Why would I need Roon?

I have a Blue sound streamer with plenty of files at my fingertips, via a hard drive plugged in the back and multiple streaming services. Can someone help me understand what Roon would add to my set-up? Thanks. 
You can get a 30 day free trial. Try it and see. Great way to find new music you like as well as providing useful information about bands, performers and their influences
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I don't know that you need roon but the reason I got roon was the user interface and sound quality. In my subjective opinion as I never tested blind is roon has better sound quality over my Node2i, both with my ripped CDs and Quboz. I like the user interface a lot better and the fact with roon I don't really need a dedicated streamer. I let the core handle the streaming and use a roon bridge with RAAT to connect to my DAC. The DAC controls the clock of the stream and IMO gives me a nice simple solution with excellent SQ. 
Ok...finding new music...I hadn’t thought I needed that, but an interesting angle. Information on tracks is a an important plus.
@djones. Good to know. I only recently bought the Node so I’m feeling squeamish about ditching it yet. 
The Node2i works as a Roon endpoint, so no need to get ride of it. 

You will need some device to run Roon core if you decide to go that way. This can run on a Mac/PC on the same network, or a dedicated music server. I use a dedicated Intel NUC running Roon ROCK (which is Roon's optimized custom operating system), but this isn't required. 

For me, the strengths of Roon are:

Excellent user interface with lots of great content about artists, albums, etc.

Integrating content from multiple sources including my own music library (about 1500 CDs), Tidal, and Qobuz. 

Ability to control and synchronize music playing in multiple zones. I have five zones in my house. Most of the time, I'm playing the same music, but sometimes my wife wants to listen to something different in her office.

Excellent sound quality with DSP processing for upsampling and equalization. I use the upsampling in my main system, and occasionally use equalization, particularly for older recordings that need a little help.

After using for a year, I bought the lifetime subscription. Probably the best value for the dollar of anything I've purchased for my music system. 
It has sort of been mentioned here but I want to make it clear what I think is the greatest advantage of Roon is that it is ONE consistent library/interface for ALL of your music whether from streaming services or files on your hard drive or rips in your streamer.

Then... controlling/playing to multiple zones (roon endpoints) in sync.

@pratorious  BubbleUPnP will do that for $5.  Or free, if you don't mind some ads.
I got Roons Core running on and SGC Sonic Transport with a Bryston BDP pi endpoint.  Solid setup. But the Bryston Pi MPD SQ beats the paints off Roons.  Both stream Qobuz and playing Radio Paradise FLAC.  Paid for a years subscription of The Roons and if I can't find a tweak or RoonLabs dont come up with an enhancement I am for sure not renewing my subscription. Might still hang on to the ST cause I can play around with BubbleUpnp.
Benefits of Roon:
  1. Let’s you mix your collection of personal files with hi-res streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz
  2. Let’s you transcode / upsample music from streaming services  (for me transcoding to DSD has sonic benefits)
  3. Roon Radio will basically give you lossless Pandora
  4. Lots of streaming endpoint clients
  5. MQA decoding in software if your DAC doesn’t support it natively
Thanks for the additional information.
I’m probably being cranky because I feel like every time I turn around there’s another *subscription* on my visa bill, and this adds on top of other services.
Ok, got that off my chest — I’m very prickly when I think I’m being nickel-and-dimed, but you’re truly evincing some major benefits to Roon. Seems worth a try.
That said, the alternatives look interesting, such as the Bryston. But…I just bought a Node…so…[scratches head].
Again, with the Node, I plug a thumb drive in the back and I have a lot of files right there in the player.
But, as folks have said, the interface is not as good…
Ok, I need to research what you’ve all said. Been driving all day.
Roon has been a game changer for me. Especially after the horrible way iTunes /Apple music handled my ripped/downloaded files. Love it. 
@big_greg Whoah! Now thats  a lot of text and acronyms on one website! I have no idea what they are talking about.  I’m afraid BubbleUPnP is way over my head and I’m paying for the privilege of staying dumb by using Roon for the same reason I have paid for my Apple products all these years. I bought the lifetime subscription within a week of the trial period.
Dumb is also why I can’t go for any of those, supposedly superior, raspberry pi products and just shelled out my dummy tax for a Bluesound node 2i. I wish someone bundled those pi products up with an easy to understand list of features like an ordinary consumer product. The bluesound node is overkill for what I need. I just want a high-res Roon ready “airport express” with one Digital and one rca and/or XLR out. 

I don’t even have Roon but I’ve seen it demoed at HiFi stores. In addition to what’s been mentioned, I thought coolest feature was wiki-like info available with every selection and ability to jump around to like selections. 

It kinda reminded me (in a music context) of way i felt when I discovered the internet in the early days (pre-Google, pre-aol, I’m talking Gopher exploring days circa 1992ish — whoa! There’s a whole infinite world of information out here! Radical!
1. user interface2. ROON radio >>> any other smart auto-playlist3. a new way to spend too much money :-)4. Sound quality (depending on whether you are using the integrated Bluesound DAC which is << $99 Schiit and way below many audiophile DACs)

I enjoy roon.  The software needs a better search feature (like amazon.com or google) better android app functionality, but it interacts nicely with many receivers, roku devices, google products and my lumin streamer. Its convenient for streaming anywhere in the house and does a great job with tidal and my music collection. Its not  for everyone, but if you do the trial, you may find it enjoyable and may enjoy the additional features it offers over say just spotify or just tidal.
Just a note about tidal it will also continue to play similar music to the last played  list. So that’s not something to really consider unless roon is that much better. I tried it didn’t see the value for the cost but I also only stream and stoped using other digital formats years ago so that’s a consideration  I’ve got boxes of CD’s I’ve not played in over a decade. 
I trial'd Roon and Audirvana.  No doubt Roon has an awesome GUI and some good features.  However, I never liked the sound despite moving everything over to a Raspberry Pi and tweaking all of the settings.  Audirvana just sounds good, no tweaks necessary.  

Room is a luxury. No one "needs" luxeries Many desire them. If you're comfortable in a Civic there is no "need" to pay up.
I would not consider a Room subscription - I got lifetime, and I’m old;)
All the above regarding interface, radio and SQ is correct. UPnP stuff is awkward & ugly, I rarely played music when I depended on those. Also, the truly transcendent DACs from Ayre and DCS are Roon endpoints.
I bought Roon for one reason: crossfeed for my headphones. (I do like the way it organizes my music, though.)
Roon might be a luxury, but it is better than any of the other streaming interfaces available. It WILL be the default interface available.

Considering it correlates with so many software and hardware interfaces you can’t go wrong. 🇦🇺
I had been researching Roon since January of this year and finally made the purchase 2 weeks ago.  To me, one of the best features is the speed in which it can access music from my NAS or Tidal. There is literally no empty air space while it accesses your selection or picks the next song to play. 
Other great features include:

Playlist continuation....after your playlist is completed it continues to play music similar to your playlist and if you don’t like a track it selects for you then you can skip it. 
I have music on in the background while I work and I select a playlist and it plays all day based off the playlist I selected with new and similar music to my playlist. 
The sound quality is significantly better than I was getting through Sonos using my portable hard drive. I’m still using Sonos in some zones and the sound is vastly improved. 
Roon easily plays all types of files including DSD which was not easily accessed before my purchase.  
I don’t have a separate dac or streamer I just use Roon for everything.  
Best purchase I have made for my system easily.  
I have Amazon HD which has a good interface until you try using it through Bluesound.  I would switch to Tidal and add Roon but not sure I can import all my selected music(called My Music in Amazon).  It is literally thousands of songs.  If somebody has done this let me know.  Otherwise, an extensive winter project perhaps?
I'd happily go back to Roon if someone could tell me how to make it sound as good as Audirvana and the Bluesound Node. Both sound much better.  And that's what's most important to me. 
I’d try Audirvana if it would run on an minimalist OS designed specifically for music playback instead of windows or iOS. That could be why Roon sounds better to me.
@djones51 - Why not send it to a Raspberry Pi?  You're already using a Roon Bridge to play Roon.  How is that different?
I do send it to a raspberry pi4 running Ropiee as a bridge. I use ROCK on a NUC for the core running in my office. The difference is I can run ROCK headless 24/7 , it's optimized for music playback,  self updates and I don't have to mess with windows. If Audirvana could run on a small linux distro headless I would try it but I've never cared for any music programs I've tried with windows. Roon is much simpler and I find the SQ superior at least the way I run it I didn't when I tried it on windows. 
@soundchasr said "I trial’d Roon and Audirvana. No doubt Roon has an awesome GUI and some good features. However, I never liked the sound despite moving everything over to a Raspberry Pi and tweaking all of the settings. Audirvana just sounds good, no tweaks necessary. "
Yep, Roon sound stage on my system is flat as a pancake.

i have been using Roon for three years.

The longer you use it and learn how to manipulate and discover your own and the wider music catalogues, the more pleasure it gives.

there are lots of layers and a month might not be enough to really understand what it can do.

Music library’s are getting bigger and harder to manage and organise. Roon sorts this out for you and makes musical discovery and rediscovery an effortless pleasure.

My advice is to forget the trial, rent for a year and then decide if you want to buy.

i suspect any perceived differences in SQ that may exist between Roon and Audiovana are down to the particular hardware implementations in those specific systems with all their variables.

Don't mean to hijack this thread as my question is in-line with the original intent.

I have a Bryston BDA-3.14 which is the BDA-3 DAC and the Bryston BDP Pi in one component.  My Bryston is hardwired to the home network. It sounds freakin' awesome. I'm using a Chromebook running "Manic Moose" (Bryston propriety software) to control the  BDA-3.14.  The way it works is I choose any number of tracks from Qobuz and put them in my play list.  The "Manic Moose" simply sends the QOBUZ URL of each track to the BDA-3.14 which then holds the list.  Hit play (either on remote or in "Manic Moose" and it plays. At that point I can turn the Chromebook off and BDA-3.14 will run through the playlist.  The advantage in my mind is that there is a straight shot from Qobuz through wired ethernet to BDA-3.14, no computer interface/interference.  

I'm told the Bryston can be used as a Roon end-point and do all the good cataloging/suggesting stuff that Roon is good at.  But, my limited understanding of Roon is that it will be processing the digital signal prior to getting to the Bryston.  Is that correct? Honestly I believe the direct path described above is about the best SQ possible for the components involved.  Thanks for any input.  Be as techy as you like.

Just confirmed what @jaytor said. I cannot make do with just my Bluesound Node2i. I’d still need a PC server running soon. A Node2i does not run the Roon “Core” application.

"Roon is a server and client based system so always requires the core server part to be running on a pc or Nas type device.”

This means that if one has bought one of the most popular, affordable streamers out there, one still needs more to use Roon. This is something I hadn’t considered.

If I am wrong about this, please tell me.
Roon is an easy trove finder of stuff to get at. It excels at the depth of information. At times I want to know the players and can’t with my Qobuz/Lumin interface. 
I tried Roon but couldn’t find a way to run my online albums and playlists at Qobuz on a Lumin. Did I get this wrong?
OP.  You need something to run Roon Core.  A decent PC will work and some but not all NAS drives will work.  You can find plenty of suggestions on the Roon website.  

If you intended to use Roon long term, I suggest to invest in a decent NUC - especially, if you intend to use some of Roon’s more resource intensive DSP capabilities like upscaling.  Roon has by far the best music management interface and capabilities of any software that I’ve used to date.  To enjoy it, you’ll need a capable Roon Core host device.  
OP - I believe you can run Roon on your PC and then use the Node2i as the endpoint.  That way the PC does all the work but the endpoint is away from the noise of the PC so it should sound better (in theory, according to Roon).  I use a Raspberry Pi as my endpoint and the PC as the core.  Works fine (although as I stated, I'm not a fan of Roon's sound compared to other providers) 


Your setup is similar to mine except I have an external DACalizer.  When you gots a few minutes to play around why don’t you fire up a Roon core on your network (pc,linux or Mac) host.  Really easy then to switch the BDP to an endpoint.  Roon Core will see it strait away, then just log into your Qobuz account.  I even have a code for a 60 day trial of Roon that came with my SGC ST I will let you have if you want to do some testing.   Get a 2nd opinion on how the MPD running on Manic Moose compares to The Roons.
I would be interested in a comparison of Roon vs. Bluesound.  I have a DAC/ integrated amplifier that can handle either.


Like you, I also have the Bryston BDP 3.0 / BDA 3.0 set up - and find the convenience and sound quality amazing - using the Bryston Manic Moose software.

And... like you... I do not understand how the BDP software can affect the sound quality in any manner.

So... I’m also very curious... as to how Roon, or any other BDP software, can have an effect on the sound quality of what’s being processed by the DAC. It would seem that the BDP software is only providing the digital file to the DAC and that "bits are bits," no matter how they’re being transmitted to the DAC.

So... count me among those that may be skeptical that there is any difference in the sound quality of a digital file until it is processed by the DAC.

Hopefully - there is someone here who has enough engineering knowledge to provide a rational explanation.

Though, I suppose it could relate to how quiet (noise free) the BDP is - some may well be quieter than others, and the interface cable can certainly make a difference in the sound quality (AES/EBU vs USB, etc.). So... I wonder if that is actually causing the difference in sound quality some are noting between software products.
I am using a Bryston BDP-2 as a Roon endpoint, connected to my Roon ROCK via ethernet (with an EtherRegen in between), and AES/EBU connection to my Denafrips Terminator.

I did not hear a difference between Roon and Manic Moose, but far prefer Roon for all the reasons mentioned above (UI, library integration, multi-zone support, DSP processing). 

The Denafrips Terminator buffers and reclocks the digital data, even when using an interface with timing signals (like AES/EBU and SPDIF), so perhaps this is why I'm not hearing a difference.
OP - I believe you can run Roon on your PC and then use the Node2i as the endpoint. That way the PC does all the work but the endpoint is away from the noise of the PC so it should sound better (in theory, according to Roon).

I have a friend that does that. He uses a fanless linux computers, built with a kit and very simply; one stores and processes the files then they're sent via an optical cable to another computer that serves them up to his system. It's pretty amazing.

I've just put a system together, so I may be exhausted and will come back to this, but in my present state of mind, the notion of having another processing unit in addition to the Bluesound Node makes me think that I just bought the wrong streamer. I mean, how complex does it have to be to serve up a digital file? I bet I change my mind after a while, but for now, it feels like a lot.
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+1 @Soundchasr

Tried, but Audirvana sounds better. 
Can deal with GUI for better sound.

OP - I think you're feeling of frustration that some people have with Roon.  You don't just use it - there are many steps to get it right.  Some say it is worth it some say it isn't.  

The raspberry pi solution is a pretty cheap ($50) and easy way to try it out.  

I play with Roon once in a while but for listening, I don't use it often. 
I tried roon on my laptop and could never figure it out. It’s defiantly not easy, and if it’s not, I don’t have the patience for it. Maybe if someone set it up for me and showed me how, other than that, I’d rather listen to music than spend many hours trying to figure out roon. 
If you simply want to try Roon install the core on a computer and it should find your Node2i as an endpoint. Keep the Node2i connected as is , install Roon app on your control device and play once a few simple steps are followed. You don't need to get into DSP, EQ until you get comfortable with it.