Nine months in the making, Roon 1.3 goes live today with major upgrades, and additions under the hood of the digital audio player, and represents a milestone for what many (including myself) consider the most capable, in-depth player of choice for music lovers. You can read some of my thoughts on Roon here.
According to a release put out by Roon this morning, the latest build includes new streaming hardware support (Sonos anyone?), a new 64-bit pipeline architecture for audio processing, user-configurable DSP, faster file handling, and metadata management.
In a nod to the power of the blue thumbs-up, Roon 1.3 now fully supports social sharing of images you build in Roon itself that can be directly posted to Facebook, Twitter, and Imgur. You can also save the images you create to your smart phone, laptop, PC or tablet.
The audio-processing capabilities now include the ability to perform “dynamic range analysis, EQ, upsampling, crossfeed for headphones, and adjustments for headroom as well as corrections for speaker phase and delay.”
Rob Darling of Roon Labs discusses the release:
RA: There’s a huge amount of additions and improvements in 1.3, DSP in particular stands out to me. What was the motivation to include such complex articulation of the audio signal for end users? Is this not usually handled by speaker manufacturers?
RD: DSP is a really cool feature to have, and important to a lot of people. There have been a lot of solutions out there for DSP that we interoperate with, but by adding DSP to our signal path, you can apply DSP to all kinds of devices you couldn’t otherwise… Since ANY output of Roon can have DSP, you can now add DSP to networked devices like Airplay, Squeezebox, Sonos, and any of the 50 Roon Ready devices.
RA: Sonos support is a big deal for getting a lot more people exposed to what Roon is capable of, how crucial is it that you continue to expand hardware integration?
RD: Sonos- Yes, supporting users in their hardware decisions so they can mix and match devices has always been a core value for us. Whether it is Roon Ready or Airplay or Squeezebox or Sonos, we want to work with the gear that makes sense to the customer.
If we succeed in supporting enough protocols, and we keep adding a wide range of Roon Ready hardware partners, then more and more people will be able to add the power and flexibility of networked audio to their lives.
RA: I don’t see anything about MQA support, are you still waiting for the critical code you need to implement it?
RD: MQA- Yes, we are still waiting for the tools we need from MQA in order to offer this feature.
From Roon Labs:
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”