Annual vs lifetime (tough decision)

Today is my day to decide. I have already put 3-4 years into Roon… wish there was someway I could get some discount on lifetime… but I see I Can’t. So now the question annual or lifetime. Its a tough one. Anyone else in a similar position, what did you decide?

Lifetime, an easy solution. :slight_smile:


It sucks that you can’t get any credit for the previous few years, but you may as well do lifetime now before you pay for another year that won’t count towards it. It may go up in price or it may disappear, so I say go for lifetime


If I had it to do over again, I’d stay year-to-year. I am in year four of a lifetime subscription, and I am finding that I am using Roon less and less these days. Instead, I tend to simply use the native apps for the music services I use.

Nothing wrong with Roon, but it adds a level of indirection for flagging favorites, doesn’t support the “My Mixes” in Tidal – and meanwhile the native apps keep getting better and better. Plus I prefer Idagio for classical, and Amazon has certain obscure titles I can’t find anywhere else. Pandora still offers the best “radio” in my experience. Audirvana superbly handles the DSD titles I own (without charging a recurring fee).

I fear Roon may become less and less of a value proposition over the next few years. No way would I pony up $700 at this point for a lifetime subscription. Six years to break even?

If the various music services would better cooperate with Roon, it would be great to have everything under one roof, but most services do not cooperate and likely will never do so.


I just did my renewal before Xmas, I went annual

$700 is a lot of money , I’m in South Africa so the R $ exchange plays apart. It constitutes a good portion of my pension :cry: in one month …

My decision was based on

1 - Payback … I am 70 , fatalistically will I make 76 and will I still be an avid listener at 76

2 - less so will I still be using Roon in 7 years time, indeed will Roon still exist in 7 years time

3 - probably the real decision, annual fits my flexibility and finances better. Everything else is monthly/ annual why not my music service , that’s what it is a service

If I was younger , well…

And yes I should have done Life 4 years ago but I didn’t


The problem is if you have local files. I don’t see tidal, qobuz or w/e ever supporting local file integration. Not to mention their software is pretty slow and clunky compared to smoothness and organization of roon.


I’m still on annual - the US$700 is a sh*tload of Canadian pesos for a one-off, which is a main reason for hedging my bets. Also, who knows what the hires streaming environment will look like in a few years time and whether Roon will be able to keep up with the evolving markets with Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon, and all the rest. Unfortunately I think they are small players and will eventually run out of runway. Canada is a small market so if all the hires streaming services disappear (which I would not be surprised at) I’d just hunker down with the Lumin app and whatever I already have and/or can buy for download. Oh, and Spotify if I really really had to.

I love Roon, but with no access to hires streaming integrated into Roon I would be outta here.


I’m new to Roon, my trial just ended so I’m actually month to month. I’m enjoying it. Roon actually made me sign up for Tidal HiFi since my kids want Spotify. But I’m on the $4 Tidal deal and will be on my kid’s student discount for $10 once the 4 month promotion ends so not too bad.

For Roon, I’m really liking it. I have it on my home office desk setup with a MQA DAC and a nice near field setup. It’s on my main home theater, the Mac Mini core is directly connected to the Marantz processor, so no MQA but 24/192kHz. Then I have an upstairs mini system (3.1 and my older 65" plasma TV with a Raspberry Pi endpoint with HiFiBerry DAC getting 24/96kHz. Other endpoints are my old Sonos devices and a headphone setup with a MQA DAC/amp.

I definitely have enough endpoints to justify the purchase but I’m gonna go month to month for about 4 months then maybe go lifetime. I’m not tied to Tidal or MQA but I like it as of now… but Roon adding Amazon HD has a “backup” would make me feel better about buying lifetime. I’m not 100% sure I’m keeping Tidal HiFi and don’t want to use Qobuz.

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May I ask why you don’t want to use Qobuz? I’m asking out of interest. I have Tidal, Qobuz and Amazon HD.


Cost. No student discount that I’m taking advantage of… while I’m not a student, my daughters are and since I pay for their Spotify, I’m justifying it in my head it’s OK, LOL. And I’m not a MQA hater, so I’m enjoying watching the in-depth Roon Signal Path.

Just found Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion” in MQA 192kHz… can I hear a huge difference? No. Do I like seeing that it’s playing it at that resolution? Yes. Just being honest.


I’m waiting for my subscription to end a Qobuz, it’s cheap for a reason if you want full integration.
Qobuz is ok if you want basic Roon usage.

Other than that.
It has no radio or station functions.
No my mixes.
Poor mobile app.
CarPlay does not work unless content in downloaded.
Sign out for any reason that content is lost.
It has no function to restore offline content.
On IOS in artist view many albums will not be listed.
No connect function like Tidal connect.
Support is useless.

It has many issues if you want to use is as a full hi-fi and mobile based service.

But I’m on yearly Roon, it keeps a revenue stream going and means I can opt out if I no longer use the service.

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Streaming, both video and audio, I prescribe to Netflix, NOW TV, Amazon Prime, Disney + and Tidal at U.K. prices. I did also prescribe to Qobuz for a short period to assess it. Add all of that up for a year and it actually dwarfs an annual payment for Roon and made lifetime much more palatable at the old price. I don’t know if I would part with $700 today though, especially in light of the new Monthly tariff. But I seem to remember that when I decided to make the choice I upgraded before my annual subscription was up and was very happy when I did.

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I only subscribe to Tidal as have Roon lifetime… Ahh Britbox also as BT offered 6 months free. I won’t subscribe to anything else at this time as I won’t have time to reap any benefit. BBC Radio and BBC sounds app are free along with terrestrial and Freesat TV.
Annual Subscription is best for Roon in the long run. Choices, choices, whilst you have them…

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I wrestled long and hard with this decision a few months ago and that was one reason for choosing lifetime. It saves me having to repeat the exercise every year.

There were a number of underlying reasons for coming to this conclusion.

  1. I have been hooked by Roon and wanted to show my support, in the hope that my relatively modest contribution will help it to invest and thrive.
  2. It has become a standby used almost every day and therefore my expectation is that I will want to enjoy it forever.
  3. This may or may not be a good commercial decision. However, if both Roon and I survive six or seven years then it will have been justified.
  4. If by any chance I don’t make it, frankly an upfront investment of $700 is the least of my problems.
  5. None of us knows what would happen if Roon was eventually subsumed by one of the big players but in that situation I like to think that my lifetime subscription could roll over and become even more valuable.
  6. Bearing in mind the amounts that so many of us apparently spend on hi-fi equipment, this additional investment ($580 for an annual subscriber) is quite inconsequential.
  7. As a general rule, I much prefer to buy things out right rather than renting them. These days, few people even think about renting a DAC or a set of speakers, so why think differently about software?
  8. That last point is enhanced when you think that unlike hardware, while Roon continues, I will always have the latest version of its software.

For me, a much more interesting debate would be whether I would buy a lifetime Qobuz subscription if one were offered at five or six times the annual rate. Then, the longevity of the underlying company would be a more serious concern, since there already appear to be too many competitors in the market.


That’s much appreciated. BTW, my listening impressions aren’t very different… :wink:

I must say my use case is VERY different from yours. Actually, I don’t use any of the things you listed in your post (no radio/station function, no mixes/playlists, no CarPlay, no Tidal connect etc.). In fact, I only use my streaming services to discover new music and to get a reliable impression of what the recordings I’m interested in sound like (on my main system). If I really like an album (both musically speaking and in terms of SQ), I buy it (most of the time via Qobuz). That’s why I exclusively have locally stored music in my Roon library.


I hate the idea of monthly or yearly charges, I get that it helps roon to have a steady income flowing from subscribers, during my evaluation I went lifetime, wasn’t cheap, working at home has allowed me to listen to so much more, drat if I ever have to go back to the office!


Boils down to how long you plan to stick with it. The payoff is a little less than six years. If you keep and use Roon for more than six years, it’s all gravy after that.

Annual for sure. No way of knowing what the future holds. Roon’s development process is glacially slow - they still can’t do simple things like search properly, or respect the orientation of you IPad. Qobuz and/or Tidal could fold, which would diminish Roon’s advantage, or they could get stronger. Someone else could come along with a better/cheaper product - LMS now integrates your own music and Qobuz, and allows you to build your own views. So annual for me. Roon want my money, they have to earn it every year. And when Roon can’t find Dolly Parton’s albums I ask myself why I am paying anything.


I am a lifetime member and went in without hesitation a couple of years ago. Even though I am now only using Roon with my rather small music library, because I mostly stream and because I switched to Amazon Music HD, I am still very happy with it and I don’t know of anything comparable out in the marketplace.

So, I would say that if you like what Roon offers, it would make sense to go in on the lifetime, because there is nothing better in the marketplace, get it while still available and at this price, and I doubt anything quite like Roon will be coming.

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