Severe; Audio playback in "non-exclusive" mode of VERY low quality

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
Huawei Matebook X pro (latest model), with win1o pro (v1903). Roon latest as of today.

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)
Not relevant.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
USB DAC and virtual sound card (from HD SoundLab AS, the latter used for producing the recording example).

Description Of Issue
Also reported approx 1.5 year ago, using another PC and setup. Also at that time an audio example of the error was provided. At that time, no feedback was received from Roon development, so we thought the error was silently fixed. As it seems, it was ignored, and we corrected the error per coincidence, i.e. by defining exclusive mode for audio output devices.

Link to demo of error:!AgwTOVHwFIUih_wzpV4sBvJ1w595ow?e=sisY7Y

Please, this time, and as we spend some time creating this report, grant feedback and acknowledge the problem (or advice our wrong use of Roon).

When a Roon output device (e.g. the two examples above) is set in non-exclusive mode, a severe degradation of audio quality is the result. It is a kind of “ringing” that is immediately audible.

The linked wav file demonstrates how Tidal plays perfect (first half), while Roon in non-exclusive mode has the ringing error (second half).

The track is “She - Harry Connick jr”. This is an error with only Roon, playing any track, but no other players has the same error. It is only present in Roon non-exclusive mode (for the audio device selected).

I will be happy to contribute with further info as requested.

To be the best SQ in any app on windows you should us exclusive mode. The same applies to Roon. Why would you want the OS to interfere with audio as it will if not exclusive.

Hi @Carl_Henrik_Janson,

We recommend using Exclusive Mode to achieve the best quality whenever possible. When Exclusive Mode is not used, it is expected that the quality of playback will not be as good. You can read more about Exclusive Mode in our KB.

Yes, Exclusive mode is preferred, but for special cases, for example study of DSP effects on equalizing a headphone (as was my case), exclusive mode is not always the way to go, because it disables audio routing. One example is the inclusion of EqualizerAPO in the routing chain.

Regardless, this is a bug report. Bug needs to be fixed. Please state something in that context if you are a Roon employee.

Hi @Carl_Henrik_Janson,

I have downloaded the demo file you provided and have passed it to the technical team for closer inspection. I will let you know once it has been reviewed, thanks!

Hello @Carl_Henrik_Janson,

Could you provide some more information about how you did your testing?


A) What is selected as the output device in Roon (screenshot)?
B) What is selected as the output device in Tidal (screenshot)?
C) What application was used to record the output?
D) What is the sample rate of the output device set to in Windows?


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