Roon Android Apps (ARC / Regular) - USB DAC detection and Re-Sampling

Just separating this post from the question I asked in the iPhone thread.

First of all - generally happy with the ARC functionality; have always kinda wanted to access Roon away from home. So thanks for this!

Can someone confirm that Roon / ARC on Android (11 or 12) will detect USB-C DACs? I have a Helm Bolt that most other apps see (Tidal, USB Audio Player Pro, Sony Music Center) and recognize its capabilities (24/384, MQA, etc).

But the Roon app (and ARC) only see the phone itself and not the USB-C DAC. Music plays, but music is being resampled in both apps. I can’t recall trying this in the past as I don’t connect the USB-C DAC to my Xperia 1 III that often (Sony, UAP play hi-res and DSD natively).

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Roon Labs software still uses Android mixer to play audio so the resampling is expected. There is a feature request to bypass the mixer to match source sample rate.

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Is this the case with roon arc too?
Very very disappointing if true

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ARC and Roon work the same way in this regard. We typically use AAudio on Android, so it is all going through the OS at the moment.

Unfortunately, while bit-perfect output to USB devices on iOS is simple and lightweight, Android requires far more elaborate approaches to get there. Google has made some recent improvements in this area, but they haven’t reached many devices yet. We may also consider doing a userspace USB Audio implementation to handle this.

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Yes. and Yes.

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I really hope this can be addressed.

Apps like USB Audio Player Pro and Neutron do it just fine so the fact that Roon cannot even with the new release is extremely disappointing and means I’ll still be using UAPP for the foreseeable future :frowning:

Maybe speaking to the USB Audio Player Pro dev team about possibly licensing their implementation might be a good plan?

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I understand there are a variety of Android devices so that likely makes things complicated. But being able to tap into at least a USB DAC would be awesome. My Sony phone is likely the only one that still has a headphone jack, so I could understand that use case being super niche though.

We plan to, but it wasn’t worth holding up the initial release of Roon ARC as a whole to make an incremental quality improvement for a subset of Android configurations.

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this is supported without issue

The problem is that everything is resampled through the mixer so the DAC sees a constant bitrate instead of the source bitrate and that’s not very “audiophile”

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That’s fair. And sorry if I came across overly cynical. Roon ARC is awesome and a VERY welcome development that will be of immense use to many users.

I’m just sad that for me at least it can’t work for my use case.

Is there any rough idea of timescale as to when this might be available?

Fair enough! But I’m glad its on the radar :slight_smile:

Personally I’m very happy with Roon ARC so far but yes, USB Dac is actually QUITE important. Version 2.1 by christmas? YAS!

After CarPlay
(HA! sorry, just trolling but it was too easy)

I do think this feature should be higher on the priority over CarPlay. Roon’s target audience is a user base, more than most, who understand “bit perfect”. Android has made this a pain but it’s not insurmountable and can even be turned on / off in settings for devices where it doesn’t work.

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Looking forward to this upgrade also. I have a Fiio Q3 MQA and it doesnt work with Roon Arc on the moment. It will pass trough the sound, but that’s about it. Luckily i also have an Iphone 13 for work and it works great with that. Love the update though!

I obviously want that too. Combining the fact that there will be no desktop ARC as well, if I want bit perfect playback at work I have to use a 2nd core.

What about this idea? Roon ARC working with UAPP?

Just posting to show support for the feature. I apreciate arc even without it just for my playlists, but it would significantly increase my use of the app if we had it. Tyvm flr the hard work

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If you are interested in this topic please vote here:

Hi-Res on Android? UAPP integration? - Roon Software / Feature Suggestions - Roon Labs Community

The blue vote button is on the very top of the page:

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Yes I can confirm your observation for Android 12 on my Samsung Galaxy S20 5G:
USB Audio Player Pro and Neutron Music Player both recognize my DAC and offer a “UI popup” to to use it…

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Fully agree with your proposal!