Roon 1.8 Sound Quality?

I don’t really want to open a can of worms here as I’m not really one for these sort of threads but here goes…

I updated to Roon 1.8 yesterday and then sat down for a bit to listen later on in the evening. Album choice last night was Steel Pulse – Handsworth Revolution, an album I really enjoy and know well. It’s an album that’s not only great musically but very well recorded too but even so I’m convinced listening last night there was more detail in the bass – it was just cleaner sounding on low notes and easier to follow. Just to be sure, I checked all playback settings were the same and the source was still from the local drive and not a different version on Qobuz.

Now I’m sure it’s nothing to do with Roon and probably more to do with me, other external influences etc but I was just curious as to whether others had noticed anything SQ wise with 1.8 ?

1 Like

I’ve been listening to it this morning (headphones) and it does sound very good but… not sure if there has been an improvement. I’m fairly certain it hasn’t got worse but I couldn’t be confident that it has improved.

But, I’ll settle with it sounds great as it is :grinning:

1 Like

I’m still experimenting, but after I upgraded last night I took a quick listen via iPad and Mojo and my immediate impression was that overall the sound was thinner but the clarity of the mid/highs seemed intact.

This morning I have played around a bit more and it seems that my initial impression, to me with my system, is that it’s not sounding as good. I have been playing Ghostpoet’s Humana Second Hand which has a dramatic atmosphere and using Qobuz directly via a Project Ultra Stream the drama is palpable. Switching to Roon via the Project and it all seems softer and less interesting.

Will continue to explore today, but so far not so good for me.

On my office / kitchen / bedroom systems I could hear no difference - sounds good. Using Apple TV fed into my system I was disappointed, so much so I watched tv instead.
Today, I’ll give the main system a go …

There was something in the release notes about changes to the dither maths in the DSP…

Yes saw that, but for me DSP is always off, never been able to get on with it.

Um. If the endpoint is receiving the same bit-perfect RAAT stream, it’s difficult to see what’s changed to cause an audible difference. Maybe it’s just morning mains vs evening mains!


I updated my system yesterday and spend 2 hours listening to my favourite tracks.

Not the slightest difference in terms of SQ.

The user interface the new FOCUS tools are gorgeous!

1 Like

I haven’t used it much on my iPad/iPhone yet but on a Mac, large screen (while working) it looks great in dark mode. The typeface and graphics give it a really nice magazine feel to it. I have no doubt there will be bugs to sort out but it seems a very positive move so far.

1 Like

Thanks folks – Probably just me or something external as nothing else has changed internal to the system (apart from moving to 1.8)

Just curious :slightly_smiling_face:

Having seen (heard) first hand the impact on SQ software changes have on the Nova I used to have, I’m now a believer. Thing is, it sounds different and was immediately noticeable via my iPad and Mojo let alone my main system. I’m still to decide if I think the difference is good, bad or indifferent.

I’ve not noticed any change. I use lms-to-upnp to send a PCM stream to my NDS. As it was as good as the Naim app before any changes in sound quality would make me suspicious!

James, I know you use a Nucleus but how do you get your music from there to your player?

As I noted in the other 1.8 thread, one would have to control for volume differences, even if small. (When comparing 1.7 and the Naim app, I ended up convinced that a small volume difference was responsible for a small perceived SQ difference; Roon seemed to be slightly lower and the slight SQ disadvantage (if even real!) seemed to disappear when I turned it slightly up for Roon. However, if there was any dB difference it was too small for me to measure reliably with a phone dB app)

Another thing to control for is “it’s new so must be different” bias. At my workplace, we are currently getting a bit overwhelmed with user reports because we updated our software and people seem to be sending us feedback for every damn 100% unrelated thing that changed on their computers by coincidence.

Personally, I can’t say I heard a difference but then I don’t have 2 cores to compare 1.7 and 1.8

I’ve been (background) listening to a little music this morning following last night’s upgrade to 1.8

I thought ‘this sounds a little’ different in a positive way- I wasn’t listening for any change (didn’t expect it) because I was doing something else and I hadn’t read this thread before. So I think something has changed.

Hi Richard – it’s Nucleus > 2960 > 25m CAT5e > EE8 > NDX2 and then S/PDIF out into my Devialet so a fair amount of physical and electrical separation. I agree with others that unless Roon has made any changes that affected the signal path then there should be no difference at all (I don’t use DSP).

My system is very consistent in day to day performance hence the change last night was noticeable and just seemed to coincide with the new version. I’ll have another listen when I get a chance tonight (and also try my headphone setup, 20m CAT5e to ultraRendu / LPS1.2 > Brooklyn DAC+) but I was just curious as to whether anyone else had noticed anything different.

I haven’t noticed any change

It doesn’t seem that there should be any difference but at least you are finding it better.

I don’t work on Wednesday so have put in a lot of time listening today. From my viewpoint it’s definitely unchanged and as good as before which these days is very good indeed!

1 Like

A quick search through the forum (and others) reveals the same pattern. Manufacturer upgrades firmware or software version. Users swear sound quality has deteriorated. All calms down. See Roon, Devialet, Innuos etc.

I think only Devialet owners tend to maintain changes have been detrimental months down the line.

1 Like

I have to agree. I’ve been trialling Roon to see if it’s worth the leap. In terms of its UI it is pretty good IMO. I know there will be dissenters because they are used to earlier versions or alternatives on the market I’m not aware of, but from a music discovery point of view it’s excellent.
However, I’ve had a good listen over several days and your description of “thin” is very true. I’ve just found it sounds a bit “Audiolab 8000A”, an amp I had for many years and never found particularly engaging. Clean and sterile yes, musical and vivacious, no. No matter what setting I put Roon into I found it lacking the “je ne said quoi” that my Nova has directly through Qobuz or via my usb when all things are set equal, ie/ no eq. I even tried switching from 32 bit to 24 bit, as some have suggested, but that was even worse. I know this was subject that @Darkebear touched on in an earlier thread and he was listening through something much more transparent than a Nova. I can’t explain it and I so wanted to like Roon but I’ve decided after a couple of days that it isn’t going to do it for me.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.