The poster child of Future-Fi in high-end audio? Devialet’s Expert range of hybrid Class A/D amplifiers (that are so much more). Why? The French manufacturer has lavished as much attention on the Expert’s outward appearance as it has on the internals and sound quality. The result is a super-integrated amplifier – with DAC, phono stage and network streamer – that looks like no other and, if the rumours are to be believed, sells like no other.
Getting Roon – the Future-Fi of software – to send digital audio to an Expert has always been a slightly awkward affair: install Devialet’s AIR and then point Roon at the resulting virtual soundcard. MacOS and Windows only.
The limitation of this one-two manoeuvre is that as soon as the ones and zeroes leave Roon, we no longer a visual indicator of what is happening to the digital audio stream. That makes it tricky to diagnose drop-outs and buffer underruns.
Today, all that changes. The first fruits of an official collaboration between the two companies sees the Devialet AIR code folded inside Roon.
“Starting with today’s release [Build 242 – Ed], anyone with a Devialet Expert or Expert Pro system (all the way back to the very earliest models) can stream high-resolution audio using Devialet AIR technology directly from Roon, without a using Devialet’s AIR driver!”
Roon users are now free to uninstall the AIR app and have Roon automatically discover and stream audio to their Expert (or D-Premier). Linux users are now invited to the Roon/AIR party.
[Nerd note: this does not mean that the Expert (or D-Premier) have become Roon Ready; that would require the Roon code to be installed on the Devialet hardware directly.]
With the AIR code now working inside Roon, push play et voila, the Expert will power up, its network input automatically selected, and the music will flow. Click the Signal Path button – the glowing dot in the playbar – to see the specifics of the AIR stream.
Roon are reporting that the Ethernet input becomes mandatory when streaming DSD64. My advice when it comes to Devialet Expert streaming: always choose Ethernet over wifi whenever possible.
The Expert’s volume can now be controlled using any instance of Roon, remotes apps included, but EQ settings remain adjustable only on the Devialet itself.
Further information: Roon