Roon DSP better than DIrac?

Been playing around with Dirac (DIrac Studio on my Mac mini) vs Roon DSP. Finding that Dirac is killing the entire sound. Maybe I haven’t configured DIRAC right but just using the Roon PEQ with 5 bands to clean up the Sub 300hz makes my sound system awesome .

Looks like my decision to try Roon first before splurging on MiniDSP or even going for a DIRAC enabled amp like SA30, M10/33 or Lyngdorf (RP) was a good one !.Ofcourse comparing the All in Ones just based on DIrac is not right but just based on DSP alone Roon is worth it.

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For me Dirac has always been better than Roon DSP (REW) however since a few months a have a Lyngdorf amplifier with RoomPerfect and this is even better. If Dirac doesn’t sound good to you, then you probably did something wrong with the measurements. How did you do the measurements?

I have found that REW or even HouseCurve and using a convolution filter in roon is better than Dirac.

I also found Dirac to not produce great results in my room for whatever reason.

Any type of room correction software is dependent upon the quality of the initial measurements taken in your room. Often, taking another set of initial measurements will give you different end results.
It is common to end up with a flat lifeless sound after first run of DIRAC because it flattens the response, which is generally too big a change and not what you want. A ‘house curve’ is generally the desired target response and DIRAC can give you this if you persevere, as can any room correction system.
At the end of the day however, whatever sound best to you in your room with your system is best for you.


First off all it is important to understand that DIRAC is an all in one solution for creating and applying filters while RoonDSP only offers the possibility to apply DSP filters that have been created by a third party app.
So the results you can achieve with RoonDSP depend upon those third party apps, not on Roon itself.

Also it is important to understand that there are two general areas for correction. The first being frequency domain (I.e. adjusting the response to a specific target curve) and the second being time domain (I.e. correction of the phase response making sure, all frequencies reach the listener at the same time).
Many solutions only take care of the first part, a few more sophisticated also of the second.

Dirac corrects both in frequency and time domain but is kind of a black box focusing on ease of use and foolproofness and therefore leaves only very limited options of adjustment to be set by the user (I.e. target curve and frequency range for correction). All other parameters especially regarding time domain correction have been preset by Dirac and cannot be changed. So the results might fit your specific environment and taste more or less well.

Also, Dirac filters cannot be used outside Dirac and (except for the standalone PC version) is tied to hardware. If you already have a decent DAC and amp, you might not want to change or replace that to get room correction.

So this is where third party apps come into play to create filters for use in RoonDSP.

On the other extreme compared to Diracs closed black box solution , REW in combination with rephase is a total manual approach to make corrections in frequency and time domain and requires quite a bit of expert knowledge to get things right.

In a first step, you might want to start only with REW and use it’s EQ assistant to create PEQ settings for ROON to correct room modes and fit the response to your taste. No time domain corrections here. This is not too difficult and worked quite well in the past for me. But you need some time to get to know your way around REW. Haven’t tried rephase though.

The HouseCurve app IMHO makes an excellent compromise between ease of use and flexibility focusing on correction in the frequency domain. Using a decent microphone on a stand (UMIK-1) gets the most out of it. I got better results this way than making manual adjustments using REW. So I can highly recommend this app, pricing is a bargain.

Taking the next step is Software like the FocusFidelity filter designer. This offers state of the art correction both in frequency and time domain and opposed to Dirac the filters created can be used in a variety of different software players including ROON.
Also the FocusFidelity software IMHO makes a better compromise between usability and flexibility than Dirac by giving you some more control over important parameters regarding time domain correction to fit the results to your liking without screwing things up too badly (you can always return to default values and start over without taking new measurements).
Pricing is quite competitive regarding other options on the market, so another high recommendation for FocusFidelity from my side.

Concluding: if you already have ROON, use it as your main or only source and have decent hardware that you don’t want to change, Dirac IMHO is not the way to go for room correction.


Another thing to consider:
Many hardware Dirac solution lack the processing power for High res audio and are limited to 24bit/48kHz. Even 44.1 gets upsampled to 48khz so a single set of filters can be used for all source material.

In ROON, you can use specific convolution filters for all sample rates or ROON upsamples the filters to the target sample rate to preserve high res content.

So if this is important to you, another reason to look for different options from Dirac.


That’s why I think RoomPerfect from Lyngdorf is the best. I have used Dirac for years, Roon DSP with REW/Rephase and Home Audio Fidelity (HAF) and while I have nice results with all of them, none can match RoomPerfect from Lyngdorf and it’s integrated bass management and voicing filters. Of course then you have to buy one of their amplifiers…

Hi Roland,

many thanks for the detailed response. Really helps.

Your right , Dirac does both the freqeuncy and time domain. But somehow its not working .

By the way I have HouseCurve and use it on my Umik1. It works to an extent for the price its outstanding . I will definitely take up your suggestion on Focus Fidelty .

Thanks again for the help.

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Hi Rob , I have tried the HouseCurve convolution filter in Roon, for some reason it seems to distort. Any suggestions / best way of getting best results

I used Umik 1 , used the basic umik stand not the floor tripod …how sensitive is Dirac to small to the measurements by the cm/inch ?

With HouseCurve filters you need to activate headroom management in Roon to avoid clipping of the positive EQ corrections.

In HouseCurve you can export the EQ settings in a text file (instead of a convolution file) and look for the highest positive value. Use this +1dB as negative headroom and you should be good.

You can also turn on the clipping indicator in Roon which makes the signal path light up red everytime clipping occurs and listen to some critical tracks to make sure the problem is solved (I recommend some Billie Eilish, lots of Bass, no headroom in the recording).

Thanks Roland, makes sense. Sometimes it recommends upto +7db gain and therfore i usually dont set it so high to avoid clipping. By the way have u use the convolution filter ?

Yes, I tried both convolution and manual EQ Settings based on the HouseCurve text export. Both need negative headroom.
The results are the same. But Convolution is far more convenient and needs a lot less processing power, too.

Oh…thats great, how do i know hat headroom to drt on the conv filter ? Or do I take it from the PEQ export and add 1?

To these, I’d add Acourate by AudioVero and Audiolense by Juice HiFi. I love Roon’s convolution engine for DRC because there are so many great options for users of different experience levels.

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There is a whole thread about how to use HouseCurve. In the end, enable the clipping indicator and add headroom until it stops turning red. Or use volume leveling. Or turn off the automatic target curve positioning in HouseCurve and adjust it manually so that it goes below the measured graph, i.e. reducing the volume at all frequencies.

REW are Dirac are just not apples to apples due to the radical differences in ease of use of Dirac and the time domain correction. REW is one of those apps that tries to offer a very wide range of features to users with a range of goals - and is a serious PITA to learn as a result. So the simple answer the question is no - not even close.

The vast majority of the criticism of the quality DRC packages like Dirac, Lyngdorf Room Perfect, and Anthem ARC is focused on the reduced LF response and/or dry sound overall that comes with DRC. In my decade plus of experience using Dirac in a range of systems, the default target curve is a bit bass shy for most users. The problem is people miss the bass peaks and resonances that they intended (in most cases) for Dirac to correct in the first place. The solution is to use a corrected target curve with a slight bass boost to add that LF energy back in - but when you do you get it in a much more controlled way, Or - turn DRC off when you are playing music that is SUPPOSED to shake and rattle your room a bit. I think it is fair to say that many users report the +4 or +6 Harman target curves widely available out there are just about right. I find it useful to add correction filters in Dirac from the default target all the way to +8 and change things up as needed. I would not recommend going crazy with custom full spectrum target curves as that is a deep hole some perpetual tweaks will never find their way out of.

Bottom line is - Dirac does its job - well. But, if you don’t have access to it, or don’t want to take the time to learn the hot but capable mess that is REW, you can really improve your sound by using any spectrum analyzer app on your phone to find where the 2-3 bass modes are in your system - and cut them using the Roon PEQ function. I have always found it pretty easy to find 2 problem freqs that are a problem in one of my non Dirac corrected systems, and use a -8db cut with like a 10 Q value as a starting point. That solution alone can make many users very happy. You might not need or want much else.

Personally I would like to give Lyngforf and Anthem a good extended trial in my systems at home - but I am fortunate to have a wealth of NAD gear with Dirac on board and don’t have to. From what I have read - any of those solutions can do a great job provided you follow directions and understand the reduction of bass modes thing.

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I’ve wanted to try Dirac Live but don’t want the complexity of the plugins and such to get it to work on my Mac… so I use REW, create a target curve via PEQs and load that into my MiniDSP Flex. I then take measurements and use Home Audio Fidelity for that last bit of optimization that’s beyond my abilities in REW. Thierry@HAF sends back convolution filters that get loaded up into Roon. It’s a perfect balance for me in terms of improvement for the dollar.

The required headroom settings for convolution are the same as for PEQ export, so yes, you can take the maximum positive gain setting from the PEQ text export, add 1dB as safety reserve and apply this value in headroom management and use the convolution files created by HouseCurve.

As @Suedkiez pointed out, there are other ways to get to the same result as well.

However, adjusting the target curve level in HouseCurve to force HouseCurve to create filters with negative gain only might give bad results and I wouldn’t recommend doing so.
In my understanding HouseCurve is designed to spread positive and negative gain evenly around the target curve up to the gain limit defined in the settings.
So if you adjust the target curve in a way that only negativ gain is apllied, you need to double the limit of the filter gain to compensate. This leads to the creation of extreme filters (like -20 dB instead of -10dB) and might sound worse than the conventional approach combined with headroom adjustment.

Yeah, possibly. I’ve just played around with a lower curve and hear no ill effects, but the corrections necessary in my room are mostly harmless. Anyway, lots of info on the existing thread and the developer is there to answer questions