A better sound from ROON

If RoonServer on your control PC with an iPad remote doesn’t work, I got nuthin …

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Strange, I think Roon sounds great as it stands on its own, and together with Dirac Live it sounds truly fantastic. That’s my opinion :wink:

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I am running Roon via Air to my Devialet 400 from an NUC PC and it sounds superbly detailed and airy. If you feed it with a good HD source like Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo - Dear River on Linn 24/96 it is even better…

Roon’s SQ is not bad but not great. I have compared the SQ of Roon in a Macbook pro retina 2013 against a dedicated streamer transport and the streamer wins.

Surely the audio end point defines the sound quality. Effectively isolating anything Roon and your core computer are doing.
Roon sounds exactly the same as Sooloos via my MS200’s

Agree with @andybob Assuming you hear a difference in audio players with all other variables being the same, then the only thing you can try (if you haven’t already) is to run RoonServer rather than the full Roon, which strips out the GUI and should reduce the amount of processing that is running on the PC. I provided some guidance on another thread explaining how to run Roon as a windows service, you could try that in conjunction with uninstalling the windows GUI on your server to see if that helps.

In the future, when the RoonSpeakers app is released, you could move the processing being done by the Roon Core (library management, codec processing, etc.) onto a different machine, leaving only the rendering functions on the playback PC connected to your DAC.

Or, as @Chrislayeruk mentioned, remove the PC from the direct playback chain altogether, and try a dedicated endpoint. Currently the only option is meridian, but in the future I am hopeful that something like the Sonora Rendu will be updated to support the RoonSpeakers protocol.

For Roon itself - I like a dedicated PC/Box for it. Having a Roon Core, then Roon Remote takes all that extra processing work, threads, services from the playback PC. (I am waiting for RoonSpeakers to get back to my Roon Core, Roon Remote setup.)

The following is for Windows - Forgot to ask about which OS the OP was using…sorry.

Now if you like to tinker with your PC’s then the following are things people are doing for improvements. FYI I use 2012R2 Essentials, AO, JPLay, and Process Lasso on my dedicated Roon machines.

Here are some of what others have done for improvement in playback regardless of application being used. Now, how much each one makes in improvements is up to the end user - :smile:

People have cut back the number of processes running on their music machines. This is probably the most used “tweak” to get better playback. Audio Optimizer is a 2012R2 product that does that. Fidelizer is another product that works with Win8, 10, 2012R2.

Others have written scripts for Win 8 and there are recent threads about scripts for Win 10 reduction. (Script talk is over at Computer Audiphile).

NOTE: If you play with scripts, make sure you have a backup or image of your machine before changes.

Some people have used another ASIO driver (JPlay) and like the improvements.

Some have used Fidelizer and like the improvements.

Some have used Process Lasso and like the improvements.

Some have went to fan-less boxes in custom built machines, with custom interface cards and cables and liked the improvements.

Some have replaced SMPS (Wall Wart Power Supplies) with LPS (Linear Power Supplies) and like the improvements.

If using USB, some have reported improvement with the AQ Jitterbug.

If using USB, some have reported improvement with the Uptone Regen

If using USB, some have reported improvement with the Schiit Wyrd

Some believe in swapping cables, power conditioning, vibration control, and on and on for an improvement.

I am sure I am missing some other “tweaks” people are using.

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I just quoted myself from the previous post. I have a highly optimized dedicated 2 PC setup that is capable of producing a very refined sound when it’s fed from a good playback engine. I also just did an A/B test between Audrivana+ and RoonServer running on the same MacMini thinking that RoonServer might sound better on OSX but Audirvana wins by miles. I’m waiting for the roonspeakers and/or HQP integration to give it the last chance.

Anyways ROON is a work in progress and I hope the team will work on the sound engine to make it more enjoyable.

Thanks to everyone trying to help.

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Sonore is coming out with a new product called the Urendu with a USB connection and Ethernet and it will be a Roon Speaker. Apparently it will run Linux and no computer will be required. No info on when it will be released. There are no current plans to add Roon to the Rendu.


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For years, I’ve been upsampling all of my content to DSD - first with JRiver, and later also with foobar & HQPlayer. I like the sound of DSD upsampling so much that I now use a Lampizator DAC that only plays DSD. It’s fed by a dual WS2012 server setup with AO & jPlay so my audioPC can loaf in hibernate mode while my controlPC handles the UI and DSP heavy lifting. The sound quality is incredible.

Thanks to the posters on the forum, I’ve been able to figure out how to integrate Roon into my system. I haven’t ever listened to Roon directly. I use ASIO to send its datastream to foobar for upsampling, so I’m hearing the sound of foobar. Unfortunately, foobar is my least favorite sounding of the three players I have, but HQPlayer integration is not ready yet and I can’t get JRiver to work with Roon. The sound quality of HQPlayer is obviously superior to what I get from Roon/foobar.

So, I’m very much looking forward to the forthcoming integration of HQPlayer and Roon.

I can reccomend the Dirac room correction software from Dirac.se
Impossible to live without when first tried

Best Regards Mit freundlichen Grüssen KnockKnock

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Same here. Roon headless on a NUC to MS200 endpoint has got the same SQ as Sooloos which is a dedicated high end streaming machine.

It would be fair to say most of us love the Roon interface and what it has done for interaction with our music, it set now its appropriate to ask the developers what are their plans to improve sound quality as there seems to be a general consensus there are other stand alone solutions such as Audirvana that sound considerably better.

I became a lifetime member because I believe the guys will get there, but just as they did with interface and functionality updates it would be useful if the developers could tell us what the program is to improve the sound quality of the product.

Hmm… Roon subscription for $500 + MS200 for $1000 = $1500. That’s quite steep given that most of us already invested in hardware.

I totally agree. But it seems that many of the Roon users are overexcited about the UI features overlooking the SQ.

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“General consensus” seems to be slightly overstepping the mark, methinks. I’m all in favour of better sound but with Roon one has to factor in the disparity of user setups and end points (and ears, golden or not). Without proper insight and data it will be nigh on impossible for Roon Labs to implement any meaningful changes.

A lot of the SQ you enjoy is due to system architecture and operating system optimisations. I think its unlikely Roon would venture into those fields, which seem very well handled by specialist programs.

Integration with HQ Player is much anticipated, but may not deliver the SQ you have experienced.

What sort of changes do you think Roon could make to improve SQ ? What is Audirvana doing right ?

Edit: I am using AO in minimal server mode. There were reports of users running RoonServer in AO optimised 2012r2 core mode, but as set out in this thread, I havent been able to replicate that. The barrier is reloading wsemp.exe after getting into core mode. If you are able to do that then you might hear an improvement to SQ and it would certainly be of interest to others.

My audio PC is running win2012 with AO in core mode. My control PC is running win2012 with AO in minimal mode. I installed the RoonServer on a CAD optimized MacMini and installed ROON remote on my control PC. Believe me, I did all possible tweaks to make it sound good, but it just doesn’t sound good to me. it has an OK sound but not a WOW music reproduction. Something is missing in the playback implementation.

When you had RoonServer on the Mac Mini and Roon remote on the control PC were you using a private zone output from the control PC to Audio PC or a USB output from the Mac Mini direct to your Audiopphilleo 2 ?

As I understand your setup the different audio paths might look as follows:

QNAP NAS > Ethernet > Mac Mini (RoonServer) > Ethernet > Control PC > Ethernet > Audio PC > USB > Audiopphilleo 2 etc.

QNAP NAS > Ethernet > Mac Mini (RoonServer) > USB > Audiopphilleo 2

It might be worth trying the shorter direct path if you have not already done so. Audio path always goes through Roon core but need not go through a remote.

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Hi end audio sound has always been relatively expensive. Something you have to invest in. The thing with investment is, You get a return, in this case music enjoyment.
Roon is the best UI I know of and it will get better. More compatible end points will appear but the best ones will cost more. Audio grade components cost money. Research and development costs money.
So £500…00 RRP for an MS200 is great value in the Hi Fi world for years of musical enjoyment through whatever other components you have.
All IMHO Chris :chicken:

The thing is that I already have invested quite a lot into my system and it sounds superb when fed from a good playback engine. It’s ridiculous to start adding new hardware just to make a bad sounding software to sound better.