A comment on the price

Roon as a life time deal is a great value. My advice: get it, before it is gone.


I don’t regret spending a penny on Roon, it opened up my collection and I listen to more music than ever before as a result.


I could not agree more, Simon.

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Roon is just like heath insurance is for the rich. They can buy the medication the insurance wont cover if it is better.
Who can afford $10,000 or more on an audio system? The same people who can afford Roon. I looked at a demo of the software on line. A monster and will do much nice things. I am saving for the last audio system in my lifetime. I will be checking out J-River software because I can afford it. Roon has priced its self out of the middle class market and patterned around rich audiophiles. Sad that too many nice things in life the poor or not very well to do cannot afford. We all love music. I just cannot justify the cost after the cable bill and $20 / month streaming costs. My paycheck wont go that far. Soon I will be retired and have less. Senior discounts Roon?

Roon lifetime costs about the same as the annual road tax on my old van. Running an old van and paying extra road tax is cheaper than having a flash newer van. Choices choices… it depends how you look at it.

Another not rich person here.
I dropped my my cable bill many years ago and that allowed me to get ROON, even without being rich it is all about priorities. I chose to listen to music I love instead of “them” flashing their **** on their channels down my brain.
Roon is not perfect, i.e. I do all of my initial metadata handling in iTunes, which is free on Mac and Windows and then let Roon import it, but it is still a great piece of software. It is just magical when there is an update and it asks me if I want to update my RaspberryPi based endpoint. iTunes will get similar to ROON lyrics this fall, but ROON had it for years, etc. etc.

Health insurance is just that. Roon isn’t any where near as important as that, it is software to use for leisure for the most part (there are pro users). We all make judgement calls about how we spend what money we have. I won’t spend on cables. I think it is folly, and as an engineer I think that if something needs expensive cables to sound at its best, it is badly designed. That will get some people’s backs up but I’m cool with that. And I’ll admit my first spell with Roon left me questioning its cost vs. it’s value, and that was because we don’t normally think of software as being part of a luxury purchase. In the end I went with what felt best to use. And to be frank, I thought Roon was just better than the alternatives.


It’s like smartphones… who needs to spend $1000 on something just to make a phone call? It’s that Roon, like smartphones, brings so much more to the experience.

Audirvana might be an option. $75 USD.

Thank you! I will check it out!

Foobar. Free and frankly better than JRiver in terms of sound. You will have to learn some things, but, that is part of the trade off.

Should software have a sound? Anyway, JRiver sounds just like Roon in my setup. JRiver also has loads of features missing from Roon and missing from Foobar unless you cobble together a Rube Goldberg Lego kit of plugins. Yeah, JRiver UI is psychedelic and impenetrable, but it is a lot of bang for the buck once you get past that.

CJRiver UI is complex no doubt but JRemote is clean neat Control Point

Yes you have to the UI for tagging but-when you listen you use the Control Point

Don’t Exlude config ability in the debate , you can make JRiver and JRemote look how you want ! With Roon you get what you pay for

I use Both in parallel and extensively

Money no Object if it does the job it claims

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I tried Foobar before I started looking at paid options for my music. Foobar sounded really “flat”; I couldn’t get the sound I wanted from it, no matter how much I tweaked the EQ. I then tried out JRiver and fell in love, but they refuse to integrate Tidal. To get the sound I wanted and integrate Tidal left me with a choice between Roon and Audirvana. Although Roon is more expensive, the metadata and music discovery has changed my music-listening habits 10-fold.

I don’t regret my first year purchase of Roon (even though it was an accident because I forgot to cancel the trial). :laughing:



Perhaps its the Developer in me I don’t find JRiver so much complex as comprehensive

The two approaches are so different that they hard to compare. Roon does expand the “Random look” and “Meander” of your Library whereas JRiver allows you to customize views to allow quick access to what you have.

JRiver are softening a little on streaming in their new new release but not “On Demand Album” approach of Tidal et all , my guess is that JimH will never change his view of services like Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz . His view is that they are financially unstable and sinking Dev work into integration then will be wasted

That’s why I run 2 systems. My Samsung sound bar and wi fi speaker and MyGica video streamer both need DLNA so I am have to run a DLNA server anyway, I’m happy both ways

Its almost Roon for new stuff, JRiver for my Existing library esp Classical (The ongoing Big Box Saga, i have NO big boxes in Roon its simply to painful)

I almost Never use the Windows UI for playback, just for maintenance

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Physcedelic ? can I have some of what you’re (NOT) taking/smoking :sunglasses:

Drab would be a better description depending which Skin you choose

I don’t know if the price is right or not. I have a lifetime sub.

To start with Roon cost just an annual sub that was later extended to lifetime as I already had all the hardware needed to host of a NAS and a Raspberry PI and a dragonfly red DAC.

But since then… - lifetime sub, i7 intel NUC with SSDs and a load of memory, new DAC etc - that is actually a really high end expensive steamer kind of total spend - well into Naim princing territory. But I didn’t have to buy it all in one go. it has IMHO a way better and more flexible user experience than I can get out of any hardware streamer that I know of at any price. And, I can have set up additional cheap endpoints - with Raspberry PIs or even chromecast audio until they sadly got discontinued).

So, main zone streaming at a DAC quality on par with high end hifi streamer with a much better user experience and multi-zone without needing another mortgage to add a zone. And as a bonus, fairly well integrated with home automation (OK, so that needed some custom software, but at least it is possible).

The price seemed high for the software, but having lived with it for a while and learned to truly appreciate it, I don’t think the price is really that high. A couple of k for a really good streaming solution vs probably about 4k for something functionally similar from Naim and probably no better sounding?

If I want to improve the sound further - I get another DAC - add maybe another k, and don’t have to hunt around for a 3rd mortgage (after the 2nd mortgage that would have been needed for functional and sound quality equivalence) to upgrade to a really esoteric streamer where I would be paying way way over the odds for its DAC - ie several k.

I think the price depends on how you look at it and how you use Roon. As a desktop PC based library and player - sure its expensive - very. But as a fully utilized high end multi-zone system where you spend only what you need to on each part and no more - it seems reasonable.

Of course several people end in in the worst of spends - they bought Roon and they bought the high end Roon tested streamer and it sounds great. But then I guess Roon is a small fraction of the overall spend, so they probably don’t mind either.


Everyone’s entitle to their own opinion on what’s expensive for software, and I most definitely am not trying to start a flame war, but I personally don’t get that Roon is expensive.

I can appreciate that maybe it’s not in someone’s budget, but that doesn’t make it expensive (maybe here I should say “worth it” instead of “expensive”). I can also appreciate that people might not like subscriptions–fortunately Roon provides an alternative.

I just checked on photoshop price. ~$240 PER YEAR.

There are tons of more expensive examples. Have a look at something like SolidWorks. Yikes. Makes photoshop look like loose change. Granted it’s apples and oranges, but still.

In the realm of computer based music playback software, Roon is very, very expensive.

While not audiophile level, iTunes is free, and BitPerfect adds $10.

Amarra Luxe and JRMC are about $50 each.

Audirvana is $75.

HQPlayer 4 is $250, largely, imho, influenced by Roon’s pricing. I bought HQP3 a year ago for just over $100.

Roon is $500 to infinity depending on if you buy the lifetime license upfront. 10 years of an annual subscription puts Roon at about $1000.

So on just the point of price, Roon is super super expensive compared to other audio software in its specific neighborhood.

Whether or not Roon’s super high price is worth it, is a personal choice. No doubt, Roon, on the library front, is way more advanced than anything else in its market. SQ wise, Roon is not so advanced.

Besides iTunes, the others listed above do not have the resources or talent to take on Roon. But if Apple cared enough about Hi-Res audio to try, with their resources, they could make something as good, or better than Roon, and offer it for free. And that would be the end of Roon.

I truly believe there must be quite a few iTunes (Apple Music) developers who personally subscribe to Roon, how can they not began to bring many of Roon’s innovations to the Apple platform? If Apple Music went Hi-Res, and if iTunes offered Roon’s genius functionality for free, I’d drop Roon immediately and play iTunes using the Amarra sound engine.

It would take very little muscle flexing for Apple to replicate Roon’s functionality. And if Apple Music goes Hi-Res, Roon will be squashed like a bug. Roon is like Frodo sneaking around Smaug, hoping the dragon doesn’t awaken.

Amazon is rumored to be developing a Hi-Res platform, which unto itself is likely meaningless unless it ushers in a Hi-Res arms race with Apple Music and Spotify.

In the long run, it seems Roon’s best hope for survival is to be bought out by one of the big fish. My thought is the real reason Roon offers a Lifetime license is that they anticipate the likes of Apple (or the others) one day creating free offerings that render Roon moot. Knowing that, the Lifetime license allows Roon to grab all the cash they can now in hopes of positioning themselves for acquisition and nice payday for the Roon owners.

I love Roon. But it will one day be gobbled up by these massive companies, either via emulation or purchase. And when that happens, all that I love about Roon will be free, or bundled with a monthly music subscription at no additional charge for the software. And its this fact that gives me pause about buying a Lifetime license. Will all this happen within the next 4 years? I’m not sure.

But its not a matter if if, but rather when.

Roon is what it is because its developers are super talented and creative, not because it can’t be replicated.