Thank you for the new Target Volume Level feature in Version 1.3 (Build 274)

It works perfectly and is one of those things that I knew I wanted, but having it is even better than I thought it would be.

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve enjoyed the volume leveling feature in every audiophile software player I’ve used for years. The obvious benefit is that you aren’t startled by (the sometimes) big jumps in volume from one recording to the next. Nor do you have to keep your finger on the volume button as you enjoy your library - to avoid those jumps. The less obvious benefit, for collectors like me who often have several versions of their favorite albums, is that equalizing volume makes it much easier to tell which of those versions really sounds best.

Many modern (re)masters of pop/rock/jazz/soul music are heavily compressed and EQ’d, which can make them seem more appealing - especially on mass market audio equipment. It’s been found that louder seems better - whether it is or not. Even to “audiophile” ears. But with the volume leveled, more often than not, the older masters wind up with more presence, air, naturalness and dynamics. I love well-done hi-res, but there’s no guarantee that the source recording was mastered well.

Anyway, the downside of volume leveling is that it reduces the output level… significantly. With the new Target Volume Level feature, I was able to minimize that side effect. I settled on the -20LUFS setting, since turning the output level up too much makes the leveling work less well.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to write “War & Peace”, but this aspect of using Roon adds a great deal to my listening experience and I wanted to encourage others to give it a try. You can find it by clicking the name of your zone next to the volume icon at the bottom right of the screen.

Thank you Roon team for continuing to listen and respond to your customer base and deliver a quality product.


Glad you wrote this up so I can say: seconded! Being able to fine tune the target for different endpoints in particular makes volume levelling work for me where it didn’t before. Much appreciated.


It appears to only work on the ethernet output, is that correct?

For me, it works with my wireless network.

I believe it works for all output types.

Dumb question alert - where exactly is this feature in Roon, and how to use it (sorry Keith if it’s contained within your reply)?

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It’s in the Zone settings…

Click on the zone icon at the bottom right
Click the 3-dot menu to the right of your zone
Click Zone Settings
Set Volume Leveling to “Auto” (my recommendation)

Your music will be volume-leveled but quieter. If you find the volume to be too low, you can adjust the Target Volume Level. The setting of -20LUFS works well for me.

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That’s really helpful and I had missed it, thanks.

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I knew where the zone setting was and already had previously set the Volume leveling, but dumbo me had clicked on a zone where volume leveling was off hence didn’t see the ‘Target Volume Level’.

Sorted now and appreciate all the help :+1:

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This article is great about the difference between Target Volume Level and the setting of -LUFS. So it’s getting a better balance between different music styles!
I tested first to get it to work and sound like I wanted, but after following the article it both sounds and works perfectly.
So even if you have get it to work great, take a look maybe you will improve your sound! It’s on page 5, it’s getting really interesting!

Hmmm… perhaps I need to revisit volume levelling. Every time I’ve tried it in previous systems using Roon (Naim, KEF LS50W) I wasn’t impressed at all with the sound quality. Everything just sounded flat/squashed and the music lost a lot of its vibrancy and dynamics. Admittedly I only tried it once or twice but it was enough for me to leave it disabled.

Hi @Rik_Carter
It’s was the same thing for me, but now I have used it since yesterday evening and I don’t think that I use it👍.
Try these settings, I did them after reading the pdf file I recommended earlier!
Well the Crossfade Time is up to everyone who they want, to set them!

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Personally, I don’t see the point in using this. You hurt the potential quality of all tracks because you’re too lazy to have to adjust the volume sometimes? What am I missing?

Without volume levelling there are tracks in my library that are same volume at 9 o’clock as others are at 1 o’clock. Modest volume levelling puts that majority of my library in the “sweet” spot, where 9-10 is moderate, and 1-2 is insanely cranked. This allows me to then adjust the volume based on how loud I actually want to listen vs. micromanaging the volume between tracks…especially when it comes to playlists. Besides that, digital attenuation to my ears sucks less life out of the sound than something like Rothwell attenuators. Most of my lstening is redbook upsampled to DSD256, so I’ve got bits to spare at any rate.

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If it hurt the quality of the sound, it wouldn’t be worth using. It doesn’t. It just adjusts the volume for you, at 64-bit resolution. It’s especially nice if you jump around from track to track as opposed to listening to whole albums at a time.

The hidden benefit, as I mentioned in my long original post, is that hearing all of the music at the same volume makes it easier to appreciate the benefits of (generally older) quieter, higher dynamic range masters. They often sound better than newer compressed masters of the same music when volume is not a factor.

Those are two things that I see as big benefits. You may not. It costs you nothing to give it a try.

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Aren’t you potentially hurting dynamic range in tracks that for example are perfect at default level (no volume level auto adjustment) just in order to bring up lower volume recordings?

I also notice that with the feature on, the signal path star no longer indicates a lossless Purple.

Volume or gain and dynamic range are mutually exclusive, well unless you drop the gain so low you’re losing the quietest passages in the noise.

Dynamic range is the ratio between the largest and smallest values that a certain quantity can assume. This ratio does not change because the volume is reduced or increased by 3 or 20 or 50 db.

Thus, volume leveling has no effect on dynamic range.

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No. That would be compression. It’s not altering the dynamic range at all. It’s playing the tracks at a different volume. It really works more in the other direction. Louder tracks are tuned down, but in a 64-bit digital domain, so as not to lose resolution from the original input. You can see it all in the Signal Path.

I’ve got a highly resolving system and am fanatical about the purity of the sound. Leveling allows me to listen to the music at pleasing levels without getting blasted by the next track and also enhances critical listening by putting all recordings on a level (pun intended) playing field.

The signal path shows it’s no longer lossless actually with it on.