Sound quality of Roon

I am considering trying Roon.  I have been using my Bluesound Node but I am going to upgrade as I do enjoy streaming more and more using Tidal.  It is quite an investment to get a NUC or Nucleus and then have a separate tablet to control it all.

But apart from the cost I have read some people say Roon does not sound good.  Their streamer by blah blah sounds better.  Is this true?  For all that is required to use Roon, the hardware, the subscription and all, would Roon be popular if it made digital streaming sound bad?

I would love to hear people who have experience comment on this.  There is info on the Roon Labs discussion site but as you can imagine it is saying this is BS Roon sounds great.  I guess Roon as a software also has had updates, so maybe this is a thing that might have been true in the past?  


I suggest the OP read the many videos and reviews on Roon and why someone would and would not use it.  If you want it’s features the set up a core and DAC.  The confusing part is some higher end streamers can be cores and DAC all in one.

i also agree with many here that said unless you get a super high end streamer then there is no sound quality degradation from Roon.  There is something to be said for a high end all in one unit with super short paths and all high end parts and isolation. How can you go wrong with that. 

I for one love Roon. I don’t do vinyl and don’t want to.  Roon is the best interface and it’s way of music discovery is second to none.  I will totally agree it’s not for all but if you want to explore it’s for you. 

Oh my. My post was clear. Roon does not sound the same or as good as Sense in my particular set up. This can be heard very easily unfortunately. Roon sounds great with other streamers I have heard, just not as good as Innuos’s own Sense on an Innuos server in a resolving system.

I house Roon core on the Innuos. It was my core and end point when I was using Roon. No DSP. My dac is NOS also.

I love Roon as an interface. Love it. Just wish it sounded as good as Sense on my Innuos Zenith.

I’ve had a Roon nucleus for 3 years.   I use an iPad for the remote.  Sounds great and the interface is fabulous…I’ll never go back….

This is a great thread especially for someone like me who is new to streaming. 
I do have a question about Roon. I understand the organization and the added value of Meta data, but how can Roon improve the sound from Tidal or Qobuz? Isn’t that what the hardware in our streamers do?

BTW, I put a USB “Y” adapter on my Node N130 and have a 4 TB hard drive and my output to the DAC on the other and The Bluesound software see’s the hard drive and I can play from it or whatever services I want. Easy Peasy.


Roon is pretty well unrivaled in terms of options, interface, and usability. It is, however, a very heavy software. Roon prioritizes features and end user experience over sound quality (although it has improved over time).

There is a tremendous amount of network activity occurring within Roon. High amounts of network activity can contribute to the "harsh" sound often attributed to digital audio. Minimizing network activity within the server can net positive gains. I believe this is a major reason why alternatives such as Sense, Lightning DS, and Stylus are reported to sound better. Taiko set out to mitigate the impact of network activity on sound quality in their proprietary TAS software. This was a major focal point for them, and many SGM Extreme users report that streaming from Qobuz/Tidal now sounds indistinguishable from playing local files.