Playback of Atmos

DTS is not a relevant example. It is a 25+ year old codec that always has been S/PDIF compatible because it is encapsulated as PCM. Roon sees a ripped DTS CD as 16 bit 44.1 kHz audio, the same as any other CD. Roon does not support Dolby Digital Plus or DTS-HD High Resolution, for example, because those lossy codecs extend beyond the PCM encapsulated, S/PDIF compatible model.


It is relevant in that it is a format that Roon can output but can not decode. Which is the minimum we should have for Atmos.

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No, Nick, you are ignoring the important details. DTS support in Roon is not intentional, it is a so called happy accident. The same as in the original Apple AirPlay (AirPort Express), DTS works in Roon purely because the PCM pipeline is or can be set as bit perfect.

Roon does not recognize DTS at all – it just appears to Roon to be bog standard 16 bit 44.1 kHz PCM. Thus, Roon did not have to change anything in its PCM pipeline to pass through DTS. On the other hand, Roon would have to reengineer part or all of its audio pipeline first to recognize and second to pass through Dolby Atmos Music, hence Dolby Digital Plus.


I’m not ignoring any details; I’m requesting a new feature. The implementation details are up to Roon. They are very competent engineers, I’m sure they can figure out how to do it without us second guessing them or making assumptions about the challenges. Frankly, arguing against someone else’s feature request, based on the technical challenges, is unkind and uninformed unless you have access to the code base. If you have an issue with the feature request, make your arguments based on how it impacts your user experience, not how challenging it is for the devs. If there is a technical reason this can not be done, I want to hear it from Roon, not from someone who does not know their code base. Lots of apps decode Atmos, it can be done, but you have to pay license fees. As far as outputting an undecoded bit stream on HDMI, I’m an engineer like you and I don’t see it as a big deal. If it is a big deal, I want to hear that from Roon.


Nick, you are misconstruing my words. Neither for nor against, my position on Roon supporting Dolby Atmos Music is neutral. I am offering valid technical reasons why the feature request for Roon decoding or passthrough faces architectural hurdles (and possibly financial obstacles), thus seems unlikely to happen. If you want to hear that from Roon staff, you may be waiting and waiting. As a longtime user, you should know by now that Roon generally does not comment on feature requests anymore. Would you prefer that silence to my insight?


Here is the thing AJ, I’m trying not to be rude, but why do I care about your opinion about “technical obstacles”? Even if you are correct, it is no relevance. I’m requesting a feature that I think is important. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it is not worthwhile.


can almost guarantee we wont get it before tidal adds atmos support to their desktop app so lets watch for that first. I would be shocked if they never implement it

DD+ JOC is CoreAudio built-in function and can decode DD+ Atmos up to 7.1.4 on macOS. Roon just simply call that API, let macOS decode, and send to multichannel DAC. If you don’t have multichannel DAC it’s okay, macOS can aggregate all your 2ch DACs as one multichannel DAC (this aggregate DAC also supports multichannel DSD DoP playback!). It’s not the technical issue really…

Why “ditch” surround? Most people I know are doing exactly the opposite.

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Exactly. It sucks to have to use my Amazon Firestick to decode Atmos on Tidal to listen to the new Def Leppard.


With Qobuz working on offering Atmos encoded tracks, I hope Roon is taking another look at offering decoding to its members. For me, the hold up buying Atmos 7.1.4 gear is knowing I can use it for movies AND music. Would love to see this categorized as “[On Roadmap]”.