Having problems with TIDAL loading slowly

Roon Core Machine

Windows 10, Lenovo W520, iCore7 2nd Gen, 32 GB RAM

Networking Gear & Setup Details

All WIFI to Linksys router

Connected Audio Devices

Number of Tracks in Library


Description of Issue

Roon playback is constantly interrupted with the ever-annoying message that Tidal appears to be loading slowly.

This is completely unacceptable as my exact same home network can stream 4k movies to my Smart TV over WIFI, surely my network can handle a single stereo audio stream.

What is worse is there is no info or help to debug the true issue. Tidal loading slowing - give details, what rate is being asked, what rate is being receieved. Connectivity to my core - the core should have a built-in version of speedtest to determine if that is the issue. Connectivity to my Raspberry Pi or Chromecast - then log the exact issue and bandwidth observed vs. required.

This is supposed to be mature, robust software. It is all shine but with the performance of '56 Chevy.

I only have 2 albums in my local library which is on my core and some days it cannot even stream that. But after giving up in frustration, I can turn on Netflix and stream a 4K movie with surround sound.

I’m honestly about to cancel as the software works less than 20% of the time for any duration.


I am too… I even reached out to them 24 hours ago and no response… Tidal responded right away and said the issue is with Roon…

I’ve got no issues playing my Qobuz library but my Tidal one stalls… it’s annoying that they’re not addressing this… I paid $200 for this app?

btw… MacOS i9 MacBook Pro… and dCS DAC here… I don’t think it’s a hardware issue.

Suggest to use an ethernet connection between router and PC, to check whether WIFI could be the cause of the problem.

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You should apologize to all Bel Air fans out there!!!

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Maybe they were referring to a 56 1/2 ton with a straight six and three on the tree…:sunglasses:


You may not notice the effects of packet drops and other streaming choppiness on your movies, but they are there. I too stream 4K video over WiFi and I notice the difference, especially on videos of music tracks I’m familiar with. Roon’s design requires a very reliable network to achieve a low-latency and low-jitter connection between Roon core and endpoints. There are good reasons for those requirements, but they are not for everyone.

Two different demands on the network. You cannot compare the two.

This is true but what you describe is almost 100% an issue with your wifi.

It’s not just “bandwidth” its packet loss and latency but you’re right, some kind of “test” would be good. I suspect it would simply identify your wifi isn’t performing at a level that you need for Roon to work.

Chances are the “tidal error” you’re getting is not related to Tidal but your wifi and Roon is simply displaying it as Tidal issue because you were streaming from Tidal. I’ve had this happen.

It is. It just has very specific demands on the local network your local network is not meeting.

Describe you’re entire set-up and specifically what endpoints you have enabled using which protocol.

Do note All Tidal traffic hits your core and is then converted to a local protocol before being streamed out to the endpoint. If your Core and endpoint are both on Wifi this doubles or more the number of packets and demand on your wifi. For this reason, moving the Core to wired may clear-up your issue as it will reduce demand on your wifi.


I appreciate your comments, I’ve heard them all before unfortunately and I’m no longer accepting them.

This is like saying, here is a nice car, by the way, I know you want to go to the grocery store, but it only runs properly on a race track. I’m in my late 50’s, my hearing isn’t what was. Sound quality is not the sole reason I use Roon. I need a solution that just works. I should be able to tweak settings like gamers can tweak frame rates and resolution to match their gear. I need the same with Roon, but settings that will allow it to run on my network.

Anyway, that is the great thing about the software subscription model. There are now more alternatives and Roon hasn’t fixed one of its core problems. It’s too bad

Set your devices to 16 bits and 44.1kHz resolution and this will reduce the load on the network to CD quality regardless of the original bitrate:

Max Sample Rate (PCM) and Max Bits Per Sample (PCM)

These settings limit the resolution of audio that Roon sends to your device. They are most commonly used in situations involving S/PDIF, AES, I2S, or DACs that over-report their playback capabilities. Like some of the settings mentioned above, they are here to solve problems. 99% of the time, you can safely leave them at the defaults with no ill effect.

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Same boat. I’m about done. Here come the Roon police in 3,2,1…

You don’t say but imply you are using a RPi endpoint.

If so there are multiple examples on the forum that indicate that RPi WiFi is dodgy at best, and not up to Roon’s demands

I have a slow 20 MPs fibre connection but Ethernet from there on , I see no issues,

I think it must be accepted that Roon is very Network dependent and treat it as such , much as you wouldn’t try to run your “super car” on sub standard fuel.

Roon , Tidal etc are what they are, treat them correctly they Just Work,( my opinion over 5 years)

Just my 2 p


Do you also have dropouts when using your pc/core as an endpoint and playing the local files on that endpoint (via pc speakers or headphones)?
If not, following the suggestions of others that wiring your core to your router and maybe also your rasppi endpoint might solve your issue.

I can see your point - it’s frustrating when things don’t work as you would like - but your comparison doesn’t quite make sense. For example, while many games do allow you to change a whole slew of settings, this doesn’t mean that every game can then be played on every device. If the host machine isn’t sufficiently powerful, no matter how low you set frame rate and resolution, the game will be unplayable. And it’s the same for Roon: if your wireless network is under spec, Roon just won’t work, no matter how many tweaks you make. It is possible to use Roon wirelessly, but only with a sufficiently robust WLAN.


Roon needs a wired connection from core to network, and a robust network (LAN/WLAN) for its endpoints.

Instead of complaining about Roon, why don’t you get your network compliant?

Get it right, and it’s faultless. For me, three-years and counting…


I have 4 pi’s all WiFi no issues. You statement is just not true Mike.

But I can’t rent a Tesla and drive to the old gas stations either. Not everything fits together well and if Ethernet / cable is not possible or wanted, the beautiful sounds do not fly through the air everywhere. Yes it is known that some have made it under special conditions anyway. But it is just as well known and general knowledge in the Roon FAQ that it could become an individual problem that way. Rejection of this knowledge remains possible and the demand I want it anyway. Only how should the community then still help? There may still be some who share your good experiences, but the majority uses ways that are described in the FAQ.

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Your biggest problem here is Wifi for your core. A server client based system like Roon isn’t going to perform well in this scenario Roon recommend to not have your Roon core which is a server on WiFi for good reasons as they understand how demanding their software is and how inadequate wifi is for a server to be connected by. Endpoints are generally fine.

You mention Roon having diagnostics but have you tried diagnosing yourself by removing WiFi and add in a cable as a test to see how it performs? It’s simple to achieve temporarily. This would be the first action point I would do in any network related situation, remove the weakest link.

With WiFi issues it’s not always an issue with WiFi bandwidth. Whether you can stream 4k over WiFi is irrelevant as the process and chain in that scenario is very different to Roon. If you only have one WiFi point this can even more of an issue especially if you have lots of other devices on your WiFi network all cramming to be heard and pull data.

WiFi can only send or receive to one device at any one time and then it’s not simultaneous. The more devices on a network the more they all try and communicate and keep airtime to the access point . All other WiFi in your local area from neighbours also adds to this airtime as they take it from you if on the same channels. All this adds latency. It’s all at microsecond levels switching between which device gets data which receives data but it’s all latency and this adds up and data that is sensitive to time related clocking such as Audio suffers.

Roon pulls over WiFi from internet for a Tidal stream , Roon has to send out that stream back out over WiFi so your endpoint can receive it. WiFi endpoint passes it on to endpoint. This all has to go through the same access point that then sends it on to your endpoint. Thats 3 WiFi hits taking valuable airtime with an increased risk of packet loss and then all those needing resending. This adds more latency.

Netflix as an example is pulling directly from the router via WiFi to the device it’s running on. One WiFi hop, less latency and Netflix buffers a lot and also has adaptive streaming to cope. Latency here isn’t so much of an issue, you can skip a frame or to and most people don’t notice.

There is another thread all about this that covers why WiFi for core is a bad idea. Follow peoples recommendations and you will have a much better experience.


Also agree with OP. The problem is inconsistency. It can work fine and then seemingly out of nowhere, endpoints start dropping.

I’m a web developer and pretty tech savvy and it’s still a bad experience.

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As explained at length above, any wifi environment is not stable. It is subject to interference from your neighbours** wifi channels and from contention from other users connected to your wifi. Throughput will therefore be variable and unpredictable unless you go to great lengths to make it so in your environment.

**EDIT: quick test reveals nine other APs within range of my phone whilst sat in my living room.


While I understand and symphasize with the op and those others that are fed up and “about done”, there are many perfectly good reasons and explanations given in this thread alone as to just WHY they may be suffering.
It just seems that very few people are prepared to accept that the vast majority of their Roon “troubles” actually have nothing to do with Roon itself apart from the fact that it is very demanding of a stout and solid network.

Perfect example from just last night in my house.
I was playing a 96/24 file through a wireless endpoint and it had been fine for 20 minutes or so then it started stuttering.
Did I start blaming Roon?
No I remembered I had run an ethernet cable for it previously but had not even bothered to plug it in and set up. Did this and now running 192/24 files on same endpoint no issues at all.

The point is wifi can work but wired is going to be less problematic and there really is no getting around that statement.