NAD M10, BluOS, and Roon


So, I am totally confused about the relationship and operation . Endpoint ? What and where does roon actually fit in ?

What are you using to actually to control the system ?

I am just lost at what you are looking at and what is the interaction between the 3 products I mentioned above ?


Try starting here:

@Wayne_Fiala As an example, I have a Bluesound Node 2, which is managed by BluOS (an operating system for Bluesound products), just as the NAD M10 is. Both the Node 2 and the NAD M10 are endpoints, recognized by Roon. So when I use Roon, I can select the Node 2 to play my music. I typically use an iPad to control Roon. At the end of the day, Roon is your library management system and player front end, and your NAD M10 or, in my case, Bluesound Node 2, is the physical player. Hope that helps.

@Wayne_Fiala The graphic below may help. The Roon Core (your music, streaming services and Roon’s special sauce) is housed on a Mac, a PC, a NUC or a Nucleus (Roon’s customized NUC). Roon is directed through a control, which could be an iPad, a phone, a Mac or a PC. It’s all sent to a physical endpoint, seen on the far right. That’s a simplistic way to look at it.

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Thanks, But what is the Bluos software doing during all this ?

Rendering, its running in an “output” device.

Further to the comment of @mikeb you may also run a Bluesound device independently of Roon. For example, should I wish to play my Spotify feed, I run the Bluesound Controller app (thus accessing the BluOS), which, in my case, is done via an iPad. Why? Spotify is not integrated into Roon.

Well thanks all, though I still have to admit I am confused ! I can’t get past 2 types of software operating the M10 at the same time. If I can play Tidal or Qobuz , or something thru my network, like a NAS, with Bluos, and Roon can do the same things , I just don’t get it ? Help me !!!

So if I want to listen to Tidal, Qobuz, or files from my network with the M10, what would I be using ?

BluOS is a software and hardware system that resides on an expansion card inside your Nad M10.

On its own, BluOS can ‘fetch’ audio data from your local storage, or from the internet from accounts you may have with, say, Tidal, Spotify etc.

Once this data is received, it is buffered and then sent on to the D-A in the Nad M10.

The BluOS also passes information about the song being played and allows an off-board Control app to interact with the playback (pause, rewind, fast-forward, skip etc.). It also passes meta-data to the Control app (artwork etc).

BluOS can also sit there doing very little. It can be ‘pushed’ audio data from a different, external audio control system. When this happens, all BluOS has to do is receive that audio data and report back that it’s buffers are filling up nicely, or if they are emptying it can report back and the external audio system will provide it with more audio data.

The external audio data delivery system in this case I am talking about is Roon. Roon is a software and hardware system that resides outside your Nad on a computer on the same network.

If you use Roon with BluOS, Roon does all the fetching of audio, the collating of metadata, the handling of Tidal or Quobuz accounts, internet radio etc. then passes raw audio data (PCM) onto BluOS which just buffers it and passes it onto its output and onto, in your case the D-A in the Nad.

Roon has it’s own control interface (iOS or Android or another PC on the same network), to which it passes metadata information and data such as song position, which it gets from knowing how much sound data it’s shovelled across to BluOS.
It also receives control information from whatever Roon app is controlling it.

When using Roon with BluOS, the control side of BluOS is not used, the BluOS control app is not used, BluOS does not ‘talk’ to Tidal or an internet radio provider, it does not request anything from your network. Roon does all this instead.

Hope that makes sense. :slightly_smiling_face:

You could use either BluOS, in which case BluOS would be dealing with the requesting and handling of sound data from Tidal, Quobuz or the network.

Or you could use Roon, in which case Roon deals with the requesting and handling of sound data from Tidal, Quobuz or the network. BluOS would be sitting idly by in this instance waiting for Roon to ‘serve it’ content which it would dutifully pass onto you Nad’s D-A.

Wow Dan, thanks for taking the time ! That does explain it very well.

Maybe I need to ask this question in a new subject, But is there a better choice between the 2 of them. Is Bluos preferred by some over Roon or vice versa ?

You’re best asking someone with BluOS I reckon!

I think it’s down to the user interface and extra things you can do with Roon, such as DSP, Up-Sampling, Multiroom, multi-output support (Roon will not only play to Blu-OS devices, but many different vendors of ‘end-points’ including loads of D-A manufacturers and streaming hardware, Sonos etc…) all from one centralised music server.

There is some talk of improved sound quality where the fetching and processing of music and meta-data is done ‘remote’ from the end-point which is playing the music. If all that processing is done at the other end of an Ethernet cable, there is less induced noise that ‘may’ be passed onto a DAC if done in the same box as where the DAC resides.

That’s a whole other topic though!! :nerd_face:

Great info. All that being said, I like the features of the M10, also had the M32. So what we are saying in the end you do not even need to use Bluos for most things to operate the M10. Does the M10 display still operate with Roon I wonder ?

My guess is you still need to use Bluos for some options on the M10, but based on what I have seen of Roon reading, the functionality seems better for actual music.

Forgetting the M10 or M32 for a minute, if you were to use Roon with another type of system, you always need a Roon certified end point for Roon to work, This does not work like softe=ware like JRiver ?

Sorry, getting this a bit better, but many of the endpoints also have there own operating software like Bluos, that also do not have to be used if you use Roon. ?

Roon has been developed over the years to work with a multitude of different ‘endpoints’.

From reasonably ‘dumb’ endpoints, such as Roon certified DACs to reasonably ‘intelligent’ system/endpoints that we’re originally designed to work within their own ecosystems, such as Sonos, ChromeCast, BluOS, Oppo etc.

When Roon sends its audio to these more ‘intelligent’ systems, a lot of the functionality of the ‘system’ is bypassed and Roon just sends raw PCM directly to the output buffer of the audio renderer built into the system.

I’m simplifying really, but that’s basically what’s going on.

Yes, you need a Roon certified end-point. This allows the ‘Roon Advanced Audio Transport’ (RAAT) to be set up. This is an audio transport protocol which allows Roon to monitor and deliver a stable audio stream from source to destination and provide the user with feedback about what exactly is happening to the audio signal. So you can check how your audio is being manipulated (or not) en-route to its destination.

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Thanks Dan, I think you have convinced me to try it. 2 last questions.

Does Roon pass local NAS files , including DSD ?

Lastly does Roon offer all the easy access to all the preprogrammed internet radio stations in Bluos ( and there are a lot of them), or this is where you would use Bluos for.

Yes, Roon will handle locally stored NAS files, including DSD. Whether it will pass it on as raw DSD, or convert to 192/24 PCM, I don’t know. You’d have to check with a BluOS user.

Regarding Internet Radio. That is one area of Roon that is currently quite poor and is well below the otherwise unbeatable user experience of Roon generally.

Roon will play any internet radio station, but you have to manually add stations from URLs and it’s just a bit naff to be honest!

I expect BluOS is a lot better. I know my Sonos handling of internet radio certainly is.

I think a lot of us are hoping Roon will improve that soon.

I wonder if the M10 display screen will still work whe n using Roon ?

When you use roon BluOs is also active… you can use both toghether. When you start an album in roon you can pause it, play next track etc using the BluOs app. This way you can use the widget on your phone/tablets to control Playback…thus is a lot quicker then opening roon for playback / volume control

The 5 favorite butons below the playback controls can be used for radio stations for example. Roon is a joke when ik comes to actual radio