Roon and NDX 2

My brand new NDX 2 and SN 2 are now a week old and being run near enough 24 hrs per day. I really like the Naim app and mainly play cd ripped to Flac and sacd rips on a USB SSD attached to the NDX 2 plus tidal via the app. I have also taken out a qobuz trial and thanks to people on these forums am now able to play via chrome cast.

Qobuz also include a 30 day trial of Roon so I have taken advantage and set up a Roon account today. I have worked my way through a basic set up and have arrived at the following:-

Microsoft surface book running windows 10 as the core connected to my router over WiFi, NDX 2 as output connected to router via Powerline plug Ethernet, iPad Pro (as server?) to control everything.

Roon has picked up the 20 or so albums on my PC, and after signing into my tidal and qobuz accounts shows these too (ouch, terrible grammar).

It has been a fairly painless process to get things sorted out, maybe two hours, and I am enjoying some of the extra features such as the resolution quoted on bottom right of album artwork and extra information about artists and albums.

I am not convinced that the SQ is as good as via the app but I have no idea why this should be or if I am actually pre-occupied with Roon and not really hearing correctly. Anyhow, the SQ is certainly not bad in any way.

I do not fully understand the ins and outs of Roon despite reading their manual. I have a USB SSD attached to my NDX 2 - how can I access these files via Roon?

My SACD rips are native DSD64 on the drive (copies also on PC) and I am sure that on another thread I read that the Naim DACs don’t do DSD so well directly and prefer it to be converted to PCM. My interpretation of what I read could be totally wrong but if correct, how do I convert (transcode?) to PCM?

Another disadvantage over the Naim app is that I need to have my PC on to act as a core.

Early days yet but I am determined to give Roon a good shot. Any other tips that I need to consider?

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I’m considering running a trial with my (same) set up, so following with interest.

Hi @Mike_S, what sources do you use?

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Uniti Core and Tidal Hi-Fi. Quobuz isn’t available in New Zealand. I have iMacs I can set Roon up on and have my CD collection in iTunes as well, but wouldn’t use that (lower SQ).

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Is the core the Naim item that you can rip CDs to?

Yes, it’s a CD ripper, store and UPNP server.


Yes, it’s in my office and connected to the NDX2 and Nova through Ethernet. It also plays wireless to a Uniti2. The Roon Core is something else, the hub of system.

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I initially ran Roon Core (with a library of rips and purchased hi-res audio, plus Qobuz) on my 2012 Mac Mini. That worked fine because I don’t really use that computer for anything else (except ripping CDs). I wouldn’t want to run Roon Core on a daily working computer. I have since bought a Intel NUC, memory and SSD and run ROCK on that, with my library on an internal 1TB SSD. That works better, great in fact. It’s dedicated to the task of running Roon Core and nothing else, is headless, and a quarter of the cost of a Roon Nucleus+, with equal or better performance.

I think you’ll need to move your USB drive from the NDX2 to the machine running Run Core for it to integrate those files. I also recommend using ethernet instead of Wifi for better streaming performance.

In Roon Core, each output device can be configured with DSP settings. You can change the Roon DSP settings for the NDX2 device to transcode your DSD64 files to PCM.

I also have a NDX2. I only use it as a Roon endpoint, and I love it. When I listen to music I just run Roon on my MacBook Pro and use it as a controller for the Core running on my NUC. I don’t care as much for the iOS app.

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If your music is attached to your streamer then for roon to see it you need to add a network path to it. Not sure if the streamers can share the music this way though. They can act as a UPnP server but for Roon to see it it needs to be a samba network share.

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Yeah, I would just attach the USB drive to the Roon Core machine and add it as a local folder in Settings->Storage. Roon isn’t a UpNP client, so it won’t work to just put the NDX2 in server mode (as far as I know) and leave the USB drive attached there.

Hi All,

I have been following the forum for a while now, I joined yesterday…so this is my first post.

@Bjm great topic…of interest to me as I have only recently got back into HiFi and Roon was all news to me. It would be interesting to hear how you get on with the trial, and if you carry on using Roon. While there is lots of info online I am struggling to fully understand the Roon/Tidal benefits.

The understanding I initially had, was that Roon was great for those who had massive private collections which are now ripped, and they wanted a more tactile experience when using their digital library. As I grew up with iTunes, iPods and than Spotify my CD collection stopped growing relatively early on, and I only purchased CDs in latter stages for emotional reasons. So as I got back to HiFi, I was well placed to start the journey with streaming components only. I currently use Spotify and Tidal for most of my listening.

However, I am currently working on my main system path with one of our Naim dealers in NZ and I am interested to see if Roon is something I need to consider. By the way @Mike_S, John said to say Hi! It would be great to connect, I think I might be heading down the same path.

Reading the Naim and other forums I have noticed that Roon had few other advantages I did not consider initially. I read comments about Roon improving the Tidal app experience. While I don’t mind the Tidal and Naim apps to much, I don’t think the experience is as good as it could be. I also love finding new music and from what I understand this is also a strength of Roon. I read your comments re SQ with some interest, in most cases when Roon SQ was discussed the impression I got is that SQ improved via Roon, I was also unsure how that was possible.

I am also interested to understand if running Roon with NDX2 do you still need to use Naim app for daily listening, or do you control all systems via device such as iPad (Roon remote)?

Also if dowloading music from Tidal I assume music is stored on the Roon core device whatever that might be, say the NUC? I don’t think i am ever going to spend hours on Roon reading about artists etc. but if helps me manage my Tidal artists and albums better than Naim app I would be interested.

Thanks, I hope the trial gives you the results you are after, I will be following with interest.



Roon is sort of the Tivo of high res digital audio and that’s one of its greatest appealing features to me. I use it with Qobuz and am discovering a lot of great music I might not have otherwise.

Hi, I suspect you may find that sound quality is compromised a little by running your Roon Core device over WiFi. Your network will be quite busy, as the signal will be sent to the Roon Core for processing, then out to the streamer. Try running it with a wired Ethernet connection instead of WiFi, and it may improve a little. At least, it did for me using a MacBook Pro.
Another suggestion: there is a setting in Roon which appears to help with Naim streamers, which is to set it to output 24 bit instead of the default 32 bit. I’m not at home at the moment, so I can’t check where this setting is, this was first seen by @Simon-in-Suffolk so perhaps he can confirm.
If you decide to keep Roon, most will choose to run it on a device that can be left on, wired to your network. A desktop computer or powerful NAS would be fine, or you could buy a dedicated device such as an Intel NUC, Mac Mini, or Roon Nucleus. If you attach your USB drive to this, or any device that runs on your network, Roon will find it, but unfortunately not when it’s on your streamer.
If you’re going to run Roon, I would consider a Naim Core a very expensive option, as the only real purpose it then serves is as a CD ripper, and you can do that very cheaply and easily on any computer.

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Welcome to the forum @timbre. Sounds like a fun journey you are embarking on and you are in good hands with The Shore folk. I’ve been a Room skeptic and struggle to understand how it could deliver better Tidal SQ than the Naim app, but are yet to run some A/B comparisons. I’ve found my Naim Core is consistently better than a Tidal hi-fi stream, but there are suggestions that run through Roon, there is no difference. I need to run a free Roon trial to test that out. Having said that, I do prefer keeping my audio and computer seperate, so the Naim Core and the NDX2 and Nova achieve that.

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Chris indeed i overwrite the max sample size down to 24 bit on the Roon endpoint advanced setup for Naim streamers… for me this provides the best SQ and equivalence with UPnP media


Hi Mike_S, the better Tidal SQ via Roon is nothing to do with the Naim app, but is instead down to the proxy and transcoding function undertaken by Roon Core of the Tidal (and Qobuz) media transfers. You can achieve similar SQ enhancements with UPnP if using a transcoding proxy such as BubbleUPnP Server, but usability is not as good in my opinion…


I’m not sure I understand that, other than left wondering why the Naim streamer isn’t doing this? I read another comment about concerns running Roon on a computer would introduce noise into the stream?

The streamer will play what you send it… Many people find that LPCM WAV sounds subjectively better. This is because the streamer is working less hard to extract the sample data and so producing less crosstalk noise. The same holds true for how hard and consistently the network stack is working…
Therefore a transcoding proxy provides SQ benefit as it helps the reduction of processing crosstalk in the streamer by transcoding FLAC to LPCM, and making external media transfers appear as fast consistent (non elastic) media transfers.

Effectively this makes external and local media sound equivalent… (subject to the master of course).

Remember there are no ‘streams’… that is a conceptual idea to help layperson understanding… there are actually media file transfers. Roon Core adds no noise into the file, unless you want it to such as providing tone control correction, resampling etc etc.


I’m guessing then, that Tidal can’t stream the LPCM directly to a streamer? It’s all very interesting.

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Correct Tidal sends FLAC files… which contain non destructively compressed LPCM or MQA data. Occasionally Tidal sends AAC if lossless media is not available.