Sound Quality of Roon vs Other Music Players

Hi all

I have Amarra 3.0 / SQ, Fidelia, Audirvarna Plus, JRiver and a few more music players, all of which upgrade replay sound quality… Amarra SQ upgrades streaming very successfully.

I haven’t had time to do a detailed exploration or comparison with Roon yet…

Has anyone fully compared results from Roon, playing Hi-res tracks., CD and Tidal etc

Cheers Robert

As they all output bit-perfect, would we expect any differences? My assumption is that from a software level, probably not.

So if you’re swapping from say JRiver, taking an SPDIF output from the host PC to a DAC, and are replacing JRiver with Roon, I’d expect zero SQ differences. Can anyone confirm that?

A potential key area of opportunity for Roon is it’s abilities to talk directly to end points like the Meridian one I use (or others from say Devialet), thus avoiding the use of USB/SPDIF connections, and their intrinsic and associated jitter.

I’ve done some A/B comparisons between JRiver 20 and Roon from a Dell Studio XPS laptop (Win 7) via USB to a DiDiT DAC212 > Hifiman HE-560 headphones, a fairly resolving setup. Using ASIO in JRiver and WASAPI exclusive in Roon, I am unable to detect any differences in the sound at all. Which can be taken as a compliment to Roon :wink:

I prefer the sound of Roon over JR…IMO…and Roon is just starting out.

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Interesting…@dshore how would you describe the differences you’re hearing?

With everything turned off in JR to mimic the feature set of Roon. No sampling, no eq, etc, just straight playback.

The “sssss” and “ffff” are more pronounced in JR than in Roon. Roon to me is more musical sounding and I hear more of the music. Subtle things are delineated better with Roon. And this is just the beginning with Roon.

Again IMO.

Use what you like, JR, MusicBee, HQ Player, Infinity Blade, MinimServer, JPlay, and on and on.

Thanks for the info…sounds like a bit of sibilance from JRiver? Interesting stuff. Anyway, I think we can all agree that we’re certainly not having to make any sound quality compromises by going with Roon.

I actually just changed from JR to MB a couple of weeks before Roon was released. But MB was lacking in DSD support, which is important to me, but I did prefer the sound of MB over JR.

I had tried all the other programs and each has plus/minus to them. The main reason to use JR (IMO) is JRemote.

I too prefer Roon over JR, which always sounded somewhat sterile to me. Looking forward to ASIO support on Roon.

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I’m finding very little difference between Roon, JRiver and A+, but Roon does seem to have a clarity and sweetness (in a good way) that the others lack. I mostly listen to classical and jazz.

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This is good, very positive feedback on Roon sound. To me it even sounds good just on my laptop speakers and very good via AudioQuest Dragonfly and Sennheiser Momentum . Thanks everyone

And now with DSD support (Release 15)…Sounds very good…

I’ve now had the chance to try different types of music (courtesy of Tidal) and Roon sounds pretty stunning with all. I listen via an Apogee Duet Firewire and Audio Technica ATHW1000X headphones.

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JRMC20 vs Roon = zero SQ diff. While that is a compliment to Roon (that they were able to duplicate JRMC), it leaves no differentiation for the premium Roon desires.

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Well, I never saw SQ as the main reason for roon. A different way if seeing your collection is what I was hoping for.

I guess I’ll bring this up on this thread. I don’t get how different players playing the same files to the same DAC can produce different SQ. Unless the players are coloring the music in some way like an equalizer. It seems to me we should be happy there isn’t a difference in SQ.

I also don’t understand why DSD converted to PCM is worth listening to over a 24192 version of the same file.

It isn’t unless.the dsd version is from a different mixing and mastering.


Sterile is a good word for JRMC, I’ve also found that in the past compared to Audrivana, but Ive always put that down to JRMC using Apple Core Audio and A+ using iZotope. I haven’t done an A/B of roon vs A+ yet but I am finding roon to have a nice engaging sound.

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Suggest Roon has to sound at least as good! as the very, very best from Amarra, Audivarna, JRiver etc. Then the discovery, metadata etc is a well worthwhile addition. Luckily this seems to be the case (-:

Some people just like the sound of DSD.
Some DACs sound better playing back DSD, some sound better playing back PCM