How to setup zones for Nucleus

(Thomas Giloy) #1

I have my Nucleus set up now in my main HT/music listening room connected this way-
Roon core on Nucleus, controlled by laptop that shows all the great Roon info and allows for searching for and playing the music on my library.
Roon Nucleus is connected to network. External HD into Nucleus (library) via usb. USB out from Nucleus to Oppo 205 USB/DAC via usb. Oppo out to Emotiva XMC-1 via dedicated stereo XLR/balanced.
Couldn’t be happier. Sounds great. Love it. The only problem I have is: How do I set up a second zone if I want to listen in a different part of my house?
With the Nucleus setup this way:
Can I setup a different, smaller speaker in my kitchen and send music through my network? Or am I limited to only the one connection?
Can I control it from a different laptop or smartphone or tablet in the second zone?
Which speakers (or components) would act as an endpoint (?) to do this?

If someone could help me or direct me to where this info is available I would greatly appreciate it.

(Jared) #2

You have a few different options. Any Airplay capable speaker can be set up as a separate zone. The Bluesound line of speakers are Roon Ready and can be used. A Sonos speaker could be set up. If you have an existing more traditional stereo, this is where you will start hearing people talking about Raspberry Pi endpoints, which are DIY receivers that will be recognized by your Core (in your case the Nucleus) as an additional endpoint. There are companies that offer endpoints/streamers if you don’t want to build one. Sonore and Allo are two names that come up a lot in the forums, but there are others.

The Knowledge Base has a ton of info on this. This is probably a good start:

(Ged) #3

You have the essential components, the server and a control point. You can now have many, many end points and control devices, laptop, tablets and phones.
Have a look at this thread which will show you some of the many options and price ranges available.

(Thomas Giloy) #4

I am a geezer. I have been into Hi-Fi for 50+ years, but don’t know diddly squat about networking. I am not an Apple guy so I don’t think Airplay is an option. Forget about a Pi. I tried to set up a Pi from JRiver and it was a nightmare trying to set it up. That’s why I got the Nucleus.
So let me ask a few more specific questions to make sure I understand correctly.
If I get a ‘Sonos One’ speaker and set it up with my network can I:
Control it from a different laptop and still access the library on my Nucleus, using the Nucleus as my core but the second laptop as the control?
Or do I need to buy another subscription and set up a second core on the other laptop, or can I just download Roon onto that laptop and access my Nucleus from there and feed the music to the Sonos?Will this cost me anything more than what I pay for the Sonos speaker and my time setting it up?
Sorry if my questions seem basic to you, but to be honest I looked through the Roon website and really couldn’t find out if this would work, or how to set it up so that it would work. It may be there but it isn’t in Geezerese.

(Geoff Coupe) #5

If you’ve bought a Nucleus, you should be able to ask the dealer who sold it to you for direct hands-on help. I thought that was the whole point of buying a Nucleus - to get full hands-on support from the dealer.

The Roon community is able and willing to help, but I don’t think it is as good as having an expert standing alongside of you, guiding you through the options and choices open to you…

(Thomas Giloy) #6

@Geoff_Coupe Quite possibly the least helpful answer I have ever gotten.

If anyone is willing to answer my questions I would greatly appreciate it.


(Ged) #7

I don’t think Geoff was being unhelpful at all. The premium that a nucleus costs is, in part, supposed to support the dealer SupportIng you. He is right in that you should have had an explanation and walk through of all of this from your dealer.
However, if you go to your roon client and click on the burger menu where you see albums etc. At the end you will see Support, click on that and it will show you the FAQs, user guide etc. I suggest you read those and then come back with any clarifications you need.
All of your questions are answered there and it will you the world of good to read and inwardly digest.

(Thomas Giloy) #8

I purchased through Audio Advisors. I don’t think they will fly someone out to Denver to stand over my shoulder to help.
I have checked the help and done searches in the Roon community and none of the questions I asked were answered there. I have read through the FAQ and my questions were not addressed.

My apologies to Geoff. Your answer is at least as unhelpful.

I will contact Roon support. Hopefully neither of you work for Roon and they will actually answer my questions.

(Anders Vinberg) #9

The simple answer is:
With your single Nucleus core, you can have any number of zones connected to the network, and any number of controls, through wired networking or WiFi. Any control device (user interface) can control any zone. Most control devices can also be an output zone, but they can still control other zones.

Of course, if you have an audio device (DAC) that doesn’t go on the network, you need an intermediary.

For example: I use an iPad to control music. And I can plug in my headphones into the iPad, with a high quality DAC adapter. But in a corner of the living room I also set up a high quality headphone listening spot in the living room: a WiFi connection spot, network wired to a Sonore MicroRendu, USB wired to a DAC, audio cabled to a headphone amp. With my iPad, I can choose to play on the main speakers, on the high quality headphone rig, or on the portable headphones off the iPad which I can bring anywhere including the garden,


:laughing: We’re all geezers here.




Only cost is the Roon license.

The simplest way to add an endpoint is with an RPI running DietPi or Ropieee OS. Alternatively, you can buy an device. It won’t be the nightmare that is JShiver.

You can attach an external DAC or a DAC HAT onto either device just mentioned.

If you have the bread you can buy Roon Ready streamers.

BTW - Really disrespectful. Since Roon support is this forum and this forum is Roon support, not the way to get help.

(JohnV) #11

Just for giggles, I looked up Audio Advisors pitch for the Nucleus.

Here’s one quote:

”Roon has enjoyed tremendous success among computer audiophiles and other tech-savvy enthusiasts, but the company’s long-term goal is to reach everyone who loves music. To do that, Roon created Nucleus, a product which requires nearly no computer knowledge or networking skill. You literally take it home, plug it in, and control it with the Roon Remote app for iPad, iPhone, or Android device (and of course the Roon app for Mac/Windows). Because it’s running Roon, Nucleus finds the audio devices on your network and makes it easy to stream to them.“

No computer knowledge, no networking skill, plug it in, easy.

I wonder if Roon knows about these…representations.



I have found AudioAdvisor’s website to be less than truthful or accurate. Their phone reps, from my experience, are the ones for good info. FWIW.

(Tobin Harris) #13

If I get a ‘Sonos One’ speaker and set it up with my network can I:
Control it from a different laptop and still access the library on my Nucleus, using the Nucleus as my core but the second laptop as the control?
Or do I need to buy another subscription and set up a second core on the other laptop, or can I just download Roon onto that laptop and access my Nucleus from there and feed the music to the Sonos?Will this cost me anything more than what I pay for the Sonos speaker and my time setting it up?

Buy the Sonos One. Add it to your network. Open Roon on your laptop. Tap the volume control in Roon and select “Switch Zones”. You’ll see your new Sonos there and can play music through it. Bosh!

And yup, you can download Roon to more laptops or iPads and there will be no extra charge. On launching the app for the first time, it will offer an option to be an additional controller your existing Nucleus. Job done!

(Jared) #14

Definitely don’t buy another license unless you want Roon to work at two different locations with different libraries (eg. at home and at a cottage).

You have everything you need to start adding additional zones. I can understand your hesitance with the Pi. It’s not plug and play.

With Airplay, don’t worry about not being an Apple Guy, that’s not a prerequisite.

It might be easiest to think of Roon as a multilingual music streaming system. Each language Roon speaks is just a different means of streaming music from the core (your Nucleus) to a variety of different “Endpoints” (active speakers or stereo components).

  • Roon’s native language is RAAT. Any device that is certified Roon Ready will speak that language as well, and should conceivably give you the best end to end experience. There is a list Roon Ready devices here:

  • Roon also speaks “Airplay” which means any speaker that says its compatible with “Airplay”, will also be compatible with Roon. There are a ton of powered speakers that claim Airplay capability:

  • Roon speaks Sonos, so any speaker from Sonos will also be compatible.

  • Roon speaks Kef, so an LS50W or the new LSX will be compatible

  • I’m sure I’m missing some (Chromecast, Devialet Air)

I don’t believe anyone from Roon has responded here yet, but you can see the passionate community here on the forums. You can “at mention” support by putting the @ sign in front of support like this: @support if you need to get their direct attention amidst the other posts. They monitor the Support forums frequently though.


(Mike) unlisted #16

(Michael Fanning) #17

@Thomas_Giloy Thomas,

You’ve received lots of good information on this thread. A picture might help. Just click the current zone picture on your laptop, iPad or other control device (as you’ll see my current zone is a Sonos One) and then select another zone above it with your cursor. Click on it and then you may control another zone, such as the Devialet that I have pointed at, even from the same control point. Easy.

(Thomas Giloy) #18

AndersVinberg, Slim_Fishgutz, Tobin_Harris, Vaguedetails and Flashman-
Thank you all for your answers. Your answers were very helpful.
The great thing about ROON is its flexibility and how it can work with different equipment in different ways. It is also the worst thing about it for those of us (me) who aren’t able to build their own Pi and set it up. Thanks for clarifying how to do what I am trying to do.

@support- I imagine you get asked the same questions over and over by ‘dummies’ like me. Perhaps if you made some ‘how to’ youtube video’s showing how to do some of the most common setups and put links in your FAQ. Your FAQ is very good, but if there was an answer to my questions there, I couldn’t find it.