Multichannel support? [In Roon1.3]

[quote=“danny, post:9, topic:50”]
We will support all the common file formats at 1x,2x,4x,8x sample rates, and DSD (over PCM),
[/quote]Stereo only or will multichannel formats (PCM/DSD) be supported?


Stereo only at launch.

We really need to see what the world of multichannel looks like before offering something really good here.

I have heard that before and it follows the general marketplace. Disappointing, nonetheless, to me and others with substantial stores of multichannel files as it will deter us from implementing Roon until such support is included.

Care to share your multichannel setup? What DACs are involved via what interfaces and where do you source your content? How much is “substantial”? How often does new material come out in multichannel?

I’m a bit surprised about your sutuation, because I was under the impression this stuff is pretty rare. If it’s really out there, and the equipment exists, then we should bump up the priority. The market probably feels similarly about it being rare, which is why we don’t see a lot of multichannel support out there.

Other than basic playback, is there anything else we’d need to do to make a killer multichannel product?

An HT setup will do the trick quite nicely. And there are quite a few of those out there.
My Meridian 861v6 does the trick for example.

But agree that there is only limited surround music available. Even counting the ones accompanied by video.

How do you hook up the 861 to your multichannel audio source? What is that source?

I get that if you put a DVD/BD and it sends the content over to it via DTS, no problem. But what else?

Fundamentally, I keep files on a NAS and can use a number of devices to play them over my home network. The devices range from an Oppo player (with analog, S/PDIF and HDMI outputs) to a dedicated PC-based streamer (using jRiver) with HDMI, S/PDIF and USB outputs). My preference is the latter feeding an 8-channel exaSound e28 mch DAC and I am hoping, shortly, to add a Merging Technologies 8-channel NADAC which runs from ethernet. Of course, the HDMI output of the PC-streamerI can also feed multichannel to my Meridian 861/621.

I have a similar Mac-based setup in my weekend place where I send HDMI to one of many A/V preamp-processors.

There are other expensive options which have been adopted by adventurous users but there are, at least, 2 inexpensive options. The first is the Oppo (models 103 or 105 or without the “D” option) that can be a networked multichannel DAC and the soon-to-appear miniDSP u-dac8 at $299 (

To make this really ideal, support for some version of room EQ would be important. On my systems, I use DiracLive but there are other options available, as is Dirac, as plug-ins.

As for source material, that is a matter of perspective. My preference for classical is pretty well served by multichannel and my files consist of downloads as well as from ripped discs. Several websites are making such files available (e.g., and there is rising availability of music issued on SACD, DVD-A and, recently, BD-Audio. take a look at for listings of both SACD and BD-A releases.

I am not a businessman and present this only as an enthusiast but one with many friend (and readers) who are committed to multichannel music file playback.

I too would love to see multi-channel streaming support … it’s something that I (and many others) have requested from Meridian/Sooloos (via ID40/ID41 cards) but it’s not been forth coming. Thus my many multi-channel FLAC files are in a different library and these can be streamed out to an Oppo/HD621/861 combination.

Having the option to integrate this lib into Roon would be awesome.

In line with @Carl and @mitr my setup involves an hd621 and 861, so basically sound over hdmi.
In our cases using meridian, but this of course also works for other brand processors.

My source is either a dedicated htpc (a nuc), or an Apple TV. The last one max dts, the nuc puts out in pcm so also hd audio.

My content is all coming from the NAS. I rip all media.

As Carl says, would be great to manage everything in one place!

If I understood Danny’s comments in another thread about UPnP then streaming multi-channel flac to endpoints, like Oppo and Dune (and into HD621), hits this head on.

If I understand correctly, the Oppo and Dune simply pull from a directory or share (it’s how I used mine at least). There is no controller PUSH to them. Chatting to my mate using Naim gear, he says that his Naim endpoints also PULL from the server like Oppo and Dune.

For Roon to work with these files surely the controller has to be able to PUSH to player?

The main reason I left 7.0 and went back to 2.0 was because I just didn’t use the PULL from the players enough. Even though it worked the menus are horrible and just lists. Like 1980’s consoles!!!

Alternatively, if we want Meridian endpoints to receive flac 5.1 files from Roon then the ID4x architecture in the 861 will need changing. I can’t see any other zone mattering as they are all 2.0 channel. We have asked for an “ID5.1” card since forever. I can’t see M ever doing it.

I’ll add my voice for 5.1 files. Hardware is going to be an issue, however, as I use my Dune to play these which is DLNA which I can understand Roon not wanting to get involved with. The interface is ghastly, just browsing to the folder itself.

It would also be great if Roon could play 1.0 files, something Sooloos still can’t manage.

The Oppo can pull from a share and it can have the files pushed to it as well.

Multichannel support is regaining traction in the audio marketplace, especially those who would benefit from the robust metadata cataloging in Roon.

I need to say that I am somewhat biased, being not only a long time surround fan, a reviewer (including two reviews of multichannel DSD setups, the exaSound e28 and my own 3 DAC stacked Mytek setup), I am also a founding member of and their metadata person (get all stereo and multichannel files ready fromChannel and all our label partners). Our label co-op offers multichannel DSD in almost 80% of its titles, and those downloads are very popular.

With the onset of true DSD multichannel DAC setups, along withe audiophile level PCM surround setups (Metric Halo, Prism, even Oppo) the multichannel music niche is a growing niche. It is heavily classical (but the occasional brilliantly mixed Beck Sea Change doesn’t hurt either :slight_smile: ), but that only means that metadata needs are significant (these folks want to sort on tagged fields way beyond artist or album, to composer, other artists, conductor, sub genre, etc etc).

Net/net, another vote for multichannel support. :slight_smile:

Another vote for MCH here and another setup (oh well).

Mac Mini HDMI (8CH-output-mode) -> Yamaha AV-Receiver

All my files are ALAC 5.1 which I currently play through iTunes. I would record+encode a demo file if that helped.

I realise everyone’s got their one favourite must-have feature, but really Roon is exactly the software I’ve always wanted. It’s just this one little thing… come on :smiley:

Another vote for MCH.

Yet another vote for multichannel here PCM and DSD. Simple set up:
Synology NAS —> 2012 Mac Mini ----> Exasound e28 DAC ----> Multichannel amp ----> speakers.

+1 for multichannel support

Add one more for multichannel. Currently using JRiver. Very interested in your product but want multichannel support before I invest the time (and $) learning another program. Roon has some very interesting features but I see no reason to switch if it will not support a subset of my music collection that is substantial and growing.

What files are you listening to that are in Multichannel? Where can I get them?

FWIW my multichannel flac files come from my DVD-A and DVD-V rips.
E.g. Concert DVD’s

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