Roon vs Audirvana 3.5

This is why we should never ride in a car or use a medication or drink the water.

I happen to use Audirvana 3.5 quite a lot. I can stream from HighResAudio (HRA) and use my Oppo 105 as an UPNP streamer. The Oppo 105 cant be used with Raat over my network.
I need the Oppo as ripping device for SACDs. With Audirvana it gets a better use.
Soundwise I don’t notice any difference between Roon and Audirvana. But sure if you apply Room correction or SOX, then things get different.

My two pence. In my setup and to my ears, subjectively my order of preference when using my desktop setup with DAC connected direct via USB from my core.

  1. Roon with HQP upsampled max PCM
  2. A+

If using RAAT over the network to any other device Roon beats A+ in my house.

Both really cool bits of software and if only one existed I would still be a happy camper.

I had exactly the same experience: I had Roon for a year but Audirvana just adds more life to the sound. I found the same with HQPlayer on Roon. However, the cost of Roon subscription plus HQPlayer was too much for me. So I use Audirvana (and hope that they fix many of the quirks).

BTW - I use Audirvana with Windows which does not have the system optimizer, etc. So really can’t tell why the sound is so much better.

Been listening to Audirvana myself lately.

If another product sounds better, Roon needs to up their game.


Are all other things on your system absolutely identical and only Roon/A+ different, or is there something else (no matter how minor/irrelevant you might consider it) which changes?

Have them both.
Roon is warmer/darker and more analog like sounding.
Roon/Nucleus+ vs Audirvana/Mac mini. I’d give my vote to Roon.

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There are so many variables in playback systems that I find it difficult to be dogmatic about SQ for different audio playback platforms. For instance, I recall the profound difference when I moved from Roon Core on my PC to a Nucleus and thinking “Wow, what a step up in SQ.” I subsequently changed a few things in my set-up – adding an Audioquest Niagara 1000 for power conditioning and a Keces P8 LPS to power my Nucleus and switch – and each was incrementally better.

For amplification, I moved progressively from a Devialet Expert 200 to a Lyngdorf TDAi-3400 to a Devialet Expert 220 Pro. With the Pro, I recently discovered that one may enhance SQ by disabling DPM or dynamic power management: another incremental step in SQ.

So, in the end, I am really satisfied with Roon and don’t care to experiment with other software platforms, as I have in the past. Your mileage may vary!


As an observation Audivana seems to have slightly more 'air" than Roon. Anybody else notices this? I’m using a Mac Mini and Perfectwave DAC via Ethernet.


Are you comparing Audirvana 3.5? This is the critical point. Up to this point, I would have agreed with you but Audirvana just moved the goal posts with this latest update. I find it shockingly better than Roon - and this actually bothers me as Roon is far more convenient to use (and I love the radio).

I’m only mentioning this to the Roon community because I’m really hoping the Roon team can rise to the challenge and up its game for the next update. I’d be happy with zero functional ‘improvements’ if Roon can only match Audirvana 3.5 for sound quality.


Agree that Audirvana challenging Roon. My audio system is very revealing and neutral as it can be and of course I rely on my ears and sound preferences.
Both programs were on pair while I used to play them using my Mac mini but things turned even slightly in favour of Roon once Nucleus + arrived and took place in my system.
Sometimes, depends I am in mood for Audirvana sometimes for Roon style of presentation. Cooler or warmer, airy or colourful.

When I tried 3.5 on my PC and finally got it to work over uPnP, it did not come close to Roon running on ROCK with the same sources. Perhaps it has better USB performance but network ROCK sounded much better to me.

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Audirvana sounds spectacular to my ears, superior to Roon. However, I’m not willing to give up the Roon ecosystem.


Audirvana may sound a tad better than Roon. The difference is not huge and certainly not worth giving up Roon for that horrible Audirvana interface.

Now, HQPLayer sounds better than both Audirvana AND Roon so I use HQPlayer with Roon to get the best of both worlds.

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Audirvana sounds a touch better at my desktop, but using remotely throughout the house, Roon still interfaces better in my setup. I’m sure Roon will catch up on the sound quality.

@Jeremy_Jones are you using your media player Roon/A+ directly in your audio chain? (USB configured to an endpoint). If so I understand why A+ might sound better then Roon. Considering A+ tries to kill all other computer related processes which could have a noteworthy effect on the SQ.

IMO Roon as a stand alone server, only connected to the endpoint by Ethernet or WiFi, is SQ wise a killer platform.

No I play both players through a microRendu. The difference is that A+ is streaming from a Mac while my Roon core is based on my ST5, situated in another room. So all the more advantage to Roon, in theory. In practice A+ wins.

That’s interesting. It again confirms that every ones mileage may vary.


Audirvana 3.2, 3.5 and Roon has absolutely identical sound quality.

They all do their job equally. Including boring math fact – they all are bit to bit… yes. But – with no upsampling!

The difference that some of you may hear is related to… upsampling!

Did you note that A+ has iZotope SRC, while Roon has its’ own, or by HQ Player? Many of you prefer to do upsampling (and then yet another mandatory upsampling inside your delta-sigma DACs), doing sonical destroy. So both (iZotope attached and licensed for A+, and Roon) compete here just in a “who destroy it… less”.

P.S. I heard it many times in different systems and setups, — any upsampling touch do destroy music breathe. I prefer not to touch the source, using R2R multibit DACs in non-oversampling mode. But if you prefer to do resample twice!!! (see above), what you get?..