Questions & Comments about Roon

I expect to have some free time between Christmas and New Year. I’ve been reading here and there about ROON filters - not using HQP, just the plain ROON DSP and EQ. As most of you know I’m resistant to too much software, and generally am happier turning knobs, but this year I think I’ve gotten equipment worth at least testing on some of the fancier stuff.

The Audeze EQ in ROON is fine for my LCD-i4. Elsewhere on this forum, I saw that there are repositories of both PEQ and Convolution filters available to use on ROON. One of the comments said to use the PEQ as it’s much less computation.
My first set of questions:

1. Is the above good advice?
2. Is there a concern about phase-shift using parametric EQ in Roon?
3. If I use PEQ should I set headroom management to compensate for the largest gain?
4. Do I simply type in the 5 or 10 band numbers from the filter repositories?

I see that there are filter repositories -

Some of the results are quite new and updated. I see files for both my Nectar Hive and for the RAD-0
Is there a preference among repositories? Are they measured consistently over time? I couldn’t find EQ for my older headphones, but even yes for a surprising number of earbuds.

IF there is a concern about phase shift from Parametric, what is the mechanical process for dropping a convolution file into ROON? (I’m on a Mac, if that makes any difference). And again, should I enable headroom management. Normally I don’t, and haven’t noticed any issues with the Audeze presets.

If it makes any difference, I go out via USB (usually) to a Schiit BiFrost 2/64, a FiiO K9 Pro ESS, or a Sabaj a20d 2022.

As mentioned (in respond to a comment of mine) in the above thread about AutoEQ the Convolution filters and the PEQ presets of jaako are generated by software… it’s a stating point of course but I do not know if it is a very good idea to rely only to s.ware for your filters.
Generally as I mention there too, personally I prefer the Oratory1990 PEQ settings.
As far as Convolution filter goes, an issue is the sample rate of the filter, jaako gives only 44.1 & 48KHz.

Does anyone have any other source of convolution filters except Jaako?
Does Audeze mention anywhere the sample rate of their Headphone presets in Roon?

That’s all you need.

Well, unless you have files that are using a sample rate that isn’t a multiple of 44.1 or 48 kHz.

Roon will automatically select the filter for the appropriate base sample rate, and apply it correctly.

Where they’ve provided the convolution filters directly (like they did for the LCD-5 and CRBN, prior to Roon getting the presets updated), they were also 44.1 and 48 kHz.

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Thanks for clarifying!!

Well yes I know it’s the Roon thread but I’m interested using the filters in other software too.
Easy Effects on Linux mainly!
I use (actually trying for now) Roon on my main system setup but on my desktop headphone setup I use Linux!

PEQ has lower resource utilization than using convolution filters. However, the overhead is still so small, relative to the processing capabilities of a modern computer, that it shouldn’t be a deciding factor here.

If, while playing music, you click on the “Signal Path” in Roon, it’ll tell you how many times faster than real-time your current DSP settings are running. Note that this is displayed beneath the name of the audio device and only shows up if the processing speed is 100x or less.

It’s not really a “concern”; it’s a reality.

Roon’s PEQ, like most, is minimum phase. That’s desirable for headphones (which are, themselves, almost always minimum-phase devices). It can be an issue with speaker replay, depending on exactly what PEQ is applied.

Note that the Audeze presets in Roon are done using convolution; they also have the option of minimum vs. linear phase behavior.

ALSO … bear in mind that linear-phase convolution filters will introduce noticeable latency into your replay. Doesn’t matter for music, but it’s worth being aware of so you don’t wonder what’s going on when you hit “play” and nothing happens for potentially several seconds.

You should, otherwise any 0 dBFS value in the source will cause digital clipping.

You can either set a value in “Headroom Management”, or adjust the slider in the PEQ configuration. The effect is the same. I usually use Headroom Management, however, as it applies globally and not JUST to the PEQ function.

But, yes, set this for the largest gain value as a starting point. This won’t always be enough, since both minimum phase filtering and inter sample overs can also result in needing more headroom.


Depending on the values, and where they were developed, you can run into issues where things don’t translate correctly.

Roon’s instructions on using Convolution Filters.

Pretty much ALWAYS when using DSP in Roon.

They way to tell for sure is to turn it on, play your music, and if the clipping indicator (which you enable in Headroom Management settings) lights up - you need to add more headroom.

Note that convolution filters CAN be minimum phase.

Depends on the headphone and how the filter is configured, but they certainly can, and do, result in digital clipping without using Headroom Management. That’s what the “clipping indicator” is for … (see above).


Excellent summary! I just wanted to add that my preference is to use the PEQ slider rather than Headroom Management. It allows me to use just the right amount for each headphone’s unique PEQ settings.

I think 3db of Headroom Management is still desired if you are also using upsampling. At least that is the case in HQPlayer so does it also apply to Roon?

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That’s a smart approach from the headphone EQ perspective.

Headroom Management is still useful on top of the PEQ gain adjustment, however; even if you’re not using other DSP features. This is largely because it allows you to turn on the “Clipping Indicator”, which lets you see if either your direct adjustments, or their ancillary effects, are causing clipping.

With minimum phase filters and EQ you can wind up causing inter-sample overs (beyond those which would be a product of D/S conversion of close-to-0 dBFS signals). You can fix those either by adding some Headroom Adjustment, or by reducing the gain on the PEQ slider. BUT, you can only detect it either audibly, via the “Clipping Indicator” (which requires turning on Headroom Management), or if your DAC can indicate it (the RME units have an “OVR” indicator for it).

Probably the best approach is to use the PEQ slider for the per-headphone EQ adjustment, and then use Headroom Management for any “extra” where needed (and to see if the signal is clipping).

Absent some clever algorithm I’m unaware of, it’s a concern with any upsampling. A 3 dB reduction is a good starting point, mostly because it will tend to be more than is needed in almost any situation.

Some DACs have extra headroom built-in (Benchmark do it on the DAC3, the RME ADI-2 series does it, Chord do it in “DAC” mode). I believe Benchmark and RME have 2.5 dB of headroom for avoiding inter-sample overs, while Chord defaults to 3 dB.


If you have Peace APO installed, you can see the minimum headroom value you’ll want to put into Roon.

Below I have Resolve’s PEQ setup. If you select the graph button (circled in red)

It will open this window:

And the value is 5.7 dB. This means that I want at least a -5.7dB in the headroom management section of Roon. Since my amp has a lot more power than I need, I set it to -8 dB in Roon. Hope this helps.


Wow that’s a really good idea thanks!

There’s a Sound Source update out now that addresses it.

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99.9% of my listening is via Tidal. While streaming has massively expanded my tastes and listening habits, I feel I’m reaching overload, i.e. I can no longer mentally keep track of all the music I’m exposed to, who/what I like/dislike, etc. On the face of it, Tidal’s library management - likes and playlists - should be the solution, but in practice I have just ended up with lists of hundreds/thousands of undifferentiated tracks, albums and artists, with no way of adding any sort of categories, tags and/or ratings of my own.

Is Roon the answer? Can I, for example, create broad categories like ‘Favourite dark ambient’ then add albums/artists to these so that they become the organising principle for my library? Can I give albums star ratings, then view a specific artist with their albums ranked in my order of preference? Can I add notes to artists/albums to remind me how I discovered them, what I thought of them, or who/what I planned to listen to next?

In short, I need a tool to organise my (streamed) music library in a way that reflects my subjective engagement with music, not alphabetised or chronological lists. Is Roon it?

Roon can help in that you can create custom tags. It already has a fairly good set of pre-defined tags. Basted on my listening it has set up the following genres for me (this changes over time):
Art Rock
Prog Rock
Avant Garde
Country (Probably because I like Taylor Swift and Emmy Lou Harris)

and several others. I have not implemented my own tags. I like how it can tell you quite a bit about many artists, that you can chose TIVO or Wikipedia sources, and suggest things based on what I like.

But I feel for the problem - especially with new music, I have trouble keeping track of what I like. If I like it enough I click to add it to my library, so I can find it again.


In my case I have been trying Roon (server legacy) on my very old Mac Mini witch can not run Roon 2.0 and I have been enjoying it quite a bit , knowing that my hardware is not what it should be for the task! I have almost another two months of trial period!
I have great respect for the software and the options it gives to the user!
It is not by chance that it became industry standard!
But… I have been LMS user for quite a long time by now. I am referring to it as “the poor mans Roon” :upside_down_face:
I admit that Roon gives a great user experience and options, but given the price and the quite big number of options LMS gives too I am very skeptical about it!
If I decide to go the Roon way I musk get a NUC for ROCK setup (so that I can run the server the proper way) and minimum a years subscription… that’s quite a lot of money for me at the moment! I repeat given that I can have a close to Roon experience (for my use case) almost for free …
my 2c …


This is a question that should be addressed outside the MQA area, I think. I didn’t go for a lifetime ROON license becuase I have little faith in software and protocol lifetimes. My friend Ward Christensen invented XMODEM, and it had a long life, but we don’t seem to use it today.

I use QOBUZ because I use ROON. and because I pulled the plug on TIDAL when I decided that MQA didn’t do it for me. But I thought it was better than Redbook… Or at least there was a time when artists bought into it and paid attention to their mastering and engineering.

I’ve used Spotify, but just never really cared for it. And I love the ROON database features at least as much as the player (I don’t use HQ Player, but I do use ROON with Sonos).

So what do we see at a ROON future?



If Spotify ever actually goes hi res, as they have been saying they will for years, I’m pretty sure it will kill Tidal & Qobuz and thereby render Roon useless. Who’s going to subscribe to Tidal,Qobuz, or Roon if/when Spotify offers the same audio quality? No one, that’s who. This is problematic for me particularly, because I depend on HQPlayer to upsample my audio before I feed it to Holo May. Without Roon (or Qobuz) that’s a problem. But it is what it is, I guess.

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From everything I’ve read, Spotify HiRes is going to cap out at CD quality. Not that that is terrible, but anyone who cares enough not to use lossy probably also cares about (actual) hi-res beyond 44.1Khz.

Furthermore, higher resolution isn’t the only draw of Roon, Tidal, or Qobuz. Roon’s interface is a major draw, not to mention improved sound quality because of the software. All three have pretty neat curation mechanisms as well.

None of this is to say Spotify is bad; it isn’t. It has a lot going for it. I just don’t think making 44.1 available will change much.


Not for those of us who have ripped our CD collection into lossless FLAC. That alone is worth the price of a lifetime admission.


I use Innuos sense to play my music and it also connects to Qobuz, similar to Roon. Pretty nice interface, tho not as good as Roon. I still have Roon because I have a Rock with all kinds of music on it. I switch my Innuos to Roon mode with a click of a button and then I’m able to use Roons radio/suggestions. That alone is awesome to me. I find a lot of music that way.

Also when I’m out of the house I can use Roon arc and it’s connected to all of my music.

I think Roon always as a place for people like us. If apple would ever allow Roon access to work with them then it would hurt Qobuz, Spotify, and tidal but I don’t see that happening. But even if Spotify went to CD or something a little better I don’t know I’d leave Qobuz atm.

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Sure, but I don’t think there are anywhere near enough people that care about Roon (or higher than CD quality?) to keep Tidal & Qobuz in business once Spotify offers CD quality streaming. It takes millions of subs to keep a streaming platform viable, I would be shocked if Roon has 100K users - it’s a niche within a niche within a niche.

I hope I’m wrong.

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I think the percentage of people on Spotify that care about (or even know about) Spotify being lossy is tiny. The people who are on Qobuz and Tidal are already a niche, and they’re there because they probably care about high res - not just CD quality (but maybe I’m wrong). Roon is already a niche in a niche in a niche.

My point is that I don’t think Spotify getting CD quality moves the needle for anyone.

As for Roon surviving, who knows. I doubt things would get worse for them - they may just hit a ceiling rather quickly. I have no idea whether or not they need to keep growing to stay alive, if they have venture funding, etc. I suspect they’re probably a small company that runs sufficient margins on the user base they have, as I don’t think anything like Roon would be attractive to venture capital.

I suspect they’ll be around for a while as a favorite of a small group of audio lovers that somehow manage to sustain a whole bunch of other small passion companies too.