Multichannel through the mobile app

Hello Roon community,

It is probably a noob question but I digged hard on this matter with no answer.

Since owning a Sonos 5.1 system I really enjoy 5.1 mixes. My Roon core is on my Synology NAS and through the network over to my PC I get great 5.1 even Atmos output on my system.

Now… On the mobile app, using either Airplay or Sonos streaming, The app always downmix to 2.0.

in no way in the mobile app settings am I able to change that. And yes all is set on 5.1 on the computer Roon app.

Am I missing something or is that a limitation on the phone app?

Thank all in advance

I do a lot of multichannel listening and I’ve found no way to do so using iOS on an iPhone, which is limited to 2 channels. It would be normal that if you have 5.1 selected in Roon, but the endpoint, such as your phone, can handle only 2 channel, that Roon will downconvert to 2 channel to match the phone’s internal DAC.

Other than when I used to own an auto with a 5.1 DVD system in the vehicle — which enabled me to play DVD-Audio MCH discs in the car —, the closest to mobile MCH I’ve come up with is to use JRiver on a laptop PC, with a 2 channel USB DAC plugged in (I use the Dragonfly Cobalt) and emulating 5.1 sound using Redscape Audio’s PC-based software. No MAC version, hence no iPhone app.

Redscape ( ) has figured out how to delay the center and surround channels in a 2 channel wrap. The surround audio effect is really good on FLAC or DSD material, although decoding maxes out at 24/96.

At home, I use a small desktop PC bedside to power Roon playing out MCH through Redscape into a PreBox S2 Digital DAC, and then into a tube headphone amp and my HD650 headphones. It sounds like a full 5.1 system surrounding my ears. Give it a try, on a laptop or other Windows PC. JCR

No you can’t, it’s nothing to do with the apps it’s to do with the protocols used. If using a pc your using RAAt over HDMI which will support multichannel from a pc. When using network to Sonos.iys using Sonos streaming and that doesn’t support 5.1 nor does Airplay they only support 2.0 for audio only.

Thank you for the quick answers.

Indeed PC to Sonos through HDMI works like a charm for MCH :wink:

So if I understand correctly, when using the mobile Roon App, the signal goes through the phone, unlike Tidal connect, Spotify connect or Air Play? Right?

No, the phone is just a control device or and endpoint. With Roon, the file is sent to the Core first, processed, and then passed on to the endpoint(s).

Thank you Rugby,