Do only audiophiles know of Roon/TIDAL

None of my non-audiophile friends have heard of Roon or even TIDAL, but most are familiar with Sonos. I’m old but this is also the case for my children and their friends. Is this typical ?

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While there are Roon users with widely divergent interests and experience, this would be a fair description of Roon’s past in my view. As to the future ? Well the devs vision for the product isn’t limited to audiophiles and simplicity is a design goal.

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In my perception, two things must come together. An audiophile as well as a technology-oriented person. I have several friends listening to the music. But no one is concerned with streaming or roon. They would rather buy a new CD player for several thousand euros than deal with a technology they do not understand.

I think you are right. I come into contact with audiophiles on a regular basis. Almost all are wary of streaming, most are vinyl bigots and none have heard of Roon. I am getting on but have been streaming for at least 15 years. I guess we on this forum are not representative of our demographic(s).

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You can buy Sonos in any chain electrical store and the displays look inviting. This is their top of the range product. To the average punter, this is affordable acceable Hi Fi. Bose do a similar thing with their own shops.
If you want Bluesound even, let alone Roon Nucleas you have to find an authorised dealer. Those shops are intimidating to the average Jo IMHO and so exposure is low.


Most of my friends have moved to Sonos that regularly listen to music and abandoned their own music for streaming or use some crappy bt speaker. Most either use Spotify or Apple music and have never heard of Tidal apart from when I mention it. The know of Roon only because they use it when at my house. Most people will give you a blank stare if you ask them have your heard of Roon.

Not in little New Zealand you can’t.

Agreed. The prejudice is present with a lot of hifi dealers who are not computer or network savvy- unfortunately for audio streaming one also has to some interest in networking and hi res streaming. However I am hopeful - the Roon software is the best piece of software I have seen in a decade in this space and I am actually extremely excited about the streaming possibilities and artists focusing on quality recordings again!

I think you are right when you say techie audio-phile (ish) people. I absolutely would not count myself as audiophile at all, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate and understand a good sound system. OTOH I am very much a techy from audio DSP programming (effects for music production), to electronics, IT in general and have worked in audio production a lot as a audio mix engineer - ie for home hifi - about as techy as you can get almost.

A lot of people I come across who I try to introduce to Roon are coming at it from the position of already using tidal and basically looking for a good sound quality streamer, but they rapidly glaze over when you mention Roon and how it works. It just goes from bad to worse when you they ask what setup you have and you mention a raspberry PI as well.

I think the problem is it is not a concept they can see on a shelf as a single box unit they can hand over the readies for and go home, plug it in and just switch it on. Node 2, Unity Atom etc is probably a better way in for such people. It would probably be helped a lot if someone made a dedicated Roon all-in-one with CD ripping and storage perhaps. With such a unit, then telling people it is also the heart of a high end multi-room audio system then is a simple step for people to take - IF there was a suitable dedicated network DAC unit - ie an off the shelf equivalent of a raspberry with a decent USB DAC plugged into it. Maybe also a version with a display as well.

But then you hit another problem - nearly all such endpoints for other systems are also standalone streamers in their own right as well and can talk directly to a NAS via DLNA - ie plug it in, switch it on and go.

So where does that leave them? Do they position themselves only as the universal ultimate upgrade for all of these Roon ready streamer devices and hope that once the owner of a new atom or node 2 gets home and plugs it in the Roon concept get noticed instead of forgotten?

I can only comment on the UK and that’s how it is. Pile it high, sell it expensive. Or is that BMW :joy:

To be completely honest, two months ago I had not heard of Roon or TIDAL. I really don’t consider myself an audiophile, just someone who is capable of spending WAY too much $$ on stereo reproduction equipment as of late. I avoided my dealer for 15 years, but made a fateful visit a couple of months ago and it was down hill from there.
While I was there I asked about higher quality streaming and TIDAL and Roon came up. I was slightly resistant to Roon at first, but now I cant imagine being without it. I have a pretty beefed up 2013 MacPro that has been doing nothing since I retired, but is now running Roon core full time.


Roon appeals to music lovers first. It’s clear from the forum that Roon attracts a broad range of people who have varying levels of technical knowledge, vastly different collections and very different expectation regarding “audiophile” systems.

Roon is a fairly niche intersection in the Venn diagram. You have to be willing to at least handle computer tech if not troubleshoot it, AND care about music. That may change if/when Roon rolls out a mobile product, IF it is simple to use, since that will be a substantially wider appeal. But that again depends on the complexity of the tech behind it.

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And if you can’t make it simple, make it mysterious.

I only explored computer based and iPod audio when I realized that CDs could be ripped to Apple Lossless. Every subsequent step was predicated on audiophile quality and good UI (Winamp, Mediamonkey, JRiver, then Roon).

Pretty much. I even sometimes have trouble explaining Roon to my non-audiophile friends and family.

I think there are two different dynamics here.

For streaming most people, especially youngsters, prefer convenience over sound quality. So chromecast or sonos to get the music from a phone or tablet to some speakers wins the day. And if that’s where your priorities lie then you’re unlikely to spend more on Tidal for “HiFi” sound quality compared with say Spotify.

The idea of needing a NAS or even worse a dedicated server when your smartphone already does the same job just does not register for many.

A good mate of mine who is really into his music thinks I’m nuts paying £20 a month for Tidal.

I on the other side of that argument would consider getting rid of Tidal to be nuts. Just different priorities.

Then there is Roon. If you’re in the convenience camp and don’t care to spend on better SQ then dropping $120 a year on “better experience”. Well that’s just not gonna fly for many.

As my mate put it when I tried to explain Roon to him, “I can save the 120 dollars and just Google the artists and info”.

He’s not wrong either. Well he is in my books as again I consider Roon an indispensable part of my audio setup. But from his perspective he’s sorted as he has the convenience he craves and doesn’t care about all that better sound quality malarkey.