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Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
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Old 12th November 2020, 01:18 PM   #1
Vortex is offline Vortex  Hungary
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Send a message via ICQ to Vortex Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
Exclamation Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)

Dear Members,

I'm struggling a tiny little bit how to solve the "one touch interface for controlling all my speakers in my flat" challenge.

1. living room + kitchen together, 4 monitor-sized speakers in 4 corners
2. bedroom, 2 monitor-sized speakers in 2 corners
3. cabling is done, normal OFC, can't be modified, place is fixed.
4. cables run together an come out of the wall at the expected place of the hi-fi stack, just below the TV.

What would be an appropriate solution to control all speakers with a single app ?

What I'd like to control:
- switch on/off the 2 zones (the 2 rooms) with a single tap on a screen
- play music (Tidal subscription there)

No indedependent zones are required. What I mean: same program can run in both rooms, no need to listen to program A and B in them.

Would a Roon setup be suitable ?

What we have:
- the DIY monitor speakers, soon to be placed to their final places in the corners
- cabling

What I don't know:
1. can I switch on/off an amplifier (ON/standby of course) serving these 6 speakers ? Via a touchscreen app with a single tap.
2. I have a Pi4/4G unused laying around. Can it be used as a Roon Core with Hifiberry's Beocreate ?
3. Beocreate is a 4-channel dac+amp together. That would fit perfectly with the Pi. What to you think ? 2x60W to the 4 living room speakers (they in series per pair), 2x30W for the 2 bedroom speakers
4. Would we this way get a reasonably priced all-around solution ?

I assume Hifiberry's hardware stack with Roon on it CAN do this indeed, so everything nicely connected together we could actually have our 2 listening zones, with the ability to control them right out of the bed.

OR miniDSP SHD Power ? 2x120W streamer, amp, dac, everything in one + a normal, nice case of course. A seemingly out-of-the-box solution, but then Volumio Multi Room I assume.. but there I could integrate Tidal too + switch the 2 zones on/off, I assume.

What do you think ? Thank you.

PS: passive speakers and we stay passive, cabling is done. I just need to provide a great user experience on top of the hardware, in conjunction with it. It's for a friend of mine who's a lady, not really keen in technology, audio, whatsoever. Just wants a nice "lounge feeling" at home, background music for dinners, reading, etc.
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Last edited by Vortex; 12th November 2020 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 13th November 2020, 11:57 PM   #2
MAAC0 is offline MAAC0  Portugal
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Before You plan to pay for Roon, since You already have the PI, check out Picoreplayer.
It's free open source & multi-platform.
Can do synched multiroom / players / Devices.
Does streaming & Bluetooth.
You can switch off / stand-by the players (RPI'S).
Not sure about multichannel functionality, but seems to work.
Server & player works on the same PI.
I run one on a RPI4 8G with jivelite with music served from my NAS, but can be used headless & the files can be also hosted on a local USB stick.
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Old 14th November 2020, 12:25 AM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
Roon Core requires a lot of processor power, there is no core for Pi4 and there won't be.

I am a Roon user and run ROCK (Roon Optimized Core Kit) on an Intel Nuc8i5 and am very happy with it. (Linux based)

I use 2 RPI 4 4GB and 2GB as end points as well as an Allo USBridge Signature in the main system.
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Old 14th November 2020, 12:02 PM   #4
Vortex is offline Vortex  Hungary
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Send a message via ICQ to Vortex Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
Oh gentlemen, thank you for the tips.

I'll check Picoreplayer. (Meanwhile: what does a Roon setup cost for the aforementioned purpose ? Approximately. Per month).
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Old 14th November 2020, 03:04 PM   #5
stokessd is offline stokessd  United States
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Back when apple was selling their network gear, I used airport expresses to 5 zones in my house. For non-critical stuff I used the line out on the airport, and for more critical stuff I used the digital out to a DAC. I still use two of them with roon.

The reason I bring this up is that airplay does multi-rooms and multi-zones and because it's by apple (10000 lb gorilla) all manufactures will support airplay at some level. You can also run airplay clients on your rPi's. But airplay control does push you more or less into iTunes as your GUI. just another option...

I split my listening between Roon and iTunes, I subscribe to Qobuz and Apple music.


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Old 14th November 2020, 04:00 PM   #6
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
Roon runs on an annual subscription, and up until now a lifetime license has been available - it's quite expensive. I have an annual subscription and it the life time option is still available at renewal time next year I will consider whether I want to pony up that much money at one time.

IIRC it was about $179 for the year subscription.

Hardware cost was substantial because I was replacing a Sony HAP Z1-ES with a new Nuc server, and purchased 3 end points, two of which are RPI 4 based that I put together, and the Allo which I just loaded Ropieee into. It all worked immediately..
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Old 14th November 2020, 07:36 PM   #7
Greg Erskine is offline Greg Erskine  Australia
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Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
piCoreplayer will *not* meet your following requirements:

"one touch interface for controlling all my speakers in my flat"
"switch on/off the 2 zones (the 2 rooms) with a single tap on a screen"
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Old 14th November 2020, 08:52 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Multi-room solution advice please (Roon? Other?)
Nor I think will Roon. One way around this would be to detect audio and use that to turn on the amplifiers, a time delay of a few minutes after the last music plays should prevent nuisance turn offs.
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Old 14th November 2020, 09:02 PM   #9
wealas is offline wealas
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Roon has extension API to control amps and pre-amps and there is some stuff already written out there. But you might have to do some coding if not.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 04:37 PM   #10
MAAC0 is offline MAAC0  Portugal
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Quote:
piCoreplayer will *not* meet your following requirements:

"one touch interface for controlling all my speakers in my flat"
"switch on/off the 2 zones (the 2 rooms) with a single tap on a screen"
Picoreplayer players can be switched off (standby) or even the RPI powered down. As You pretend to switch both zones at the same time, since they are synched it will work.
There are buttons both on the Jivelite interface & on the LMS interface.
I don't know how the amps behave regarding background noise etc when the RPI is in standby. You'll have to ry.

Set up LMS on an unused computer with a small library.
Download Squeezelite-x for pcs', Squeezer & Squeezeplayer (paid but also available outside the store) for Android phones & give it a try. As You already have a PI. Try it also in the mix. It's just a matter of burning a card & configuring it.
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