Sound output low

I’ve been using a Mac mini to stream Spotify and more recently Tidal to a USB SPDIF convertor.

I installed Roon on the Mac mini, pointed it to the same USB SPDIF convertor, selected exclusive mode and turned volume leveling off.

The output volume is about 3/4 of what I get with Tidal in exclusive mode via the Desktop Application on the same MacMini.

Anyone know why?

Can you post a screen of the Roon Signal path, when a track is playing.



I’ve posted screen shots of all the device settings pages too…

On the screenshot you’re playing an AIFF file. I presume that’s not from Tidal and is locally sourced?

Tidal serve up Flac files as far as I’m aware.

Does your Tidal content via Roon also suffer from lower volume than Tidal direct?

To clarify: Tidal or local files served via Roon on the MacMini have approx 3/4 the volume output of Tidal desktop app on the same MacMini.
Both are running exclusive mode respectively.

Does anyone use a Berkeley USB with Roon?
If so, can you please share your device settings.


Hi @Colin_Johnson,

I don’t have Berkeley USB DAC so can’t share any setting for that, however, looking at the screenshots you posted all looks in order with Roon sending a bit perfect signal to the DAC.

I’m wondering if somehow when you play via the Tidal App the Mac’s OS is adding some gain into the signal path and that’s why it sounds quieter when played from Roon. Might be worth checking on the Tidal Apps’s setting and also iOS’ Midi settings (note I’m not a Mac user so might be using the wrong terminology here).

When playing from Roon are you able to turn the volume up on your DAC / Preamp to achieve an acceptable level?

Is the Tidal desktop app applying volume levelling?

Here are my settings for Tidal and the Mac Audio Midi.


I don’t think it’s a Mac or Tidal issue.
Is there anything else that may be affecting Roon.

The problem is that the Berkeley Alpha USB isn’t recognized as a Roon Endpoint, so there are no sound configuration settings.
I cannot be the only person using Berkeley Alpha USB with Roon…

Yes, I can adjust the output from the Berkeley DAC before feeding my preamp, but this removes headroom and is above the level recommended by Berkeley Audio (54 dB out of 60 dB max).

I don’t think so. See my screen shots posted above…

I use Berkeley Alpha USB in conjunction with sonore ultra rendu bridge and HQe player… on sonictransporter server…linux…no problems

I have an UltraRendu in a box waiting for the Uptown LPS-1.2, so it’s good to hear that the combo of UR + Berkeley USB works fine.

With the UR as the ROON endpoint, you aren’t exactly apples to apples to what I’m using with the MacMini + Berkeley USB.
I guess I’ll just wait for my LPS-1.2 to show up next week and take it from there.


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I feel like I am also struggling with a low sound output levels from Roon. I’m running a Mac Mini streaming into a Aqua Formula DAC, with DSP turned off. I tried Fixed Volume or Device Only without any change.

I believe the Aqua DAC runs on the Mac through CoreAudio with the USB connection, which is what I am using.

The Mac Mini says there are no output volume controls for the Aqua Formula DAC. Is it something else in Roon? Is it somehow related to Roon 1.8?

My preamp has a jumper for low and high gain levels. I have always used the low option because it gives a lower noise floor.

I can post some screen shots later.

Any thoughts?

Roon’s signal path screen is the key screenshot to share.


Thanks for screenshot … it confirms all is well from a Roon PoV … your DAC is being fed a bit perfect digital signal.

If the listening level is too low for your preference then adjustments in the analogue domain should be considered.

Thanks Carl!

Maybe it is time for me to try the high gain setting of the jumper in my preamp.

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