Settings for Roon with Chord Hugo and Tidal playback

So, on Roon with a Chord Hugo and a windows 7 PC, I am using the “Chord zone”, and, when playing, my Chord Hugo’s sample rate detection light always turns red, meaning 44.1. Doesn’t this mean I’m not getting the Hugo’s higher level rate? Thanks.
How do I get “bit perfect” with Roon playing Tidal tracks at the highest quality level?

My audio setup for the Roon “Chord zone” is now:
Event-driven mode.
Fixed Volume.
Maxed Sample Rate: up to 192khz.
Resync Delay: 0ms.
DSD Playback Strategy: Initial dCS.
Max DSD Sample Rate (dCS): Disabled.

Is this what I should be using for the best performance. I had noticed that when using the plain “System Output” zone, the sonics from Roon were not as good at the Tidal player (and the Tidal player uses “system output”).
I had thought, since my PC was defaulting to Digital Output into my Chord Hugo, I could use System Output in Roon, as I do with Jriver and the Tidal player, but the sound from Roon was inferior. Please help me to understand and set things up correctly. Thanks.

Hiya Bellhead, I don’t have a Hugo although I certainly have been thinking about one. 1. I was curious about how you have the Chord connected from the PC, the drivers you are using on the PC side and how the drivers are configured.
2. In Jriver, what have you chosen as the Audio Device? 3. Does Roon indicate bit perfect playback with a purple dot and then the Hugo is indicating 44.1 received?

For myself, I use Windows 7 using a COAX S/PDIF output, I used the Microsoft HD drivers and set them up to utilize 24/192 in the Windows Sound Hardware section.

Hey @bellhead – can you confirm what kind of content you’re playing? If you’re streaming TIDAL content, I would expect to see 44.1, but if you’re playing high resolution files, we should look into this further.

As @Rugby mentioned, it would also be good to know how the Hugo is connected. Let us know and we’ll figure out what’s going on here.


Rugby, thanks. 1. I use core i7 desktop w/win7 and a usb 3.0 connection to the Hugo with a high end audioquest usb 3.0 cable and the Chord Async 44.1-384khz driver called cdh38464.sys version from 12/2013.
2. In Jriver, I just use system output (I never changed the original settings in Jriver when I installed it.
3. I have never been able to get the Purple Dot in Roon so far with non-hires content.
Thanks for the advice!
To summarize my simple configuration:
Windows7 core-i7 PC --USB 3.0 cable–>Chord Hugo–>Headphone amp --> Senn HD800/Hifiman HE1000/Fostex TH900

Actually, I guess I am only playing 44.1 Tidal content. So I guess that’s what the Hugo is indicating. It’s just surprising, as the Hugo resolution indicator has always been blue, never red, with everthing I ever played (youtube, any web streaming, my own ripped redbook CDs, various HiRes (DSD, DXD, etc.) files I bought from Acoustic Sounds and HDtracks).
The only reason I started looking into this was because the Tidal player, with no Audio Settings tweaking at all (using the system output) sounded much better than Roon playing Tidal tracks. And none of this was hires content.
Thanks again.
OK, I did find some Hires Tidal content for Roon (Classical /Schumann-Manfred opus 115 SACD) and Roon does indicate hires in the indicator which is white, but the Hugo still lights up Red for 44.1).

So just fyi, I made these changes to the Roon settings:
DSD Playback Strategy: DSD over PCM.
Max DSD Sample Rate (dCS): up to DSD128.
And the Hugo still lights up red as soon as a track is played.

I mean, I actually don’t care what the Hugo indicates, I am just looking for identical sound from Roon and the Tidal players for non-Hires content.

1.) I’m curious why the Roon indicator beacon that says “lossless” does not appear at all (in any color) with non-hires content. It only shows up for sacd content that I searched for. Why isn’t all content lossless, even if it is not Hires?
(In the Tidal player, I can choose tidal to stream as lossless, and I’m assuming that is why is sounds great.)

2.) Is Roon is non-hired content playing at 320 or some other sort of compression method, or processing the sound in some way by default differently than the Tidal player? Thanks.

Hey @bellhead – I’m still looking into some of these questions (although sound quality is always going to be subjective). I did want to confirm one thing with you.

Can you open the Windows volume mixer (little speaker in the bottom-right, near the clock) and then click the speaker for your DAC. I’d like you to check what sample rate your output is running at, which you can find on the Advanced tab, as shown here:

Let me know what you’re seeing, and that will give me a better idea of what’s going on with your setup – we’re flying a little blind as we don’t have a Hugo on our test arsenal yet.



I have a Chord Hugo (for portable use) and I’ve connected it to my PC to check, and for me it works perfectly with all resolutions. Purple dot in Roon, and confirmed bit rate by the Hugo.
I assume you have the Chord USB driver installed? Furthermore, you need to make sure that you’ve specified the output in Windows, meaning the digital USB output and checked all boxes allowing every resolution to be output correctly.
Please see my settings below; with a Linnenberg DAC, but it’s the same for Hugo.
Sorry for the windows settings being in Swedish.

Here’s my settings for the DAC in windows sound settings. First set the Hugo to ‘default’, then hit ‘Properties’ (Shown as ‘Egenskaper’ in the picture)

Here’s the settings specifying what sample rates that can be handled by the DAC:

Finally allowing third party software (like Roon) taking control over the output: