New user: to Roon or not to Roon?

Dear Roon community, I need some advice — to Roon or not to Roon?

I am on half way through my Roon trial period and have serious considerations whether to enter the Roon (Harman) ‘universe’ or not.

For a week, I have been playing my ripped CD collection like never before and I truly enjoy Roon and I find it elegant, convenient and inspiring. I even think that Roon may help ‘reclaim the music experience’! I.e., Roon may help building the connection to your music library the way it used to be before the world of infinite streaming possibilities.

I liked that Roon was a neutral company acting as a ‘connector’. But now, Roon was bought by Harman and I have some serious considerations. What does this mean? I mean, we have seen great services being bought and slaughtered by the buying company many times by now.

Should I hurry to buy a lifetime subscription before it is taken away (subscription per month is not an option for me)?

Or should I wait?

What are the alternatives? Not to much…

I understand that the questions above are not possible to answer without speculation. But again, if there is a strong opinion the community that ‘of course, you should get the lifetime sub’, then perhaps the community may be a guiding force for the new decision makers of Roon?

So close, but yet so far?

I appreciate any answers and opinions from the community.


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No one knows what the future holds. All I can say is that Harman owns Arcam, and after seeing their latest range, I’d say they’re producing their best kit since the FMJ range was released a decade ago. Read what you like into this.

Personally, I can’t imagine Roon (privately owned) selling out on their vision of ten plus years with the prospect of all their hard work coming to nothing. Take that as a cup half full view. There are plenty running on empty who’ll give you an entirely different take.


I went all in 2019 with lifetime subscription and a NUC/ROCK. Headed towards 5 years now without a moment of regret. Of course it was less expensive then. Based on my experience with Roon and what it has to offer I would do it again, even at the current price and the cloud of wonder with the Harmon acquisition.


I would pay monthly for a few months, then switch to annual if you are still happy with Roon. I would not purchase lifetime at this point. There is no real advantage and who knows what the future will bring.


Welcome to the forum. Personally I would not invest in lifetime as Roons future as it is, is a bit vague and could all change. It does bring you closer to your collection but also manages to separate you from it when you loose internet as it ceases to function. There are constants issues getting support in a timely fashion if you require it and bugs often take a long time to get sorted or some just just live on. It’s still the best software out there, but could be a hell of a lot better. Go monthly or yearly and see how it goes. I am approaching year 7 and still yearly.


I’d suggest to buy annual subscription instead of lifetime for now. At least this is what I’m going to do when my trial ends.

I really like Roon, it looks much nicer than LMS that I’m currently using. There are several things that stop me from committing to lifetime sub though:

  • No offline mode. Yes, I can leave LMS running and connect to it when my internet goes down but in this case I am not convinced I can justify paying for Roon. I’ll see how bad internet and power outages will be in the coming year and decide if no offline mode is a dealbreaker for me.
  • Limited number of streaming services. I understand everything about how it’s not Roon’s fault that Spotify or Deezer is not interested in the integration, but still, I can use Spotify with my LMS installation and have a single place to listen to all the music. Fortunately, I still have a US bank card so I am trying Qobuz with Roon. Mostly alright, but the catalog is smaller. Probably not a deal breaker as I want to buy most of the music I listen to regularly.
  • I need a separate app to play music outside my home. I have Tailscale up and running and can connect to my Roon server on the go, but my phone is not recognised as an audio device. So I have to use the ARC app. Not a dealbreaker but a bit annoying, especially as I now have to explain when to use what to other family members.

Overall, I think paying for 1 year is a good balance between overpaying for monthly sub and committing too much into something that might not be a great fit.


Of course, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

If you wait, lifetime billing may no longer be available. And, if you buy now, you risk losing out. But this decision is no different to that the early adopters made when committing to Roon 6-7-8 years ago. To me, this is an easy decision: if you’re prepared to risk losing $829.99, buy now. If not, go for a subscription.

But, you should be certain Roon is right for you, and halfway through a trial may be too early to make that call.


I went lifetime in late 2019, and ran first on Docker and now on ROCK.

If I were to do it again now, I probably wouldn’t. If I’d been a monthly subscriber, I likely would’ve cancelled. The move to “cloud-only”, and the assorted flakiness / unresponsiveness that came with it starting with 2.0 is one thing, but I also listen to only local music at this point. Because the niceness of Valence, which quite bluntly never impressed me much, is tied in with a streaming account, I don’t get that. I’ve been using the DSP features on and off, currently not other than for ARC, which I barely use.

In my use case, and once again, at this point in time and given my use case, the move towards cloud-based everything (so Roon and music service), as well as the comparatively frankly obscene lifetime pricing, I’d be content with Plex and PlexAmp, whose AI generated playlists I personally find much better than Roon’s, despite their own moves to monetising their user’s data (which can be somewhat mitigated with a PiHole type device) - my lifetime PlexPass receipt indicates I paid $90 for it in 2019.


Roon. Lifetime from the start. No regrets.


I purchased lifetime in April of 2023 for US $829. I have only local files - about 870 album (ripped from CD or digital purchase from Qobuz). I use Qobuz Sublime only for discovery and purchase whatever I like.
All I can say is chose carefully.
I hate that Roon requires Internet to play my own files, and from time to time (when there is Internet outage) I have to fall back to BluOS.
I hate when Roon has bugs, like the latest release introduced crashing of Roon Remote (for me in my setup and many others as reported on the firum). They are slow to fix bugs, as some bugs are not easy, like this one for example, not all people have it. BUT it has been close to 2 months, and my overall Roon experience is spoiled. If I was monthly, I would have stopped my subscription until they resolve the problem.

But overal, I do not regret purchasing lifetime. Roon has all features I need (and some I don’t need) and simply I do not know what to replace it with, if I had to. I wish that the Harman acquisition does not affect Roon in any negative way.


Roon or not — I am amazed by the numerous and quick responses from you guys in the community! Thanks!

The internet connectivity requirement is certainly a negative thing for me. Now, I am quite fortunate to have a very stable internet where I live. That said, I don’t really see the point in being online when listening to your own local music. Of course, suggestions and streaming are nice things that need internet, but simply playing your local music is thing for me :blush:

If it were me, I would definitely buy a lifetime subscription and get it over with. All other parts of my kit are an order of magnitude more expensive, at least. Roon is a bargain. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays :clinking_glasses:


To Roon or not to Roon? I’ve never had a better more intimate experience with my music. It’s support of my current and growing collection of ripped CDs is wonderful. It’s allowed my to listen with a new appreciation and convenience. It’s ability to explore what I already own (8,000 tracks at current count) makes me appreciate what I have more every day. My experience with PLEX, VLC, and KODI were horrible in comparison. Bose software based on DLNA is extremely limiting and fraught with issues. If you have a mixed environment from multiple audio vendors Roon is the tie that binds it all together, at least for now. And, the way it integrates with Qobuz (my only streaming experience) is just about seamless! Oh, and I pay yearly. Comparable to whay I pay for Qobuz, and as others have written, compared to my entire investment, it’s currently worth every penny!


Exactly. Considering how much our gear is worth, Roon is extremely cheap, even now. You probably waste USD829 every time you buy something to try it out and then sell it to upgrade.


I would never call $829 extremely cheap.


I don’t know what type of music OP listens to, but if he listens to majority classical like I do, there’s nothing that comes even close to Roon’s metadata, search, etc.

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:grinning: Depends on the person. Compared to most of our gear, I’d say so. 829 is <1% of what I’d get for my gear on the used market right now.

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Couldn’t have said it better myself.

(Have you guessed by now that I love Roon? I’d gladly sell my first-born for it.)

My eyes are going googly…,

But I’m very impressed with that picture

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