Introducing the Roon Cube

aka “Roon cubed”

I realize you folks probably do not want to get into the hardware game and that you are offering options to install Roon on pretty much any Windows, Mac, Linux, Tablet device with adequate horsepower… However if you did, a small Roon cube that could act as the Roon core would be great.

Headless device.
Low energy consumption.
Wireless (802.11ac) or ethernet connection.
Small and unobtrusive like an AppleTV or Roku.
No other inputs or outputs save a power connection, and ethernet.

Only purpose in life would be to run Roon Core.

We have been considering doing something like this exact thing as a Intel NUC base, but we can’t seem to figure out how to make it worth our time for less than $1000 retail. That would be for the box you mentioned above completely plug and play ready to go software/updates/etc… We’d even make it fanless. You’d still need a Roon license to use Roon on it.

We’d build the box in such a way that if you wanted to throw away the Roon software on it, and just repurpose the machine, you could.

I’m not sure there is interest in this at that price point… feedback?

If I wasn’t an ardent Mac user, I would opt for the Lenovo Q190 i3 with Bluray drive…

If I wanted an almost turnkey option I would buy a Mac Mini and install Roon and run it as a server, doesn’t get much easier, as a more hands on people could choose a NUC and configure and set it up themselves, you pay your money and ltake your choice, even when you buy a new laptop there is some level on configuration, network for example.


@spinaltap: It’s very hard to tell from their extremely deceptive marketing page, but that Intel HD 3000 line got me looking deeper. That is a Sandy Bridge CPU, which I would avoid. It was the first of the recent “great line of CPUs” from Intel, but it is plagued with strange performance issues. The Intel HD line didn’t get decent in my opinion until the 4000.

Our NUC would be ethernet in, power in, and if you wanted to connect storage, USB drives in and USB DACs out.

Zero config, not even WiFi SSID.

Also, the Mac Mini is really far from turnkey – I have one, and I’m always futzing with it… it’s not on the same class of reliability or ease as the Sooloos Cores.

I went for a Shuttle DS437 (Fanless)

Installed OS (Windows 7) + Roon on a 64Gb mSATA drive and installed a 2Tb 2.5" HDD for media
Bridged both network ports with the loopback adapter, so it can be disconnected from the main network and a couple of devices (remote + MS200) can be plugged in without a switch for demo.

Fairly low power, not wonderfully fast, but fast enough - without the HDD it appeared to be silent in a low noise room (didn’t make as much noise as a fanless i3 NUC) Also cheaper than the NUC.

Sitting fixed at high performance and at full load for a while, the CPU speed got throttled back a bit (as opposed to my fanless i3 NUC’s method of dealing by locking up - but that’s a poor case issue)

You could ship something like this with the mSATA ready to go and user installs their own 2.5" SSD / HD - ship a bootable USB restore drive (or SD card) at the same time as a way to return to as shipped state.

HDD installs via a removable cover so is easily installed.

Appears to have been replaced by the DS57U though but that appears to be close enough.

@danny Understood that it would have to hit a certain price point to make it worthwhile for you folks to invest in. And that for the more technically inclined they will just slam it on their own box of choice. I need to think more about a $1000 price point, I would definitely be interested, just not sure my upper limit on price.

Ok the more I think about this, the target audience would be non geeks, those who would prefer not to tinker and just have a box that they set and forget.

Perhaps on a cost of goods basis it makes more sense to partner with someone who has “economies of scale” on their side and can drive down the price point. Enter “Roon Certified” or “Roon Inside” … :smiling_imp:

Exactly my thoughts @bplexico

I have spent a great deal of time looking for something that would work similar to a “cube” and I think I have finally found it. It is the Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet (7140) with 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. There are other configurations available. The reason this is a viable candidate is that Dell just announced its new Universal WiGig Docking Station (452-BBUX) last week. This unit has five USB ports, three display ports and a Gigabyte Ethernet port. The tablet has to point to it and it should probably be within 10 to 15 feet of the Docking Station to work well.

The 7140 uses the new Intel 5th generation M 5Y71 chip, is fanless, so it is totally silent and is supposed to operate up to nine hours on its battery. It should be powerful enough to run the Roon software. The beauty of this approach is that is both your CPU and your remote control unit at the same time.

The only issue that I see is how the program will look on an 11 inch tablet. I am currently using a Dell 24 inch monitor and the program looks fabulous. When the Android and IOS versions are written will the Roon software program be modified to fit on a smaller screen?

An 11" tablet will look great if you got the 1920x1080 HD version.

I am pretty happy with a 9" Nexus9 Android tablet, and that thing is 2048x1536.

You hold the tablet closer to your eyes than a monitor, which helps a lot.