Stuttering, dropout

Your Roon core device must have a solid connection to the internet. Roon receives information over the internet to your Core. From the core, this information flows to your Roon control device to display the metadata for what your are listening to, even if local music files.

I know AT&T U-Verse is a very solid ISP. I have had U-Verse for years and it works very well with Roon. My internet service is 50/12, which is not nearly as high as some others, but it is rock solid. Do you have a U-Verse gateway? I think you must. Try plugging your Roon core device directly into your U-Verse gateway and see if that solves your problem. I have my Roon Nucleus connected by ethernet and it is flawless.

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Thanks so much. That looks like a real step forward :slight_smile: .

I see. Why? Is it because Roon needs (prefers/‘like’) to build its own Signal Path?

I’ll definitely give that a try. Thanks…

When you say ‘disabling’ SoundSource’, do you mean to Quit SoundSource altogether?
Or to leave SoundSource’s settings as ‘No Redirect’, please?

In both those cases I don’t get any sound from Roon.

In either case, I suspect you know that I have to make changes to Settings > Audio, which are like this:

But I don’t know which changes to make. And to which Device! Any help gratefully received… TIA!

Thanks, Jim!

Yes - tried attaching my iMac (and hence Roon Core) directly to the Gateway (new actually) via Ethernet. No difference so far.

Is it possible that loss of bandwidth (or similar) cases local files to flutter?

I don’t know, but it seems like a high percentage of problems with Roon turn out to be network related, even when simply playing local music files.

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Thanks, Jim… I’m getting to see that :slight_smile: !

I really need to understand Audio Devices and see which, where and how I should be controlling these in my case…

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Thanks again, @David_Snyder!

I have been experimenting and trying to make sense of Devices. This is what I have now:

But I’m not sure whether - in the case of my ParaSound - to use:

  1. Parasound
  2. System Output
  3. Built in Output

and what the implications for sound quality are… obviously I want the best I can get :slight_smile: .

And - for that matter - how to change Devices for output in Roon; they don’t seem clickable.

If I disable SoundSource by using the ‘No Redirect’ setting - and/or still use SoundSource for all my other sound sources except Roon (which I think is your advice, thanks), would I then use the macOS System Preference Sound pane?

And would the next step to be to fine tune the Device settings for 1, 2, or 3 in Roon’s Settings > Audio?

But which?

In this post I read that Built-in Output (3 above) results in better sound quality than System Output (2 above); but isn’t that using the Mac’s internal/low quality DAC?

Thanks to anyone who can help me through this little maze, please… I’m confused. But I know I can get there :slight_smile:

Choose output device (zone) by clicking in lower right corner…There, you will see all that you have enabled in Roon - Settings - Audio

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Thanks, Jim - I can see that…

Like this - Yes:


How do I actually switch from one device to another, though?

Are Devices synonymous with Zones?!

And - without SoundSource - what is the relationship with/role of macOS’ Sound > Output System Preferences and Roon’s Devices(/Zones), please?

Still not clear whether to use ‘Built in-’ or ‘System-’ output…

While something is playing, you can shift output from one device (zone) to another:

If you’re not playing anything, just choose the output (zone) you want to use. Click it.

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Bit of a Eureka moment there for me, Jim, thanks!

I think :slight_smile: !

Yes, I can now see how to move from one Audio Device (= Endpoint?) to another, playing and not playing.

But when I switch to certain of my zones, I see ‘Nothing Playing’.

Is that because I haven’t ever configured zones, and/or because zones are synonymous with devices - and I really do need to set up zones, even though I have everything in one room?

Secondly, does this way - internal to Roon - remove the need for me to control audio output by using macOS’ Sound > Output System Preferences?

I don’t know the answers to some of your questions. You need to go to Roon - Settings - Audio and enable any of your devices (zones) that you want to use. Basically, they are all the possible output devices that Roon is seeing, but each one needs to be enabled to be used as an output device.

Then, you can choose which device you want to play music to by clicking on the device in the lower right corner of the screen. You can play to multiple zones at the same time if you want to, but to play the same music to multiple zones, you would need to group them. That’s something I have never done.

You can control Roon from any connected device that has the Roon software or app installed. That includes a computer, iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

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You may not do - but you’ve moved me forward significantly. Thanks so much!

Yes, I have all devices enabled. But still not sure whether these are in ‘Zones’, or are themselves Zones.

For example, I now get the purple ‘star’ for all devices in my signal path - and can hear the difference :slight_smile:

What you directed also cuts out macOS’ Sound > Output System Preferences.

And - thanks to @David_Snyder’s advice, I’m not complicating things with SoundSource.

That makes me think I’m taking the shortest path from the FLAC files to my stereo system/headphones - which has to be what I want.


I would completely quit SoundSource when you’re using Roon. That works best in my situation, although “No Redirect” should, in theory, do the same thing.

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Each device is a zone. Normally, that would be an endpoint such as a receiver or some other device with speakers attached. For me, it an Oppo feeding a Bose system or a Raspberry Pi 4 feeding a Meridian Prime headphone amp, or another RPi4 feeding a Dragonfly Cobalt, etc. My Dell laptop also shows up as several different zones that I don’t totally understand the difference, but I never use any of them.

I don’t know what SoundSource is, but I would not use any other apps with Roon unless there is something about your system that requires that.

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Yes. You should not be using macOS Sound Output Preferences to manage Roon. You should use Roon directly. Roon covers the correct settings in some detail in the following links:

I recommend getting a nice cup of coffee/tea and taking the time to carefully study all three of these and then implementing these recommendations to the best of your ability in your system. You’ll be glad you did.

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The only time you should use either of these is if you, for some reason, want to play music out of the headphone back or built-in speakers on your iMac. Never use them for playing out to an external DAC. Instead, enable your Parasound, Behringer, and AudioQuest DACs as independent outputs that are under exclusive control by Roon.

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@Jim_F - I see. Do I have to do anything more than set each Device up by itself, given that all my devices, all my output goes to one room?

You need to enable any that you think you might want to use. For instance, I have a few different ways I can send music from my Roon Nucleus to Bose sound system. I can use Apple TV 4K, Oppo connected by ethernet, Oppo connected by HDMI, etc. So, each of these is a zone in Roon. I have enabled each of them and can choose whichever I want to use. Obviously, the Apple TV 4K is inferior so I rarely use it. I normally use the Oppo connected by ethernet option so I can view Roon on my TV screen. I can’t tell any difference in SQ when using the Oppo connected by ethernet vs HDMI.

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How kind of you to take so much trouble and spend so much time helping me!

Thanks so much… I believe I’m OK now - I haven’t had the stutter/dropout for hours. I hope (so to put it!) it was SoundSource that was causing that. Still find it a useful app, but can manage without it for Roon.

Any idea how SoundSource could be causing stutter/dropout… just its presence in the chain, do you think, David?

I have taken Roon out of SoundSource; and written to Chris at Rogue Amoeba for confirmation… if he knows Roon.

Thanks again. I’ve read through all those FAQ pages - and made myself notes against one day memory loss :slight_smile: !

Too late in the day for stimulants. But I’m already glad I have.

Now that I really understand these; and - thanks to @Jim_F - know how to switch between them, I can see yet another advantage to Roon. I’m still in trial. But moving closer still too subscribing.

And what a great community. Sunday solutions. I hope I can soon start paying back by contributing to help others. Thanks so much!

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Thanks, Jim!

As far as I can see, I currently have no actual zones defined as such.

Anything to be gained by at least defining one - and putting everything in it?