Does the new FW update make Roon redundant for SQ?

Some have said that they will (or might) ditch Roon now that the new streaming platform has improved SQ on the current Naim streaming platform (for most users).

A few users I’ve noticed have said that Roon sounds the same as using the Naim app, and a few others have said that Roon sounds better, iirc.

To make this discussion simpler, I’m only asking about SQ - not a comprehensive comparison of everything Roon can do vs the Naim app.

But even that is extensive as Roon has room correction, ‘convolution’, MQA “first unfold” and other DSP functions available to users with powerful enough processors.

But then the Roon extra box/es and PSUs add electrical noise into the system too.

What I’m looking for is mainly empirical reports from people who have actually got Roon and a FW-updated new gen Naim streamer working at home and have compared SQ between the two.

I suppose that a related question is whether Roon gave a SQ improvement on new gen Naim streamers before the FW update? So if anyone also has reports from testing this that would be useful to mention too.

I think this would be valuable information to have in one place rather than it being scattered across numerous concurrent threads.


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Absolutely not. If Tidal is your main source it’s still lacking via Naims internal streaming if you ask me. Inotice no difference for Qobuz or local files via UPnP or Roon that’s not changed and why would it, the firmware updates also effect Roon playback so not sure what your really implying. That aside I have many music systems in my home all of them from different manufacturers, so for me Roon ties this all together and gives me great sq across all my systems without compromise to me.


Does the new FW update make Roon redundant for SQ? As ChrystalGipsy states, nope!
The FW update for the new gen streamers SQ wise sounds much better (IMHO). This is the general consensus from what I can gather. I think it took most people by surprise how much improvement Naim has made SQ wise with the FW update. For me, this was a bonus as I don’t use Qobuz.
I use Tidal via Roon almost exclusively and with the FW update it sounds even better than before. I personally love Roon for the features you outlined above and I do use a little convolution for room correction. I also can’t tell or care where my music is coming from as it basically sounds the same either from local files via UPnP or Roon/Tidal or Tidal via the Naim app.

This thread covers more of the SQ increase

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I’m sure others will provide the empirical evidence you want, just one correction, Roon extra box/es don’t necessarily add electrical noise to the system, certainly no more than a Uniticore/Unitiserve. I use an Innuos Zen as an alternative to these as it also performs as a Roon core.

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There is no difference in sound quality, as fas as I can tell. I would even accept slightly less good quality in Roon not to have to use the Naim app, which is a poor UX for me. But that’s not an issue. FWIW: I don’t care about Roon DSP or MQA unfold. I use neither.

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Erm, they do compared to for example my system in which there is no equivalent to Roon at the moment.

All I have is Tidal, router, Ciscos, 272/ps, nap, speakers.

So from an electrical pov Roon is a whole nother bit on top of that.

I have no nas or local store.

If I get Roon it will be a nuc or fanless pc or nucleus which will spit incremental em noise into my system.

I found the MQA first unfold totally nothing-y when I had it on the network bridge.

I did a pretty painstaking comparison between the mqa and 16/44 pcm version of the same recordings on Tidal and I could not hear a specific difference in any of them.

Yes, it is, if you disregard the Roon UI experience. The main reason as to why I use Roon has nothing to do with SQ, but that is another topic.


Because MQA isn’t going to make anything sound better, ever, IMO. It’s an opportunistic money grab to push something on us we don’t need.

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Then perhaps you should expand/amend your question to include NAS/Local stores etc, how can we determine Roon is the detractor ?

Well, there are all sorts of electrical boxes one can plug into one’s hifi.

Each extra box brings more EM noise into the system - although each box will often have ways of reducing that noise built into it too.

Roon isn’t necessary for a hifi - and it involves plugging in a computer of some sort into your hifi.

That’s why I am interested in question of how to do it without polluting my hifi with noise.

I’m not really implying anything, CG.

I’m just asking a question.

Because my next step forwards might be to get an even posher Naim streamer like an NDX2.

Or it might be to get Roon.

Or both.

So I’m looking for clues and ideas as to how to do this in the way which makes the most of my hifi budget in terms of SQ.

(And I live in a hifi desert in terms of local shops and ways to listen to different systems, and I’ve got very little free time to travel and test out my hunches and theories, so I try to glean what I can from forums and online.)

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You will only know which you prefer by testing at home in your system. Roon’s easy to try just using a home computer and you can do this now with your 272 by using the LMS2UPNP thing and a Roon trial on a pc. Using a dedicated device as a server will give you overall a better Roon experience,more responsive etc whether it ups SQ is debatable. I dont my self buy in to these high priced music servers You can always get an NDX2 online and return it if it doesn’t fulfill you needs. I myself would not mess with ways to get Roon in to a non Roon compatible system as I want simplicity which it is when done its way.


For me, Roon came packaged with my music server. This. Black box was a vast SQ improvement over my Qnap NAS, Roon just provided a good interface.


Try one of the Innuos solutions maybe, most people have their own files/storage, so nothing extra noise wise by adding Roon ?
True Roon isn’t necessary, like most things it’s about choice, I like it and will keep it for many different reasons.

No, it does not involve plugging anything into your hifi. Using Roon involves adding it to your network, either by running it on an existing computer that’s already there, or by adding a dedicated computer (like a NUC or Nucleus). If you are worried about EM noise emitted from the Roon device, you can site it in a different part of your home. It just needs to be visible to the same local network as your streaming device (ND).


@surryhills-john - did you say on another thread that you changed from a Sonore MicroRendu to a Sonore OpticalRendu as a bridge between your Roon Core and your NDS?

And that this change resulted in better SQ?

HI Jim, I did go from microRendu to opticalRendu and the upgrade was significant(with a significant jump in price), at the same time I changed to a ubiquity switch. What the OR did was lower the noise floor, there seemed to be a whole lot more air around the notes and as a result imaging became a whole lot better. I recently had Linea power supply problems so for a week I was back to using the MR, as good as it is the Optical brought a lot more fun to the party, highly recommended.


I don’t think Roon was ever that good for SQ.

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Yes, I’ve heard that said numerous times.
But I’ve also seen various people who are really pleased with the improvement they get in SQ when they add Roon.

Very experienced and knowledgable people like Tricky Dicky have pointed out that Roon unpacks flac files and sends a stream of pcm data to the streamer, which is beneficial especially to streamers like the 272, and I think also the nds.

So that’s just one reason why Roon might sound better on some older streamers.

Not to mention the other dsp functions such as room correction, filters, etc.

But having not tried it I have no idea whether it would make any difference to my current or probable future systems.

Hence why I’m trying to get input from those who have used Roon.

Especially in the context of the improvement in Sq on the new streaming platform for most users, which in various cases is making some users feel they don’t need Roon and might stop using it.

So as I’m seriously considering whether to get a new streamer at some point I need to decide whether to get Roon or stick with the Naim app.