iFi Zen Stream + Qutest USB Roon App Volume Control?

I’m interested in the iFi Zen Stream. Currently I’m using a BS Node w/ a Chord Qutest DAC via Toslink Optical because the USB connectivity does not allow for Volume control within the Roon App on Windows.

My question is if I pair a iFi Zen Stream w/ Chord Qutest via USB or Coaxial will I be able to control the music volume within the Roon Application specifically on Windows 10/11?

Hi Shawn and welcome to the Roon forum’s.
The volume is controlled by the DAC and not the streamer in this case.
When you say from Windows, do you mean Roon on Windows (got to ask to avoid confusion)

I use my Stream with a Zen DAC/Amp (USB) and FIIO DAC/Amp (SPDIF). Both have physical volume controls, But you can use the software volume. I imagine you would have to turn the volume high and it will digitally reduce it. I just set this as below as I will test for you a bit later when I get a chance.

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Currently I have the Roon volume control set to Device Volume. I have the Qutest connected to the Node via Toslink Optical. I then launch the Roon App in Windows which allows me to control my media which includes being able to adjust the volume by pressing CTRL+Up & CTRL+Down.

I have my Amp volume fixed so I can control my music Volume within the Roon App in Windows. However, I can’t control the volume thru Roon if I connect my Qutest via USB to the Node. So I was wondering if the Zen Streamer acts the same or if I would be able to control the Volume within the Roon App in Windows w/ a USB connection.

In case you are wondering I don’t actually press the hotkeys to adjust volume. I use a programmable wireless digital remote wheel for volume control which works very well. If I can control the volume in the Roon app as I’m doing now but thru a USB connection that would be great.

The Qutest doesn’t support hardware volume; it’s fixed. Your only option is to use DSP volume (or control volume with the preamp.)

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Just tested it now over SPDIF and I have software volume control.
I just set my Nuimo remote to work with it as well and that now works.


Just remember that it is working on max volume set. I set mine to 50% volume on the knob and then all is good.

OK so given what Martin has said above it should work fine as the software volume is DSP.

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Tyvm for your replies. So I tested my Node again w/ my Qutest connected via USB. The only options I have is Fixed & Device Volume; so no DSP Volume.

I guess the only option I have is just to buy a Zen Stream and test it to see if it will offer the DSP Volume as an option via USB. I just wanted to avoid the hassle of doing a return if it doesn’t work for my use case.

Thx again for your feedback.

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No problem Shawn, it is there for me on USB as well as SPDIF.
Not sure I said that earlier, I just never tested that.

Found this on iFi’s site.

“What we have done is disable the USB device volume control (which uses DSP in the XMOS system to control volume). OSX “obeys” this while other operating systems have additional DSP (usually optimised for low CPU load over sound quality) that adds extra volume controls that are preferably left alone. So we have not “locked away” anything from Mac users, instead, OSX avoids an extra layer of DSP (as does Windows in exclusive mode WASAPI). If volume/balance is adjusted this is in all these operating systems, it invariably causes loss of quality and it is not recommended to use these functions. Most speakers and headphones have sufficient channel matching that balance adjustment is not required.”

Could it be the fact that I use Roon on Rock give me these features?

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Not sure tbh. I’m fairly new to using a streamer and roon. I’ve decided to just stick w/ my BS Node and use Coaxial & Toslink. Ill just be limited to 24/192. The function of the in app volume control for my use case takes priority over the extra audio quality I’ll be missing via USB. I just thought I’d at least research my options before I start buying better quality cables.

I think the DSP volume is unavailble because the Node offers Fixed and Device control (that’s what I see with my Bluesound Pulse Flex anyway.) On my Chord 2Qute, which is connected via coax to an Allo DigiONE, I have DSP, Device (that is, the DigiOne), and Fixed.

I recommend you to try DSP volume with the Qutest before spending your cash to see how you get on with it. If you have a laptop, temporarily use this as a Roon Bridge, and connect the Qutest to USB. I didn’t get on with DSP volume control. IIRC, it wasn’t linear, so I use my amp’s remote for volume. Since this is my main listing rig, it’s not an issue, and, apart from my Mojo / Poly, all my other zones support hardware volume.

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Well the Stream would be limited to 24/192 anyway, so I do not believe you are missing anything much.
Good luck and enjoy the music

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That’s what I was thinking. I’m 47 so my hearing isn’t exactly grabbing as much info as I did when I was younger. Kicking myself for NOT wearing ear plugs at all the concerts I went to in my youth but I’m grateful I can still enjoy music listening.

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Understand, my first concert was Iron Maiden in 82 and right down the front against the speakers :frowning:

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Call me a slow learner but I did see Judas Priest last month here in San Antonio and wore my new trusty ear plugs. I actually find listening to my music at around 65-70dB a perfectly comfortable listening volume; sure I get on the gas every now and again and push it to 75-80 but I never keep it there. So maybe my hearing isn’t too bad.

Nice, I haven’t been to a concert for over 2 years.
I was supposed to see Joe Bonamassa on Friday night but the wife was not happy for me to go with Covid on the rise again.

Hopefully soon

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