Don't default volume to 100

Bit of a dumb user issue here.

When you add a new audio endpoint it would be good if the volume wasn’t defaulted to 100. When I added a Libratone via Airplay I didn’t notice and scared the cats, then when I added my Transporter (which works very well by the way - good job) again I didn’t notice.

I am still trying to coax the dog down from the ceiling - at least I know how loud my setup can go now I guess. So defaulting the volume to 0 would be good for me if only to placate my wife who seems to think I spend my life fiddling with this sort of thing - but I do accept this is user error ultimately!

But getting the Squeezebox stuff working was genius - love it.

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This is really, really tricky, because the “right” default value varies widely from situation to situation. I don’t think there will ever be a one-size-fits-all answer for this.

Let me throw out some cases…

Defaulting anything to 0% would make a bad out-of-box experience for new users. The #1 FAQ would be “I’m playing music but I can’t hear anything”. That’s not an option.

Any situation involving an OS-provided mixer should default to 100% since the master volume control ultimately controls how loud things are, and the Roon volume control is an extra digital attenuation stage.

Many DACs have an annoying fault: at anything but 100% volume, they are not bit-perfect. These DACs can’t do DSD playback at anything but 100% volume. We do want that to work out of the box, so that the user isn’t discovering their DAC’s limitations at the same moment when they’ve just installed Roon and then blaming us for it.

Any source component should probably be at 100%, since the volume control is likely to be downstream at the amp and we don’t want to apply extra attenuation.

The one situation where we totally agree that volume should not default to 100%? Any device with a built-in speaker.

Unfortunately, AirPlay doesn’t (to my knowledge) inform us if the device has a speaker or not, and setting the volume of the most common devices (AppleTV and AirPort Express) to <100% is not great, since they are source components that should have downstream volume controls elsewhere.

We can determine that with Squeezebox devices, and in fact, we default the volume of the Boom + Radio to 25%.

The transporter is a source component, and has a digital output–which is why it defaults to 100%.

It would be a better world if all devices could report their signal path to us. We would use the information to do good.

I for one would vote for a lock at 100%. I use the volume control on my receiver and preamp. Setting the Roon volume to anything other than 100% would put the volume when using Roon at a different level than all my other inputs…

+1. I think Roon’s doing it the right way now.

That said, operator mistakes DO happen, myself included. The only way I can think of that might accommodate both camps is to continue defaulting to 100%, but when adding a new device provide some kind of indicator to remind the end user that the volume is 100%. It’s a thought…

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While I like the idea of a warning, there are a lot of users who still use an analogue volume control in a preamp (myself included). An option to disable such warning would be convenient.

Thanks for the insight - who knew it was so complicated (well clearly you did!) but now you’ve explained it that makes sense. I have to say that now I’m using Roon and the Transporter this is getting as close to as good as it gets. I can’t wait to see how you develop Roon in the future - really impressed so far.

Just found this older thread and realised I really don’t know much about this topic.
I use the volume controller in the roon remote on my ipad to vary listening volume because it is obviously right in front of me as I use the roon interface. I also , when powering up my intergrated amp each listening session , by habit, know to set it’s volume around 70% or so, and don’t really need to touch it again.
But I read that maybe the volume in roon should be set at 100% and listening volume controlled via the intergrated amp, (in my case). Is that correct and in very basic terms why? I have a usb dac physically in between the nuclues and the amp.