Headphone Features

Hi- Many of us listen on headphones, why not add some headphone specific features?


Crossfeeding blends the left and right stereo channels slightly, reducing the extreme channel separation which is characteristic of headphone listening and is known to cause headaches in a small fraction of listeners. Crossfeed is used to compensate for extreme separation of sound sources in older stereo recordings. Crossfeed also improves the soundstage characteristics and makes the music sound more natural, as if one was listening to a pair of speakers.

Headphone virtualization

such as Dolby headphone or any other


In the form of correction for a popular set of headphones (partnership?) or a simple equalizer.

The headphone market is huge and supporting that market means more listeners using Roon. :smiley:


I’m dying for crossfeed, too. Big jazz collection with tons of hard-panned recordings.

I did some research into this about a month ago and found little in the way of consensus. There’s a few well-known algorithms/implementations out there, but I have no idea if they’re any good or how they compare to the “black-box” options that seem to be offered by our competition.

Is there a particular vendor/implementation out there that you like?

I’m not partial to any vendor/implementation.

Quick search found this http://tangentsoft.net/audio/mlxfeed.html - if I only knew how to translate that into some form of code.

oh wait here is another with source code http://www.changstar.com/index.php?topic=1054.0

based on this… http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/crossfeed.htm

I used this a while ago:

TB Isone

Having a look at the various threads over at Head-Fi quickly reveals the same problem as with anything else in audio - 10 people, 13 opinions.

Maybe something like VST-support might give flexibility, but I imagine this not really fitting the Roon ecosystem, especially in regards to the UI.

Yup @o0OBillO0o, Also, this one seems decently well received http://bs2b.sourceforge.net/ and would be simple to incorporate, but I have no idea whether many/most people would consider it adequate from a quality standpoint.

@music, VST is a huge can of worms. The platform support is dismal (windows + mac, linux via a wrapper/shim that is difficult to trust). 3rd party code running in-process…eek.

I’ll admit, I’m personally biased after years and years of watching Cubase blow up and lose my work because of 3rd party VSTs that weren’t quite well behaved enough.

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I personally really like Redline Monitor more than TB Isone. https://www.112db.com/redline/monitor/

Maybe they could be approached about licensing their implementation or something.

Headphones features would be welcome and make sense on the Roon server itself. However, in the context MQA files are streamed (bit perfectly) to an endpoint not on the server, this won’t be possible.

So a Roon speakers endpoint would not be able to process any of the headphone features? That’s fine.

Then is it possible to identify those endpoints that support headphones (and the processing required) and provide the headphone features for those endpoints?

Not sure what VirusKiller is talking about, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to full clients or even iPads or Android tablets.

@DrTone, I sorta thought the same.

Yes, iOS and Android devices have headphone outputs so it seems logical. The “Gotcha” here is that Roon has to come up with a mobile App version that allows as much as your local library onto the portable device that can fit. What is the sense of a headphone jack if you can take your music with you?

Perhaps get a tighter integration with Tidal, and have a matched copy of what you have at home on the phone? Still, many many not want to be forced into a Tidal subscription.

Maybe Roon iOS/Android app sync features that allow selectable tracks to sync to the device (limited by local storage)?

Back to Headphone features, with MQA support in Tidal on the horizon, I am looking closely at the Meridian Explorer2 and Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Basically a semi-portable system;where all my music is locally stored via a USB hard drive, Tidal comes via Wifi, and all my listening goes to the Exporer2.

Funny I was just pricing out the Explorer 2 locally.

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My Explorer2 arrives later today! I’m excited to check it out. My sumo lounge sultan is all set for my listening session. Meridian is also offering 3 months of Tidal HiFi for free with any purchase until August I believe, so right there you’re saving $60…

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I look forward to another thread here with your review @Physh360.

And maybe a follow up review when Meridian Quality -Authenticated (MQA) is integrated into Tidal and outputted to Roon,

Explorer 2 has arrived! At first glance the unit is quite nice. Sleek, small, and straight forward. Being at work I can’t really test it to my required needs (Roon!) but will later tonight. Once I’m done I will write up a little review.

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Excellent! Great news @Physh360!

Please, when you do, write a separate post of Roon, Tidal, and Meridian Explorer2!

+1 for (parametric) equalization w/ curves for popular headphones. Extra points for the ability to import/export a curve and share them here on the forum.


@Nick Insane, awesome, excellent idea! :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

Sharing EQ curves is an up and coming thing. said it here. (Plus is one more thing to debate, discuss and enjoy.) :smiley:

I should qualify my previous post as it wasn’t very good! I’m completely in favour of headphone DSP, especially cross-feed.

And it should work in all cases except when you need to stream MQA (bit-perfectly) to (e.g.) Meridian MQA-decoding endpoints.

Ah I think I get it… IF Meridian endpoint THEN turn off headphone feature ?

And it should work in all cases except when you need to stream MQA (bit-perfectly) to (e.g.) Meridian MQA-decoding endpoints.

Yes, keeping track of when an audio stream is processable vs when it should be handled as a bitstream is something we already do for DSD. We would do the same for MQA.