Roon 1.4 iOS 11 DS DAC plays bit-perfect PCM, DSD128 (DoP), DXD

Roon 1.4 just came out. One of its new tricks is that the iOS app can now be an endpoint instead of just a remote control. So you can play your Roon tunes through the built-in speakers (not interesting), headphones (could be convenient) or USB audio devices…

The reason this interests me is that my SqueezeBox Touch is limited to 192kHz PCM or DSD64 (via DoP) and I would especially like to listen to some DSD128 or DXD every now and then. So I wanted to find out if Roon 1.4 via an iOS device, of which I have several, could provide bit-perfect high-res playback over USB – and secondly whether it sounds any good.

I’m using the Apple Lightning to USB 3 “camera adapter” and a Curious USB cable to connect an iPad Pro or even an iPod Touch to the DAC. After telling Roon to make the device a public endpoint so it could be remote controlled by other devices, and setting the volume to fixed 100% with all DSP functions off, I played some music.

16/44.1 track plays immediately, showing 16 bits on the DS display and therefore indicating that no volume adjustments or other shenanigans are taking place. 24/96 comes on with no dramas, and the DS display updating appropriately. DSD64 via DoP… boom, works just like you’d hope. And then a DXD track… 32 bits in the source, at 352.8kHz sample rate, playing effortlessly. I don’t have any DSD128 tracks on the server at the moment, but 352.8kHz is the rate used for DoP so I expect that’ll work too.

So how does it sound? Well, I hesitate to make an outright judgement given the time of day, the heat and humidity, the recent upgrade to Redcloud, and the repositioning of speakers which I’m still working through. But to be honest, first impressions are really positive. There’s no sense of harshness or digital glare that I can pick up yet. Resolution is as good as I expect, sound stage is appropriate to the track.

The biggest flaw so far is that the iOS device goes to sleep, and if you pause the music remotely or the playlist runs out, you have to physically touch the device to wake it up and get some new tracks playing. That’s something I think the Roon developers could possibly improve on with an option to force the device to stay awake, and of course some kind of screen saver to prevent burn in.

Now I guess I have to dig around and find those DSD128 tracks I’ve been unable to play, or start some big downloads over my pathetic DSL internet connection. happy-048_gif

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Oh that’s good, do you have the 1.4 iOS app yet ? I haven’t seen 1.4 yet in App Store Updates yet my Purchased apps shows 1.4 ??

Cool! Looked in the Devices list and there was my iPad! Didn’t even have to set it up, though I’ll probably want to go through the settings. Thanks!

It’s not in my Devices, do you have the 1.4 app ?

Yes - Core and “This Tablet” (my iPad Pro) show 1.4. I had updated the core prior (I think) but just yesterday got a splashscreen notice on the iPad that new software was available. Updated, but hadn’t had a chance to read anything about it. So when I saw dvorak’s post, I opened the iPad app, looked in the list, and boom!

The controls are organized pretty differently though - tapping the device gives you only a list of devices, and tapping the volume control gives access to the DSP and all other “gears” settings.

I went to grab my Oppo HA-2 HP amp to plug in to the lightning connector (which should allow full DSD playback) but I left it unplugged but on, so it’s charging : (

Guess my Update notice hasn’t arrived yet but don’t understand why the current Purchased app screen says I have 1.4.

Does it not show 1.4 in the app itself?

If it seems messed up you might delete the app and then reinstall it.

badbeef said

Does it not show 1.4 in the app itself?

No 1.3
stevem2 said

If it seems messed up you might delete the app and then reinstall it.

No reason to backup first is there ?

Oh I see 1.4 requires iOS 11, guess l’ll have to now.

Lots of new features and I do think sq might be improved, need more listening though. On iPad with camera adapter/DragonFly Red and good phones not bad. Radio algorithm is vastly improved with better selections fewer repetitions.

Re my Roon SQ improvement, it’s only marginal I’d say,

Hi dvorak

Were you able to run Ted’s 24/192 bitperfect test file and play it to your iPad/iPod Touch as a Roon endpoint?

Does the DirectStream DAC display the green mark / tick with the text ‘bitperfect’ on the screen?

The reason I ask is because iOS doesn’t support any type of ‘exclusive mode’. I can have music playing to an iOS Roon endpoint and sound from Safari on the iOS device, both playing at the same time…

Does the iOS endpoint pass Ted’s 24/192 test file?

Is anyone able to kindly run Ted’s test file and confirm? @stevem2 @rogerdn @badbeef

You can turn your amps volume knob all the way down, as no sound is required for the DS display to confirm Ted’s bitferfect test file passes (or fails) with the iOS Roon endpoint.


I don’t have the right adaptor (or at least I can’t find one, if I do).

EDIT: Found adaptor, and it works on the Jr.

Thanks badbeef. So to cofirm, you used an iOS Roon endpoint and played Ted’s 24/192 bitperfect test file to it via Roon.

And the DS Jr display showed a green check mark with the text “bit perfect” on your DS Jr display?


Imported file into library, played via Roon to iPad Pro as endpoint, lightning to USB out to Junior. The Jr. display doesn’t have color, etc., so it displayed “24/192” and the “B” turned on. Which I believe is the Jr. equivalent of the check mark.

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