HQPlayer Embedded - not buying


So I spent several hours today playing with HQPlayer. I set out to install it on a separate Pi 4. In a nutshell: eventually I got it to work, I liked the audible results. I’m impressed by what this software achieves on a technical level. I find the price of the Embedded version expensive, but I might have been able to justify it to myself.

On the other hand, I attempted to receive some support during the process, which was unsuccessful. I was appaled by the unprofessional and incomplete web content provided for the product, and by the similarly horrifying web UI of the Embedded version. I stumbled upon several technical issues during my tests - some of those may have explanations, but because the UI is very bad, the logging functionality is useless and support doesn’t react, I can’t find those.

Finally I spent some time reading the HQPlayer content in this forum. After all there doesn’t appear to be any similar platform provided for HQPlayer itself… sad but true. In this forum I found out that I should be glad not to have spent money on the product too soon - apparently the fact that I received no replies from customer service is much better than the “service” I might expect if I actually did receive replies.

So, I’m done with this software. I felt that it was not out of order to post this summary of my experiences and thoughts here. My reason for this assessment is that Roon and its forum was what prompted me to evaluate HQPlayer in the first place, and I suspect this may be true for others. I hope to save someone some time with the decision-making process. On the other hand, if this seems to objective readers as if I’m blindly bad-mouthing a product, please do feel free to remove my post.

Here are the issues I encountered, points I was hoping to see clarified during the day.

  • After I identified that “HQPlayer OS” was the variant of choice for my setup, I asked where I would find this product. It turns out that I needed to follow a link elsewhere to access a download area, where “images” are stored that contain this product. I made this mental leap after browsing around the entire site several times.

  • I asked what the best platform would be to run this HQPlayer OS product - there is no info to this effect anywhere. Specifically I was wondering whether a standard Pi 4 would have sufficient processing power for my setup, or whether a device like the Nvidia Jetson Nano with its Cuda support would be a better choice. I have no information about this, and unfortunately the website doesn’t attempt to answer these questions.

  • I found that the “shop” part of the website mentions the requirement of a “hardware fingerprint” to license the Embedded version. However, there is no explanation why this is needed or for what purpose.

  • I was also unable to find licensing text anywhere - I had other questions, for example whether I could run the Embedded software on more than one device once licensed - this seemed a reasonable idea seeing that there is no other way I’m aware of to deliver music to HQPlayer-controlled devices in my house (in the same way I currently use multiple Roon Bridge instances). 220 quid is PER INSTALLATION?

  • After installation - fortunately I know how to get things running on a Pi, there’s no documentation whatsoever about this process - I was unable to find any documentation of the many options provided by the UI. I downloaded the trial version of the Windows application and extracted a manual PDF document, where information was included - this is a rather badly formatted file however, and details are limited, especially for those who don’t already know a lot about the terminology of digital filters. I eventually found that there is a “help” link in the web UI - the fact that I spent a couple hours playing with that UI and never noticed that link - probably about 30 pixels wide in a faraway corner of my large screen - speaks for itself. Did I mention that the web UI is gruesome?

  • I found that with the default settings, playing Redbook quality files results in audio drops every few seconds. I reported this with some detail.

  • While playing with the many settings, I found that the standard filter for the PCM 1x setting is the only one that consistently does NOT work and results in the drops I mentioned. Rather peculiar thing - I can only imagine that I’m somehow the only person for whom this is a problem.

  • While I went through various settings, the HQPlayer Pi crashed or hung many times. After a while I got used to the process: change a setting, try to Apply - sometimes this would crash the device, but mostly it would work. Try to play from Roon, this would usually work with the correct settings being displayed in the Signal Path. But sometimes the HQPlayer device would hang at this point. In which case, restart the HQPlayer Pi by unplugging it temporarily. Then I often needed to remove the registered HQPlayer in Roon and reinstall it before giving it another try (otherwise the Signal Path would just display an old value of a setting instead of recognizing the new setting). I identified one or two filters after a while that never worked - but most of the time it worked eventually, underlining the fact that the behavior in between was a bug (or two).

  • I noticed that reaction time when pressing Play or Pause in Roon was very slow when streaming to HQPlayer. Rather inexplicable from a technical standpoint - this is no problem when using Roon Bridge. This does get pretty annoying if I jump around a bit in a playlist or skip a couple titles. If this is normal, it’s not impressive.

  • For some reason I was unable to configure the output to use DSD. I selected this in the Configuration screen, but it was consistently ignored. The Main screen would also inexplicably show PCM - it remained unclear to me how the combo boxes on the Main screen relate to those on the Configuration screen (and why they are even combo boxes, since any changes never seem to be retained). Did I mention what I think of the web UI? Anyway, I did not spend too long investigating this because it was getting late.

From the top of my head, this is it. Like I said, I hope this helps somebody - I hope HQPlayer customers are generally happier with the software than I am. I hope that my feedback con be used to improve matters.



RPi4 is capable for 16x in PCM mode. DSD can do 64fs with few -2s filters. I own an RPi4 and very satisfied with HQP OS. I could even use RPi4 as UAC2 input for Apple Music.
Embedded version is for vendors with level of Linux knowledge. I suggest you switch to HQPlayer Desktop version, get familiar with this software, then back to Embedded would be better.


I love the sound I get from HQPlayer…I tolerate Roon…if Roon stopped supporting HQPlayer, Roon would be the one to go.

Does HQPlayer have the best support on the planet? No, but it more than good enough for me at is not an issue in my evaluation of HQPlayer suitability for my music listening experience.


I’ve always gotten prompt support from the developer of HQP, but it is a one man shop so he can’t always respond right away.

some parts are not intuitive, it has a bit of a learning curve


You shouldn’t compare HQPlayer to Roon Bridge. HQPlayer has similar equivalent of it’s own - NAA which doesn’t have extra cost.

HQPlayer itself is equivalent of Roon. But Roon is able to use HQPlayer as it’s player engine.

HQPlayer Embedded is primarily designed for streamer device manufacturers, and you can certainly purchase devices with HQPlayer Embedded built-in. In addition it is offered for DIY streamer builders.

HQPlayer Desktop is generic consumer product.

What comes to GUI, primary GUIs are the control applications such as HQPlayer Client. Embedded is like Roon Server and Client is like Roon Remote.

What comes to price, I think it is one of the least expensive HiFi components. But I don’t know how much you would yourself ask for relative low sales volume product with 25 years of R&D effort.


What Jussi is doing on all the different forums is just fantastic imo. I do not have any other high tech product with such a super fast, knowledgeable support. Not any! Yes, HQP requires a learning curve. I believe, I got my first HQP in 2016, when I could not spell the term DAC. Was totally overchallenged by it. But any second I spend on it to understand it more and more was worth it. I am loving HQP sound and all the filters, modulators, etc…I understand, that it is hard to enter this world. But it is worth it and finally lots of fun. +++ And yes, i am still learning :grin:

PS Still reading this book here…Puh… But you will see in 27 years, I will tell Jussi, how he has to program that super dooper sinc-brickmountainwall filter!!! Using an i49!! :rofl: https://www.amazon.de/Digital-Audio-Theory-Practical-English-ebook/dp/B08QTNL25L


Thanks for your feedback. I have all the Linux knowledge I could want, that’s not the problem here. In my opinion, desktop computers have no place in a Hifi chain - and I wouldn’t consider buying two licenses instead of the one I need, just to get up to speed with the product.

I’m glad to see that HQPlayer has such loyal supporters. My experience was that the technical achievement was impressive and I’m sad to make the decision against using it, from that perspective. The lack of support was one aspect I mentioned because it was over-arching - if there had been useful documentation, a less annoying trial system, and above all better stability, I may never have thought much about the quality of support.

I have had no support whatsoever - and in any case, support services only (should!) become relevant in extraordinary situations, when product documentation and intuitive UI are not enough. The facts that support is needed for basic questions, and that it is not readily available when called upon, combine here to result in a very bad first-time user experience.

You shouldn’t compare HQPlayer to Roon Bridge.

Why not? It serves the same role in my setup. My Roon core streams to it - that’s what Roon Bridge does. Don’t get me wrong, I understand your model and that of Roon very well. But simply stating that I “should not” compare two parts that are clearly very similar doesn’t serve a purpose.

What comes to GUI, primary GUIs are the control applications such as HQPlayer Client. Embedded is like Roon Server and Client is like Roon Remote.

In the context of the Roon/HQPlayer combination, the only UI I care about is that which I use to configure HQPlayer. I don’t even know what “HQPlayer Client” is - that’s not a term I encountered so far. Of course I understand that I use Roon to play music through HQPlayer - but I use the HQPlayer Embedded web UI to configure your part of that system, and that UI is horrible. That was my point regarding UI.

What comes to price, I think it is one of the least expensive HiFi components. But I don’t know how much you would yourself ask for relative low sales volume product with 25 years of R&D effort.

HQPlayer is not a Hifi component, it’s a piece of software. £220 buys me a Logic Pro license, or several mainstream games on physical media (which are already overpriced themselves!), or years of Roon - each of which are way more complex pieces of software than HQPlayer. And of course HQPlayer is only one DIY component of a larger setup, so my cost doesn’t end there. In any case I’m not questioning your moral right to charge that money if that’s what you need to charge - I’m only pointing out that it is rather on the expensive side of software prices, and the reason I’m pointing this out is that I derive expectations from the price - expectations which were not fulfilled.

It is interesting, Jussi, that in this first and only reply I received from you anywhere, you don’t address a single one of my concerns - the lack of information on your website, the absence of simple content like licensing details, the technical issues. I’m not asking you to do this now, but I find that it really underlines my concerns about support quality rather than ameliorate them - all you care about is to tell me that I have it all wrong. That’s exactly my point, thank you for helping me make it.


What Jussi is doing on all the different forums is just fantastic imo.

Well that is certainly interesting to hear. However, I was not looking to this forum, or any other forums, to find support for a commercial product I considered buying. I would go to this forum if I intended to talk to a Roon audience, or if I had Roon/HQPlayer integration trouble. HQPlayer website only mentions an email address, somewhere in a not very obvious place, and no other support mechanisms - I contacted that email address, several times, and have yet to receive a reply. Granted, I didn’t leave it loads of time - I was growing irritated by the fact that support services were even required to go through a few very simple “getting started” steps. That’s how it all comes together, isn’t it… if Jussi indeed finds more time to post to forums than to render direct support to customers via the advertised channels, that’s telling in itself.

I am loving HQP sound and all the filters, modulators, etc…

Yeah… if only there was a pleasant, reliable way to play with them. I’ve said it several times - I liked what HQPlayer did. I would have loved the chance to enjoy its technical abilities and explore them further. But I never got there and now I won’t because the obvious attitude displayed by the maker at every junction keeps ticking me off.

Thanks for your feedback!

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Well, forums are key for HQP support. So Jussi answers there all the questions to a greater audience. The top advantage of that: you get the answer by himself! quality of Jussi´s answers is exceptional! You do not get this from any other high tech product in that speed. You are in contact with the developer! + If Jussi would spend time to answer individual requests by mail, this will all go at the price that he can not work on the product itself. So, I understand his forum approach very well. It is efficient!

Edit: there is a very nice HQP community too imo. You will realize!

Because you choose the wrong starting point.

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I’m sorry, I’m not following your point.

forums are key for HQP support

Which forums are those? This forum? Some other forum? Can you point me to the link on https://www.signalyst.com/ where this is described as a support channel. I must have missed that.

Surely you don’t mean that the official support channel for this commercial product is “ignore the email on the website and go search Google until you find a random forum”.

Take a look here at everything with tag “HQPlayer” and very good are the HQPPlayer topics at HQ Player - Page 954 - Software - Audiophile Style Jussi goes there as Miska. Audiophile is if you really want to go a deep dive! So, as you have the license: welcome to community and enjoy the sound :hugs:

Because you choose the wrong starting point.

I don’t know why I’m really replying to this. I chose the starting point that makes sense in my setup - assuming you’re referring to your previous suggestion to use the Desktop product instead. I have no idea why you believe that your choice of a starting point should also be mine - the Embedded version is a product available for sale, I chose to try to use it, I had a very bad experience and explained exactly why. That’s it - your positive experience with a different product is neither here nor there.


Okay, I give up - to my mind, finding an entirely unrelated forum where somebody posts by a different name is certainly not the type of support channel I’m looking for when I buy commercial software. It’s great that there’s a lively community (and I knew that from the Roon forums - again, I already said that), but I’m afraid I expect a paid product to work out of the box and come with detailed docs, and I expect the manufacturer to react to support requests. Perhaps I’m alone with this attitude - I don’t think I am - but that’s my attitude nevertheless.

I don’t have a license - that was my point the whole time. But enough said in this part of the conversation!


RPi4 is more like NAA endpoint. It does not have sufficient computing power to do the DSP. Although RPi4 is capable doing 8x or 16x in PCM but when you mentioned “DSD” in your first post I’m pretty sure you choose the wrong platform.


RPi4 is more like NAA endpoint. It does not have sufficient computing power to do the DSP. Although RPi4 is capable doing 8x or 16x in PCM but when you mentioned “DSD” in your first post I’m pretty sure you choose the wrong platform.

Well, the performance question was one I had in the beginning - sadly no info about that from the manufacturer. Also, the fact that “HQPlayer OS” even exists seems to disagree with your take on this matter. As it happens, this illustrates exactly why I’m keen to get the maker’s opinion on matters like this - of course I can ask a community of random people what their experiences are, and then I’ll hear everything from “works great” to “no point even trying”…

My DSD comment was only a final point because it seemed to me that something was technically not working correctly - one of the comments I made hoping to provide useful product feedback. I was not particularly keen to use DSD, but I assumed it should work and it didn’t.

Meanwhile, my impression was that the Pi 4 had sufficient processing power for the tests I made. It is possible that some of the issues where certain filters misbehaved were due to lack of processing power, but I have no way of telling whether that’s true or not - a better web UI might have a load indicator, better docs might include some performance details for each filter… but in between crashes, hangs and precautionary restarts I was able to listen to music for several half-hour periods, and there didn’t seem to be processing issues with several combinations of filter and dithering settings I tried.

Oliver, if forum communication is not the way for you to go, as you say, then stop using HQP as you have written in first post. It is not the product for you then imo. Sorry, to say so. And maybe you reconsider this point.