Originally Posted by Marc Alexander
It is Roon Ready.
WRONG! The Monoprice is not ROON Ready. To be ROON Ready, it would accept the digital audio via ethernet or wireless ethernet and then process as a ROON Ready endpoint.
The quote from Audioholics states "We’re still seeing a push for smart home integration at CES and the HTP-1 doesn’t disappoint with Alexa compatibility. In addition the HTC-1 ships with a Chromcast dongle for basic Ethernet Audio like Pandora, Spotify, etc and it can be used as a Roon endpoint."
I don't know where you got that picture showing "ROON Ready" because its not from the Audioholics article!
What this means is that since it ships with a Chromecast dongle, the dongle plugs into most probably HDMI (beause existing Google Chromecast dongles plug into HDMI), and the dongle is the ROON Ready endpoint itself. Chromecast HDMI dongles are limited to 48k, and HDMI sonics simply are not near as good as coaxial or AES/EBU sonics (although not bad when you don't compare in a more audiophile type system).
For years I had a custom built PC, HDMI out, for both 2 channel and multi-channel music, also USB out for 2 channel only, first using JRiver MC, then ROON. 2 channel via USB simply sounded better than HDMI, although HDMI wasn't "bad". And when I moved to a separate ROON Ready device (Sonore Microrendu, then Sonore Signature Rendu SE, then Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical, the sonics for 2 channel improved even more. I used a Berkeley Audio USB to AES/EBU converter then for 2 channel into the Theta CBIV and later CBIVA SSP. When I got my non-Theta SSP that is ROON Ready and finally set it up earlier this year, I found that its ROON Ready ethernet sounded just as good as using the Sonore Signature Rendu SE/Berkely combo so I sold those components. ROON Ready is the best real deal for music. Using a Chromecast HDMI dongle is ok for most folks, not for me - I only use it for background music with video on display for a few tvs around the house. But heck, the Monoprice SSP with a msrp of only $4-5K, being ROON Ready would add some to the cost - and in that price range the difference in sonics using Chromecast HDMI vs ROON Ready won't be nearly as pronounced, if at all, as with a high end SSP.