Welcome to Roon 1.3

1.3 is big. With it comes a number (as in a lot) of new features, greater hardware compatibility, and improved performance. I'm now running 1.3 and the only hitch in my giddy-up was I had to restart my NAS in order for 1.3 to see my music files. Yes, that caused a brief moment of panic especially when Roon rebooted itself as part of the update and the first screen I saw said, "This album has been deleted." It hadn't been. Whew!

From Roon:

We're very excited to announce that Roon 1.3 is going live today! This is our most ambitious release ever – in the works for nearly nine months – but we think it's been worth the wait. With new streaming hardware support, audio processing, DSP, file handling, metadata management, and social sharing, there are new features and improvements in almost every area of the product.

With the 1.3 update, Roon now streams to Sonos devices! This means all the users in a home – with one app and one music collection – can play music to Sonos, Airplay, Squeezebox, Sooloos, and any of over 50 Roon Ready devices available today.

We've added a whole family of audio and DSP features with a 64-bit audio pipeline, including dynamic range analysis, EQ, upsampling, crossfeed for headphones, and adjustments for headroom as well as corrections for speaker phase and delay.

Roon learns about you as you use it. You create playlists, tags, and groom your collection to be presented just the way you want. Now all of that can be automatically backed up, both locally and to Dropbox. Backups are incremental and configurable, so you can save as much history as you like.

Roon users have been talking about their favorite music on our community site, on social networks, and even by texting screenshots from their phones. With 1.3, you can create shareable images about artists, albums, and songs, including all of Roon's metadata and your own comments. Images can be posted directly to Facebook, Twitter, and Imgur, or saved to your device.

Starting with a new lightning-fast search, we've improved performance across the board. Audio and database operations are faster, and communication between Core and Remotes is more responsive.

I can see a lot to get excited about. While I'm currently running HQPlayer, more on that soon, having DSP fun(ctionality) within Roon including Sample Rate Conversion and a Parametric EQ should make for a tweaker's delight.

More from Roon:

There's so much in Roon 1.3 that it would be impossible to cover here. We'll be sending some emails over the next few weeks to dive into some of the new key features in greater detail.
What he said.

btw - MQA is on the way

mlknez's picture

The update went smoothly for me on Windows 10 and now it supports multichannel audio via my ExaSound e38! I still have not found a way to navigate my music by physical directory structure. Is that option available?

markbrauer's picture

I have avoided Roon because I was never able to confirm that I could access my music via the physical directory structure. I have many years invested in my own music organization scheme and don't want to lose that. Can Roon do this? If not, is there a plan to add this functionality in the future?

DH's picture

Go to the Roon community and see what they have in mind. It is limited.
But Roon works on tags. Tagging makes all the difference. Use the "focus" feature and sorting possibilities are endless.You can also save a focus for future use.
In 1.3 you can also do any sort you want in categories like "tracks" from the navigation choices.

markbrauer's picture

Thanks for the tip. I did browse the Roon Community and found that there are many users asking for access to music through the folder structure. Responders also all mention tags, and I can see that I could go through and create tags (on my thousands of files) that mimic my longstanding folder structure, but it still seems I would not be able to view then as a tree hierarchy. I want to be able to select, say, Classical and get a display that shows Chamber, Orchestral, and Vocal. Then when I select Chamber I would see Solo, Duo, and Ensemble. Select Solo and see Bach Violin, Beethoven Piano, Haydn Piano, and Mozart Piano. Select Beethoven Piano and see Brendel, Gould, etc. With this kind of very natural structure I can and do very quickly get to any album I want. Until I can be sure that Roon will present my music like this, either directly from the folder structure or through automatic tagging based on the folder structure, I guess I will have to pass. This make me sad because Roon's ability to intermix Tidal into my own catalog is very attractive. If I am missing something here, and Roon can support my needs, please point it out. I would jump on board in a minute.

Kalle12's picture

I have similar way of handling my physical directory structure ie I am very detailed and careful with the directory. And I am using Roon at the moment.

Lets start with the good points. You do not lose any of the physical structure if you start using Roon and of course you take backups before you do any changes in your system.

Second good point is that if you for some reason want to play music by scrolling your file structure and selecting music via that, you can always use other players.

I think you have missed the basic idea of Roon. The basic idea is to hide the computer world. You have a music collection and/or Tidal account and you want to play music. You select the music based on what mood you are, are you alone or listening with spouse/friends or if it will be just background music. You think about genre, artist or similar factors and Roon is targeted to that.

Most people are not very good with computers and they do not keep their music collection in shape. Then it is best to allow the sw to take care of the metadata.

Personally I have been very happy with Roon and it does not disturb my physical file structure at all. Just test it, try the different approach and see if it fits you.

amazme1's picture

I reached out to Roon support to try and find out why Room hardware connectivity is so complex that audiophiles can’t easity buy the software and connect it to a streaming box with internal storage. The response I got back didn’t address my question. Going to The Roon blog, leads me to believe that I’m not the only audiophile who can’t understand what’s going on here. What I do get is that Roon on Windows is more complex to set up than on MacOS, and that many users are struggling to find solutions to their connectivity issues. I recognize that users, rather than purchasing just one integrated hardware product are trying to stitch together several components in order to save money and this approach is complicating their setup. I hope that the company will work closer with audio hardware makers and users to simplify this process to a less painful experience in the future.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...of my experience.

Without knowing the details of your setup, I cannot offer any help. However, if you have Roon Core/Server running on your network and you connect a new Roon Ready Endpoint(s), these new "Audio Devices" will automatically show up in the Roon Remote app.

In other words, it is a Plug In and Play kinda deal.

amazme1's picture

Let me be clearer. Roon's email support in my case was disappointing. Their support person didn't understand my question, failed to get clarification, and directed me somewhere else. For a $500 software ptoduct, you better understand that terms like "Roon Server" and "end points" are meaningless unless you are knowledgeable about the concepts involved. The forum is filled with folks struggling to resolve their issues. I was just trying to understand how I could buy a Roon compatible all-in-one streaming box with internal storage at a reasonable price that I could talk to with Roon running on my MAC desktop and they couldn't answer this simple question. Now I know that since I posted this clarification of my issue, that all the helpful folks out there will reply with their answers. But please understand, I won't buy a software product unless the company can first demonstrate that they can deliver good customer service and Roon hasn't done that for me, so please hold all personal comments and let Roon respond.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...this link may be of interest:


Michael Lavorgna's picture
Michael Lavorgna's picture
...you'll see the Bluesound Vault 2 on that Partner Devices Matrix list which appears to fit your wish list (depending of course on how much storage you need and what you consider to be a reasonable price):

Bluesound Vault 2

Chrisg2229's picture

I have used Roon both with Windows Server 2012 and now with Windows 10 and it's very simple. Just load Roon onto your PC, put the app on a tablet and viola!, you're in business. And I have also found that it finds endpoints very easily...provided the endpoints aren't a problem as was the case with a SOtM sMS-200 that was being difficult, but a few reboots of the endpoint solved the problem.

I love Roon and 1.3 is even better - both in terms of features and SQ.

DH's picture

I find HQP superior. A clearer sounding result, at least up sampling to DSD.
But 1.3 is notably more efficient with CPU cycles, which is great, no matter whose upsampling you use.

gtgleeson's picture

I'm excited to see the API. It's just a beta in 1.3, but hopefully it'll allow Roon integration with my Crestron whole-house system.

garrettnecessary's picture

I really like 1.3, although it's been a bit buggy on my system. I must admit I'm skeptical of upsampling. I don't really understand how it would improve things if the digital files are at a lower sampling rate. All the more so for "up sampling" non-DSD files to DSD. I've heard people say it provides more air, but if the air is an artifact of the up sampling not in the particular acoustic recorded I can't see how this is a good thing.
Is their a clear explanation of why up sampling is a good thing?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
The most convincing explanation that I've heard suggests that most DACs have a 'sweet (operating) spot' in terms of ideal performance. In a very general sense, sending a DAC only X (bit/sample rate), and with HQPlayer adding pre-DAC filtering, not only hits this ideal X performance spot but may also relieve the DAC of some internal processing.

So I would *not* say that upsampling/upconverting adds "air", rather it allows the DAC to perform better with audible results.

garrettnecessary's picture

Thanks. That's helpful. If that's the case the ideal sampling rate should vary quite a bit on different DACs and sound worse with some kinds of upsampling. And some DACs should sound better without upsampling due to their design.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
I also think its safe to say that chip-based DACs, which rely on in-chip processing, that use the same DAC chip may have some commonality.

But I agree with your larger point which is why using a highly customizable tool like HQPlayer allows the user to dial-in these parameters for their specific DAC. To taste.

garrettnecessary's picture

It would be interesting to have a few DAC makers discuss pre-DAC upsampling. I'd love to know what Bruno Putzey thinks since he designed my DAC!

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...what Bruno would think ;-)
garrettnecessary's picture

Which is part of the reason I'm skeptical with my DAC. But it would be interesting to hear him say it, and compare what other great DACistas think.