Roon catering to Dinosaurs?

(A Welshman, currently exiled in Hampshire) #102

Not as costly as Tuscany, equally as nice. My best mate is in the throws of looking for a Yacht berth on Italys eastern coast, with a little cottage close by for when he is not patrolling the Med. It would be great if he settled there too!


A lot of people I know just use YouTube for their music needs. There are also a lot of recordings you don’t find on Spotify. And if a song was removed from YouTube someone will upload it again, unlike Spotify where your beloved song is lost.

(Ged) #104

YouTube is the biggest dwarfs Spotify

(Ralph Pantuso) #105

Interesting but not surprising. And on a related note which streaming has the lowest cost for the end user and the worst sound quality (or least the most inconsistent sound quality)? Oh that would be YouTube.


Do ask your friend to take you for a spin from time to time, it’s great sailing area there! And seafood is just delicious!

(Ged) #107

A lot of people don’t give a stuff about sound quality. A professor in the states has been doing audio quality listening tests on his students for years and as they are used to the sound if MP3 they consistently prefer it.
This just doesn’t apply to audio. A food and drink program in the UK used to do an annual blind tasting of wines £5, £10 and £100. Almost all tasters preferred the £10 as that is what they had experience of.

(A Welshman, currently exiled in Hampshire) #108

Here he is berthed at Hamble in Hampshire, so we quite often get out there and also Cowes week

(Mohamed) #109

Well my wife is closer to op here, she doesn’t recognize my love of maintaining a lossless library, or my fascination with Roon, “get a Sonos”

For me, as a child of the 80s, while I did grow up collecting music, I also subscribe to Tidal and Qobuz, and was one of the early subscribers to Spotify with a massive set of playlists there.

There are a few things at play here that make Roon a great addition to my music workflow:

  1. I love collecting and owning my music, and organizing it. Don’t ask me why, I just do.
  2. Roons discovery system is great, and any opportunity I have to find new artists I take.
  3. Roons flexibility in my music home automation workflow is excellent. I’ve converted my existing speakers to Roon endpoints by connecting them to Roon compatible network devices, which basically means I don’t need a proprietary new system every time I want to upgrade the speaker I just need to attach it to something to enable Roon to see it. Making that better, with cheap chromecasts now, I just connect them to any tv in the room with a Roon endpoint in it, and they immediately start displaying the album playing there.
  4. Roon allows me to drive my Local and streaming music around the house through a control interface that I can put on any device. So I dig out old Ipads and other devices in storage, do nothing with them but install Roon, and place them around the house as remotes. Its a cheaper and better DIY home audiosystem than anything I have ever seen experts offer to put in place for me. The same device I use as my Roon Remote then also drives my other home automation software. Its not clean and integrated, but its cheap, flexible and allows me to use things I already have instead of upgrading or tossing things.

Overall, I’m very happy with my Roon experience, and want to see the product and community keep growing and jumping from strength to strength.

(Ralph Pantuso) #110

Exactly right they often have $3000 4K HDTV’s and use the built-in $10 audio (total cost of speaker and op-amp) instead of at the very least a sound bar. And this behavior occurs with people of all ages, races, religions, etc.

(Ged) #111

I walked into the house of a friend and there was an appalling noise coming from his extremely expensive AV system, he had it in Stadium setting. Been like that since it was set up, he had no idea what it was supposed to sound like :pensive:

(Ralph Pantuso) #112

At least he has an AV system even if not properly set up. I do hope that you at least tried to correct things :grinning:

(Dominique) #113

I guess it also has to do with how music is “consumed”, I guess most musiclistening now is whilst doing something else, as a background or as many put it “soundtrack of their life” That is why soundquality is not that important to many people.
People who actually care and sit down and listen to music, an entire album even - those are the crowd who are interested in soundquality. Really sitting there - listening. This is probably something not that many people do anymore. It seems nearly impossible for some people to actually concentrate on one thing at a time.

(Ged) #114

Yep. Showed him what flat settings sounded like.

(Ged) #115

I always ask people have they ever listened to a full album if the conversation comes around to music. A vanishingly small percentage have.

(Powered Two_Wheeler) #116

Totally agree with this succinct post. To illustrate the notion of re-using old kit around the house, I have a Tivoli Audio Model One with an Apple AirPort express endpoint in my study which meets all my needs for that environment. When I want more of a quality listening experience I use my Meridian 5200 SEs in the living room.
The beauty of Roon as a Audio Operating System (as posted elsewhere) is that it really is something for everyone.

(John B) #117

I know I’m often on here extolling the virtues of Roon whilst listening to music.

New year resolution: put down the iPad more…



My experience is that when people hear a well set up system, they can easily hear the differences. Given the disappearance of high end shops, and the commoditization of music more generally in streaming services, the opportunities for people to hear a high quality setup are pretty rare. They are more likely to hear a mid to low fi system like Sonos or Bose and believe that this represents the top of the heap. Or they are optimized around home theater and treat music as ancillary to the video experience.

Once they’ve heard higher fidelity, the question is whether they value this fidelity enough to actually pay for it. Two channel home speaker systems have gotten so ridiculously expensive (to an average millennial or household) when compared to a $1K or less Sonos setup.

So it seems to me, that Roon is really addressing the small percentage of users who have music systems where fidelity is the object, and who have made the jump to digital and found current software/apps lacking.

The exception seems to be in the “head-fi” space, where you have a large amount of relatively inexpensive gear, but capable of playing hi-rez. Here, the most expensive headphone is usually $2-4K, and $1-2K can buy a really nice system inclusive of headphones, DAC, and player. Oddly, this is not just portable music players but desktop systems. This is a rapidly growing market, and arguably has sustained the high end industry in an era where fewer and fewer people have the money, space, and time to devote to 2 channel speaker systems.

College/millennial listeners in this space seem more willing to spend for headphone fidelity especially when the cost of entry for a whole system is obtainable. For them, Roon may be more about music organization and music discovery then merely about fidelity. For them, the cost of Roon may be an obstacle.

If I were Roon, I’d consider a hybrid licensing model, similar to the approach taken by the streaming services - a 2 tier rate based on fidelity. A Roon basic license would be $50-, and would support up to Redbook but not DSD or MQA or 24/192 - those higher fidelity features would require a hi-rez license with a slight upcharge, maybe costing $75-80 annually instead of $120 now. They could also limit the number of “endpoints” supported, to maybe 2.

Such an approach lets Roon amortize the cost of developing and maintaining their basic features across a larger group, and helps us dinosaurs enjoy the MQA, DSP, DSD, and other high rez features, while also enjoying a slight break in cost. They wouldn’t lost any hi rez subscribers is my guess - but they would increase the number of subscribers overall who balk at paying the cost of a DAC or headphone amp merely to organize and experience their music.

(Robert ) #119

Welcome to the forum Dave. The Roon subscription model and fee schedule has been hashed over since Roon’s inception. Lots of interesting reading if you are so inclined.

Again welcome, ——Robert (Lifetime subscriber)


I respectfully disagree with your thesis of Roon’s purpose. In my setup, I am increasingly using it to stream Tidal, in particular, the MQA revorsings. Also Roon matches the various endpoints and deals with complex configurations in my hifi systems around my house to ensure that I am getting the best out of my hardware. Rather than catering to Dinosaurs it is catering for the future “audiophile” systems which includes streaming and intelligent computers and/or DACs.

(Kenneth F Krutsch) #121

As an active member of the Head-Fi community, you are dead-on about that last part. The feeling from many in that space is that paying for an annual subscription for “software” is lunacy. Many folks there also feel that the feature set is weak. And, it is Head-Fi, so for many, mobility matters.

Unlike many audio forums I waste ('er, spend) time on, Head-Fi is a very inclusive mix of ages and locales. The younger crowd could care less about the “liner note experience” that Roon touts; from what I can anecdotally gather, they are using YouTube for music exploration. Look at the “what am I listening to now…” threads to see evidence of this.

For me, the value of Roon is that I can purchase streamers/players that meet the features/quality I am looking for, without saddling a group of talented analog circuit designers with building a user interface (look at Bryston and Bel Canto as examples).

But, again, for the folks on Head-Fi, they are using PC/Macs and DAPs.

Don’t shoot the messenger…just my observations.