DSP Engine

DSP Engine

DSP Engine gives you tools that can create loud or potentially damaging sounds. Experiment at low volume levels until you are confident that things are alright. If in doubt, ask for help.

Getting Started

Each zone has its own, independently configurable DSP Engine:

There are several ways to access the DSP engine.


The list on the left-hand side reflects a list of filters that are applied to the audio stream.
  1. Headroom Management
  2. Sample Rate Conversion
  3. Parametric Equalizer
  4. Procedural Equalizer
  5. Crossfeed
  6. Convolution
The Headroom Management, Sample Rate Conversion, and Speaker Setup filters are fixed in their positions, cannot be removed, and cannot appear more than once.

The remaining five filter types can appear multiple times, and can be added, removed, or re-ordered.

DSP Engine Tips

Pay attention to Headroom Management

Insufficient headroom is one of the most common reasons why DSP configurations don't sound right. Roon provides tools for troubleshooting and managing headroom and clipping during signal processing. For more information, see Headroom Management

Use the Enable/Disable Switches

Both the DSP engine as a whole, as well as the individual sections within it can be enabled/disabled using switches that look like this:

This is great for A-B testing.

If by chance some DSP that you've selected isn't working and isn't showing up in signal path, make sure that the relevant switches are flipped to "enabled".

Keep an eye on the Signal Path If you are playing with DSP features, it pays to be familiar with [[Signal Path]] and get in the habit of checking it often to make sure things are happening how you expect them to be. And don't forget to share your favorite signal paths on the  community.

Pay attention to CPU Usage

Some of the features in the DSP Engine can consume a lot of CPU resources. Nothing beats a nice beefy Core i7 if you want to turn everything up to 11. If you're running on a weaker system, particularly one that is shy of our recommendations, modulate your expectations accordingly.

Use the processing speed indicator to get a sense of how "close to the line" you are. Numbers below 1.0 mean that the CPU on your Roon core is not powerful enough to execute the configuration you've requested. This is about as close to peril as you want to be:

Note that Roon currently runs the DSP engine on one CPU core per zone--so this reflects the load relative to consuming a full core. "2.0x" means you're using 50% of one CPU core to play music in this zone.

Pay attention to Network Utilization

When combining upsampling features with network-based streaming, bear in mind that there's a huge difference between playing something at CD quality and playing the same content at DXD or DSD256. Your network could be working 15 times harder than before, depending on the configuration. Huge differences like this can sometimes expose latent performance issues. This is true of all networks, but _extra_-true when using WiFi or Ethernet-Over-Power.

Zone Grouping

When using RAAT, DSP features and Zone Grouping are fully interoperable. When using AirPlay, Meridian, Sonos, and Squeezebox streaming, there are some limitations.

Not into DSP? Fear Not

If DSP features are not your cup of tea, rest assured that just as in previous versions of Roon, all-digital signal processing is disabled by default, except when it's required to maintain compatibility with your output device. If you never venture into these screens, nothing is different from how it was before. As always, you can verify bit-perfect playback using Roon's Signal Path feature.

    • Related Articles

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      There are several ways to open the DSP Engine screen. From your volume controls: By right-clicking or long-pressing the current zone icon: From Signal Path: Using a keyboard shortcut: Windows: Ctrl-/ Mac: Command-/
    • DSP Engine: Procedural Equalizer

      The Procedural Equalizer is part of the DSP Engine. For more information on accessing the DSP Engine, see here. The procedural equalizer is used for advanced DSP configurations like digital crossovers, custom crossfeeds, and manual room correction. ...
    • DSP Engine: Headroom Management

      Introduction Headroom Management is part of the DSP Engine. For more information on accessing the DSP Engine, see here. Digital signal processing can result in "clipping", or audio samples that exceed the allowed range. These samples are "clipped" to ...
    • DSP Engine: Speaker Setup

      Speaker Setup is part of the DSP Engine. For more information on accessing the DSP Engine, see here. Speaker setup helps correct for inconsistencies in speaker placement or sensitivity. For example, if the speakers are not equal distances from the ...
    • DSP Engine: Crossfeed

      Crossfeed is part of the DSP Engine. For more information on accessing the DSP Engine, see here. Crossfeed is for headphone listening. It mixes some of the left channel into the right channel, and vice versa, while applying filters and delays that ...
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