Questions & Comments about Roon

This. People think Roon is a fancy music player. That’s wrong.

Yes, it plays music, but it’s the wrong way of thinking about it. It’s akin to thinking SQL is just a fancy spreadsheet program.

This is a music server, database, and metadata manager.

I think I have about 1.6TB of music stored on my local NAS. Roon has completely taken away the pain of using a streaming service to fill in the gaps of what I have (or don’t), where it lives, how I use it, etc.

My library is an amalgamation of both local and streaming, and presented in a single streamlined interface, and at any given time I probably couldn’t tell you if I was streaming that music or getting it off my local network. Nor would I care, because the interface is that seamless. Nothing else does that like Roon.

I also have it upsample everything, akin to HQPlayer / Mscaler, and I think it does a pretty good job of that.

So, do I recommend it? Absolutely. Do I think everybody should get it? No. If you don’t have a local library that you need to incorporate with streaming, multiple rooms, and everything else a music database program can manage, then it’s quite a bit of Overkill.

It’s also not something that will run on an iPad by itself. You need to have the core running somewhere. The iPad will provide an interface to that core, and give you all of the controls you need, but it is not a simple standalone program for iPads.


You can run it off a $500 NUC, easily.

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You’d be hard pressed to spend even $500 on Raspberry Pi.

The base computer boards are <$100.

I don’t personally run Roon, or run Roon on my Pi.

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I built 3 “End Points” using Raspberry Pi Zero W kits + SD cards, USB C Phone DAC Dongles & USB C to USB Mini adapters. Roughly $50 each, they could be used as ROON devices or as DLNA / LMS devices as I have done.

I have a Pi 4 Kit ( About $100 from Best Buy ) running LMS for a “core”, again ROON should be easy to put on one.

The overall cost of roughly $250 was quite reasonable for streaming to all my various systems and setup was not difficult at all.

ROON would be way overkill for me, but it may be just what you need.

Mark Gosdin

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If you are even lightly skilled with computers and everyday tools, assembling a Pi-based endpoint is straightforward, and can be competitive with “high-end” endpoints. I’m a fan of Pi2AES-based endpoints to drive separate DACs. The Pi2AES measures very well, and sounds excellent, even compared with >$1K devices. For the last few % of sound quality, maybe add a linear power supply, and still stay well under $1K.

But with the right USB DAC (not every DAC has a high-quality USB input, unfortunately), a simple Pi4B is good endpoint and Pi+case+accessories cost ~$100.

TL;DR >$1K endpoints are way overkill in most situations.

One thing a few of you kind folks need to keep in mind, @elliot currently does not have a computer to run Roon Core. The Pi4, while being a great bang for your buck Roon Endpoint is not supported for running a Roon Core.

Wanted to make it clear as the sun should he sign up for Roon and wonder why he can’t install the Core onto a RPi.

The Roon website explains how it functions in very straightforward manner:

Your best option is to buy the NUC as you do not currently have a computer, then perhaps buy a RPi4 and instal ropieeXL to connect as an endpoint for your DAC.

NUC info and suggested builds can be found here:


If you are an Apple user @elliot you could also think about picking up a Mac Mini and run that as your roon Core, I believe you could use your iPad pro as it’s monitor or get a less expensive monitor for.your mac mini if you only want to use it for that purpose. This process will be familiar and easy for the most part if you are already in the Apple eco system.


Smart! Thank you, my man!


A $200 HP laptop 2 Black Fridays ago was my solution and added an 8 terabyte hard drive. <$400 all together. Got it solely to run my music (Spotify/Apple music library/ Qobuz/ Roon) and it’s been perfect. Serves as my core for my speakers around the house.(Apple HomePods)

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Looking at what @MRHifiReviews shared… let me also confirm this. With my laptop as my core I can access Roon from my iPad or iPhone as a controller. Search/Change songs/volume/etc…everything without touching my laptop. Only actually physically use the laptop for non Roon music i.e. Spotify. So you don’t necessarily have to get a Mac product. Roon remote is really well integrated. Even works perfect on my Fiio dap


I run ROON core on a late 2014 mini i5 with 8 GB RAM and the standard hard drive. @elliot Response is adequate. I’m thinking about upgrading because it’s not snappy, but this mini has lots of convenient USB ports. I have several iOS devices as endpoints, it does have it’s own monitor. It also uses SONOS as endpoints.

Note if you connect a BF2 (and I assume most other DACs) to the mini and turn them off for a while, when you turn them on you have to (usually) re-insert the USB or the mini won’t realize it’s back.