Roon sound?

Old fart just starting to stream seems to think his system sounds better with just Qobuz than with Roon/Qobuz.
Is this possible?


When I considered Roon some time ago I found Tidal and QObuz to sound slightly better without. I was streaming with an Innuos ZENith Mk3 which I purchased at that time. Since then I have survived in ignorant bliss sans Roon. The only thing that would motivate a change for me is the Grimm MU2, which is unlikely anytime soon.

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I cant tell any difference between Roon playing Qobuz and Qobuz playing natively and I much prefer the convenience that Roon provides.

Depending on your streamer there are several adjustments / switches to look at as options in the Roon Audio page and the default settings may not be what you like best.


I do enjoy the Roon convenience and I’ll keep using it. I was just wondering if the sq difference is possible or just my imagination.

I believe it’s possible you prefer “direct” streaming over the “care of Roon” option.

The hard part is identifying the variables that give one approach a sonic advantage over the other.

What version of roon are you on?

wonder if Roon changes in any way the source digital files from Qobuz?

eg, compression, filters, delivery rate, re-clocking

Only you can say.

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I went all in with a Roon lifetime subscription several years ago after trying it free for a month. No regrets here and I use it every day.


It is hard to beat for exploring a large library and the music available via a subscription services - especially at the same time!


I don’t have a large local library but I use it with Qobuz and it makes for a much richer experience when navigating the service.


I dont think so. At least I cannot tell any difference.

I’ve had a lifetime Roon license for quite some time now and have been happy using it with local files, Qobuz and Tidal. I’ve been running it on a Mac mini connected to a pre-amp via USB the whole time. I’ve just recently ordered an Airlens and will for the first time have it setup with an air gap between the server and the steamer. Will see what impact that has.

It depends on what you are streaming with. I have the Auralic and there is a slight improvement using Auralic Lightning over Roon. I think that any server using its own proprietary software tend to sound better than using Roon. A wise audiophile once said Grimm solves Roon! I will find out soon and report my findings.


I think it has been widely reported both on this forum and elsewhere that Roon does no favors sonically to whatever app you are listening to. If that is a noticeable difference, well, I guess that depends on the listener.

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I can’t tell any difference. Roon integrates local files + streaming services so seamlessly that I go with it and don’t sweat what I can’t hear.

I think every app has the potential to add stuff to the chain, but I don’t know what it is.

You can do DSP and EQ in roon if ya want.


With my streamers I don’t hear any consequences from using Roon. But people believe what they want to believe, myself included. I vote in favor of Roon. Especially now Roon via HQP. It seems nice.

I still believe if you want the finest sound you listen to Tape or Vinyl. They standout more than Roon or Qobuz alone.

I believe some lads believe they hear better sound without Roon to justify not wishing to pay for Roon. Works for me.


I just added Roon server to my Windows PC a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of an upgrade planned in the near future. Through my AirLens I do believe I hear a difference when streaming through my PC with Roon vs using Mconnect and streaming directly from Qobuz to the Airlens.

To me, Qobuz > AirLens seems more precise with a lower noise level; while Qobuz > PC/Roon server > AirLens seems to bring forward mids and highs (especially vocals) but has what sounds like noise around the edges (knees) at times. Perhaps it’s different filters or a noisy PC.

I happen to like the mids pulled forward so I prefer listening through Roon, but wish it was a little quieter more like just Qobuz. And of course the Roon user app does more than Mconnect.

My next upgrade will include a real Roon server and perhaps that will solve the noise I perceive. If it does, then I might say I prefer the Roon sq.

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Just remember rule number one: Do not use ANY of Roons audio treatments it offers. None. Zip. Zero. They are for teenagers only. If you are using them and believe they make a positive difference, please, please don’t tell me about it. I won’t believe you no matter how convinced you are.


The Windows PC is not a good place for the Roon core. It’s going to add a lot of hash to the stream from internal noise sources.
Once you get a dedicated Roon server you will feel better.
Of course this is my opinion and should be taken as so