Sound Quality etc

Currently on 14 day trial- looking at lifetime license. I like the vast majority of what I see/hear as well as understand the “Rome wasn’t built in a day” reality of new software.
That said, I have three issues or concerns:

  1. Tidal affiliation. I have been a tidal user since intro last year. Happily used MOG and seeing it bought out by Beats (and degraded)- then later engulfed by Apple- who will soon change Beats to who knows what… Also used other services that are now only a memory. I sincerely hope ROON has a back up plan should Tidal suffer a similar fate.

  2. Sound quality. ROON sounds a bit lower quality than listening to the same tracks directly on Tidal. Settings include crossfade and volume leveling off/ DAC exclusive and integer mode and fixed volume. Difference best described as bass slightly attenuated, and slight midrange harshness with overall less detail and clarity (somewhat like the “listening through cheesecloth” effect). Weird- as I would think sound would be precisely the same as directly on Tidal. Replicated using both highly resolving system as well as headphones and various tracks. ROON shows flac 44.1 / 16 bit and “core audio shared mode”. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  3. Pricing. If "buy today lifetime is $449- 14 day trial is free, but charge at end of trial is $499- does that make the trial in actuality $50?
    Thanks for your assistance.

  1. We have implemented backends for Deezer and Rhapsody, and started something for Qobuz, but none are quite as nice as TIDAL, as TIDAL is giving us their database backside so we can do the great metadata matching and integration. I too was very concerned about TIDAL being our exclusive launch partner, but this new investment by RocNation (Jay-Z et al) ensures they should be well funded and around for a while. Unfortunately, we never finished up with Qobuz because they filed for bankruptcy protection, and they are actively looking for a buyer. I hope they pull through, but I’m not positive. Other than Deezer, there is no worldwide contender for this space.

  2. If you are playing via TIDAL’s app, you arent playing in Exclusive Mode. But it also seems you aren’t playing in Exclusive mode on our app either if Signal Path says CoreAudio Shared Mode. If you want bit perfect to your DAC, then you want Exclusive mode on, otherwise the OS Mixer is involved and who knows what it’s doing to your audio.

  3. The 10% off is a thank you to our initial customers that want to buy ASAP… and it’s not going to last forever. Our initial plan was to only have it for the first few days after our launch at the Munich High End show. The prices you see and the prices on the trial are the real price that will stick once we kill the 10%. If you decide that you want to convert before the trial is over, just shoot a msg to and someone will take care of you. I’ve spoken more to this on

UPDATE: you can cancel your own trials at, and we no longer have the 10% off for annual subscriptions. we also no longer have trials for lifetimes, but you can convert an annual to lifetime at any time.

Thanks so much for the response.
Re #1: I agree that Tidal, providing database is a great “partner”. Although I wish the best for Tidal,
I’m encouraged that you have a “Plan B” (my term, not yours…)
Re #2: I seems the midi control on the Macbook Pro was not allowing Exclusive mode to happen-- I was able to fix that, and now the sound quality is fully on par with Amarra- and that’s saying something! Would still like integration with Dirac Live- as it is a proven Digital Room Correction choice- not simply a DSP.
Re#3: Thanks for the clarification. I will be sending a msg per your suggestion to convert to lifetime.

@crummwoody, there is a build coming out very soon today, and Roon should work with the Dirac virtual sound device.

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You guys are awesome. That was the only thing holding me back. Can’t wait to give it a run through.

I’m totally knocked out by how good roon sounds on my MacBook Pro internal speaker, sacrilege I know! Have lots of DACS & Headphones, but often as now sitting at computer pecking away and listening just on the laptop. Great job roonlabs!