Roon Trial

I’d like to see if Roon is right for me.

I’m currently using the JPLAY dlna software and an Ifi Zen Stream. The JPLAY software is really a great interface. It allows you to stream Qobuz or Tidal only via their software. I stream Qobuz through JPLAY....but, as I’ve mentioned here before, I do have problems on occasion with connectivity and "Error sending action to renderer" which causes me to hard quit the app, relaunch it and usually it works fine after that. I am hardlined in with Ethernet, not using WIFI. I don’t know if the issue is JPLAY, the combo of JPLAY and the Ifi Zen Stream or something on my end with my service.
I just had a full overhaul of my modem and router two weeks ago from my ISP and I have pretty fast, high bandwidth service.

My plan is eventually to move into an entry level Innuos or perhaps Aurender situation since so many have said great things about both the audio quality AND the interface.

But....I’m also really into liner notes and context and reading about what I’m listening too.

The JPLAY app is nicely laid out and there’s a pretty good way to read liner notes if they are made available.

From what I understand, Roon is the way to go if you want that context and good information about what you are listening or discovering. I don’t necessarily need software recommendations, but would love to know who is playing what and/or who recorded the music ...or who composed and when , etc.

So... my question is what is the most minimal way I can test it out ?

My Zen Stream is Roon certified, but I would need to get some other kind of computer to host the Roon core. I have an old iMac that is in the same room as my stereo, but I don’t really want to use that. (It’s usually turned off). I have a MacBook Pro from 2016 with a broken screen that I can use as a "headless" computer if need-be.

I don’t really want to buy a NUC but will if that’s the right choice.

Any suggestions for dipping my toe in here?


BTW - my digital front end is:

Router > Link-Up Cat 8 cable > SOTM ISO-Cat7 LAN isolation filter > Link-UP Cat 8 cable > EtherRegen on it’s supplied switch mode power supply > Triode Wire Labs "Freedom" Ethernet cable > Ifi Zen Stream on an LHY 12V linear power supply > Triode Wire Labs "Spirit" S/PDIF cable > Border Patrol Se-i DAC > Triode Wire Labs "Spirit ii" RCA cables > Van Alstine RB10 tubed preamp > Triode Wire Labs "Spirit ii" RCA cables > Van Alstine SET 120 amp > Supra Rondo 2.5 Speaker Cables > Fritz Carbon 7 SE mk2 Speakers



Put ROON  trial one of the MACs and and dont be concerned with the sound quality.  Shouldn't cost you a dime to find out all the information ROON provides you with is worth getting a dedicated piece of hardware to RUN the Core.