Audirvana vs. Roon

The Roon journey I’ve been on over the last few days led me last night to Audirvana.

It has for me (and my case may be unusual) the killer feature of finding my AVR on the network via UPnP and identifying that the DAC can handle 192/24.

Seamless, hi-res, gapless, cover art, on-screen confirmation of bit rate, plenty of filters and what not if I want to mess around and no need for any expensive or limited endpoints in the signal path.

And of course a much cheaper option.

Right now I have Crime Of The Century streaming perfectly at 192/24.

I assume Roon don’t do this for a good reason (RAAT?) but my what a feature. Probably enough for me to go with Audirvana over Roon as all my other zones are relatively low fidelity so using Google Assistant with Spotify is easier, bit-rate isn’t the limiting factor on quality and I don’t have the same playback issues with groups that I do with Roon.

Now I just have to decide, Qobuz or Tidal?


I couldn’t run away from Audirvana fast enough. It has a terrible UI that Roon just destroys. In fact, you couldn’t pay me to use Audirvana now. I used it for over a year and hated it. I still kick myself for not switching to Roon sooner.


Yes, it’s nasty. But my main use case is listening to music not looking at my screen. Being able to directly address the DAC in my AVR at its max resolution is a major draw.


Even as a lifetime Roon member I still have to rely on Audirvana on a weekly basis sadly (sadly but also happy Audirvana exists). With new releases each week, Roon can have a 40 hour delay for Tidal albums showing up in Roon.

The explanation for the (up to) 40 hour delay is here:

Audirvana has Tidal albums available as quickly as the Tidal Desktop app, so I use that each weekend to listen to new releases, playing to my UPnP renderers (endpoints) over the network.

While the Roon UI does destroy it, I’m happy Audirvana exists. It covers this Roon gap that pops it’s head up every week (Friday to Sunday) for me.

Audirvana works well and is cheap - no complaints at all.


I’m a Roon user since 2017 but after the 1.6 upgrade I looked back at Audirvana and actually start to appreciate the simplicity of it’s UI again. I don’t hate it at all.
It’s a super fast, very simple UI and if you just want to listen to music it does all I need and it does it very well.
I’ve been using it a lot these past few weeks.


Digging around a bit it seems an overdue UI overhaul is in the works. Beta mid-late Feb so hopefully that’ll address some of the ugly.

among some reasons Qobuz let you purchase music .Tidal is only streaming.
Quality wise Qobuz is known for high quality but MQA Masters are not that bad so don’t choice …do like i do use both !!!
i am from France so Tidal is great for american music and Qobuz more for latin and classical …i use Roon and Audirvana too …choosing is boring …but i do not spend any money with cigarettes …


I like the way you look at life as it put a smile on my face. John from Jersey as in the US.

Audirvana has upgrade their UI to version 3.5 and it’s awesome ! Roon has a good competitor now UI speaking.


I’ve been trying Audirvana for the first time in the past couple days. It sounds great, better than Roon I think. Cannot identify precisely what the difference is and do not much like descriptions like “airy” or “warm”. Agree w/many others that Roon’s UI is much better. But then, Audirvana is much less inexpensive.

I wonder if Roon would take on a similar sound signature when played through a NAA (network bridge) such as one of the Sonore rendu products.


I recently tried Audirvana again after many years of not using it.
It clearly sounds better than Roon, but does not have the smooth operation of Roon or it’s very useful artist/song information.



I’m not trying to diss anyone’s experience, but this is a path I recently went down. After several years pause, I tried audirvana again, and was absolutely convinced it sounded better. After a few days, I realized it actually didn’t, it sounded exactly the same. And to be honest, I was relieved.


I completely agree with findings stated by JSV (Stereophile) as I use both of them and therefore they may be used as good directions for improvements.
Comparison is between dCS Mosaic and Roon.
“Both sounded beautiful, but the Bridge software again delivered clearer sound, with sharper highs, more saturated colors, and maximal liquidity and transparency. Roon’s sound was smoother, with more apparent emphasis of the midrange and bass.”
“As to which playback software sounded “better,” it remained a case of the Bridge app’s ultratransparent liquidity vs the Roon app’s softer-edged smoothness.”
We all have different tastes related to optimal sound presentation.

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Agree completely. And not only related to sound. I use Roon occasionally when it’s convenient but I just like the experience with Audirvana better overall, specially their integration with Tidal.


I came from Jriver, then got engaged with the magic of Roon, so I was curious about Audirvana after reading this thread, so installed it… I am impressed about how basic and lack of options Audirvana is!!! it does sound good (no actual difference for me compared to Roon or Jriver) but come on! Audirvana looks like an skin for your folders…


To me, the future is bright with a fanless computer and Audirvana (free Audirvana Remote App for Android and iOS now). Roon is too expensive and too much to get things up and running plus provide your own music. I did try Roon and converted my DAC into Roon endpoint using Sonore OpticalRendu. The cost of Sonore stuff was outrageous and came with many little pieces to plug in (mess). I ended up returning everything. If you plan setting up Roon this way, I would recommend saving all that money to buy a good new DAC or other components if you have a need for that. I totally satisfied with Audirvana. It sounds as good as Roon or better as others mentioned.

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2 months I do a lot research. Try Roon for 3 months and commit lifetime. Very happy.

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I agree, Roon cost more but worthy and depend how is your setup. I dont want computer, I use to run Roon core on Windows 10. Now my core is SonicTransporte, I am very happy, so easy


Roon streaming experience and metadata handling are excellent, no doubt. If you already had Roon compatible endpoints around your house and all you need is Roon core, then that should work great for you. However, it’s not very cost effective for a lot of people. It would not be easy for people to give up their expensive DAC for something else with Roon compatible endpoint. I understand you wanted to get rid of the computer, but the SonicTransporter is just a better computer that can put as less as possible noise into your audio system. Just in case you have not tried Audirvana, the streaming experience is similar to Roon at least it has more than what I need. I have one fanless computer in my main listening room connected directly to the DAC. Audirvana on this same computer can serve as a music server and it’s able to find all my airplay and upnp/dlna devices around the house then use the remote app to switch to device to stream to. I don’t need to touch the computer at all and if I need to I just remote desktop to it from somewhere else. I was worried about the noise from the computer to the DAC, but the people who design high end DACs should have that in mind to reduce as much noise as possible. The cost just did not convince me to go with Roon.

You don’t have to give up your “expensive DAC” to use a Roon endpoint. Just buy an endpoint that will communicate with your DAC. Most DACs, even the really expensive ones, have a USB input. I use an ultraRendu but there are many other endpoints out there starting at less than $100 and going up past $5000.

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