Where’s the bottleneck?

New Roon user here. Overall, really like it.

Most annoying thing is that the app is a little sluggish for very common and key functions, such as play/stop, volume up/down.

I’d like to identify the bottleneck(s) that are constraining snappy app response the most. Are there any documented process flows showing the series of events that occur (and where those events are processed) for common functions like volume changes? Once I know more about every component involved in these events, I’ll have a much better idea as to where I can test some changes to improve overall app responsiveness for basic core functions.

Feel free to point me to other topics on this if it’s all been well-covered elsewhere.

It might help if you describe your Roon setup. Generally speaking the Core does it all.

1 Like

It would also be helpful if you could provide some further info regarding the source of your music, i.e. local files (and how they are accessed by the core), or Tidal and/or Qobuz.


Roon Environment:

  • Roon Core: running on dedicated Mac Mini M1 8/256 1GbE

  • Audio Library: WD MyCloud EX2 NAS

  • Network: Ubiquiti end to end (UDM Pro, USW Pro 48 PoE, 5 UAP AC), APs run up to 1GbE if the receiving device supports it. Cat6 everywhere. Comcast 300D/20U plan that tends to be more like 400/20.

  • Roon Endpoints: mostly some flavor of Sonos Beams/Ones/Plays.

  • Roon Client: mostly iPhone 12 Pros, occasional MacBook Pros

My suspicion is that my sluggish app experience is a combo of an older NAS and some network equipment that could be faster as well. Here are a few questions on my mind at the moment:

  • The 1GbE comms between the core and the NAS — would upgrading both sides to 10GbE make a material impact? Mac Mini is now available with a 10GbE and the core of my Ubiquiti stack already supports it. So, if I upgraded the Mac Mini AND the NAS to 10GbE, I should see chatter between those components running up to 10x faster. The clients and the endpoints will still be slower, but speeding up the heaviest worker in an app stack usually makes life better for everything downstream.

  • The 8Gb memory on the Mac Mini M1. Is that enough? It seems like it’s enough, but I’m willing to hear that I need to upgrade it.

  • ISP — it doesn’t seem like Comcast should matter much in this equation since I have the entire app stack running on my LAN. But, again, I’m willing to hear that I need to upgrade there as well.

I can definitely live with the current speed of Roon in my environment without complaint — as well as without compliment.

I’d love to make my Roon app experience as good as it can be if there’s anything within my control that will improve it.

My guess would be that it’s the WD MyCloud EX2 NAS that’s causing the problem, but I’m speculating. I’ve just been reading a review of that device and it doesn’t seem like it’s especially fast, so it may be the culprit. One way to test would be to copy some files to the Mac Mini and play them from there. If you have the same sort of lag, then the NAS isn’t the problem.

No, you would have more bandwidth, but not more speed. 1Gb is more than enough for transferring music. This isn’t the issue, nor is it worth upgrading unless you’re shifting a massive amount of data around your network.

Should be, unless you have a very large library, do a lot of upsampling, or play to a large number of endpoints at the same time.

Probably not an issue, but I sometimes experience a lag with Qobuz.

The Library is ~5K albums and 65K tracks. Where does that place it on the library-sizing scale?

Overall, this is all good news. The large music library belongs to my spouse, and I decided to upgrade his discovery and listening experience by throwing Roon on top of his digital archive. That NAS is the only legacy piece of hardware in this mix, and it was already on my to-be-upgraded list — now it moves to number 1 and the M1 Mini leaves the list entirely.

Thanks for the advice!

Not quite sure, but plenty of people around here have larger libraries so I don’t think the size is an issue.

It certainly won’t hurt to upgrade it, but it might not be the issue. I would definitely try copying a bunch of albums to a watched folder on the M1 Mini to see if it makes a difference to performance. If not, there’s something else going on.

1 Like

The NAS and network link speed diagnoses are off target. Those factors in this instance affect only audio file storage access. Even 100BASE-T would be more than adequate. Regardless, storage access speed will not cause the Roon app to be “sluggish” in stopping playback, controlling volume, etc.


Ok. Any other ideas? Or is Roon at its best simply pokey?

Everything goes back to Core and Core responds including UI updates.

You say everything is hardwired ethernet, does that include a remote? There are only 2 times Roon has been “sluggish” in my experience 1) Had a failing HDD on the Core causing excessive read timeouts / errors. 2) Had a neighbor trample all over one the channels one of my APs was using and I had to force it to cleaner airspace.

  1. Probably not your issue.
  2. You can easily test this by putting a remote, one of your MBPs, on ethernet and just bypass your wireless network for a bit. If the sluggishness goes away then you can start troubleshooting your wireless network.

I suspect the culprit lies in my network hardware or configuration somewhere. I’ll give your test idea a whirl. Thanks for the concrete suggestion.

Yep, my bad, I didn’t read the original post properly. The NAS could cause a delay with initiating playback, but shouldn’t affect stopping a track or changing the volume volume.

The only other thing that I think could be a factor is that you’re playing mostly to Sonos gear. I have one Sonos device (a Sonos One) and this does have a noticeable lag on play/pause and volume changes. I just tested it now and the lag is probably somewhere between 0.5s and 0.75s, so not hugely annoying, but definitely noticeable. I don’t have any lag on other devices (e.g. airport express, Raspberry Pi etc) so if @ipeverywhere’s suggestion doesn’t pan out it might be worth seeing if a non-Sonos endpoint exhibits the same laggy behaviour.

1 Like

I’m afraid I can’t offer a solution to your particular problem, but I can assure you it is not the case that “Roon is at it’s best simply pokey”. Not much comfort to you, but in the case of the 4 systems I use with Roon, performance all round is pretty much instantaneous!

I use both Win10 and iPad front end apps with each of my systems, and have Roon Rock installed on an Intel NUC (8i5). My Roon Library is integrated between locally streamed music (2,000+ albums) stored on a Synology NAS and externally sourced music streaming from Tidal.

I hope you find a solution to your problem, but I can assure you that Roon is not normally “slow”.