UPnP/DLNA sounding better than Roon

I only ever use Roon in lossless mode without any DSP active but it still doesn’t sound quite as good as BubbleUPnP serving either local files via Minim Server or Qobuz/Tidal streams. Roon sounds a little flatter and less dynamic in comparison.

What might be causing this improvement and is there anyway i could get Roon to sound on par as i’d much rather use that?

I have tried running Roon Core on Windows and both native and in Docker on a Synology NAS and whilst there is a very subtle difference between them all none are quite as enjoyable to listen to than via BubbleUPnP.

Without any information on your roon setup, network, audio equipment it’s impossible to have an opinion.

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Roon is running on a Synology NAS 918+ wired into an Orbi satellite; Ropieee XL is running on a RPi 4B wired into the Orbi Hub. RPi is connected via USB to DAC. I have also tried running the Roon Core on a Surface Pro connected wirelessly to the Orbi Satellite.

Both local flac files on the NAS and Tidal/Qobuz streams sound better using the Ropieee UPnP renderer than the Ropieee Roon endpoint. They both sound very good, but UPnP is definitely better.

Cognitive bias is an unpredictable thing and you could be experiencing this. The only way to rule it out is with a fully controlled double blind test. This is not an easy thing to set up.

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Sure, i get that the differences are just currently subjective opinion and the scientist in me says that there should be no audible difference given that it should be the same data packets travelling across the network.

But my bias would be towards Roon as that is the software i would much rather be using, so i was slightly annoyed when i had a strong preference for BubbleUPnP!

I can flick between the Ropieee Roon endpoint and the Renderer with only a few seconds delay and i ‘hear’ a really obvious difference but i haven’t completely ruled out that my ears might be lying to me!

If it was a little easier to do the switch at speed i’d get a third party to assist so i didn’t know what i was listening to.

Well I use Auralic Dlna and Roon and several years ago Auralic Dlna definitely sounded better than Roon playing TIdal.

Now however Roon sounds better to me using RME and Chord Dacs

You don’t need to do the switch “quickly”. The key is to do it without you knowing what you are listening to (ie., Blind). Have the other person switch and you can listen for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Then have them switch to other source for some time. Each time he switches and you listen, write down which source you think is playing and whether you like it better. Do this several times. And then after the fact, determine if you consistently picked one source as better. This is only “single blind” test (as the person doing the switching knows what they are choosing), but this is still a better test than what you’re doing now.

p.s. Having a preference you hope is better and finding the opposite, is not a protection against bias in your subjective choice. That’s not how biases in decision making and judgment work.

That impression could well be correct. I also use Minimserver with Lumin App more frequently again, and I find the difference most notable when having Minimserver convert the FLAC‘s into WAV24 on-the-fly. Its subtle, but there is a difference.

Cheers. I’ll try and set something up with two phones - one controlling the Roon endpoint and the other controller the UPnP renderer. This will make it easy to do the switching. This difficult part will be convincing the wife to assume the role of switcher!

have fun! Promise her a nice dinner.

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To be accurate you’ll need to volume match as well.


Sure. They are both set to fixed output and sound pretty much the same volume but i’ll double check with an SPL meter.

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Have you checked both your Roon and UPNP server settings - are there any DSP, equaliser or similar adjustments being made that you hadn’t noticed?

No DSP was active.

In your 2nd post you mention that the Roon Core (NAS918) is wired to an Orbi satellite. Am I to assume the Orbi Satellite has a WiFi connection back to the Orbi hub?

You also mention your tried running the Roon Core on a laptop also on a WiFi connection to the Orbi.

I recall that Roon doesn’t recommend wireless connections for the Core.

Bottome line: Have you tried eliminating all wireless connections in your data path and see if that makes a difference?

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Although the music bits may be the same, RAAT (Roon’s protocol) and DLNA are quite different in how they packet up the bits for delivery to the endpoint. Network processing, where FLAC is decompressed, are different between the two. DACs vary a lot in how they cope with the compute load and timing variability of incoming digital streams, and DAC firmware flaws are not unheard of. In theory, the DAC should not care about how it gets its digital stream, and do a perfect job in handing over digital samples to the actual A2D circuitry at exactly the right clock tick. In practice, …


Yeah, there is a wireless segment in the path between the satellite and the router but this is the same in both of my scenarios.

This is very important sound differents!
Foobaar2000 UPnp does on the fly conversion from Flac to wave and this sounds much better then sent flac to the Linn Ds streamers. It is about time Roon builds in the feature! (Does BubbleUPnP convert to wave as well?)
The only workaround is to use WAV files on Disk instead of Flac files if you want to use Roon.

Yes, but RAAT uses the connection differently from DLNA. For instance, DLNA delegates stream decoding to the receiver, while RAAT does that work on the Roon core. That means that the two have different bandwidth demands. Also, the pacing of packets is different in that RAAT packet delivery is driven by the receiver’s clock, while DLNA is more server push.

Roon>Ropieee uses RAAT, with decoding decodes on the Roon core. Roon>Linn uses Linn Songcast, with decoding on the Linn endpoint. Roon does not control Linn’s decisions on how their systems interface with Roon, unfortunately. (BTW, I own recent Linn Klimax and Selekt System Hubs and I haven’t noticed the difference you describe). As for workaround, you could apply -1dB headroom management and then the stream from the Roon core to the Linn endpoint is uncompressed – assuming you don’t object to Roon DSP, that is.