Audirvana is moving to a subscription model ($6.99 USD/month) for the new product.
If I’m going to spend $70/year, I’ll pony up for Roon. Not sure they are making the right biz decision here.
I have a lifetime Roon subscription. I will try Audirvana Studio for a month or two, and if it does what I like about Roon as well as Roon does and gives better sound, or equal sound and better UI/feature set, I will ditch Roon. But if the overall Studio experience isn’t better, I’ll stick with Roon. One advantage Audivana has is that it does not require the equivalent of “Roon Ready” to get all features out of it. I think Audirvana also has far more users. As it isn’t replacing v 3.5, just being offered as an upgraded experience, I do not see it at all as a gambit. But, I guess come 5/16, we shall see!
I’ve used JRiver MC since at least release 19 but never compared it to anything other than Foobar2000 the latter of which I’ve found an incredible PITA to set-up properly. Anyone compared Audirvana to JRiver in terms of sound quality? Just from a $ and ¢ point of view JRiver would be the more economical choice.
I know that on the Roon forum, almost everyone that uses Audirvana at all prefers it’s SQ to Roon’s. But they never seem to compare It to JRiver.
Oh, and I hate the JRiver UI.
Excuse the lazy newbie question but is Audirvana compatible with a PC or is it Mac friendly only?
Never mind – it does.
I’m going to take a wait and see approach. If it can offer something Roon doesn’t I might trial it. Sounds as if (and I may be wrong) standard Audirvana improvements wont be focused upon, but that may be an impression. An extra subscription would require something Roon doesn’t offer. Roon is “free” for me here on in.
JRMC is a still great program. I just pre-ordered 28. JRMC is not super user friendly until you have a lot of time learning with it, and even then, you have to ocasionally hunt to figure out a feature. Support is lacking but available if you’re patient. I use JRMC as a backup, and tinker with it mostly for entertainment.
I agree that JRMC isn’t the most user friendly but I’ve eventually gotten it to do everything I need/want it to. I once had F2K working properly in my set-up but then ignorantly scrubbed the configuration. It was able to both “push” files to my Oppo and the DS DAC and they were able to “pull” them including DoP. But after the scrub, all I could do was pull them. In terms of sound quality I thought that JRMC was a bit more full-bodied but it wasn’t a dramatic difference.
F2K does have the nicety of being free, however.
To get the best SQ out of Roon requires a dedicated network streamer / renderer at something above a bare Raspberry Pi. Audirvana, out of the box (in my experience on a Mac), has great sound quality with simple USB into a DAC. Audirvana expects to run this way. Roon does not. However, I find a lot of Roon users on the forum are unwilling to buy the extra bits needed to raise Roon’s SQ level. In that case, Audirvana makes more sense from a deployment perspective.
I’d like to learn more about the underpinnings of this position.
I can see how Roon has more ways to improve SQ given its vast hardware support footprint compared to Audirvana, but I am curious to see this Roon vs. Audirvana on a Mac Mini USB shoot out. Is there a review you’ve gleaned this from?
Personal experience and spending way way too much time on the Roon forums. And, to be honest, Roon’s “hardware footprint” is limited to Nucleus. They don’t recommend you plug DACs into Nucleus but it is supported. They have a very deep Partner program of Roon Ready devices but, from my understanding, they supply an SDK and make sure the manufacturer conforms to the requirements of the program. They don’t go near sound quality within that certification. Roon’s position is that Roon Advanced Audio Transport (RAAT) is bit-perfect. It guarantees that what leaves the Core is bit-perfect at the endpoint. What it sounds like at that point is sole responsibility of the endpoint. Roon isn’t interested in being better than “bit-perfect”.
Audirvana has years of tweaks to their software to bypass, lower latency, prioritize, etc. the audio path on Mac (and now Windows?) It’s a very different philosophy. Roon believes bit-perfect delivery is the end-goal. Audirvana takes it further.
There is also some speculation that RAAT, being a bit heavier of a protocol than others, may contribute to a higher workload at the endpoint. If you believe that lower cpu frequencies, lower latency, leaner network stack, etc. contributes to better SQ then that speculation may hold true. Of all the ways to stream music on a local network RAAT is a bit heavier than most.
But, this is a super easy test and one I did a few years back as I transitioned from Audirvana to Roon. Set-up a core per reference (a server far away from your listening room connected via hardwire ethernet). Set-up Roon Bridge on your Mac. Plug your Mac into DAC. Set-up Audirvana on the same Mac. Load the same FLAC (or whatever) on the Core and in Audirvana. Have a listen. I wouldn’t be surprised if you prefer Audirvana directly on the Mac. Most people do. Now move on to Raspberry Pi Roon endpoint. Then try an Allo device, Sonore, or something in that class. Most people at this level have a very hard time telling the difference and, start to prefer the higher-end endpoints. It sometimes comes down to a preference if you prefer the upsampling filters in Roon or Audirvana (if you’re into that sort of thing).
Disclaimer: I’m a bit of a Roon fanboy.
I’ve been spending less time there. It’s been a flag fest on certain threads.
I think Audirvana 3.5 SQ is better than Roon. Roon has a great interface, but SQ is not as refined as Bryston MPD, or Aurender Conductor either. It is light years ahead on interface, but not SQ. I’ll see how people weigh in on Studio, and if the reports are favorable I may even try it.
Looks like there will finally be some metadata integration.