Roon or Audirvana and why

I wanted to reach out to the community and ask for your help.

I was wondering what everyone thought of each: Roon and Audirvana?
Which one would ‘you’ recommend for a 2018 MacBook Pro and why?

I currently have both Tidal and Qobuz, both using their own desktop/app on my MacBook Pro.

Not sure if this would make a difference or not but I have an iFi iUSB 3.0 in the chain.

Thank You for the help as it is appreciated!

Another pice of information that is probably important. I do not have a home network setup for sending music to multiple locations as I just have my main headphone system(desk system) and my main 2-Channel system(family room system).

Again Thank You



I love Roon for its Radio with Tidal and overall UI, but Audirvana is clearly better soundwise, especially in detail and stage depth.

PS. I’m on Win10.


I very nearly opened the same topic after installing Audirvana on my Win10 Pro laptop yesterday. Sound quality on the Audirvana player floored me in comparison to the individual vendor players for Qobuz and Tidal. Also difficult to beat their one-time $75 subscription fee.

Started researching Audirvana a bit more, and I read an archival post where someone christened the application, “Roon Lite.” Clearly, Audirvana won’t provide (yet anyway) some of the features Roon provides. Just remind yourself that you clearly save a ton of money over Roon at $119/yr and $699 lifetime.

But you have to wonder if/when Roon will achieve the sound quality that Audirvana provides today. Thankfully, I have a 30-day trial over which to sort this out myself.


I’ve seen some other reports that Audirvana bests Roon in sound quality. I’m generally interested in whether anyone’s done blind testing, as I can’t hear any notable differences in a quick comparison (various 24/96 Qobuz tracks on Windows 10 PC --> USB --> Schiit Bifrost 2 / Jotunheim (Balanced) --> powered Ruark speakers or HD650 with C3 Audio balanced cable).

If the consensus is that Audirvana is better, what is it about their transport that betters Roon’s RAAT protocol, I wonder?


Here’s their webpage on technology used:

The part that stood out for me was DAC optimization (which I noticed after Audirvana setup my Codex nicely upon installation):

Audirvana provides the internal or external digital-to-analog converter (such as a USB DAC, streamer. or wireless speakers) with a “ready-to-play” digital stream (properly decoded format) thus reducing its processing load. It is even possible to allow the DAC to avoid oversampling by running higher-performance algorithms (SoX) directly in the computer which offers much more computing power (in 64-bit systems).


Both Roon and Audirvana are bit perfect. It’s the same data from both apps. They sound the same to anyone who isn’t succumbing to confirmation bias.


These aren’t definitive statements but here is my take on it :wink:

For me, I personally having listened to both back to back, Audirvana was “sweeter” sounding. While Roon provided a more neutral sound, but, the service beyond sound was exceptional in providing details about the bands, and also organization and GUI.

Also, these are fairly small differences, some people will pick it up easier than others. Some others will just say I can’t explain it but I like a more than b or vice verse.

It’s awesome how everyone hears things in their own way. Allows for a lot of diversity in this hobby.


I’m not sure about Audirvana but I have noticed a few things about Roon that may be interesting. If you use WASAPI on the output device, use exclusive mode to avoid oversampling or resampling. Resample artifacts are very noticeable and annoying, kind of like a digital smearing effect. WASAPI and exclusive mode on Roon reminds me of a much more accessible version of foobar’s WASAPI push, although I believe there is an event option as well.

If you do want to run it in non-exclusive mode for convenience sake, say if you’re listening to music and want to quickly switch to a YouTube video or another program’s audio playback, I have yet to discover a way to do this without the re-sampling. Using the default Tidal player without exclusive mode doesn’t have re-sample issues.

The nice thing about Roon’s WASAPI exclusive mode though is that it allows you to bypass Tidal’s player, which is known to have a negative impact on quality.



1 Like

To the person who flagged my post. Very mature. You can’t win an argument using logic or facts so you flag a person’s comment because you’re butt hurt that a person dares to question the varacity of your subjective opinion.

I’m not the one that flagged your post, but I can say your dismissive tone and unwillingness to engage in respectful civil discourse makes me applaud the person that flagged your post.


I’m not apologizing for having a difference of opinion. If you can’t accept that your perception is flawed, confirmation bias is real, and that bit perfect means what means and is not a subjective notion then there’s nothing to discuss really. I said to each their own. In the end, your delusions don’t affect me. I do wish people who disagree with logical arguments rooted in facts weren’t so thin skinned. I didn’t know you needed to be mollycoddled because your unwilling to deal with your own cognitive dissidence of being wrong about something like an adult.

I think you can state your point and your case without belittling or insulting others and state your perspective and move on having known people saw your perspective and can consider it.


Now you are just being rude, and combative.

This is an inclusive forum…keep that in mind please.


This right here is very important.

Disagreement is a great way to learn things, but we absolutely need to be respectful to one another in the process.


I didn’t know stating a fact to combat a subjective opinion was rude. I think you think I’m upset or something. I’m not. Why are you? What exactly was so rude in my statement?

Assuming that someone who doesn’t share your viewpoint is delusional may have something to do with it. Also, in this case you’ve created a false dichotomy of “either you agree with me or you’re not able to recognize facts”, along with a number of other false conclusions about being an objectivist. This kind of stuff isn’t helpful.

Moreover, you can actually recognize and value objective information while at the same time report experiences you aren’t able to validate. Maybe that leads to new information, maybe not. But you don’t know if you dismiss experiences like that.


You beat me to it, but this right here is the correct answer.


Your way of of conveying observations of this thread is as concisely refreshing as your reviews! Well stated, sir.


Excellent answer @Resolve