Roon Parametric EQ and its impact on SQ

Generally I am purist… i.e. I want my music bit perfect… and that’s it. Recently however, I have taken simple room measurements and the most disturbing result was a +10db bump at the 110-127Hz range. Playing with the Parametric EQ in Roon, I reduced this by about 5db… which is good. That’s the only change I made.
Since then, I try to make up my mind as to whether, enabling the EQ module (hence going away from my preferred “bit-perfect” reproduction), has an effect on the REST of the frequency response! Certainly, the impact on the above frequencies has been positive, as the “flattening” of the said range, made base easier to follow and less “one-note”. But I am not sure about the rest of the frequency range.
I am not sure about what I hear, since my expectations (which are negative), may play a huge role here… So I reach out for your observations / opinions. Does Roon’s EQ negatively impact the non-affected part of the frequency range? (smearing, less transparency etc.).

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I guess it will depend on your set up. I use it within a garden office which tends to make sounds very ‘boxy’. Flattening the upper range and boosting the lower range has removed a good deal of ‘boxiness’.
I did not notice any major issues in the mid range. Not scientific, but it’s my experience ie EQ a positive improvement in sound quality (within a 12ft by 12ft wooden box!).

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An alternative view is that when bass boom and resonances are reduced, you have greater clarity on the rest of the frequency range due to reduction of masking effects. So you may just be noticing what was already there but previously hidden?


I guess if you keep it simple (just one or two filters), and only attenuate peaks (and don’t boost valleys), you are safe.

As an experiment, you could set up two PEQ filters that cancel each other out, leaving a flat frequency response with DSP engaged. Then when you switch DSP ON/OFF you can compare a ‘flat’ DSP response with the flat non-DSP response. Provided that you keep the boost/cut low, it should not cause clipping issues. The levels with DSP ON/OFF should then be matched?
Try Q=1
Peak Boost/Cut=2dB

I haven’t tried the above so I don’t know if doing equal boost/cut filters exactly cancel each other out. Roon will let you set these filters though and enable you to listen to the entire frequency range ‘flat’ listening for any other DSP artefacts.


Two data points that may affect your thinking about this:

  1. Hans Beekhuyzen’s straightforward guide to parametric equalization

  2. Discussion here about room correction via the convolution engine, which has been a revelation for many of us. Check out comments praising Home Audio Fidelity if you haven’t already.

I consider myself very fortunate to spend many hours enjoying a variety of recordings through a first rate music system, and believe that judicious use of DSP only enhances the experience.