Feeling the absence

While traveling and away from my home Roon setup, I had an opportunity to demo a Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition (which is Roon Ready) at “home” for a couple of days. While I greatly enjoyed the sound and flexibility of this unit (it includes a streamer and plays Tidal & Qobuz, among other features), the experience of selecting music to listen to was shockingly unintuitive. Instead, I had to select my Qobuz or Tidal albums and tracks from within the Naim app. Again, it sounded very good to me, but…

I sincerely wish that I could have used Roon and had access to my Roon library. I think that would have doubled my enjoyment of the entire experience, even if Roon does not sound better with this unit. I know that Roon’s marketing materials used to (or still do?) try to equate the experience of discovering and playing music through Roon with the joy of going through your vinyl collection or browsing through a record store. Being without it during this trip and especially in dedicated music listening sessions made me long for the days when I could get lost in music with Roon.

So, good job Roon for having created this user experience success!

And please get us remote/mobile Roon very soon. I have realized that I have paused on my plans to purchase audio equipment (DAP, portable DAC/Amp, and even Roon for a second location) and even purchase digital music until Roon mobile is released.


Just FYI, you can use the Tidal app because the current Naim streamers support Tidal Connect. With the Qobuz app, you can use Chromecast. (Or Spotify Connect as well if you have that)

Other than that, yes, the Naim app is not the greatest but it’s free and does the job for many people who just want to pick an album to play, and it includes Tidal and Qobuz accounts plus UPnP. I’m not a fan but it’s not that unintuitive, either. (It’s better and has more features on iOS than Android, not sure what you used).

That said, Roon all the way for me

Thanks – I used iOS. I find the experience of both he Tidal and Qobuz apps to be devoid of joy. Yes they work, but not great to explore and discover music and artists.

That said, I didn’t try Tidal Connect, so my comparison is Roon vs Naim app playing Tidal & Qobuz. Does Tidal Connect work if you use the MacOS Tidal app? That may have at least been more convenient for me.

Yes, Tidal Connect works on iOS, just start replay on the Tidal app and choose the Atom from the “play on” button somewhere (I forgot where exactly)

Thanks but I was asking about MacOS not iOS.

Ah, I misread. I guess that depends on whether the Tidal app supports their own Tidal Connect feature. I guess it does, but I don’t know

To add, desktop app support is “coming soon” says Tidal:

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I gave up on using Roon Ready implementation on A&K DAP and Android based DAPs, even in local network, both disastrous in usability and stability, so Roon Mobile is still far far away from mature and stable to use, as a lifer I just use Roon as is and won’t ask/wait for new features as Roon won’t make any promises even priority of new features, even the whole Version 1.8 saga (not finished yet) was struggling with Valence, Generating usable and meaningful Search Results, more sensible Ai recommendations and smarter Roon Radio that won’t repeating the same playlist again and again.

So don’t hold your breathe for anything, when it’s ready, then is ready for users to debug and refine the features.

Not sure you can use A&K to judge how mobile is coming as its completely unrelated. The Roon app works great as an endpoint already, resampling aside and is very stable. A&K hardware and software is the problem, old SoC and crap WiFi implementation. Any modern phone will far surpass them for performance and stability. Add a decebt dac and your away. My Hiby R5 Dap works well on its modest hardware, the A&K went back overpriced and underspeced. They perform fine for local playback but as a network player no.

Roon ready mode on A&K can’t search and play as normal Android app is far from usable as you need another mobile devices on hand to do search, bypassing SRC is the only merit.

Living with Android based DAPs and smartphones with good WiFi reception and faster SoC is far better experience than Roon Ready on A&K DAP other than can’t bypassing the SRC, but at lease can search and play on same device directly.

So I wonder why overpriced A&K is the only DAP maker committed to Roon Ready and no other choice can offer to customers, as the implementation is far from attractive to manufacturers with hassles involved.

Roon still can’t tackle the SRC issue on Android for so many years, so Roon Mobile is even more challenging to implement with good user experience, I’m pessimistic over Roon mobile, but welcome Roon can prove me wrong.

This works through my Cambridge Audio CXN in a similar way , you use the Tidal app and tell it where to play to . It a bit clumsy to start with as there must a track playing so you can go to the Playing Now screen and pick the output zone .(unless I am missing something)

Once set it keeps that setting until the app is restarted.

The Cambridge Audio native StreamMagic app is also a reasonable free app but nothing compared with Roon, it depends how your DNLA server is setup to navigate to albums. Mine is V1 so not Roon Ready so I haven’t experience the Roon use.

BTW @Adeeb how GOOD was the Naim , I am seriously in negotiation with “Management” over acquiring one …

Not sure you understand what Roon Ready is. Its not meant to be a UI. It’s way to playback that’s all no device that’s Roon Ready can search. That’s the job of Roon remotes. It works as its intended to do. A&K decision to add it to the device. I use Rooj on my dap all the time , resampling really doesn’t make that much of a difference to me, be nice not to have it but it’s not as bad as everyone made out. I still use my phone to control it on the dap as its in my pocket mostly and the screens too small.

The problem is A&K don’t allow to load Roon Remote App, Roon Ready mode is the only way to make Roon work with the A&K player, yes, Roon Ready is intended for stationary use, so it’s totally failure to make a Roon Ready DAP, so A&K probably first and the last, Roon ready can’t gain more attention to manufacturers and users.

Roon probably need a new series of certification called Roon Mobile Ready and Roon Mobile Tested.

Roon have already said they are creating a mobile version so that might be something they do there. Good idea.

I agree Roon Reqdy is not really designed for Daps currently but things could change when mobile finally arrives. But then it might not.

I was surprised at how it made my Sennheiser IE900 sound. More body, more warmth, more drive. (All in comparison to my portable DAC/amp — FiiO Q5s w/4.4mm balanced — and Mytek Brooklyn w/3.5mm).

I was very intrigued. Most had said it is not great for IEMs, but I loved how my IE900 sounded through the HE and I kept listening to track after track.

I would recommend a listen or home demo! Ultimately, it depends on how you imagine using it and what your music/audio tastes are.

Personally, I have not pulled the trigger yet because I need to sort out my audio priorities, especially with a new main speaker setup on the horizon.

I listen probably 90%+ on headphones. I live in fairly close proximity to my neighbors and feel that playing speakers at Mach 9 (a level I would prefer) would be a bit antisocial.

Until COVID is was close to moving into a Retirement Estate which would make that even worse. That has yet to come.

That’s why the one box high quality streamer / headphone amp is attractive.

I have a pair of Sennheiser HD800 , Sony 1000 - 4 and some old Bose QC25’s but mostly the HD800.

The alternative was the Sennheiser HDV820 which i apparently tuned to the HD800 and 820 along with a separate streamer but that’s getting cable messy again

If find Tidal UI to be the best one when comparing to Spotify, Deezer, Apple and Qobuz. Of course, others may not agree but all this is subjective.

As for Tidal Connect on MacOS, this works on my Macbook just fine.

Thanks for confirming!

Is that using Airplay or Tidal Connect? Both should work fine in most scenarios, but they are different and Tidal is saying that Connect is “Coming Soon” for macOS, on the Tidal support page that I linked above