Audirvana Studio is awful... Roon much better… wait a sec… might be good… yep it’s good... needed a better amp!

I’ve been listening to Audirvana Studio since it came out… at first it was interesting but strangely something about it kept making me feel irritated and not wanting to listen to music. Multiple DACs, Burson Playmate 2, Chord Mojo, and through UPnP on Strata.

Whatever Audirvana Studio has done… they have stripped out presence and tone/texture to trade for what I would call an empty experience lacking all presence and push/shove. This sounds like I took the 500Hz to 3Khz region and sculpted it to make you think everything was super separated and transparent… but it sounds completely wrong.

Roon is very good in comparison and sounds awesome… but that’s not what the narrative has been… sadly. I disagree. Roon actually sounds much much closer to what PS Connect sounds like on the Strata which says something.

Audirvana Studio - proceed with caution


Very interesting comments. I’m still struggling (have been for sometime now) with an alternative to JRiver that incorporates Qobuz (I wish the JRiver folks would just add Qobuz but they won’t). I think Roon is over controlling of the experience and I fight it (like apple). Was hoping AS would be just right. Was waiting for the dust to settle (lots of bugs I’ve read). I also hated the idea that it scans your music files and appends musicbranz data….DONT TOUCH MY MUSIC. I think they have an out in option now.

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Were you able to compare it to the older version of Audirvana? I’m using that now and really enjoy it.

Perhaps it’s something they need to fix with Studio…I hope.

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Roon is better than Audirvana 3.5 for my taste but much closer than Studio is than either of them.

3.5 is better than Studio but it is veiled and lacking tone still.

The issue we run in to is using something that has a strong sound signature and then tune our system around it. For instance, if you’ve made adjustments around 3.5, Roon will sound brighter. Either way if you try AS it’s going to sound super muffled and veiled.

Would you believe the signature of these packages is consistent with wireless transmission?

The Audirvana Studio signature is the same and tracks between all my devices PS Strata via WiFi -UPnP, and my Bluetooth speakers (Klipsch the 3) and even Sony wireless earbuds.

It does the same thing on all devices and tracks wirelessly so it likely has nothing to do with computer noise! … boosts the bass response (bad bass texture and lacking all character) while making vocals difficult to hear.

They are doing this funky thing where everything is moved into a 64 bit container and then dropped back down to 16/24 before output…. I’m suspecting this is the culprit and the process has a sound signature… they have complicated the signal processing chain.

@tedsmith do you have any idea why they are moving everything up to 64 bit? Is this a possible cause of sound degradation? I’ll post a screenshot later today… they display what they do and I’ve asked them about it and they said the 64 but thing is for “transparency.”

I suspect the application is 64 bits internal so they can do anything that might be asked for in their DSP processing without the loss of accuracy that only using 32 bits might have. IMO that’s a good design choice and others have made that same choice (e.g. JRiver MC).

There shouldn’t be a mathematical sound signature to that process. Is there any possibility that there is some DSP processing happening, perhaps outside of Audirvana?

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Thanks Ted.

No DSP, and it’s a consistent signature on two laptops. It’s doing the same veiled thing to every DAC whether it’s directly connected or wirelessly connected. It is night and day veiled compared to PS Connect which pulls straight from Qobuz on Strata.

Edit…The sound signature I find to be disengaging and a bit irritating. Like my mind is really trying hard.

Chord Mojo
Burson Playmate 2

I could find the icon to share my local drives so I’m back on ‘good ole’ Audirvanna. Way to navigate IMHO. It’s a fail IMHO.

Nice to see you posting again Chris, we’re overdue a visit again.


Absolutely my opinion too…
i used to hear a lot of hifi-gear, also for example a raspberry pi with an Es9038Q2M-usb-dac and with volumio for example, and all other media-player (also VLC on Windows) sounds absolutely better than “Audirvana”; horrible, absolutely “undefined” and full of background processes/emi-mud etc…

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Yes get on down here!

You need to hear Zu Omen Mk 2

Currently powered by Strata but Aegir comes in this Wed !


The good thing about Roon is that when it adds data / metadata / pictures to your personal library files, it adds them in Roon own folders on the Core, but not on the server / directory or music files. I do auto backups of Roon library every three days, it backs up the metadata to a memory stick. Roon sound quality has improved with the recent updates. Also, it works and sounds great with Bridge II & Sunlight. The key advantages of Roon are seamless integration with streaming services plus its ability to pull album and artist info / critique / editorials. Should Qobuz and Tidal go belly up, Roon would become a software for local files only, and this would be really bad!

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I’m strictly using Audirvana for dsd with Qobuz and I’m still liking it. Cxp - are you doing dsd conversion on the new studio version and that’s your comparison?

Thanks for the earlier reply.

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I am using Strata so limited to 192Khz. My comments are regarding AS with no upsampling. I did try upsampling to 192 and to my ears R8 brain sounds much better than Sox.

Copy, thanks for the context.

Have you tried AS yet or still on 3.5?

I will try some experiments… maybe I need to go back to silver cable on my headphones?

I will play with speaker positioning.

Maybe this is a context thing.
It’s night and day different so maybe everyone needs to retune their systems….

Response from audirvana regarding sound change

“Thanks for your message. With Audirvāna Studio, we are 2 or 3 steps ahead in putting the signal processing out of the way and getting more transparency and accuracy. Audirvāna 3.5 sounds more processed in comparison and this is already acknowledged by of the world’s top sound professionals.”

Any idea what could be changing the level of Transparency?

Not really. I have no inside knowledge. I do know that it takes real work to have the processing itself to not cause more electrical noise on a typical host processor, but I don’t know how they’ve been messaging their code.

I hear the same signature over WiFi and Bluetooth suggesting direct electrical noise is not the only gremlin but something else is at play….

Can noise from the player/host still effect things downstream even with full galvanic isolation? It appears there are more underlying gremlins in digital audio.

Thanks Ted!


You will have more bass from AS so take that into account when you try. Like a lot more bass. I think that’s why it was jacked up for me.

But you may like what AS does even without the upsampling:)

Silver cable on my headphones is now much better and for speakers I’m going to move them around… I think there is potential. It’s very different sounding so maybe everyone needs to give it time for brains to adjust.