About ready to give up on Roon and my streamer

Last December I started a thread to address the question of whether a true AES/EBU cable would sound better than a standard XLR when connecting my Sonnet Morpheus DAC to a Sonnet Hermes streamer. As the discussion evolved, (and in the end I abandoned both connections in favor of I2S via ethernet cable) I began sharing my trials and tribulations setting up Roon and getting it to work. Though I was finally successful and did get to spend some quality time streaming favorite music through Qobuz on the Roon platform, I've never been entirely happy with the sound. Apart from the headaches of getting everything to connect together every time I turn it on, I've also experienced some bizarre intermittent sound quality issues with Roon that I'm becoming very frustrated with. Sometimes it sounds pretty good, and sometimes it sounds tinny, shrill, and no stereo image. I haven't changed any settings anywhere, but something's clearly not getting processed correctly. At this point I'm tired of fighting with it.

What I'd really like to do is take Roon out of the equation entirely and connect directly to Qobuz through a streamer, but the Sonnet Hermes is designed to be a Roon endpoint and as far as I can tell, nothing more. If there's a way to get it to connect directly to Qobuz, I'd surely like to know about it. 

Meanwhile, I'm happy to take suggestions for a streamer in the $1K to 1.5K range (new or used, happy with either) that can do this. I really don't want anything with a built-in DAC, as I'm really happy with mine, despite some minor shortcomings in its array of input connections. 

Advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I own the Metrum ambre which is essentially the same as the Sonnet Hermes and also own the upgraded metrum onyx with latest DAC modules.  Cees who designs both the Onyx and Morpheus basically said the upgraded onyx sounds the same as the Sonnet Morpheus.

Anyway I've tried both Roon and Volumio and prefer the sound of Volumio using my above setup and I connect the ambre to the onyx via I2s.  It's easy to swap the small micro SD card inside the Hermes to either use Roon or Volumio.  I just burned the Volumio software onto a micro SD card from the Volumio website and it worked.  Volumio is definitely not as polished as Roon (less options) however it is much more lightweight and no need for an external computer or other device to hold the Roon core.  For me I don't need all of the stuff that Roon does and I preferred the sound quality of Volumio so it works for me.  I'm sure others will listen to both and say the sound quality is the same which could be true in their setup.

Anyway you can try Volumio to see if it sounds any better than Roon and there probably is a free introductory period  Technically Volumio is free but if you want to stream Tidal and Qobuz there is a yearly fee.


Have you tired the Roon forum? It's called the Roon Labs Community. I recently had a problem (tuned out to be my network) and the help was first rate.

For Roon sound you can also mess with the DSP feature (a sacrilegious thing to some).

Thanks everybody for your responses. Some very useful information.

To answer a couple of questions posed, the Roon Core is running on my PC (desktop) and I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 as the controller. This connects via my AT&T Fiber wi-fi (300Mbps), so I’m pretty sure that’s not a bottleneck.

The Hermes (to re-iterate) is connected to the Morpheus via I2S ethernet cable. I do have the USB module and could change back to it if there would be any advantage to that. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this particular DAC, the USB connection uses the same slot as the I2S ethernet connection, but you have to remove one module and replace with the other if you want to switch formats for this input.

As for using the SD slot to change platforms, I haven’t experimented with this yet--it’s a bit complicated and to be honest, I’m not having a lot of success understanding Sonnet’s documentation on the subject. I guess some experimentation is in order here.

If it’s my router that’s causing the problems, I don’t really know what to do about that. Not really versed in the technology of wi-fi signals and how they might vary.

From the opinions expressed here, it seems that Roon has many great advantages and the majority opinion is that you all seem to like it. So I guess it’s worth making the effort to try to solve these issues before giving up entirely. So at this point, mind still open.

Oh, and yes I DID make use of Roon's knowledge base and support forum when setting everything up, and it proved very helpful. I searched for this particular problem through those sites but didn't find a remedy I thought was useful.

Thanks again for your input.


Installing Volumio onto an SD card is pretty easy. You just need a PC or Mac, a memory card reader (I use this one) and the Raspberry Pi Imager utility which can be downloaded here.


The imager is nice because it lets you choose your media OS. Sometimes there's an option to preconfigure things like wi-fi before you load the OS onto the memory card which means your device is ready to go as soon as you power it on.


One other note - if you decide to switch to Volumio or another streamer, look into using the UPnP protocol to cast Qobuz from your mobile device. For example, I use BubbleUPnP on my Android phone to log into Qobuz and stream from my phone to my Raspberry Pi running moOde. On iOS devices, I use the mConnect HD app. It preserves the sampling rate and bit depth, so it's great for hi-res audio.