Digital Volume Control

I’d like to get to a point where I am only using my iphone for volume control. I understand changing volume through software is not good for sound quality. Can Roon or anyone else confirm?

That depends entirely on your equipment and how it is set up.

What is your equipment?

I have 2 x Hypex NCore NC400 DIY Amps and a Benchmark DAC 2 HGC DAC. My source is a PC, which is fed wirelessly by my pc upstairs where my music resides

Hi Barry,

From what I have just read the Benchmark DAC 2 HGC has volume control built in, then provided it exposes the volume control via it USB input to Roon then Roon should be able to control it.

Perhaps @support or another Roon / Benchmark DAC 2 HGC user could confirm.

Hi Carl

I dont think the Benchmark offers that function

hi, am using Roon with endpoint running on Armbian Ubuntu Linux(Raspberry PI like). It does expose volume control (ALSA is unix sound subsystem, like WMAudio or something like that on windows) … therefore you can control volume from Roon app. Not in the most convenient way (click, then drag slider) … I use remote from Benchmark DAC2 100% of the time, but understand it could be convenient.
Secondly, I do not hear any harm when using digital volume control on Roon (for Replaygain) and in that case you could also control volume even if Benchmark driver did not support it.
Should not lose a bit of fidelity from 0dB (full volume) down to -48dB which is like 1000 times+ less power (if you have 200 W amp, -48dB is probably 0.5W or less).
Maybe not addressing your question, but good news is - if you wish to change volume from Roon, you can :slight_smile:

It is possible to do a digital volume control without having to convert DSD to PCM in Roon?

Put the emphasis on “or less,” since 10^(-48/10) = 0.000016. That is about 63,000 times less power than 200 W, specifically, 0.0032 W. A measly 3.2 mW. Many people do not realize how little amplifier power they actually are using with most loudspeakers under most listening conditions.


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The short answer is no. Software digital volume control requires recalculation of the digital data, and recalculation of the digital data requires multi bit word lengths.

Hardware digital volume control, on the other hand, may be able to increase/decrease SDM pulse intensity right at the D/A conversion stage, thus avoiding DSD decimation to PCM.


so true! but in spite of that … i tested with my 200-300W amp - you go down from 0dB (ear splitting) to -48dBa nd you can still hear (though faint) music from the speakers … so net net -48 dB is more then enough (except if your bedroom is anechoic chamber) for volume control and it causes NO impact to bits being wrong from lossless PCM sources.

btw, ive heard no difference from converting DSD to PCM (compared to DSD native) and i appreciate the fact that it can be volume-controlled and even more loudness-optimized (via Replaygain) … i am aware that audiophiles are hearing differences between those, but i can not and enjoyment of the music either way. I go for convenience if no major differences to what i hear :slight_smile:

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Thank you AJ, I have a question… Is there a difference btw digital(hardware and software aspects) and analog(after the DAC or amp) volume control in term of specs and sound? I came across many occasions analog is more preferred.