Roon (RAAT) versus UPnP media transfer

I have been enjoying my new stellar NDX2 running as a streaming transport into my Hugo mk1 on to my 552… quite honestly I have never sounded home audio sound so good with UPnP… my recordings have a whole extra dimension … imaging, harmonies, duets, choral, unplugged recordings, orchestration all coming out at you beguilingly … the performance jump over my NDX transport with all other things equal is silly…who would have thought a transport could be so crucial…

Anyway back to the topic title… the new streamer platforms support Roon… and jolly good it is too… however I have noticed something else… in the limit Roon Advanced Audio Transport is not sounding quite as breathtaking as UPnP from Minimserver … it’s very subtle, but the latter is just so mind blowingly insightful it becomes more noticeable it’s difference from RAAT (by the way no RAAT DSP).

So let’s have an example… Oh my Sweet Carolina … duet sung by Ryan Adams and Emmylou Harris… a wonderful track… real magic harmony with the two singers… with RAAT it sounds wonderful… you hear Ryan’s and Emmylou’s vocals singing together beautifully… play UPnP MinimServer and it steps forward… there is space around Ryan and Emmylou, they come into the room, and the duet sounds sweeter and more meaningful and ‘intelligent’… and the space around the beautiful instrumentation comes out… all the Hi-Fi things are the same between the two… just one sounds a tad more real and engaging than the other…although both sound incredible enjoyable…and I have never heard a replay sound as good as the UPnP playback so we are at a hugely high level.

So, has anyone else noticed this with the ND555, NDX2 or ND5XS2… btw media source is ripped CD, WAV.

Simon - Interesting. I take it there is more network activity when using RAAT compared to the UPnP implementation.The track to be played is loaded into memory for playback on the NP800 card in UPnP mode on the new streamers. I take it that RAAT doesn’t do this ?


How does the Tidal in Roon vs Qobuz via bubble now compare with your preference for UPnP.


My findings were similar to Simon’s in that I thought Roon was perhaps a little way behind UPnP (from Unitiserve and Synology/Minimserver) although I haven’t really mentioned this openly until now, as I have only made the comparison on my less revealing Atom, and my NDX via AirPlay. I may put a new streamer in my main system at some point, in which case I’ll reassess this.
I guess the BubbleUPnP/Lumin thing might be worth revisiting on the new platform, as I could hear no downside to this on my NDX1.

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Hi Simon,

Have you tried both MinimServer and Roon Core on the same hardware?

The differences in sound profile/quality might be hardware related.

I did notice a slight difference on my Atom, but as they both used a different server its hard to really compare apples to apples. What i can say is that I did prefer RAAT from my dedicated custom PC running Roons OS ROCK to Minim Server UPnP on the NAS though. I recently updated my Roon Core machine to an i7 silent build and moved all my music to a local drive on the machine and thats moved it up a notch again. But this is all subjective I suppose. This discussion is brought up on the Roon forum a lot. Some hear differences other not, some prefer Roon, some prefer UPnP. If we where all the same I guess it would be a boring and bland world.

Interesting - Naim’s implementation of RAAT in the new streamers is quite new, whereas the UPnP implementation is proven, tweaked & optimised with the existing ranges.
It may be there is more to come on this playback route in later firmware releases.

When I heard Roon over RAAT on a ND555 with 2 555DRs into a 552/500, I didn’t detect an issue, but there was no comparison with an existing UPnP.

On my system with the Sonore UPnP Bridge, my input is still UPnP to thr NDS, even though the playback control is Roon. No RAAT support on the NDS. However, all this all sounds wonderful, and the Roon is slightly better than direct UPnP, using Asset on a RPi2.
Thanks, Simon

Interesting. I’ve been meaning to take some time to compare both as well using UPnP from an older QNAP NAS running Minimserver and a recently acquired Roon Nucleus. Will report back soon.

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I recentry tried out a Devaliet-amp and had both UPnP (Core) and Roon Rock at the time. I much preferred UPnP. I’’m back home on Naim now and dont have the Roon-server available.

Devialet UPnP is very similar to the Naim approach, where it loads a track into memory on the streaming card and plays from there. Roon is real time, although not using RAAT (in development). No major differences in the two implementations for me but I’ve not explored all the possible combinations yet.

I have a Melco N10 connected directly to an ND555. I have done a quick comparison of the sound playing via Roon and via Minimserver with the Naim app. There is a difference, and to my ears via Roon sounds better. I will try a longer test when time allows.

Interesting let us know! :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi, to answer some points… yes I have used UPnP server and Roon Core on the same platform,
As far as network activity… I am trying to find a published specification of the RAAT protocol…not entirely happy it doesn’t seem openly published, therefore I need to look on WireShark… and reverse engineer. At least UPnP is open, transparent and published.

I do know with UPnP the media is transferred and rapidly consumed by the new Naim streamer into its buffer so can efficiently in terms of network transport protocol receive the UPnP media transfer. Less protocol processing per amount of media data activity equals usually lower noise and with Naim this is the case.

The new Naim architectures are optimised for rapid media transfer so as to minimise digital noise…so if the media server holds back the flow, then some of the benefits of the new Naim streaming architecture would be prevented.

Now some RAAT marketing descriptions seems to refer to smaller amounts of data slowly sent to the end points… this allows multiple end points to be synchronised… now although I haven’t looked on WireShark yet, this does suggest there is more TCP processing with RAAT per amount of media data compared to UPnP … especially with new Naim architectures… which might equate to greater digital noise with RAAT compared to UPnP where the streamer has a larger buffer.

So the examination I need to do is confirm by looking at the RAAT media transfer on WireShark… and I can compare with UPnP. One for the weekend…

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I’ll be interested in your findings Simon.

RAAT sends its data consistently over TCP rather than in one large chunk so the network is far more active in Roon, this is one of the reasons they recommend the server/endpoint recommendation. The CTO himself mentions this in a thread on their Forum about RAM playback being requested in Roon. As its propriety they are not going to fully advertise what they do I guess to protect their interests.

If you want some answers, yo might get them on the forum and directly address the CTO in your posts like you would someone here with @username (brian is his) as he will answer you whether you get the answer you want/need is another matter. That’s one thing you will find is that all members of the board are open for discussion on most things, within reason.


Thanks, however you can retain one’s proprietry without being necessarily secretive,… it kind of smacks of something to hide… anyway… it’s ok, I can easily reverse engineer this and find out for myself how it interfaces with Naim if no one knows on this forum and I can share here… I just need to set up my test equipment.

It might be RAAT is not totally optimised to work with the way Naim has developed to provide ultimate low noise streaming… after all the new Naim architecture and optimisation is a more recent development than RAAT.

Do you know if this software runs on other devices – rather than having to buy the little piece of hardware? It looks like maybe it runs on the SonicOrbiter?? Im using a Roon Nucleus these days and would love to run it on that. I could ditch the DigiOne.

Nope only runs on Sonore hardware.

You could try running Logitech Media Centre somewhere as they have upnp plugin that will turn a upnp renderer into a Squeezebox endpoint and Roon can see this. Its a bit more fiddily to set up, but is free to try others have used it to great success.

Be good to get an angle on it. Good luck with it, look forward to the results.