Problem maintaining audio stream from core device to one Android endpoint

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

HP Envy 17 laptop with i74702MQ CPU, Windows 10 Pro build 1809 OS (Build 17763.437); 16 GB RAM; Seagate 1TB ST1000LM024 SATA drive (for data; OS in on separate Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD). Roon Version 1.6, build 416 64 bit.

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Core machine is connected to LAN via wired Ethernet adapter (Realtek PCI GBE). Router is an Asus TM-AC1900.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

LG V20 Android (Model LG-H918) running Android 8.0.

The Roon remote on the device can’t maintain an audio stream of MP3 (yes, MP3, mostly 320) for any length of time. It keeps dropping the connection to the core machine, or, conversely, I see the remote player cycling through tracks in the playlist, but playback never starts–it simply keeps moving from track to track with no playback.

I have other audio streaming software installed, namely, MediaMonkey, which can stream okay to its Android clients (I’m not dong this simultaneously with Roon streaming). I can also stream 4K video through this router to my TV over wifi and that’s not a problem, and that’s using a far heavier lift of data than medium-res MP3s. I’m looking at purchasing a serious network DAC/streamer and upgrading my audio files to lossless formats, but if Roon can’t handle relatively low-res files to stream to one device, how can I expect better performance on a $2,000 device? So any troubleshooting suggestions are welcome. Are there any Roon-specific logs available that might report what is going on with the client connectivity? The Windows event logs do not seem to be reporting any events that are relevant with respect to firewall issues, DNS issues, file access issues, etc.

Hi Robert,
Welcome to the Roon Community.
I’m just a Roon user, so my word is not official. But there is this thread on the forum that has a fairly recent update.

Roon is normally quite capable of streaming high resolution files to supported endpoints. But there may be an underlying issue with this Android interface.
FWIW, I have a Galaxy S8 with Android 9. I just set it up in Roon and it can receive a stream from my core OK. Probably won’t make you feel any better, but information anyway.

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your reply, it was useful to read that other thread. I will in this context see if my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 with the Roon app fares any better; although it an older verison of Android (7), it does not have the specialized hardware DAC that the V20/30/40 series have. If indeed that DAC is in some way implicated then I should presumably see different behavior on the tablet. In any case, thanks again. I appreciate your help.

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Hi @Robert_Lowe,

As mentioned by Scott above, and discussed in the linked thread, there is currently work being done on Android audio playback. With that in mind, I’d like to take a bit of a closer look here as the symptoms that you’re experiencing aren’t exactly the same as everyone else. In most cases, the connection to the Core will not disconnect.

It would definitely be good to know if the same behavior occurs when playing to the other Android device you have (the Galaxy Tab S2) so we can better understand where this issue may be stemming from.

For Asus routers, we also advise that the option for Enable Multicast Routing be enabled. Can you confirm this is set on your router?

Hello @dylan, Thanks for your reply. So I did try streaming from the core system to the Samsung Tablet and that playback worked, although I saw that the bit rate is being downgraded to 16 bits which surprised me since that’s not required for playback on the tablet (the Neturon player on the device has no trouble playing back locally-stored MP3s at 24 bits) and it does have an audibly deleterious effect on sound quality as compared to other audio experiences. Also, I checked the router and it was a little unclear as to whether multicast routing was enabled or not (there are two settings in different places on this router’s UI that appear to control the configuration of this) but I’m pretty sure it is now and in fact making the change I made does appear to have positively affected the playback performance through the V20 inasmuch as it does now keep a continuous playback stream going (again, however, it is getting a 16K audio stream rather than 24K). I will continue to test this over the next week or so.

Another unrelated issue I noticed that is the Roon Android has an option to keep the screen alive when in use and it appears to ignore the user setting. Whether enabled or disabled, the screen stays on while Roon is active unless I manually turn the screen off (this is true with both the Galaxy Tab and the V20).

I hope this feedback is in some way useful to your ongoing efforts. For the immediate future any use I make of Roon is likely to be via Android devices so anything to improve their performance, including enabling them to receive full resolution streams from a Roon core, would be welcome.

Hi @dylan So an update is that any improvement to the V20 playback experience that resulted from the router configuration change was short-lived. After about 90 minutes, the V20 once again began losing the connection to the core system repeatedly and of course at that point playback stopped. This has happened half-a-dozen times in the past 45 minutes or so.

Roons is limited currently to Android system audio which is 16bit only and overall performance is not great on any device I have found, but its being worked on at last which is good but how long this will take is anybodies guess… Other players and manufacturers may work around the android limitation but as I have a Tab S2 its not one of them unless I use USB Audio Pro and an attached DAC. As for 24 bit mp3 I dont think such a thing exists, MP3and AAC dont have a bit depth at all, they can be decoded to either 16 or 24 bit but they are not like PCM that has a fixed bit depth to start with. Another thing, Roon will not be sending mp3 files to your phone or tablet, it will be decoding the files on the core to PCM and sending them to the DAC in the phone

Hi @Simon_Arnold3 Thanks, I’m only beginning to learn a little about the world and facts of high-resolution digital audio so I find your comments helpful. I’m fairly sure that Neutron can decode files on an Android device for 24 bit playback–and maybe it’s just a trick of software but the playback definitely sounds more defined when using that app versus Roon. That could also be because Neutron is taking advantage of the hardware DAC on the V20. But all your points are well taken.

Neutron uses the same principal as usb audio pro and will use the DAC to its full potential, where Roon won’t in its current guise so yes this will yield much better results than Roon at the moment.

Hi @Robert_Lowe,

Thanks for the updates here.

As mentioned above, we are working on an overhaul to how we do Android playback which will address these issues you’re experiencing.

This doesn’t seem to be related to the playback issues that the other Android device is experiencing.

  • When the disconnects occur, are you able to ping the V20 over the network?
  • How long do the disconnects occur?
  • Just to confirm — When the V20 disconnects, is the Samsung tablet able to remain connected?

@dylan Hi, I haven’t tried streaming to both the V20 and the Tab S2 simultaneously, so I’m unable to say at this point whether the latter remains connected when the former drops a connection. The V20 disconnects are short in duration, but rapid in succession, so ping tests to the device would be problematic. Moreover there are always other data-consuming apps running on the V20 along with Roon (e.g., multiple messaging apps, a network monitor, etc.) and when Roon disconnects from the core it does not appear to be the case that it is disconnecting from the wireless LAN–data continues to be available to those other apps. I will try a test with Roon on both devices playing from the core to see whether the behavior on the V20 has any synchronous analogue or echo on the Tab S2.

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