Recommend a Roon capable powered speaker for me

Hi, I run Roon on a desktop Windows PC with an external Nuforce uDAC which supports both WASAPI and ASIO interface. around my home I have 3 Chromecasts, 1 Chromecast Audio, a Denon AV Receiver and a Cambridge Audio CXN2, all of which can work as end points. When I try to create a Group I am only offered the CXN and the PC itself (Nuforce DAC), thats fine. I understand why… the end points do not use the same transport protocol, the use Chromecast or Airplay and can’t be in the same group. Basically it’s fine, those two are my study and my living room, all good.
I would like to buy a powered speaker (something like a small Sonos) for our kitchten and I would want it to be able to be added to the Group Zone with the CXNv2 (living room) and USB DAC (study PC running Roon). I don;t want to add a speaker which works as an end point and can;t be grouped so anything “Roon Ready” via Airplay or Chromecast isn’t what I need. unless it also supports Roon natively (I beleive that is the issue).

Recommendations please? Denon Home 150 is top of my list at moment, I just need to know it will do what I want…


I suggest you also browse the roon partners options…you havent indicated a budget or any issue with DIY options.

Hello Guy,
I have been on a similar quest for years (!) … In case this helps you, here are the options I have found:

i) Bluesound Flex 2i: This is not cheap but you can find it on sale regularly. It is Roon Ready and will group with other Roon endpoints. It is also airplay 2 compatible so you can use it as part of airplay 2 sync with other speakers. It can be temperamental with WiFi though so make sure you have good WiFi signal where you place it. This is subjective of course but I find it sounds Ok but not great (smooth but not dynamic). Bigger versions of the Bluesound speaker exist: Mini 2i and Puse 2i. The Pulse 2i sounds amazing but it is very big for a kitchen in my view (unless if you have a huge kitchen).
ii) Elac Z3. It is not small and about double the price of the Flex 2i. I have not heard it and it seems to be a rare option.
For Kitchen purposes unfortunatly this is where the cheap(ish) and compact options end :frowning:
Other Roon Ready speakers exist but they are either quite expensive and/or not appropriate for kitchen use:
iii) Naim Muso QB 2nd gen. I have heard this and it sounds amazing. Probably best sound of all the above. It is very distinctive looking and it needs to be displayed proudly :-). Not sure I would hide it away but it is an option. Very expensive though.
iv) Bowers and Wilkins Formation Flex: It is as expensive as the Elac and size is between the Bluesound Flex 2i and the Elac. I have not heard this but it is an option. I have not come across user feedback either so not sure.

There is a final solution which is not as compact but could work for you:
v) Allo Boss player feeding an always on powered speaker such as the Genelec 8010. I tried this solution for my kitchen. It costs abit less than the Elac Z3 (more than the Bluesound though). It works with roon and you can potentially hide the cables etc. It is not as plug and play though. I found the sound a bit too clinical and not that comfortable for long listening. This is most likely due to the Genelec being a studio monitor so you can potentially find a different (and cheaper) powered speaker.

These are the options I am aware of and / or have tried. I have ended up keepig the Bluesound Flex 2i (but I have mixed feelings about it to be honest).

Hope this helps a bit


I already browsed that but there are a long list of brands, the ones I recognise are hi fi component brands, and I don’t know which of them makes a powered speaker and which do not. What there isn;t on the website is a search by category (USB DAC / network streamer / powered speaker) or search by protocol (compatible via Chromecast, AirPlay, RAAT)

so I thought I would ask for a powered speaker recommendation.

It was when browsing the “Roon Tested” devices I found the Denon Home 150, which is Amazon for £219, that will give you the idea of budget

What do you mean by DIY project, what I am after is a recommendation for a powered speaker that works with Roon in a manner that allows me to add it to my grouped zone which I have described. I don’t intend building something with a Raspberry Pi or somesuch.


Then your only option is Bluesound. If you’re willing to stretch your budget (quite) a bit, you might want to look at the B&W Formation Flex.

The Denon you mention is Roon Tested, not Roon READY.

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Thank you, both Naim and B&W are customers of mine (I work in semiconductors - Bluetooth chips so their Bluetooth solutions use my product), I might make some enquiries. My kitchen is small, space is limited so from the options you’ve mentioned the Mu-So Qb is interesting, but the price! crikey!. its s shame I can’t add Chromecast Audio to the Roon group, since although discontinued, you can pick them up cheaply and I have a few nice powered Bluetooth speakers with Aux Input around the house I could convert.

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200 gbp will get you a few raspberries + HATs… just sayin’.

Since you mention your space is limited, if you were OK with DIY, 2nd hand Beolab 4500 on a wall with a Raspberry glued on the back would the trick rather nicely.

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I am a big fan of the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex powered speakers, and have 3 of them in my home being used in the same manner you are looking for.

They are “Roon Ready” certified and use Roon’s proprietary RAAT technology. They are also AirPlay 2 compatible. You can set them up in group zones within Roon with other RAAT endpoints and/or with other AirPlay enabled endpoints (just not both at the same time, as you have discovered).

B&W has an app that is used to set them up on your network, which was very easy to navigate. Once set up you never need the app again with the exception of future firmware updates.

The style of these speakers is great and they work well on a counter top.

Lastly is the sound… which is excellent. I have never read a bad review regarding the sound quality of the Flex. I went from taking a chance on one of them to put in a bathroom, to buying two more to set up as a stereo pair in my kitchen.

I think if you went with the Flex you would not be disappointed.

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Sounds great! :slight_smile: In this case, I sense that the Bowers wilkins Flex and the Bluesound Flex 2i will be the most compact (relatively) affordable and easy to place in a kitchen with little space.
Let us know how it goes :slight_smile:

I bought a B&W Flex, as far as Roon is concerned it’s good, but gets out of sync with other Roon end points in the same group, when using Roon Live Radio feature. Also it doesn’t support Google Cast so options for streaming to it are limited when not running Roon (Rest of family), it supports Bluetooth and Spotify Connect only

Hi Guy, sorry to hear about the out of sync issue. I remember Roon sync issues reported long time ago (see Bluesound sync issues a few years ago) but I thought these had been fixed for all roon end points. I asssume that the B&W Flex is updated to the latest firmware etc.? I bet it is but just worth checking just in case.

Yes it is, it came out of the box and immediately did an update, friends who work in B&W tell me they are putting out a firmware update in the next week or so, waiting to learn what it changes, that is info they haven’t shared yet

Ah I see, really hope the firmware update fixes this. Still quite surprised the B&W have this sync issue. Lets hope it is fixed soon

2nd day with the B&W Flex, and it is not staying in sync, over about an hour of listening it has moved to around 1/3rd second out… :frowning: If I stop/start Roon and locate the play position to somewhere different in the track, it seems to resync. but after a few mins is out of sync again.

Right now I am experimenting with the Resync Delay setting on for the B&W Flex, and will let you know how I get on (it’s set to 500msec from default of 0)

Looking forward to seeing what B&Ws update delivers

question about some of these speakers such as Flex, Naim and Z3 - can you use just one of them in a room with a stereo signal?

I’m thinking I’d like to get one BR speaker and one Kitchen Speaker.

Also does anyone make anything that’s battery powered and outdoor friendly? That might be the best for the BR, which leads out to a deck. The kitchen one could be in a corner but would like it to sound room filling.


Ikea sells a Sonos compatible speaker and it sounds good enough in my Kitchen.

Woa! never saw these before. Look like they worked with Teenage Engineering Co.

So if they’re Sonos compatible are they Roon compatible?

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Yes I have a couple of friends who have them and they are seen as a Sonos so they should work fine.
They are not Sonos sound quality, but people really like them for kitchens and rooms that do not require close critical listening.

Yes they are compatible with Roon.

To my knowledge, like Sonos, these are compatible with roon but because they don’t use MQA, they’re not capable of synching with my sources. To me that’s a critical feature.