Some dacs volume just does this, I have a ragonfly Black and it’s unusable unless you need full line level or have very hard to drive headphone volume goes too loud after 6. This isn’t unique to Roon mind it happens in other apps too, just badly designed volume control.
I don’t have the problem in USB Audio Player Pro.
Roon is doing something differently.
Is usb audio set to use hardware volume ?
It was set to hardware volume. I’ve tried software volume same result, the volume increase is smooth in USB Audio Player.
Just gave the Qobuz App a try, no problem either.
There is definitely something off with ARC.
In my case, this is not a hardware issue. When use in USB Pro player it works fine. There’s a gradual increase in volume as it is increased.
Hi all, I write on this post to continue the record of configurations & issues that can help to improve this excellent feature.
First of all, congratullations to @brian and the team for this big improvement to ARC and for the quick response to the issues that have appeared. Given the infinite combination of phones and external DACS, I asume it is not easy.
Second, configuration & issues:
- Phone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Android 13, One UI 5.1, fully updated.
- ARC: Version 1.0 Build 150.
- USB DAC: iFi Go link, no idea Firmware version, PCM 32bit/384Khz, DSD 11,3Mhz (DSD256), MQA Renderer.
ARC recognizes well the USB DAC with two messages:first, “Allow Roon ARC acces to iFi USB Audio SE?” and second, “Open Roon ARC to control iFi USB Audio SE?” I obviously push accept to both messages.
Regarding volume, I haven’t had problems of starting at maximum volume, but the volume control is poor: when the bar is at 50% the sound to the headphones is null, then go to the maximum with big “quantum” steps, so volume cannot be adjusted fine.
Regarding PCM, it goes fine up to 24bits/192Khz, showing lossless in the audio path. For PCM 32bits/384Khz, it degrades 32 bits to 16 bits and shows “High quality” in the audio path, although, theoretically, the DAC is capable of playing this format without changes.
Regarding DSD, the Native DSD option it isn’t available. Only the two options “DSD over PCM v1.0 (DoP)” and “Initial dCS method” are available, and obviously I have taken first one.
What ARC does in my case with DSD256, a format theoretically supported by the DAC, is to convert first DSD256 to PCM 1411,2Khz and then makes a “sample rate conversion” to 352.8Khz. No clue the bit depth played, it is not shown in the audio path, that shows “High quality”, obviously not “lossless”.
I haven’t tested MQA, I will notice you if I do, but it is a format I don’t use and given that the DAC is only a MQA Renderer (not Decoder), I assume from previous posts that it will not work until ARC will make the decoding part.
I hope this help to improve ARC performance with this iFi Go link USB DAC, that, as far as I have tested, has an impressive SQ for the price (59€ in Spain).
Thanks to the team and to the comunity for the posts, they have been very instructive for a newcomer to Roon.
This is major issue now. It is either too soft or too loud to comfortably hear music. It is not
fine enough in controlling the hardware volume. I hope this can be fixed soon.
I find it the same with BT headphones but not sure if Roon can do anything about this or its down to each headset.
It might be possible to improve this on some Android phones after enabling the developer options, but maybe only for BT:
That for BT only it does work as I used it years ago when I had issues with a pair.
I just got a new USB-DAC to work with ARC but unfortunately I’ve issues…
Volume control needs to set to more than mid then have some music, set a bit higher sound becomes too high and unbearable. The increase is definitely not normal.
ARC occasionally crash and need to re-start.
The device is Truthear Shio USB-DAC:
Hope this can be fixed.
Thank you for your interest and for your kind replies.
I have made some more test with Roon mobile apps and with the USB Dac iFi Go link I would like to share with the community and with @brian and the developpment team, just in case it helps.
Roon remote in Android doesn’t take control over this external USB Dac at all. Hence, despite the format of the source, it plays at 24 bits/48Khz.
I have Qobuz as my streaming music service, but, in order to test MQA capabilities of ARC and iFi Go link, I have taken one month subscription of TIDAL Hifi Plus.
As expected, and I think mentioned in posts before, ARC don’t make MQA Decoding, so do not profit on the MQA rendering capabilities of the iFi Go link and uses the non-MQA format of files present in TIDAL for MQA files, ie. FLAC 24bits/44.1Khz. I think it is a pity, mainly for TIDAL users.
To be fair, TIDAL application also do not uses rendering capabilities of this USB Dac, but provides the file to it fully decoded I don’t know exactly in what format, but over 24bits/96Khz, as the LED of the USB Dac indicates.
Having said that, in order to know if the problem with MQA files resides in the USB Dac instead in the applications, I have tested it with a Roon Remote application installed in a Windows 10 Surface with the Roon Nucleus in another Windows PC acting as server.
In this case, the Roon Remote on Windows, accesing USB Dac in exclusive mode via WASAPI and using the MQA Decoding capabilities that are in fact present in the Windows Roon remote versión, has handled the MQA rendering capabilities of the USB Dac without problems and with really good SQ results.
What I haven’t been able to do neither in Roon Remote for Windows nor in ARC (as I mentioned in my previous post) is to play a native DSD256 file via this iFi Go link USB Dac, despite the technical specifications says it is capable to do so. The Native DSD option is not present in Roon remote for Windows and if you choose DSD over PCM 1.0 (DoP) Roon convert it to DSD128, half-sampling sample rate and putting it over PCM. In Roon Remote for Android, given the applications doesn’t takes control of the USB Dac, as mentioned earlier, the possibility simply doesn’t exist.
All this, and sorry for the really very extensive explanation, brings to me some questions:
Why the differences between the various versions of Roon remotes? I understand that they have different development paths, but they should tend to be the same, given the underlying hw & sw allows it.
Why ARC do not have MQA decoding capabilities. It could be useful when you are in the move without perfect network mobile connection.
What about DSD Native option for ARC and Remotes? I think it would be wonderful to have full DSD possibilities outside the equipment directly connected to the Roon Nucleus.
I hope @brian and the development team can have all this into account when planning next improvements.
Thank you for your attention. Best, Manuel.
Linsoul E1DA 9038S SUSUMU 3000 Edition USB DAC Headphone Amp with 2.5mm Balanced Output https://amzn.eu/d/2UipA7J
Volume gets to 130 out of 150 before it’s useable but a little low.
131 is blasting out and far too loud.
If I adjust the volume too many times the DAC is dropped and I have to disconnect/reconnect.
I found there is a tweak app for the DAC, the pro/paid for version does filter changes etc. But the free version directly addresses the DAC firmware volume. So I can get the right volume now.
Attached the DAC to my Amazon fire HD+ and it’s driving my sennheiser hd-800 headphones amazingly well.
Edit: paid for the pro version of the software and it allows you to change the volume range of the device, that gets stored in its firmware. So I have raised the lower limit and limited the top and the dac is useable now.
Roon remote in iOS can play DoP DSD, native DSD require dedicated driver in iOS which at the moment unheard of. For Android, Roon remote uses Android OS, which re-sample everything to base 48kHz.
For ARC, there’s a beta USB driver which you enable it; which can be bypassed the Android OS, thus allow lossless no re-sample to USB DAC. However, since it still in beta stage, it has limited support especially when it comes to the hardware volume control.
I’ve tried ifi Go bar with ARC, it has ability to disable volume sync to the android OS, thus it can works as it own; making fine adjustment to it’s volume while playing back. It is only USB-DAC dongle I know to have built-in full MQA decoder/render at 8x and switchable digital filters. However, this comes with high price tag😁
Thank you MusicFidelity for your comments.
I agree with all you say, regarding Roon remote in IOS and Android. Why they don’t have integrated the USB driver ARC already has (although in Beta, as you have mentioned)?
Regarding ARC for my Android phone, I have seen from my first post some improvements, perhaps because I have now ARC 1.0 (Build 159). I had ARC 1.0 (Build 150) before.
Although with my iFi Go link the volume control problems remain and DSD Native option is still not there, I have tested DSD1x(64) and DSD2x(128) and it plays lossless those files as far as you are in the same network that the Nucleus via WiFi. DSD4x(256) still not play lossless: as a mentioned in my previous posts, Roon Core directly makes a conversion to PCM at 1.441,2 Khz and then downsamples the signal to 352.8 Khz and send it to the DAC.
If you go outside home and connect the ARC with the Nucleus via mobile network, DSD files are converted to PCM and downsamples it to 48Khz/ 24bits, as clearly the DAC led indicates and despite the resolution of the DSD file (64, 128 or 256) and the quality of the mobile signal (I’m using 5G) Nevertheless, the SQ is pretty good!
On other ground, playing in the field of Roon remote for Windows, I have to amend my previous conclusions quoted above.
In the iFi web, Downloads, I have found a Windows driver for my iFi Go link that, once installed, and after some recognition problems of the USB DAC (you have to put it in and out, and set the parameter of Volume Normalisation to automatic and afterwards take it out), finally you have the DSD Native option working and, in fact it works perfectly well for all PCM resolutions till 384Khz/32 bits and for all DSD resolutions I have been able to test (64, 128 & 256).
Furthermore, If you try MQA files from TIDAL, it uses the MQA decoding capabilities of Roon remote for Windows and send the decoded MQA file to the MQA renderer present in iFi Go Link USB DAC.
So, once installed the Windows driver of the USB DAC (iFi Go Link in my case), Roon remote for Windows can use DAC capabilities completely. This could be a way to hear your very high resolution files with your headphones and a Windows computer in different room where you have your main equipment.
But attention, surprisingly, this only works if the Windows Roon remote is connected to a Roon Nucleus running also in Windows. I you have it running in Linux, as I have tested with a friend, the Roon Nucleus do not recognise your USB DAC as a device it can send music to, so you cannot activate it.
Hence, with a Roon Nucleus in Linux, you can use your Windows Roon remote to control remotely the music playing in devices that are connected directly to the Nucleus but not via the Windows remote.
Having said all this, how I miss the existence of Android drivers developed for the different USB DAC devices by the device manufacturer, as they exist in Windows. I’m sure it will make @brian and his team life much more easy!
Finally, we will start to think that Windows is not so bad after all!
Hope all this can help to the guys that, like me, want to improve quality of their portable music (without paying a fortune! ).
Best regards to all, Manuel.
Looks like there no activity or updates regarding ARC bit-perfect for android OS for a while. I’m not sure Roon is abandoning this feature altogether.
My gut feeling is it may be difficult to implement due to different hardware out there. However, I hope this feature will continue to improve if there’s a sizable users out there.
Hmm given a one man band seems to manages it ok and has a likely similar amount of users if not more as its the best thing on Android for it, not sure why Roon cant,. But Roon is a much bigger beast to manage overall. It’s never going to be plain sailing as one shoe does not fit all. I guess it ultimately depends on if they want that support burden given ARCs added a huge amount anyway.
We are still planning to address this. We released the USB driver last year, which was the first step. The ARC team is currently hard at work bringing DSP to ARC, which as you can imagine is a fairly long project. It’s coming out really nice, though
As for bit-perfect support on Android, there are really three use cases:
- USB output (released in November)
- Headphone output on phones
- Headphone outputs on DAPs
Additionally, we have DSP coming as an audio-oriented feature for ARC.
Our team’s size doesn’t allow us to do all of these at once, so we have to put them in order. USB driver came first, then DSP, then the others. And of course, these compete for resources with other projects like CarPlay, Android Auto, general performance/stability work, and so on.
Headphone jacks on phones are available on <10% of our users’ devices now. If they were on 100% like 7-10 years ago, we would have put this part of the work in front of the USB driver and DSP, but this is a niche use case at this point.
So, DAPs are going to be the reason why we put energy into bit-perfect support for built-in outputs on Android. The same work will likely light up a lot of phones, but seeing as headphone jacks on phones are looking pretty much nonexistant going forward, this can’t be our main motivator.
There’s a few things to do to make DAPs work well. Some related to audio, some related to performance or UI, some related to media storage, and some that involve collaboration/partnership with the DAP manufacturers. It is all in the pipeline.
Thanks for the update. Good to see what’s in the pipeline.
I can’t speak for everyone but feel Roon has been a top notch product and has met many a high end expectation. The fact that there is any effort to continue to upgrade and expand the product is amazing In today’s “get it out the door and we are done with it” culture.
Hoping you guys can work though the DAP/DAC issues.
Well, if it were possible, it would be very nice to have full support for built-in DACs in Android phones. Even after I eventually upgrade mine, I think LG V60 would make for a great DAP if its QuadDAC could be accessed by ARC at rates it supports…