Roon vs Audirvana 3.5

HQPlayer sounds better than Audirvana and has many more filter and noise shaper options. It’s not even close in my opinion. Also, HQPlayer (I use the Embedded version) works great with Roon. The best of both worlds…

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What is your setup? What are you running Roon on and how are you connected to your DAC?
I’m wondering if your setup (and maybe @Moazzam_Lokhandwala) represent cases where noise is being interjected into the DAC. Certainly Roon demands much more of a PC than any(?) other music players. Maybe the difference is how Roon handles the signal compared to Audirvana, but it may be a consequence of one program (Roon) creating much more noise going to the DAC. This is a reason Roon recommends a ‘split’ setup where Roon runs as a Server on one computer and feeds the signal via ethernet to the DAC.

I’d also quibble with this statement:

Its true we are listening to the music, but to me the holistic experience matters as well. At least it does now that I’m using Roon. JRiver, which I used previously, adds nothing to the experience, but Roon does.

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Audirvana is very good. I also use Roon and Audirvana. (and have HQPlayer for my Sonore mR) Options are good. Use whatever your ears tell you is best. Switch it up once in awhile.

My current setup : Roon core/server - Mac Air - USB using Totaldac Giga filter - Devialet 250 Expert - Nordost Frey Cables - Martin Logan Summitx

Thanks everyone,
Based on all the suggestions I will try to connect Roon server in my other Mac and leave Macair with just core - Devialet.

I have some questions too

  1. What is the best HQplayer filter and configuration setup for Devialet expert?

  2. How to configure HQ player with devialet using Ethernet as Roon connects devialet via ethernet directly through Raat. However USB with todaldac gives more open sound in mid to low. it may change with HQ player.

I’ll post about my experience with seperate Roon server soon.



Sorry I have taken so long to reply.

My roon core is on a media PC in another room, all connections ethernet, and in my office where I do a good proportion of my listening when I work, the DAC is plugged in to my work notebook and I run roon bridge and on that and control using my smartphone. Audirvana is on the same notebook (Dell i5) and run directly on that. I have in the interim got roon closer in musicality to Audirvana by using roon DSP, mainly converting to DSD128, using CLANS 7th order and a precise linear phase filter. I also will be moving the roon core to a NUC and deploying roon rock. Quite a rabbit hole to get sound quality.

I have the same sensations: A+ sounds better than Roon, even I use HQPlayer to upsampling as long as it is possible for me with my hifi.
P.S. it’s a shame for the interface, Roon is mutch better…

@giovanni_brunetti what filter are you using with HQPlayer?
I’m using poly-sinc-long-lp with TPDF dither, PCM upsampling to 176/192 (max of my dac).
I find this setting has superior SQ to A+ and of course the Roon interface/features are much superior as you say.

Hi ,I use “now”
Poly sinc ext and NS4 , but even change this parameters and filters, sound remain basically the same .
P.S: not able to use your setting, to mutch cpu…

Is possible that my p.c. i5 16giga is not able to handle those filter ,even poly-sinc-short -lp ,If we have an MQA is not able to play ,to much CPU ? If not MQA it works…

@giovanni_brunetti I don’t know why the filter I suggested would be so cpu intensive. My Mac mini is a 2012 i7 model but runs only about 3% load with this filter. I’m only using pcm upsampling to 176/192. I recommend the standard TPDF dither as well - I didn’t like the noise shaped dithers as much.

You : I’m only using pcm upsampling to 176/192.

You do this with the filter itself isnt’it ,Is the filter “even poly-sinc-short -lp” who do upsampling? I know this way…or there is other parameters i have to set ?
Tks Giovanni.
P.S: We are toking about filters on PCM of course

@giovanni_brunetti here are my settings:

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 1.24.34 pm

My load is pretty low with HQPlayer running these settings:
Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 1.08.12 pm
Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 1.16.27 pm

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Tks a lot Tobes.

Audirvana is with me for years now. I got used to the goods and the worse of it.
ROON is now several months on my Mac Mini.
Both are excellent programs when you like me are involved in music and the way it sounds in our home.
But they are not the same. Audirvana is superior in sound for me, ROON gives additional and very interesting information about the music you listen to and gives advise on music you perhaps will appreciate. So I use both programs, depending my intentions.
ROON has many ways to ameliorate the sound, because of the DSP on board. It also depends on the DAC in use, for me the RME ADI 2 FS DAC, a very discerning DAC I must say.
ROON handles the database of my music, that is on several external Harddisks, better than Audirvana.
What counts is what you prefer, the best possible handling of the music it self, the quality of sound, or the way the music program handles all your collected music and additional information.
We live not in a perfect world and I am glad of that. There is always room for better.
In Audirvana is incorporated Izotope, a very imported opportunity to create the best sound you can achieve. It depends on the settings in Izotope together with your DAC and the possible settings in the DAC.
The best result so far for me are the settings in Izotope that are visible in the screenshot. And furthermore, most of the music I upsample to DSD 64. In the ADI DAC with a AKM AK4493 chipset I can choose a filter SD LD. Together with the Izotope settings in Audirvana it sounds for me most natural without loosing details, as in analogue times, but without the distortions i was used to in those years.
Happy listening, Michel

Add images

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Hi @Michel_Goldsteen

I remember your post from a couple days ago.

Man I hope I’m as good with technology at 88 as you are now.

I’m just a little over 1/3 your age and struggling with technology too often :smile:

Fantastic DAC you have there :ok_hand: I have one too.


Thank you so much, dear dabassgoesboomboom - what a fantastic name you have chosen for your live on internet, that will live longer than our real lives - for your kind words.
And yes, without our melomania live seems more dull. Always looking for better sound, always learning.
From my point I feel a sort of jealousy for your age, with ears that are ways better than mine, and with energy to run the marathon, leaving me breathless after 500 meters.
As for the RME ADI 2 DAC with its very good price quality value, there are dacs costing many times more but less in quality. I think there will be chipsets with still more amazing properties. But let us not forget, nothing goes beyond live music and to be present with musicians and their interactions.
I Hope you will have many, many years to enjoy your life, and that music, the highest art men have, will enlighten your days,


Hi all,

Sharing some experience on this topic.

My test system is:
iMac 27” → usb → Audio-gd D28.38 → XLR balanced headphones output → Spirit Torino Radiante Ragnarr

Roon core (lifetime) and Audirvana 3.5 (trial) running on the iMac. Non network transport, only direct USB connection to the dac/ampli.

With the same input files and no dsp (no upsampling either) the two software sound, to my ears, identical.
I cannot really tell the difference, they sound exactly the same to me. Honestly, this is what I would expect from a bit perfect transport to the dac. You might think I am biased, but I tried to stay as open minded as possible. Maybe my system or my ears are not resolving enough to appreciate the difference? Possible, but for sure, in my case, there’s no incentive to move away from Roon for sound quality.

Different story for hqplayer. I have installed the trial version today and, with the settings suggested above by @Tobes, it sounds differently. It is too early to understand if it is better or not, but for sure the difference is audible. There are an overwhelming amount of settings as well, it will take some time to experiment with them. Roon + hqplayer might be the next step, if I want to open the Pandora box of sound processing and upsampling, but for sure I would not put Roon aside when it comes to sound quality of unprocessed audio files.

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FWIW, since my post above I moved from 2012 Mac Mini to a 2020 M1 Mini and Roon has also updated to the 1.8 build.
These changes have altered my feelings on pcm upscaling with HQPlayer.
Roon 1.8 sounds very good to me and I mostly use Roon direct to my DAC with no upscaling/DSP at all. Not so convinced of the value of HQP for pcm upscaling, especially since it introduces some lag to player control.


WOW, as I am still “thinking” to get a 16G M1 MacMini, there are already so many good words on HQPlayer and Roon running on MMM1! And I run Audirvana 3.5, HQPlayer 4 Desttop and Roon Core on the same machine. To my ears, A3.5 >= HQP4 + Roon > Roon (on my system: 1. all music files are extracted by XLD, stored in their original format as AIFFs’ plugged directly on MacMini, 2. DAC: Rockna balanced 26bit R-2R, 3. FM Acoustics 711 Mk-2, 4. MBL “Fly-trapper” speakers). Roon DSP just washed off too much micro-details.

Now, it sounds like I need to get a 16G MMM1, even though Roon still runs on Rosetta 2, however, HQP4 already has a native MMM1 version.

Well nothing stays static for long in my streaming set-up it seems.
I experimented using my old 2012 i7 Mac Mini as an endpoint only and running the Roon Core on the M1 Mini - located in the same rack but on a different ac circuit.
This sounded significantly better in terms of focus and image clarity.
So I bought a Sonore ultraRendu to act as endpoint for my usb dac connection - significant SQ improvement again.
I’m using HQPlayer (again) streaming with Roon but only upscaling single rate tracks (44/48).
Audirvana also sounds good streaming to the ultraRendu (using DLNA) - but I prefer Roon/ HQP NAA.
Unfortunately Audirvana Studio is an ergonomic mess IMO - crazy tiny text.