Dolby Atmos support in Roon (ROCK)? - Now that Tidal now extends its support (not only for Android)

Roon pays MQA for every stream MQA Decode. Not sure they need to take on a license for another proprietary gimmick that may well be a fad. We’ll see.

[Moderator Clarification: There is only a fee if the MQA decoder in Roon is used]

Regarding MQA, that may be a ‘decoding’ charge, as Roon can do the decoding. For Atmos, if it is licensed in a similar way, Roon could just pass the undecoded stream onto an AVR to do the decoding, at no cost to the user. All the above is pure speculation though. I have no knowledge of how Atmos or MQA is licensed.


Do they pay if they just pass it thru to an mqa dac? Don’t know, just asking.

It’s a charge per decode, see:

If they supported bitstream output which Roon doesnt currently it may not need licensing but this is pure speculation. Plex and Kodi don’t license DD and they passthrough.

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Yes, well aware of that previous discussion.

So again, if you set your endpoint device to mqa “decoder and renderer” and turn off mqa “core decode” you get full mqa decode from your mqa dac, and roon pays no royalty?

Seems like a similar approach would work for atmos.

I see what you mean now, thanks.

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Top mix engineers speaking about Atmos last week. Will we ever be able to hear their mixes in Roon? Hmm…


Thank you so much for posting this discussion panel. Watched all 4 1/2 hours of it even though the technical stuff was literally way over my head but the takeaway is that this technology is real; dolby atmos enhances music if done correctly and can sound great; the labels and the big players are committing vast sums of money to it so it bears paying attention to as it becomes more mainstream. I would love to see Roon utilize the technology and be on the leading edge so I don’t have to search elsewhere for the best sounding recordings available.

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Hi Claude. Great that you watched the whole thing. It’s a pretty fascinating discussion (well…for some people…haha). Your takeaway from this is 100% spot on. When done correctly, it’s potentially far more impactful and tangible to the actual listening experience than things like 192k or MQA, etc. It’s got major push behind it from all corners of the industry. And yes yes yes…I don’t want to have to search outside of Roon for the best sounding recordings either. It seems counter to Roon’s core messaging and principles.


What to make of Roon’s silence on this topic? Does the fact that they haven’t said “no” to Atmos mean they might be working on it? Or, does their silence mean they don’t care and it’s not on their radar? Hmm?!?!

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Well said. When the iPhone stumbles, we will be communication, listening and watching stuff via neural transmitters, but hey, Apple will have iNeuro 15 out. Stock will be at $3459.8 a share, after 17 splits from today.

It is actually easier for most consumers to hear the difference in a spatial audio recording (like atmos) than it is for them to hear the difference between a high res 2 channel track and a decent 44.1 Redbook track. Countless studies have been done which confirm the latter. I think apple has it right. They are putting their money in spatial recording rather than just me-tooing on hd. And I say this as a huge HD fan – I am not a detractor of HD. Having heard some great ATMOS music mixes it really can be a game changing experience and more and more are coming out every day. To say spatial isn’t high end is just off the mark. Of course there will be crappy spatial mixes just like there are crappy 2 channel mixes (with or without HD). Same as it always is. But anyone who thinks this is a fad and it is going away is way off the mark IMHO. Roon absolutely needs to get its act together on this… The best way to do this would be for Roon to recognize that it is connected to an ATMOS enabled device and work with tidal to then enable ATMOS music from Tidal to be streamed if that is the case. That alone would make me go back to TIDAL HIFI which I bagged a while ago and now just use Qobuz…


Yes, I do believe that quality will prevail. However, this does not come about with the advertising sign, but through the few engineers who can really raise Masterin to a new higher level. In the masses, much less has always been passed around so far. Billions of people converted CDs to MP3 for 20 years and thought they couldn’t hear a difference. Will that be different in just a few months? I think it’s going to be a very long road.

If left solely to the music industry to drive, I agree. But ATMOS adoption in market is being driven by TV/Movies and it is rapidly accelerating. All the music industry needs to do is take advantage the capability sitting in consumer’s setups. That is a huge difference and apple/amazon/tidal supporting it in their music services will make it an off the shelf offering. And the tools to do a atmos mix are readily available and frankly inexpensive. I believe within 12 months the majority of new music releases from any kind of reasonably popular artist will have a spatial recording version… And as I’ve said before, there will be good spatial mixes and bad ones. It still takes a good mastering engineer to create good mixes of any kind …


That software can simply convert everything is clear, but what do the inventors and really convincing sound engineers say to should solutions?

If the music industry is satisfied with it, it will only be the Frauenhofer story part 2. Actually nothing where the nerds will be satisfied with. That’s where the HiRes market is.

I’m not talking about music “converted” to atmos. That’s no better than the labels mass converting old rebook releases to MQA or HiRes and marketing them as such. Creative artists/recording engineers are beginning to create music with atmos in mind and will mix to it. That is where the real interesting spatial releases will come from.


Atmos is no more a fluke than when 4.0 came out, then 5.1…
There are serious mixing engineers mixing Atmos audio. The next wave is Atmos audio in High Resolution. Who knows 5.1.4 High Res? 192? 96 would be awesome. of course with all good engineers/mixers.

The Process Behind a Great Dolby Atmos Mix

In today’s livestream (8pm EDT), we sit down with David Frangioni to discuss the processes that go behind making a great spatial audio Dolby Atmos surround sound mix. We talk about why some Atmos mixes aren’t as immersive as others and how to best configure your system to take full advantage of spatial audio for music and movies.

David Frangioni is an award-winning veteran of the music and audio-visual technology industry, with expertise ranging from being a drummer and producer, to an audio consultant, technologist, integrator and recording engineer. He’s worked with such artists as Aerosmith, The Stones, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Ricky Martin, Steely Dan, Sting, Bryan Adams, Journey, Styx, Phil Collins, Shakira, Rascal Flatts, Cher and Chick Corea. In the A/V world, he led Audio One to more CEDIA awards in a given time period than any other audio-visual system integrator in the USA and in the music business, he has worked on dozens of Gold & Platinum albums.

Watch the interview on Audioholics Patreon page.

Pretty convincing evidence that Spacial Audio is here to stay, just like 7.1.4

I’m glad we survived the Mono to Stereo wars in the last century. LOL

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The reason your thinking is to conservative is that you need capital to make all this work, and the commercial side will drive the 95% that can’t tell the difference, but the rest will benefit from this.

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I don’t understand what’s necessary here. Is it sufficient to have Roon send the 7.1 multichannel stream to an Atmos-capable AVR? Isn’t that something it can already do?