Is Roon worth it just to play Tidal only?

I exclusively use Tidal as my music source. I have an Orchard Audio PecanPi streamer using MyVolumio software, not psyched about the interface / bugs etc. So question is…is Roon worth using only for Tidal without a personal library of music? Would there be a potential improvement in SQ? The PecanPi I have shipped with Volumio software installed, however there’s a plugin for Roon Bridge. If I run Roon core on a desktop (Mac Mini), i’m assuming I can stream to the Pi > Emotiva separates from my iOS devices?
Thanks in advance for any opinions

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Only you can answer that, so I recommend you take advantage of a Roon trial. Many here use Roon exclusively with either Qobuz, TIDAL or both, and benefit from its music discovery features.

I have a smallish library of around 1,000 albums but spend much more tune discovering new material through streaming. In my opinion, Roon is best enjoyed with streaming services.

Regarding sound quality, both Roon and TIDAL deliver bit perfect streams, so there should be no difference if you’re using the same networked endpoint.

Your iOS devices are used to control Roon; they don’t stream to the Pecan Pi.


Roon was worth the $500 lifetime price to me, when I bought it. At the time, this kept me from having to purchase any hardware. I ran the Roon core on my Dell XPS 15 laptop and used Roon RAAT to send music from Tidal to my Roon Ready Oppo DVD and to my Bose system. I have no music files of my own.

However, what happens is you sometimes get drawn into a never ending desire to improve and/or build on your system. I added Qobuz, Dragonfly Cobalt DAC, Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, Roon Nucleus, 2 Raspberry Pi4’s, Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier and Power Supply, AEON headphones, and Focal Clear headphones.

LOL…tell me about it! I went down that rabbit hole before and used a setup with fiber optic and microrendu etc…I stripped away everything (for several reasons not necessary here) and sort of started over utilizing our older Sonos Connect for streaming, obviously SQ is not on par with better hardware, hence upgrading to the PecanPi for my ‘personal’ streamer while the wife uses Spotify via the Sonos.

Yes, no, maybe.

I don’t think Roon’s value proposition is too far removed whether you have local source only, streaming source only, or a mix - although the seamless presentation of local and streaming libraries is nice (or it was prior to 1.8 but that’s another story).

With streaming only, you still have access to the good discovery features like hypertext linked artist bios and album reviews to get you down the rabbit hole. And you still have access to the custom tagging capabilities to enhance how you sort and categorise your music. Both of these are features are pretty powerful.

Then if you have a bunch of different endpoints to manage, Roon will give you a largely consistent connection experience, regardless of what they are - whether that’s on a PC/Mac or dedicated audio hardware. Again, that’s a big deal for many people.

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Not if you can get Tidal Connect running on it. Only advantage of Roon is it gives you some control of organising the mess that’s on streaming, but it’s expensive just to do that and it’s far from perfect integration as you will miss out on all the Tidal features that Roon doesn’t support including My Mix and other featured curated playlists as it doesn’t use the API like other apps. Also Tidals discovery beats Roons everytime.


I suggest you do the 14 day free trial and decide for yourself. If 14 days is not long enough, Roon now has a monthly plan so you can take as much time as you need with no long term commitment. Some users have issues, as you can tell. I have over 1000 linked albums in Tidal and 1000 in Qobuz and Roon works perfectly for me, as it always has.


Volumio has completed the development work for Tidal Connect, so official support should be coming shortly. Might want to check that out.

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Yeah, I can use Tidal Connect to stream to the PecanPi, but is that losing a bit in SQ by using Airplay?

Tidal Connect is different from Airplay. It is Tidal’s response to Spotify Connect. A new protocol and certification for streaming Tidal content. I would expect it to be bit perfect and to support all of Tidal’s features (MQA, Atmos audio etc)

Ok, I guess the confusing part is that the device only shows up under the “Airplay and Bluetooth” options when choosing what device to stream to.

It’s not yet released. See my earlier comment. Volumio has submitted the code to Tidal for certification. Once approved, it will make its way into an actual release

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For me, I would say no. I like Tidals own app better than Roons integration of it.
Tidals daily mix is cool. And its too bad that its not included in Roons integration of Tidal.

Using Tidal thru Roon gives you the organizational abilities that another poster mentioned.
Which is one of the things I like most about Roon.

Another thing I feel is important is how well your specific Roon ecosystem works. This to me includes your entire network.

Sometimes for me, Roon runs great…then there is days that I need to reboot my entire network as I get the Tidal loading slowy message. Multiple times.

When these times do happen, its no fun at all. Especially when I go into Lumin app and Tidal runs song after song. And Lumin has the Daily Mix integration.

So that is my case. I would say Tidal through Roon works for me most of the time. And perhaps 2 days a week I have to troubleshoot.

And there are lots of people that have no issues.

Again for me, I would not get Roon, if I only used Tidal. The ease of use and lack of bugs are my reasons.

Thanks, appreciate it. I don’t have a problem at all with Tidal’s app, at the end of the day it’s straight forward and reliable.

Not all streaming apps are created equal. Personally, for me Tidal through Roon sounds better than Tidal app on iPhone. Big plus for Roon is that it is possible to make EQ sound adjustments when it is necessary. Tidal app has no EQ. In addition, Roon is much better at suggesting similar content.


Yeah having EQ at fingertip disposal is tempting or nice to have anyway, although my preamp does have simple tone controls. What does your audio chain consist of?

Nothing spectacular. Roon Core (Unraid Docker), iPhone 12, AirPods Pro, Chromecast, Yamaha RX-V685, Yamaha WX-021

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I combine Tidal & Roon and already had plenty of playlists in Tidal before I started using Roon. It can be worth it, e.g. if you want EQ (I don’t). Or if you are interested in more tools for organizing and searching and building your collection and/or playlists than what Tidal has to offer. However, the Tidal/Roon integration is far from perfect. You might want to have a look at this thread: Tidal Integration: What's Still Broken in 1.8
As far as audio quality is concerned, I hear no difference.

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Thank you, i’ll definitely read up on it.