Roon vs Naim (again)

No problem, I like all comments good or bad, anyone of us have an opinion about something, in the end we all learn with each other. So I will never be offended.

It’s a forum, we all sometimes agree to disagree and that is positive.

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I had only good intentions :slight_smile:

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OK, tested and not good news. Roon can not give me the hires synchronisation across rooms and devices that I want.
Looking at what is happening I’m not sure where the delay is being introduced, the network or the Roon processing software. Strangely even on 16/44 Roon has greater delays than the LMS sw. LMS runs 0-1% cpu and 4 mb swap memory in the background, Roon runs 2-6%cpu and a surprising 800 mb swap memory in the background. This is without actually connecting or playing anything. I suspect Roon really does need its own pc or core to run efficiently.

I can see the additional music, Band, and recording information being attractive, but it isn’t what I am looking for.

As a side issue I have discovered something useful while playing around. If LMS is enabled with the airplay plugin, Amazon HD (but 16/44) on the iPad can play to all the sqbx kit via LMS, in synch. I can then also use the Duet remote to put a sleep time on. Small things but useful.

It does need quite some memory I think because of all the pictures and metadata. Though it should be fine if it has 8 GB available for normal library sizes, that’s what the Nucleus appliance has.

CPU I don’t know, I run it on a dedicated NUC. But I don’t think that 6% is unexpected when doing something, it is known that it does need some oomph. However, many people on the Room forum run the Core on their laptop, so I would expect it to work. It seems weird to be that high when idling.

However, do you have local files? After initial setup it needs some time to settle down in this case, because it runs an analysis on all local files to extract tags, identify releases, and figure out the volume levels.

Probably the multi room has more demands generally, the hardware recommendations do say that the relevant driving factors for resource requirements are library sizes, number of simultaneous zones, and heavy DSP usage.

As I don’t use multi room, I don’t know what’s going on with delays. Probably best to ask on the Roon forum

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Roon loads a big chunk of the database in to Ram so its not having to access it on disk all the time so its do take up more than lms would. What devices are you syncing all squeezebox. I dont have any issues with all my RAAT zones in perfect sync at any res. You can compensate for delays and set one zone as the master sync that all others sync to. I have found you do have to set some delays for some devices as the processing on them can be more or less dependant on the audio hardware used. I do have a dedicated core its not mean machine, only a lower rated gen 7 i7 processor but it does run RoonOS.

If you think the core machine isnt up to it, check you signal path, by clicking on the coloured dot in the now playing section when playing to the grouped zone. If its struggling it will show processing speed if its below 2 your in trouble. It only shows speeds below 100x of realtime so if nothing shows nothign to worry about so its likely just a mater of adjusting the delay for the devices.

When you say delays… do you mean the delay between when you click play and when you hear the music? If so, that is normal as Roon buffers some of the song before seeing it along. In cases of multi-zone synchronization it might take slightly longer as well. You get used to this quickly.

As for troubleshooting your hi-res playback issues, it might be helpful if you posted an image of your signal path. Here is the path while music is playing in one of my zones as a reference. Notice that there is no volume leveling or any kind of DSP taking place. You would see that listed in the path if it was taking place. Also, the purple dot indicated that there is no additional processing taking place. I would start with this most direct path and see if you are still facing problems.

Also, make sure that the device setup of each of your audio zones shows the correct supported maximum sample rates.

Thanks for the additional information, To clarify. There is not a problem playing hi resolution files. There is not a problem with a delay between pressing the play button and hearing the music. The problem I want to solve is a multi room synchronisation issue. I have three rooms around a central hall. One room has an Auralic, one room has a Gold Note, one room has a Bluesound Node. When I connect them as a group, there is a synchronisation delay as I move from room to room. This occurs with both 16/44 and higher res files. The slowest network speed at the farthest point is 54 mbps, the fastest is 836 mbps. I am running the roon ‘core’ on an Intel processor PC of some vintage though. i5, 8gb, x64 win10.

Then adjust the delays in audio setting per device to get them in sync, that’s the whole point of the sync delay feature. Roon will assign one as the master clock to sync other to, but you can choose this yourself to and then set priorities of the others.

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The only thing I’d say, although the transported data is the same (in most cases) between UPnP and RAAT (Roon) the software ‘driver’ in the streamer is different code so might yield a minor or detectable sonic difference between UPnP HTTP data transfer and RAAT for a given streamer.

@CrystalGipsy is spot on… different devices can take different times to render audio… once they have received the data. In the Naim ecosystem Naim can control this. Roon is open to many different manufacturers/vendors so one needs to adjust depending on which devices you are using.

Also remember around a hall… depending on speakers you will have delays from the time it takes for the sound to carry.

Yeah OK, but I trust Naim and Roon to have competent code in there, and that in the worst case there is a detectable difference but neither is “worse”. I can’t hear any as mentioned, I have probably read approximately the same number of posts calling either Roon or Naim UPnP better and I believe it’s most likely subjective and in the heads. (In many cases, equivalent volume setting was even questionable). Even if it’s objective, I would argue not to lose sleep over it if Roon functionality is appealing

My understanding is that this is precisely what Roon-ready status is supposed to avoid, in the same way as Naim does it within their own multi-rooming. And all of Bruss’s kit is Roon-ready except the Squeezeboxes (which can’t be grouped with RAAT zones in the first place).

CrystalGipsy is of course correct, sync delay can be adjusted, but I don’t think it should be happening in the first place between roon-ready kit.

Thank you for the clarification.

The specs of your PC/core should be fine if you are not applying additional processing of any kind, but it may be worthwhile looking at the processor and memory utilization. I have very rarely grouped my zones and had them all play simultaneously, so I cannot comment on how well they sync. Based on what I have seen in the Roon community, if all zones are Roon Ready and using RAAT, then the sync should work well. If any part of the network is not stable or requires numerous retransmissions of packets, I can see how some offset could be introduced. In such cases, I would assume that Roon would try to compensate eventually to bring the zones back into sync.

A couple of questions:

  1. Have you tried to leave it playing to the grouped zone for a period of time (couple of songs) to see if the synchronization improves?
  2. If you remove the zone with the weakest signal from the group, does the situation improve? If could be the the weakest link is causing the problem.

With any kind of audio playing over the network, the quality of the network plays a part. Do you have multiple wifi routers? If it is just one wifi router, unless you can reposition it in a more central location to all your zones, there is not much you can do to improve it without buying additional routers. If you already have multiple wifi routers, I would strongly recommend that each be connected to ethernet for the backhaul to the main router/switch instead of using a purely wireless mesh or network extension.

Perhaps others that use grouped zones more regularly can offer better advice. I would also suggest that you visit the Roon community and post your issue there as the members are more likely to be experienced with grouping zones and will likely try to help. But please let us know how this progresses for you and good luck!


You would have thought so as each device should be reporting back the audio processing and probable delays and it should automatically compensate. I found all me Roon bridges where in sync which are on WiFi the only one I had to adjust was the my Naim Atom funnily and thats wired.

I’ve created a thread on their forum as interested as to why this would be the case as they do make bold claims about RAAT and a target delay of only 1ms.

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Thanks for that. I have just joined that discussion thread.

sure - but it depends on your setup - you can have a Roon complaint or ready transport which then feeds a separate DAC - and the DAC need have no knowledge about Roon and can have its own delay.
Further if you have a reclocker/over sampler like Mscaler then depending on configuration your latency will vary and there is no feedback mechanism to allow Roon to understand.

So yes you might agree that latency is calculated for a normal device in regular or minimal operation - but I wouldn’t rely on it to be always accurate - and my experience beats that out as well.

Just seen a statement made by a forum member on Roon

“ I believe AURALiC is unable to meet the demand for max delay for group synchronization required for Roon Certification”

Whether that is true or not I have enquired, but if so then I may have part of the answer.

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Yeah but Bruss’s Auralic and Gold Note all seem to have Roon-ready status, so I would expect them to figure it out automatically

@adeeb As an aside, how do I access my signal path?

where it shows the now playing at the bottom of the screen is like a little glowing star thingy