Sound not on par with native apps

I have an issues in sound quality that bugs me with roon. For example Naim native app sounds superior to roon more body, separation and scale. The same with the blusound app, blusound connected tan external dac has the same effect when using with the Bluesound native software.

Changing to ROON the sound has less body and looses some scale and separation, sounds thin, the files are served from the same NAS to the various devices.

I love the Roon Software but this is something that has been bugging me lately. Why are native apps giving better overal sound than roon?



Riky, the problem might be with your setup. You might want to share the details so that the Roon folks, and maybe users themselves, can help you improve things.

Your question: “Why are native apps giving better overal sound than roon?” is unanswerable.

Please describe the process you followed to match levels.

My setup is the following.

Roon server running on a synology nas ds3615xs sometimes on a Mac Pro. All network cabling is Audioquest Cinamon and vodka, the Nas and Mac Pro late 2013 are on another room and connected to a tplink switch with an sbooster that has two very long 30 meter cinnamon cables one to the blusound node 2i and other to Naim ndx 2. The blusound is connected to a ifi pro idsd by an Audioquest carbon coaxial connection.

It’s not a complicated network install, the nas also runs an upnp/dlna server for serving files to the Naim, and the blusound connects by smb to the music folder, but the native apps from Naim and blusound produce a more clear, more body and natural voices, better extremes, air and separation. Is not a huge difference but is one that limits what my setup can archive and is immediately identified.

In comparative and exaggerating a bit roon feels anemic and less captivating, but the roon experience and interface makes me live with some loss in the end.

Do I need a better roon core computer? The only difference is the software used.

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are you using volume leveling in Roon (replaygain etc). Even slight differences in volume could lead to outcome you are experiencing.


I Am not using any DSP, or other setting activated, no up sampling, no room correction. I prefer the using the most pure sinal direct to the streamer.

Regarding to volume level, more volume in my system does produce a much bigger sound, but not the differences I describe, more air and separation, better texture and more clear details are not affected by the volume, even the body and extension at any volume in my system the differences are the same.


Could also be different codecs. The codecs are the little chunks of software that translate the file format to straight PCM bits.

What format are the music files on your NAS stored in? Do you have any effects set on the DLNA server there?

There are probably 3 different codecs: the one Roon uses (ffmpeg?), the one the DLNA server uses (it’s probably doing some kind of transcoding), and the one the Blusound device uses (as it’s accessing the music files directly via SMB).

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Maybe, I will buy a Mac mini m1 or a Nuc to make a dedicated exclusive roon server. But at the moment, codec or not, Roon is not as good as the other options. I am a lifetime roon subscriber for some years now, there is nothing close to this interface and I will live with it anyway. But sound wise it was a surprise they archive better final result than roon at least in my setups.

Formats in use are lossless flac, dsf, wav.

I think you are legitimately hearing “the Roon sound” as described by a lot of people on these forums. I, personally, find it more neutral, more analog, less digital edge, no enhanced “glitter”, more relaxed (truer to the recording?), than the “sounds thin” you describe.

However, it is different and I used to think I was missing something (coming from Audirvana) but I now prefer listening to Roon for hours and hours over what I was hearing before. I can completely understand why you’d prefer the native app. It also changes a bit based on the quality of the recording.

I’m currently looking at a Roon Ready endpoint so… we’ll see if this holds true as everything I’m looking at will let me do a new 1:1 comparison to the native streamers app.

As far as a new core… If you don’t hear a difference between the NAS and the Mac Pro I don’t know if there is “better” other than possibly running ROCK on some dedicated hardware but I don’t think that’d get you to 100% just based on endless reading of others experience.

Stangely the Mac does a Better Job, my NAS could be a bit noisy is a Synology DS3615xs, and when I change the power cable on the NAS the sound also changes in the living room, so it’s connected with audioquest tornado to help.

I Will end up buing a small low power consuption computer to dedicate exclusively to roon core.

I live with the roon software for some years now, only noticed this recently when I used the native apps of the devices by curiosity.

As a Lumin app user from time to time, I have also thought that the sound from the Lumin App sounds better than Roon from time to time. If you search the web, there seems to be authors on different audio forms who report the same findings. …but I don’t know. It is something that I’m not sure about and Roon blows it away with tagging and organization, so if Roon is stable for me, I use Roon and forget about it.

I’m sure your post will attract passive aggressive comments, but yeah, I totally hear you.

Naim user here and I have not noticed any difference between UPnP via the Naim app and Asset from NAS or Roon via ROCK with local media. I have noticed a difference though between using LMS to serve the same pi endpoint using Squeezelite from LMS and then using squeezabox streaming via ROCK. This was not massive and tbh is subjective but so is everything audio. One thing to ask are your transcoding via UPnP when using the Naim app?

This is the problem. This question has popped up regularly over the years. Native app SQ is invariably ‘better’ than Roon in those threads. Too many variables perhaps to definitively answer the question? Do all native apps sound the same (and different to Roon), or do they all differ? So which is correct/accurate?

In the end comparing each app is like comparing different dac hardware. So at least I have some options to choose, and Roon really offers the best experience to find music and navigate our library and there is nothing compared to it in this regard.

The supplied apps from Naim and Buesound are free and for playing our music give excellent results, but in experience they are simple functional tools, they best roon in streaming options.

Regarding the upnp, transcoding is deactivated, used bubble upnp and synology media server with identical results.

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On the budget the bluesound does a good job serving an external dac by coaxial connection, also have here an sotm sms-200 ultra that works very well, needs a good power supply like an sbooster or an sotm sps500 or better. The Sbooster results in a more musical sound than the sps-500 with the silver cable, there are better power supply’s.

At least the blusound, sotm and Naim work perfectly with roon, I will have to listen to the Aires G1 is a very interesting hardware.

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