Roon Remote is designed for inside the home. ARC is designed for outside the home. Roon supports more advanced functionality including DSP, metadata editing, and zone setup, whereas ARC offers Roon’s key functionality on the go.
Yes, ARC is a client of your Roon Core.
In other words, your Core holds most of your Roon data, files, and preferences and ARC pings your Core for this information. There’s deliberately not much data stored within ARC itself. Your Core remains the brains of the operation so that ARC can remain as lightweight, and nimble as possible.
Because this setup requires regular communication between ARC and your Core, you’ll want to ensure that your Core is always on and has sufficient upload speeds. For best results, we recommend connecting your Core via ethernet cable directly to your network.
ARC should perform without issue on most modern mobile networks, but feel free to use WiFi when possible for even faster results.
Any changes you make on ARC will show up in Roon and vice versa.
Because of the myriad of situations which can come up when using a mobile app (e.g. editing a playlist in a tunnel), there may be a slight delay for ARC or Roon to update. However, in general, ARC should update automatically. If data ever feels out-of-sync, you can simply pull down to trigger a refresh and data sync.
If you would like to override this, you are able to adjust these settings. Under Settings > Playback you will see the option for audio quality and from there you can set exactly the quality level you’d like ARC to use for mobile data or WiFi.
Here’s exactly what our settings mean:
Yes, you can! ARC works seamlessly as a bluetooth audio input for most vehicles and will even allow you to view your artwork and control playback right from your car’s interface.
We look forward to making auto integrations even tighter in the future and are investigating support for CarPlay and Android Auto.
By default, ARC is set to download in original quality and preserve your data by only downloading on WiFi. However, you can override this setting and proceed to download from mobile data.
To do so, go to Settings > Downloads and turn off “Download on Wi-Fi Only” or simply attempt to download something on mobile data and ARC will prompt you.
Downloaded content exists on the profile level and will be shared between profiles on the same account.
Yes, ARC supports library management on the go. This includes updating tags, playlists, and favorites, as well as adding and deleting content from your library.
For now, ARC and Roon have separately managed queues, however, if you would like to borrow tracks from a recent Roon session in ARC, your Recently Played will show you the most recently played tracks from across Roon and ARC. Playlists are also shared and synced between Roon and ARC.
Not yet, but we plan to bring Roon’s Live Radio experience into ARC in the near future.
There are many factors which might affect ARC’s bandwidth usage. Let’s break them down.
First of all, ARC uses mobile bandwidth for several purposes—synchronizing between your library and your Core, browsing within ARC, and playing music. Of those three, playing music is the largest consumer of bandwidth.
If data is a concern, we recommend using the “Bandwidth Optimized” setting as it has the smallest data footprint.
Files: The original file will be transmitted to ARC and decoded/played on your device
TIDAL: The highest quality format allowed by your subscription will be used
Qobuz: The highest quality format allowed by your subscription will be used
Files: The original file will be transcoded to 16bits at 44.1kHz or 48kHzTIDAL: ARC will request CD quality FLAC from TIDAL.
Qobuz: ARC will request CD quality FLAC from Qobuz
Files: Lossy files will be transmitted to ARC in original format. Lossless files will be transcoded to 256kbps Opus
TIDAL: We will request “High Quality” from TIDAL, typically this means 320kbit AAC
Qobuz: We will request “Standard Quality” from Qobuz, typically this means 320kbit MP3
Files: Lossy files will be transmitted to ARC in original format. Lossless files will be transcoded to 96kbps Opus
TIDAL: We will request “Normal Quality” from TIDAL, typically this means 96kbit AAC
Qobuz: We will request “Standard Quality” from Qobuz, typically this means 320kbit MP3.
The original file, in its original format, is downloaded from your Core to ARC.
Your files are streamed from directly from your core.
What happens along the way is determined by your playback quality settings. By default, if you are on a cellular network, the files may be transcoded to a lossy format on the core to save bandwidth. If you are on a wifi network, files are streamed in their original format. These are the defaults, but you are able to customize each quality setting based on whether you’re on mobile data or Wifi.
For already downloaded files, playback settings will have no effect. If you’ve downloaded FLAC, we will play your unadulterated file directly from your phone.
If you have any questions, signal path will transparently show you what is happening at every step along the process.
Tracks and albums can be mastered at wildly different volumes and dynamic ranges. In fact, over time, music has generally been getting louder. Without volume levelling, the differences between adjacent tracks would sound drastic (imagine listening to Simon & Garfunkel and Megadeth back to back).
We believe that smoothing these differences in perceived volume is important to ensuring a smooth listening experience, as such we’ve automatically enabled volume levelling. If you’d like to see exactly what’s happening, you can always see the adjustments being made in signal path.
That being said, if you’d like to switch this feature off you can do so in settings.
No, but this is something we are considering for the future. ARC will play MQA files from Tidal or local storage at their native PCM rate of 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.
Yes. ARC supports DAPs running Android 9 or above. We are beginning to test performance on various DAPs and are expanding our internal testing program. Please let us know which DAPs you are using with ARC and how your experience is.
Yes, ARC uses RAAT just like Roon and has the same capabilities with regard to USB DACs.
On iOS, bit-perfect playback is possible up to 768kHz / 24bit, and DSD256 using DoP.
On Android, playback on a USB DAC will sometimes yield a higher sample rate than the native rate of the Android device.
Not yet, but this is planned for the future.
Not yet. For now, ARC supports playback through your phone, tablet, or DAP using built-in outputs, USB, Bluetooth, and AirPlay depending on what your device supports. Allowing control of Roon zones is something we have planned for the future.
When audio is transmitted from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, it is compressed using a Bluetooth audio codec. Virtually all of the time, this is a lossy codec, either SBR or AAC. In particular, on iOS, it is always lossy, as iOS devices only support these two codecs.
It is possible for other codecs to be used if the mobile device and the bluetooth device support it, and there is a lossless bluetooth codec on the horizon, but as of fall 2022, it is only supported on a few devices, so for all intents and purposes, it is best to assume that any situation involving bluetooth also involves lossy compression of the audio stream.