Roon Audio Quality Question

I am a new user of Roon and am trying to decide whether or not to pay for continued use of the program when my trial period end. I listen to mainly, but not exclusively, to classical music, especially “Early Music”, (historically informed performed) music of the classical, Baroque and earlier period.

The biggest problem that I am have is with the sound of the music as played back (served) by Roon. The problem, for me, is a leanness to the sound in the critical lower midrange/high baas region that robs music of its life and makes the music sound like “high-fi” rather than music. Harpsichords are particularly ill served as they sound more like toys rather than like the rich instruments that they are. I am looking for some assistance in hopefully tweaking the program setting to solve this problem. I do not have this problems with either Channel D’s Pure Music or Audirvana.

I am using the following setup – Mac mini (mid 2011) with a 2.7 GhZ Intel core i7 processor, and 8 GB of ram running OSX 10.13.6 (High Sierra) Output is via USB (Cardas Clear cable) to a PS Audio Perfectwave DAC. The computer is only used as a music server. All unnecessary background processes, such Spotlight indexing, have been disabled. The Roon core (ver 1.6) is running on the Mac mini, and controlled from other computers & tablets in the house. MQA is set to “no MQA support” since I am not interested in MQA and I don’t use TIDAL. Audio files are Apple lossless and FLAC file types 44.1 – 176 sampling rates. Any help in improving the sound of Roon in my setup would be appreciated.

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I’ve moved your question to the Support category in the forum, where it will be seen, and responded to, by the support team.

I am not support. However, you can add Equalizers in DSP to your audio stream to bump or reduce. Click on the Volume Icon, click on DSP. Here are the options to tweak your sound as you see fit.

You might want to review this first before just changing things.

You probably want to bump the mid-range in Parametric EQ

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Are the support team responding to problems at the moment? They don’t seem to be appearing much at present.

Yes they are. It’s a small team, and there are lots of Roon users out there…

Hello @RaveniaSF,

We generally decline to comment on the relative sound quality of Roon vs other audio applications because of the inherent subjectivity of the topic. What I can say is that we have architected Roon to leverage the best audio technologies available on whatever platform you are running it on. In regards to USB DACs on MacOS, Roon uses the MacOS Core Audio Exclusive Mode driver to deliver a lossless bit-perfect stream to the device. I just tested our in-house PS Audio DirectStream DAC connected to a Mac using the PS Audio bit-perfect test that can be found at this link under the “Download Software and Guides” tab and confirmed that Roon is working as intended with the PS Audio USB chipset on MacOS. I’m unsure if the PS Audio bit-perfect test works on the PerfectWave DAC since the mainboard firmware is different, I do not have one on-hand to test.

In Roon, you should check that you have “Exclusive Mode” enabled in the “Device Setup” for the device. Go to the Settings > Audio screen, navigate to the “PS AudioUSB 2.0 Audio Out” device, and then click on the small gear icon and select “Device Setup”. If “Exclusive Mode” is not enabled, turn it on and make sure to click the “Save” button. Roon also provides some further configuration options for USB DAC devices, you can read more about them here. In addition, Roon includes a powerful and easy-to-use DSP engine that allows you to tune the sound to your liking using state-of-the-art signal processing technology. You can read more about Roon’s DSP features here.


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