Roon –> HQ Player –> Zen Stream

Hello–I have HQ Player added to Roon and would like to send the upsampled audio to my iFi Zen Stream. I have the Zen Stream in AIO mode with all services but Roon turned off as per this post:

How do I go about finishing the setup? Thanks in advance.

Either keep the Zen Stream in AIO mode but in addition to Roon, you need to enable NAA service from ifi.local.

Or then you can use the exclusive NAA mode of Zen Stream but then you can’t play directly through Roon (without HQP). HQP + Roon will obviously work, even in dedicated NAA mode.

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Thank you, patouskii–I will enable NAA as well and report back

It looks like I have some more configuring to do first (I’m on a Mac):

Hello—I got NAA configured in HQ Player and on the iFi Zen Stream. That all worked very smoothly. When I went to play my first track, there was terrible static for a few seconds (mostly in the left channel) and then the music came in, overlaid with distortion/static.

I restarted HQ Player, iFi, and Roon. After this, there was no sound output whatsoever.

I am attaching a few screenshots. Thanks in advance!

UPDATE: I suspect this was a flaky network connection on the iFi. I now have audio!

Seems like you need @jussi_laako’s help?

In iFi web app (ifi.local) make sure the output hasn’t changed between SPDIF and USB after the reboot as I have had this happen a couple of times.
(Though it looks fine on the HQP screen)

Thanks so much, everyone! All is good now–happy owner of a shiny new HQ Player key now that all is proved to work well on a Mac Mini Dual Core i5 2.8GHz with 16gb RAM.

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Hi Jussi
I was lately using Roon / HQPlayer on a Mac Mini M1 directly connected to a Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC and I had no issues changing from HQPlayer to Roon back and forth playing the same tracks.
Now enabling a second setup at my bedside with Ifi Zen Stream connected to either some Topping DX5 or Hifiman EF400 DAC by USB I am finding out that HQPlayer is locking my Ifi Zen Stream NAA so I am not able to change back to Roon without disconnecting from HQPlayer for example by shutting down the entire HQPlayer app.
Any idea how I can either
a.) seamlessly do what I described without the locking issue
b) remotely unlock my Zen Stream from HQPLAYER and lock it back? HQPDControl app on IOS for example doesn’t offer that option to change or disable the HQPLAYER NAA source

It is normal. Why would you want to go back and forth between Roon and HQPlayer outputs?

As long as HQPlayer is running, your DAC is reserved. Same with Roon, as long as your DAC is enabled in Roon, you cannot use it in HQPlayer.

Please just decide which one you want to use.

See last paragraph here:

Answer is easy.
For the same reason as trying different filters, I.e for the sake of different flavors.
Straight Roon is NOS and HQPlayer is OS, very simple and it’s working like a charm once both services are running on the same server and DAC is connected.
Maybe I am a bit spoiled in that regards now

Switching HQPlayer filters is also easy, takes couple of seconds.

Although I don’t see much point in NOS here.

Yep, actually there’s no reason for using straight Roon if having a set of favorite filters in HQPlayer.
I was just used to that freedom but I understand that there are limits due to the nature of allocating exclusive USB devices.
Seems though that this allocation is handled differently if DAC is connected directly to the HQPlayer-/Roon-Server than in the case of Zen Stream to a remote NAA/Roon Endpoint.

You can of course easily disable filters in HQPlayer too, although that would be a very unusual case.

How/if the switchover is handled depends on the OS, drivers and overall implementation.

For example if you run NAA on Windows, ASIO and WASAPI backends will behave somewhat differently.

Yep, seems current Mac OS and Roon / HQPlayer with some Holo Audio Titanis USB module connected are more flexible here.
The requirement of switching between NOS and OS with one button is though very common and can be found on most R2R DACs like also my currently demoed EF400.
Of course I prefer to use HQPLAYER for performing the OS though and as Roon Remote app is my primary remote frontend in my bedroom the zone switching function is like the simple software pendant to such a DAC physical hardware switch

In worst case, on macOS you just end up with CoreAudio doing rate conversion and mixing. But on macOS (and Windows), most important thing is to check that your DAC is not set as default audio output device for the OS.

In typical case on local DAC connection on macOS you would be doing DSD output through DoP. If that is working, you can be pretty sure CoreAudio is not doing anything.

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