Signalyst HQPlayer - Is it worth the upgrade?

I have been reading high praises in audio forums about HQPlayer rendering the best sound quality from Qobuz or Tidal. I realize best is subjective in the context of one’s system and end user’s personal preferences driven by choice of gear and budget. 

I have been a long time Aurender user and also been using Roon now for past 3 years. Those who have read my posts knows my take on Roon as not the best sounding renderer when directly compared with Aurender’s Conductor app. Others may disagree with my position on Roon but those are my findings within the context of my system. I do enjoy Roon interface for obvious reasons but not so much the sound. 

The purpose of my post is to explore the possibility of elevating the sound of my existing Roon player (Merging Technologies + player) by integrating HQPlayer as the final renderer. By doing so, Roon will pass along a stream of bits from my local stored files on SSD and stream from Qobuz. This configuration allows me to enjoy the benefits of HQPlayer SQ and the fabulous library management capabilities of Roon at the same time.

I am seeking opinions from those who have actually compared Roon vs HQPlayer or using HQPlayer exclusively. Did you find HQPlayer worth the upgrade? What hardware or device you’re using to enjoy HQPlayer in your system. 

Thank you! 

PS: Please refrain from posting if you’re in bits are bits, 1’s and 0’s camp or believe high end streamer/servers are over priced and waste of money. 


HQP is fantastic - particularly the new version. I use the M1 Mac Studio to host HQP (with an Intel NUC hosting Roon) and usually upsample to either DSD256 / Sinc-MGa / AMSDM7Ec 512+fs or to PCM 768 / LNS15 / Sinc Long. Best to use a Network Audio Adapter (NAA) with it. I have two: a SoTM Trifecta + SBooster and also a Sonore opticalRendu setup.

There is a trial version of HQP available. The barrier to entry is the relatively unfriendly GUI / manual for the newcomers.



I run HQPlayer and Roon on an M1 Mac Air laptop to an Innuos Zenith as NAA.  The sound quality of Innuos Sense is better than Roon (most seem to agree with this), and HQPlayer from Roon is a step up again.  I do find HQPlayer sound quality is even better without running from Roon, but with what Roon brings to the table I usually use both together outside of very critical listening,  With the M1 Air I oversample to DSD256 and the sound quality improvement is well worth it for me but will be system dependent.  

@sworksone, Will HQPlayer player run on an M1 Mac Air laptop especially if you are upsampling to DSD 256? I thought HQ Player requires lots of CPU POWER for DSD upsampling? Thanks.

If you use HQ Player, without Roon, how is the user interface work?  Is it easy to use? 


@reg19, @sworksone 

Thank you both for chiming in! Inspired by your feedback, I ordered a mini PC computer equipped with 11th generation Intel Celeron Jasper Lake quad-core N5105 processor (up to 2.9 GHz), Intel UHD Graphics and Windows 11 Pro 64-bit. It will be here tomorrow and I am going to spend next couple of days setting everything up.

@hgeifman I can upsample from 44.1 to 192kHz PCM to DSD256 with most HQPlayer modulator / filter combinations and to DSD512 with some, but I personally prefer DSD256 with some of the more demanding ones.  This is with an 8GB M1 MacBook Air.  The HQPlayer interface is functional but not in the ballpark of Sense / BluOS / Roon.  Roon through HQPlayer is amazing.  It might be the fact that I’m running both Roon and HQPlayer on the same M1 laptop that I notice an improvement running HQPlayer alone - not sure as I haven’t been able to test this.

Hey Lalit-

Have you by chance read through the many threads/posts by Miska and the members at Aphile Style? I know there are more than a few Merging owners there.

HQ Player Software

Why don't you check for yourself - HQPlayer has 30min trial, and after that you just restart the app to continue listening. Plenty of time to evaluate. 

Also, your sentence "actually compared Roon vs HQPlayer or using HQPlayer exclusively" doesn't make sense. HQP works WITH Roon, as addon, and does upsampling, even though Roon has its own upsampling DSP, but HQP is much better. So those 2 apps can't be compared directly. 
Sure, HQP can also be a player, but its not really its selling point, it can't be compared to Roon, not even close as a player or music catalog. 

Benefits of HQP solely depend on your system, what kind of DAC you have and will it benefit from the external upsampling, does it prefer DSD or PCM, do you have powerful enough computer for DSD, whats the resolution and transparency of the rest of the system... So, you just have to test it your self, opinions about HQP setup here are very individual and will be very different from what you'll hear. 


Thanks for the link. I will definitely check it out, looks like lots of good info there. 


I got my HQPlayer up and running as of yesterday.  After 6.5 listening session and few adjustments with default filters/modulators, I found my favorite tracks through HQPlayer clearly had more texture, tangibility, richer tone and detail vs Roon. I was skeptical going in but this is indeed a very nice upgrade over Roon (audio). There was no hint of superficiality and edginess that I experienced through Roon… listening fatigue whatsoever with HQP. 

I tested lot of my of favorite tracks ranging from 44.1kHz to 192kHz, streaming from Qobuz and my local files, they all sounded more lifelike through HQPlayer vs Roon. As far as DSD tracks, I didn’t like what I heard. To my ears, the DSD tracks sounded compressed…it could very well be the filters being used. 

Moving forward, the biggest challenge I see is finding the optimal settings between Filters and Modulators with different resolutions and as little impact to the original bits. For now all I can say if you love Roon and stream via Qobuz, you gotta hear HQPlayer in your system. 

My total outlay so far, $525 (mini PC off Amazon plus HQP License fee). Mini PC is currently powered through stock wall wart. I will add JCAT Optimo 3 Duo LPS in the mix once I gain better understanding on gamut of filters/modulators included with HQP. 

Late to this string but was doing some research.  I tried roon+HQPlayer and Audirvāna.  I was so impressed with HQplayer I bought the desktop version but after checking out Audirvana there is no doubt in my mind when it comes to clarity, texture dynamics etc. Audirvana is better to my ears.  I highly suggest trying out the trial.  It has its quirks - no convolution built in like roon and hqplayer but it is clearly better than roon and tidal and qobuz apps in how it presents the music and  it works with dlna so it is more versatile than both roon with roon cert endpoints and hqplayer naa.  I feel bad I dropped near $300 on hqplayer but hoping they will let me trade it for hq player embedded which works with  dlna to get the best two of the three apps and will be dropping my roon sub as soon as translate some my playlists over.  Just wanted to share my experience.

Did you try all possible filters? I have been following the AudiophileStyle forum too and understand that there are tons of filters you can apply. Might be you want to reach out in that forum and identify the one that might surpass your expectations. Now that you already invested so much, why not give it a shot? If there are folks here who have achieved what they like with HP Player, hope they read this thread and share their filter settings with you.

I am interested in trying this, sounds fun. What would my topology be?

considering: I have Roon Running on an SGC i5. I also have installed HQplayer on the i5. My Bryston BDP is the current Roon endpoint. Then My DAC.

I stream The Qobuz


Slowly figuring this out.  Got HQplayer added to Roon and it appears as an end point.  I suppose now I need to see if one of the USB ports on the Sonic transport has USB out?   

When I try to play a track roon says it can not connect to the HQplayer.  There is a note on the Roon help pages that indicate you have to configure HQP to "Allow control from network". But I dont see that setting in the embedded version I have on the SonicTransport?

@jbuhl that would be the small globe that you need to select. I'm sure you have this, but just in case, here's the link to the Roon HQ Player Knowledge Base, which briefly discusses this. I have to admit, it took me a while to navigate the setup process with HQ Player. 

@jbuhl I'm also interested in running HQP on my sonicTransporter i5. I was under the impression that HQP is a resource hog and the i5 might struggle to keep up. Please keep us posted how it works out for you.

I can’t find the small globe to change the setting. It does not appear in the Sonic Transport interface. Remember the ST is a headless computer controlled via a browser.

I installed an HQPdcontrol app on my iPAD and got that connected but I dont see a way to set the "allow network control".

I got Roon to recognize HQplayer and it appears as an endpoint and when I kick off a track it appears to be streaming as the meters fluctuation are moving beside the track but the progress bar at the bottom in the music control pain does not start progress from 0_______2:00. its like it can’t determine if the stream is being consumed.

interesting none the less.

@jbuhl if you haven’t already, you need to download the HQ Player Desktop from Signalyst which can be found here. If you scroll all the way down the webpage you can find the desktop downloads. Once you open the HQ Player Desktop you’ll see the globe and can work through the Roon HQ Player Guide. Definitely a little confusing. 


@toro3. I dont think HQPe runs with a desktop app.

All a moot point I think as I just found out from Andrew that my endpoint does not speak the NAA protocol. Unless HQPe speaks DLNA I am dead in the water.

@jbuhl gotcha. I tried, but then I thought this may be a case of the blind (me) leading the blind (not necessarily you). Andrew would definitely know! This is where I previously got held up with HQP - streamer not speaking the NAA protocol.