Roon Debuts Version 1.6 Playback Software

Roon Debuts Version 1.6 Playback Software

Roon, one of the major brands of audiophile-quality high-resolution music playback software, has just released its v.1.6 upgrade. Roon 1.6 finally includes a portal for hi-rez streaming Qobuz, whose US launch is rumored for sometime next month. In addition to pairing Roon’s rich metadata with the entire Qobuz and Tidal catalogs, the upgrade also offers major new features.

Among other improvements, when you choose to play a recording that’s in your personal library, Roon now displays identical or similar tracks on Qobuz and Tidal. As before, it’s easy to click on a little glowing purple star in Roon’s “Play” bar to determine the track’s resolution and signal path. Other information, including recording and/or original release date, is also displayed. If the version you own is lossy, as in MP3 or “Mastered for iTunes” files, you can easily select lossless versions on Qobuz or Tidal.

Roon Radio, which was formerly limited to choices within your local library, has been completely redesigned to also integrate titles in Tidal and Qobuz. By clicking on the “Roon Radio” tab, you can find similar tracks on those services, and add what you’ve discovered to your personal library. Tracks you’ve discovered can also be added to a new “Queue” icon in the play bar, along with your personal commentary.

Roon’s “Search” function has a somewhat new look, and has been redesigned to better locate what you’re searching for. You can also adjust search parameters to either confine results to your personal library, or also include titles in Tidal and Qobuz.

If the services Roon taps for its extensive metadata include lyrics, reviews, bios, artist image, and more, all these will be displayed. From a cursory inspection, this seems to work better with pop tracks than with German art song or Renaissance vocal music. No surprise there.

Roon has also redesigned its DSP engine to make it more accessible and easier to adjust. DSP is now accessed via the Speaker icon at the right end of the “Play” bar. Roon’s DSP includes various filters and adjustments, sample-rate conversion with a choice of filters, DSD processing settings, headroom management, and more. DSP presets can be saved to enable you to tweak your listening experience to your heart’s desire.

A footnote for those with dCS gear: the company’s network firmware 406 and concomitant upgrades for its Vivaldi, Rossini, Bartók, and Network Bridge apps include a completely re-written Roon implementation. The upgrade enhances stability and uses a short signal path that operates more efficiently and promises improved sound. Portals for Qobuz and Deezer are also included.

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