Is Roon an overkill for me?

I am just starting out and I have fewer than 100 albums. However, I plan to rapidly expand my music collection. I am considering two options:

  1. Spotify Premium + Qobuz Studio Premier (subscription) + NativeDSD (purchases) with Roon
  2. Spotify Premium + Qobuz (purchases) + NativeDSD (purchases) without Roon

I wonder if I should just use Spotify to discover music and buy the albums on Qobuz or NativeDSD and save the subscription fees ($14.99/month + $12.99/month).

Is Roon useful for a small but growing music collection? Can it discover music in Qobuz that is not already in my library?

BTW, I plan to store FLACs and DSFs on a Synology NAS, which should be capable of running Roon Core.


So, I’d guess that the community here is overwhelmingly full of people for whom Roon was not a reach financially - fairly well-to-do folks, with a lot of audio equipment. Now, I’m not saying that’s what the install base looks like - I don’t know. But I would budget for more than just the software - many people end up with a dedicated machine running the core before too long.

Honestly, in your situation, I’d subscribe monthly to start and figure it out. With a modest library, I think Roon can be incredible for music discovery from a subscription service like Qobuz. But the only way to figure it out is to try it… back when it was only an annual subscription it was a big pill to swallow. Now it’s easier to try. The community here is great and supportive - but expect to find people with 30,000 albums giving you advice - for some of them Roon is rock solid, for some of them Roon struggles to keep up. In other words, this comunity may or may not be the best guide. But it does give me something to learn from and aspire to (and I have a lot more content with about 3,000 albums I’ve secure ripped over the years, and a dedicated NUC running ROCK, and a couple of listening systems in my house that younger me could only have dreamed of. Good luck!


Fair enough. The hassle of having to fiddle with “free” media server probably costs more than the price of Roon.

This definitely looks like an amazing community. I look forward to spending more time here.

I think Roon and Qobuz are great for music discovery, especially if you are starting out with only a few albums. The advantage is that Qobuz and Roon will be somewhat connected, making it much easier to save and/or purchase an album from Qobuz if you want to. It is much easier than using multiple programs such as Spotify for listening and discovery of new music, and then Qobuz to buy albums you want to keep. Any music you discover in Roon can be saved to your library and you can listen to it just like it is an album you own (as long as you are still subscribed to Qobuz). Any music from Qobuz that you save in Roon will be there for you in the Qobuz app, and you can purchase it and download it if you want. Or you can just keep listening to it through Qobuz. I am making it sound more complicated that it is because its all integrated. I no longer use Spotify or Apple Music at all


It depends on your quality requirements, Spotify is MP3 at best, Qobuz is FLAC CD at worst.

If you want Spotify to discover before you buy then 2

I would bin Spotify, or use free, and subscribe to Qobuz, and Roon (both non monthly) and see where that takes you. Also sign up for AllMusic monthly newsletter of new releases

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I never thought I would consider Spotify because of the lower quality. However, it has many albums that are not available on Tidal/Qobuz/Amazon. Also, the Spotify integration on my car requires a premium account.

Initially, I though Tidal MQA + NativeDSD would suffice. I even got a full MQA-decoding DAC. Alas, even though it has a larger library than Qobuz, it still not as complete as Spotify. For classical music, MQA (even at “352.8kHz” LOL) is not better than 24/192 on Qobuz.

Looks like I will keep Qobuz, add Spotify, unsubscribe from Tidal and Amazon Music HD, and definitely try Roon.



Spotify is MP3 at best

Ogg Vorbis.

Sorry wrong name ,it still lossy a la MP3 isn’t it ?

It is, but it is not MP3.

I stand corrected. I have never used Spotify for that reason

Something to consider, those high resolutions are only a small part in the library, just a few percent is 192 kHz 24 bit.

Roon is able to oversample the lower resolutions via DSP.

Many years ago I justified subscribing to “a bunch” of streaming services by shifting my monthly CD budget to streaming. At $10-$20 a pop I was buying 4-10 discs a month. I don’t buy much anymore. I find purchasing a complete hassle. If I was “starting out” I’m not entirely sure I’d buy anything at all. Sad really.

There are a few who use Roon with 0 files. The metadata and the ability of adding Qobuz / Tidal albums as “local” is worth the price to them. Roon isn’t a “file manager”. Heck, it doesn’t even let you manage your own metadata very well. It’s kind of its own thing. Load the trial and decide for yourself. Do note, it does not support Spotify at all.

Spotify sound quality… it’s good enough if you’re not listening to the electronics. I use it in the car, with BT headphones, and other “lo-fi” locations. I don’t actually have a way to listen to Spotify in my main listening room without a bit of hassle. But, I like the interface when out and about so I keep it. If I discover an artist or album I really want to get into then I use Qobuz or Tidal in Roon on my main system.

Using Roon to discover new music allows you to go deep because of the metadata relationships. The rest of the services are better at discovery by playing related tracks to what you’re already listening to. It’s a difference experience (Roon Radio aside here… which is getting better but… YMMV). I will caution you though… because of the metadata dependency Roon isn’t great at new releases or obscure genres. A lot of artists I listen to who are “new” simply have no metadata. Artists who have not released a full length album (only singles) are pretty much their own islands in Roon. If you’re discovering artists with a deep back catalog or a new genre you’ve never dived into before then its very excellent. Example: clipping. has good data (as a band that’s been around for a while) but more obscure horror core artists may have nothing but a listing of their albums… no bio… no similar to… etc.

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@Peter_Ho2. I have a year’s subscription to Roon, and I think once I get accustomed to it it’s harder to give it up. But I think there are definite advantages to going with Spotify+Qobuz and no Roon. Spotify isn’t on Roon and probably never will be. I find the Qobuz app is very nice and comfortable to use. Looking for new music, Qobuz’s listings of new music are way ahead of Roon. Strangely, that seems true even though Roon’s new releases come from Qobuz (and Tidal). I almost never rely on Roon to keep up with new releases. Instead, I’ll look at new releases on Qobuz and Tidal and “like” the ones I want to listen to. Then they show up in my library in Roon. Qobuz without Roon does not include all the nice cross-listings and background information about artists and releases. So for that I’ll probably stay with Roon. Your last plan looks good: Spotify and Qobuz. Maybe try Roon.

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Hi @Peter_Ho2,
I’ve been using Roon for over a month (annual subscription) and I love it … I use it with Tidal, and I still have my Spotify account too (not used in Roon), as it is still used by other family members. For me especially the links and credits on Roon are very useful to discover a lot of new music …

There are as many opinions as there are different Roon users … :wink:
But on this community it is nice to get acquainted with all those possibilities and different ways of using Roon.

So, give it a try with a annual subscription. Start as simple as possible (use existing pc) and find your way around using Roon and make use of this extensive community.

Above all, enjoy the music…

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Yes, but 320kbps lossy, so transparent in all but rare cases. (that said, I rip to FLAC and play FLAC files)

I have MP3 when I can’t get FLAC also…

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I think Roon is a very nice solution to combine streaming and local content while serving multiple endpoints with various capabilities. I also like the idea of using the same UI to access the unified library.

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An oft quoted (byme) definition of a Roon trial

Try 2 weeks buy a year then try to give up

I am annual, I battle every renewal time , shall I quit

I pay the money

Life is too short just enjoy :smiling_imp:


I find Roon gives my Qobuz account much more of a “collection” feel. However this alone wouldn’t justify the cost. The integration of DSP with Qobuz won me over. Since then I’ve come to appreciate many other aspects.

The great thing is that the 2 week trial lets you see how things work with you current set up.

The one year “paid trial” will really open your eyes

Love the name BTW

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