Roon bass distortion(?)

I’ve installed Roon core on my NUC and use a PC with Amiron Wireless headphones (Bluetooth) to listen to my library but to my amazement the bass is distorted, it has some kind of digital “zzzing” to it.

Sounds really nasty when you listen to Pat Metheny’s Sound of Silence, there is some kind of weird ringing every time he pulls a string on the guitar.
I’ve compared it to TIDAL client on the PC itself vs TIDAL in Roon and also my local Roon library and the distortion is 100% coming from Roon, also kick drums sound distorted too, like kicking a cardboard box, like it’s +3dB at least when compared to other sounds.

Have to say it’s driving me nuts because it’s so apprent that it’s distorted. I have no resampling etc. on, everything DSP-related or any enhancements are set to OFF/Disabled.

Anyone got this too? I’ve been using Roon almost a year ago and never noticed any bass distortions.
This happens while playing both FLAC and AAC files.

Adjusting the output volume does nothing. I’m running a fresh Win10 install and it’s an 8th gen i7 NUC.
I’ve reinstalled every relevant driver on the client PC but to no avail, the distortion is still there.

Also tried normal stereo headphones (AKG K702) connected to the client PC’s integrated sound card - the sound is still distorted.

Hi @Martin_J,

If you try using a different endpoint, or use System Output of the remote without the Bluetooth, do you hear the same distortion?

I’ve connected my Galaxy S10 phone through WiFi as an endpoint to the Core, plugged both headphones in - no distortion. How weird? Why would the PC be distorting only when playing from Roon…I’ve tried both WASAPI and System Output on the PC and both are distorting.
I do have a short clip I recorded from the desktop where the distortion is very apparent, I have uploaded it to WeTransfer so I won’t get a copyright strike on Youtube:

It’s just a small 13MB .MP4 video file where I recorded Roon including audio. From 0:16 the distortion is is easily audible.
Of course Windows Game Bar recording isn’t exactly hi-res but it the bass distortion is exactly the same.

Hi @Martin_J,

Since this issue does not occur on your Galaxy S10, it might be related to the W10 installation itself. If you temporarily host the Roon Core on the W10 machine, do you hear the same distortion?

Is the distortion present across multiple tracks or just the two you mentioned above?

It’s present on all tracks. I will try using that Roon installation as a host to see what happens.

Still distorted when using that PC as core.

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I wonder if windows telephony is enabled for the headphones on the PC?

I cannot remember where this is - Bluetooth device settings probably, or check the name of the audio output device and make sure it doesn’t say hands free or similar - if it does, select the other one.

Also what happen if you reduce the PC output level a little in windows?

Telephony / Handsfree sits under Devices and Printers -> “headphone model” -> properties.
It was set to disabled all the time.

Reducing output doesn’t help.

Hi @Martin_J,

I would try another PC Core as the next test in troubleshooting. Do let me know if that has the same behavior.

Was there any news on fixing this?
I’m having the same issue. It’s definitely coming from Roon, both mp3 and Tidal, but only when playing through the system output. When casting to chromecast audio the sound is fine.

Hi @Andy_Stringfellow,

Can you please use this thread as a guide to post your setup details?

If you try to play to a USB attached zone, does that also have the same behavior?

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