This app note shows you how to stream multichannel audio over the network to a multichannel miniDSP processor or interface, such as the Flex HT or U-DIO8. We will be using a Raspberry Pi 4 as the streaming endpoint to interface the miniDSP unit to the network, and Roon as the network audio software.


  1. In this app note we will assume that you are already set up with Roon. Roon is a paid subscription service, but there is a free trial if you want to see how the experience works for you. Or if you prefer, check out this app note that uses only free software: Multichannel streaming with miniDSP, UPnP/DLNA and Raspberry Pi.

  2. You will of course need multichannel audio content. We will assume that you have these files already in your Roon library. There is a small amount of multichannel content on the streaming service Qobuz, which we will describe in an appendix.

  3. If you don't want to use a Raspberry Pi, you can use a Windows mini PC instead. See the app note Multichannel streaming with miniDSP, Roon and Windows.

  4. The setup described in this app note works with stereo audio too. If you only need stereo audio, you can instead use a stereo processor such as a miniDSP 2x4 HD, DDRC-24 or Flex. In that case, however, be sure to check out our all-in-one SHD Series streamers.

  5. miniDSP doesn't provide support for hardware and software that aren't miniDSP products. This application note demonstrates the use of miniDSP products together with other products.


What you'll need [Top]

For this app note we will be using the Raspberry Pi Model 4 running the RoPieee software. If you already have an older Raspberry Pi 3, give it a shot, as use as an endpoint doesn't require much compute power or memory.

Raspberry Pi with miniDSP Flex HT

In addition to the Raspberry Pi, you will need a suitable power supply, a micro SD card, and a case. We used the Argon ONE case shown in the photo, which is a very sleek option, but there are plenty of other choices. If you haven't used a Raspberry Pi before, you may prefer to buy a kit containing these extras together with the board.

(If you're having trouble finding a Raspberry Pi, check out rpilocator.com. You could also consider one of the other boards listed on the RoPieee download page, such as the ODroid C4. Or a Windows mini PC.)

You will of course need a multichannel miniDSP processor that accepts audio over USB, such as the miniDSP Flex HT. You can also use our multichannel digital interface solution U-DIO8 if you don't need onboard DSP. (In this app note we will assume the Flex HT is being used.)

1. Getting set up [Top]

  1. Download and install RoPieee on your Pi. We recommend that you simply read and follow the excellent documentation.

  2. Connect a USB cable from one of the Pi's USB ports to the Flex HT's USB input.

  3. On the Flex HT, select the USB audio input using the front panel control or remote control.

  4. Open the RoPieee configuration page (see the RoPieee docs) in your browser. On the Audio tab, configure it to use USB audio as output:

    Enable USB audio for miniDSP Flex HT from RoPieee

    On the System tab, give it a unique name to help you identify it. We used "flex-ht-pi" for ours:

    Set name of miniDSP Flex HT in RoPieee

    (Note that if you rename the Pi, you will need to load the RoPieee configuration page at a different address. For example, in our case this is http://flex-ht-pi.local.)

2. Enable and configure in Roon[Top]

Go to Roon's Settings page and then to Audio. You should see your Flex HT appear in the list, like this:

miniDSP Flex HT in Roon audio settings

Click on Enable and give it a useful name:

miniDSP Flex HT enabled in Roon audio settings

Click on the gear icon to open the device setup for the Flex HT. If you want to be able to control the volume from Roon, select DSP volume (the "DSP" in this case refers to the digital signal processing that Roon executes, not the miniDSP.) If you want to control the volume from the Flex HT only, select Fixed Volume.

miniDSP Flex HT setup in Roon

Click on "Show advanced" to show more options. Scroll down to Channel Layout and select 5.1. (If you have a stereo processor, then this option will not appear.) Click on Save. We left all the other options at their defaults.

miniDSP Flex HT advanced setup in Roon

3. Play![Top]

In Roon, locate a multichannel file or album and play it. You can check what's happening in the Roon Signal Path (click the little icon to the left of the playback control buttons). Here is how ours looks when playing a multichannel FLAC file:

Roon signal path with multichannel FLAC

And here is how it looks when playing a multichannel DSD file:

Roon signal path with multichannel DSD

Note that, since the Raspberry Pi is using the USB port of the Flex HT, you can't use miniDSP Device Console at the same time to monitor or configure the Flex HT. This is an advantage of using a Windows mini PC instead of a Raspberry Pi.

Wrapping up [Top]

And that's it! Have fun, and please feel free to share your experiences with multichannel streaming in our community forum.

Bonus: playing multichannel music from Qobuz [Top]

If you have a Qobuz subscription, there is a small amount of mostly-classical multichannel music you can access there. Accessing it is unfortunately not as easy as it could be.... This is how we did it:

  1. Run the Qobuz app.

  2. Enter "#multichannel" in the search box. (Note the hash # symbol at the start.)

  3. Scroll down to Releases and click "See all releases". You will see your search results as a list of albums:

    Searching for multichannel albums in the Qobuz app

  4. Click on one. Confirm that it is multichannel, then click on the heart icon to add it to your Qobuz favorites:

    Viewing a multichannel album in the Qobuz app

  5. Quit and restart Roon. In the Roon app, click on Qobuz in the left menu then on My Qobuz. Scroll down to Favorite Albums and click "MORE". There they are!

    Multichannel Qobuz albums in Roon

  6. Click on one and press Play Now. You will then be able to confirm in the Roon Signal Path:

    Roon signal path with multichannel Qobuz

Thanks to Kal Rubinson for the heads up!


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