Please Document Buffer Size

Roon Core Machine


Networking Gear & Setup Details

Yes, but more importantly Raspberry Pi running some distribution with a Linux Kernel. USB or SPDIF board.

Connected Audio Devices


Number of Tracks in Library


Description of Issue

This isn’t an issue but a request.


I’ve looked through the community and don’t find any details on the Buffer Size setting with regard to what it does. I realize, from a post Danny wrote, that this impacts different things at endpoint depending on the endpoint. For that reason, I’d like to see documentation prioritized:

  1. Linux Kernel + ALSA USB
  2. Linux Kernel + ALSA SPDIF
  3. ASIO and WASAPI
  4. ?

Why am I asking? Somewhat curiosity but primarily I’m trying to better understand why this setting has an effect on sound quality. In my setup it does, but I have no idea what it’s doing or why that would be. I know Danny, from the post I mentioned previously, doesn’t want to give too many details here because “BAD consequences from doing so, is just irresponsible”. I agree with the bad but not the irresponsible bit. If you’d like, message me privately and I’ll not disclose that conversation as well as taking full ownership of being the “irresponsible” party. I just really want to gain an understanding and I can’t without more detail. Thank you.

As an aside, I think leveraging the ability to adjust buffer size could be used as indication of network robustness for Roon. But, I’m speculating here and that’s not always healthy to do.

Why do you think buffer size has an effect on SQ?

PRaT changes. That is Pacing, Rhythm, and Timing. (and, it’s not lost on my the dictionary definition of “prat” but I digress).

It’s all very subtle however… There are differences in attack and timing that influence the overall dynamics of what I hear. It’s consistent across tracks, listening sessions, etc. This is consistent with others who describe a change as adding a “softness” to the music. I don’t here this across all my systems / setups though.

So be verbose about what setting has what consequence - don’t starve the forum after wetting the appetite…
I’m obviously not resolving enough, cause I can’t hear a change!

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