, I misread your response.

Hi Steven,

The situation has a lot of variables that make a big difference. Can you post your current and proposed audio chain? For example.

Router -> Wifi->RoonCore->USB->DAC->RCA->AMP->Speakers with the music on internal Drives in the RoonCore

How the Core is connected to the endpoint and where the music is in relation to the core can make a big difference when it comes to having a Wifi hop in the chain. Some setups definately work better than others.

hi daniel

thanks for replying.

i think the question is now moot, since i’ve ordered an upgrade on my wifi and arranged to pull an ethernet cable to the location of my hifi.

once that work is complete i plan to replace my mac mini with a nucleus+.


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