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 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. 




Even as an IT/tech guy, the options/ requirements to implement Roon makes my head swim. Found an inexpensive way to try it, figuring I could upgrade afterward.  Have not looked back. It’s changed how I listen to music. Implementation…

- CDs imported to iTunes using ALAC encoding on a Windows machine. 
- Roon core running on same machine. 
- Apple Airplay adapters (used $30) listening on an eero mesh network. 
- Using my iPhone for the UI. 

Listening to Quad 63s powered by an Mc352 with Marantz front end.  

Short story is after two years, I’m going to buy the perpetual subscription this year. And I’m not planning an equipment upgrade at this time. I’ve AB’d some demanding recording with the CDs with this configuration and can hear no difference. (I do hear the AAC/ALAC difference.)

I, too, wish Roon interfaced with Amazon Music, but Roon sez AZ won’t send them the data needed for it to work. So I use the Airplay rig for that, too. SQ has been fine from AZ except where they show a selection as “remastered.”  Always sounds terrible…

FWIW. Intro to Roon cost me $60 for 2 two systems on the 30 day free promo. $200 annual subscription after that…

Commenting on above, i strongly suggest a wired connection if you can. It leads to significantly fewer dropouts etc., - although mostly if you are sending high rate data.  There are many options to either lower or raise both the SQ and load in Roon (as i described above).  Airplay  also  limits SQ options.  So why? Aside from convenience - and people asking abotu ultimate SQ are not prioritizing convenience....

@zgas-music I think you’re leaving a lot of performance potential on the table using a computer and Air Play. I just bought a relatively affordable iFi Zen Stream for only $399 (along with their iPowerX power supply to further suppress noise) and my streaming sound quality now surpasses the performance of spinning CDs. Also, I think Air Play may limit resolution to 24/96, which seems like an unnecessary limitation to have these days. Last, if you haven’t already by all means do a free trial of Qobuz as it has by many accounts/reviews the best streaming sound quality and the most hi-res content available. My $0.02 FWIW.

@zgas-music on Amazon, if the remastered sounds like crap it because the remastering is crap.