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 have been enjoying Roon and Qobuz, running on a Roon Nucleus Plus server, connected to a PS Audio DirectStream DAC with a USB cable for several years now and find the sound quality to be awesome!  I used to also have a Tidal subscription, but didn't need both of them, and had no complaints about the sound quality of that, though doing significant "A/B" testing, for some reason I can't explain, the sound quality of Qobuz seemed a tad bit better.

Before purchasing the Roon Nucleus Plus server, I ran Roon, Qobuz and Tidal on a Dell laptop, USB to the DAC and the sound quality of the USB on the Dell wasn't at all in the same league as the Roon server.

This why I have the Simaudio 280D and 680D in my 2 systems. Running the Mind 2 streaming application on my IPads or IPhone. On occasion I run them through my Roon core that is installed on a MS Surface through my network. I have fiber to clean up the data stream.

95% of my streaming is internet radio, Radio Paradise in particular and I use the Moon Mind2 app and streamer in my 680D. 


i'll add to #lalitk - you do not need a lot of power to run Roon -- big caveat -- unless you want to use DSP and/or synch and upsample to multiple rooms.  The you may.

I trialed Roon on a 12 year old macbook pro laptop running normal software in addition. No issues at all.  USB to DAC.

That's not how i deploy it today, but it works well.


I do suggest a bridge for isolation and to allow you to put roon wherever nad have your system elsewhere

I have a similar set up as oldschool1948 and ejr1953

When I went down the streaming rabbit hole, I started with Roon and thus no experience with alternatives to Roon

I do not have a Roon Nucleus as I have no need to store files

I started with a Roon core running on a Lenovo i4 laptop with 8Gb of RAM, no SSD and wifi connected to my network - it was functional but not entirely stable 

I upgraded the laptop to an i7 processor, 16Gb RAM, with some SSD and wired direct to the network switch

I do not know that the SQ improved but the stability was better requiring fewer reboots and dropped songs

For the record I've never had a song drop on Tidal, with Qobuz I drop approx 10% of the songs

In both cases I found the Roon SQ to be exceptional

I hear the best versions of the same old songs I've listened to for the last 40 years, streaming through Roon to my PS Audio DSD

I cannot recall the last time a played a physical CD

If I could change anything I'd like to remove Microsoft from the equation, not sure that would improve the SQ but all the bloat, OneDrive, AV, patching updates, etc - the timing of such is typically not convenient and I'd like to spend less time babysitting Bill Gates and more time listening to music

I'm happy with Roon and only wished I'd bought a lifetime subscription the first or second year

Happy listening guys and enjoy the journey

"I have read some people say Roon does not sound good." Piffle to that.

Done right it sounds fantastic with no difference between that and the native streamer app. @jjss49 said it all best. You need all the bells and whistles.