Exclusive Mode + Roon Ready devices

Hello folks. Running on Windows 10 - currently connected to a couple of WASAPI devices (MiniDSP and Platin hub). I do 80% of my listening at my desk with the PC as the source. The quality with or without EM is stark. So, good cheers for EM. I’m now updating my setup. Roon will soon connect with a couple of Roon ready devices (Platin hub connected to Buchardt A500s and Bluenode 2i).

So: this is a long preamble for asking whether Roon Ready devices still require EM mode turned on and therefore excluding playback of say, YouTube videos, until EM is turned off in Roon. Or whether Roon becomes a “passthrough” to a Roon Ready device and therefore “releases” the OS’s audio sub system or such?

Thanks in advance!

Hi @S_Alter and welcome to the forum.

Roon Ready stands for networked endpoints that implement Roon’s RAAT protocol. EM or not EM is no question for such devices – that option doesn’t exist (always exclusive). EM is for devices that require a driver on your PC to connect to them (usually USB devices). If you don’t want to use the Roon Ready network inputs for your new devices and still connect them over USB, then nothing changes regarding EM and it’s limitations (obviously, it is already in it’s name “exclusive”). If you use the Roon Ready inputs you don’t use the sound subsystem of the (remote) PC at all. This also means you can’t send any PC-sounds over RAAT to your Roon Ready endpoints. For EM or RAAT you should actually use built-in speakers or separate PC speakers for the PC-sounds (like YouTube) – the big speakers are dedicated to music playback from Roon.

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Exclusive mode is for DACs connected to a Windows or Mac PC to stop system sounds going via the sound card and the OS to do other things. Streamers do not require it, it’s exclusive be design.

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Thank you for this answer @BlackJack. Bear with me here as I’m trying to untangle it in my mind: since my (soon to be) Roon Ready (RR) hub is WiFi enabled, Roon will find it over my network, and send the stream from the Roon server/core using RAAT protocol, allowing for the highest quality playback this device is capable of handling (at this point the hub will be “handing over” the stream to the speakers via WISA protocol - but that’s irrelevant to my question).

If I got this part right, here’s another scenario I’m curious about but can’t test for at least another month when the hub will be formally certified and firmware updated: in this aspirational scenario my hub is both USB connected to my PC as well as available as an end point via WiFi. Roon will therefore recognize my hub as an end point and all that was said applies. The question is: can I leave my hub connected to my PC via USB allowing Windows to see it as standard WASAPI audio playback device (yes, for YT and gaming! ;))- Roon can ignore it as a USB connected device, and will send the stream via WiFi. Or is it one or the other?

ps. I should also mention that the Platin hub is remote controlled - allowing me to switch between inputs such as WiFi, USB, BT etc.

You can do this, It will likely show up as a USB DAC in Roon just don’t enable it and you will be sending to it via the network and RAAT not via USB.

Thanks @CrystalGipsy - it is logical it seems. I’ll test it when my hub is updated and report back.

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Your welcome.