Estimates of ARC bandwidth consumption please

I recently transitioned to a “cheap” cellular plan that limits consumption to 4GB per month. That limited plan has influenced how and how often I play ARC. It seems to use a lot of bandwidth.

Now to my question: does anyone know how much cellular bandwidth is required for an hour (say) of “CD Quality” content will use? Same questions for “Balanced” content (whatever that is); “Bandwidth Optimized” content; and Roon Radio. Most all content is 44.1/16 content; DSP limited to headroom management.

If I use all 4GB bandwidth on ARC music at the qualities mentioned above, how many hours of enjoyment could I expect?

You cant really say as it depends on the content and flac compression isnt consistent,but if the album is 256mb on disc then thats how much you will use plus the Roon arc overheads for talikng to servers etc. Any compressed format changes on content drastically as Roon uses Opus hard to say you best to compress an album and see. Or just test it on wifi and set it to bandwidth optomised. If you dont have a lot of bandwiidth stick it on bandwidth optomized its the safer optiona and what its for, for on the go unless in a quiet place or have wifi the higher ones are just unnecessary.

1 Like

Thanks much. There’s too much estimating for my idea to be worthwhile, I guess.

I can tell you this:

On mobile I listen about 2 days per week (weds and thus), about 2 hours per day. All tidal streaming. But in January I had 1 week off the mobile. So about 8 hours only on “Bandwidth Optimized” and the phone reports some 500mb for ARC

Now this is totally estimative and I’m not sure. Better put your phone to do the statistics and notify on the mobile date usage.

1 Like

Now we’re getting somewhere. Trying to determine the incremental change in bandwidth usage vis a vis quality. Thanks


If I’m not mistaken CD audio 16 bit 44.1 kHz uncompressed equals 10 mb per minute of music. So if you would listen to that then you have about 7 hours of playtime before you hit the 4 gb limit.

Old school mp3 at 320 kbit is around 2,5 mb per minute. So about 28 hours.

My guess is that the real maximum lies somewhere in between.


You can find what the options mean on

For calculation, an example for CD quality:

16 bit samples, 44,100 times per second = 705,600 bits per second

Times two because stereo = 1,411,200 bits per second

FLAC files on average reduce the data size by approx. 45% = remains 776,160 bits per second.

Divided by 1024 = 757 kilobits per second (with rounding)
Divided by 1024 = 0,74 megabits per second

In bytes, so bits divided by 8:
94 KB per second
0,0925 MB per second
I.e., 333 MB for an hour, which unsurprisingly is the size of a ripped CD containing 1 hour of music when compressed with FLAC

In reality the streaming data use will be somewhat larger, but typically not by very much, due to housekeeping data, resending in case of transmission errors, etc.

Examples for lower data rates with lossy compression (e.g., “Balanced” in ARC) :