Roon does not charge a licence fee to the manufacturers for its use

Slightly OT…

However, your post sparked my interest only now just learning that Roon does not charge a licence fee to the manufacturers for its use. I certainly understand that in the early days of this product it would have been a means to garner some traction in the marketplace. All these years later there is no financial input from manufacturers, which for many companies would be insignificant (within reason), especially as they are providing additional functionality for their customers.

So, the onus is entirely on subscribers or nucleus purchasers to raise revenue for Roon. That’s rather disappointing to hear & perhaps why the cost of Roon continues to be in discussion regularly every year.


Disappointing? If Roon wants widespread adoption from manufacturers, implementing support for Roon needs to be free. It’s a smart move


No offense, but this has got to be one of the least thought out things I’ve read here, and I’ve read the entire MQA is disappointing thread.

Not even accounting that RoonLabs has rather clearly stated that lifetime is a poison pill, you’d rather have the price of all gear rise ?

Tell that to all the Boutique Audiophile manufacturers, and see what sort of reaction you get… :slight_smile:

I suspect that the revenue from 100,000+ subscribers would more than outweigh any revenue that might be obtained from 100 or so partners

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HI Geoff,

Oh yes off the top of my head…Cambridge Audio, Music Fidelity B&W, Project, Elac…hardly boutique.

I never suggested Roon would/should decrease its subscriber base, I wholly support that position and hope that it will only increase in the future.

I did however state, that it was disappointing that the subscribers & sales of Nucleus provided the only revenue. I suspect that many of those companies could easily absorb a licensing fee.

Further, the 100k subscribers need to have a device that is compatible with Roon. That’s enticement alone, especially to your so-called boutique companies.


Where did you read that I’d want all gear to rise?

Yes, we all know Roon is not keen on lifteime membership (at least anecdotally).

It’s odd how people read what they will or worse suggest things that haven’t been stated at all.

No offense taken!

I’ve not read the entire MQA thread as I’m not even remotely interested. However, I’ll similarly state that I trust you’ll not take offense in my thinking that your comment has been conceived with very little thought nor understanding of my original comment.


How do you expect manufacturers to pay for the Roon license ? Take a cut off their own margins ?

Hi speed,

I was referring to the post directly above mine in regard to free licensing fees. I don’t know anything about free support, other than this comment of yours now. I think that’s an entirely different topic & I have no idea how many hours they give to manufacturers free or how many employees would be required for this free support.



You’re one of the brands you don’t think are midgets. RoonLabs isn’t interested in selling lifetimes, for a set of reasons, including that the onus for support falls on them for however long that device lasts.

Not only do you now have to explain to your customers that your expensive gear comes tied into a subscription to a third-party service, RoonLabs make YOU pay for the privilege of handing over your difficult-to-acquire, wealthy customers.

Really well thought out, yes…

I see Roon as adding value to their products…after all there are over 100k users who must use Roon licenced gear.

Why should it be given away as axillary gear and valueless to those manufactures when clearly there is value?

Sorry, I don’t understand you.

Further, I wasn’t discussing Roon lifetime membership. It’s well understood.

Thank you.

First of all, it isn’t given away “valueless” to manufacturers: implementing Roon Ready has a cost, and given the problems some seem to be having, that cost might not be insubstantial in some cases.

What Roon is doing with this is known as “commoditizing your complement”. It’s the Gilette model.

The way it works is that you sell one thing for very cheap or at a loss (in Gilette’s case, the handle), and you make money off the complement (in Gilette’s case, the blades).

In Roon’s case, the razor is compatible gear, the blades are Roon subscriptions. Simple.

You are, because “it’ll last until the sun burns out” is one of the things the manufacturers are selling, so lifetime has to be part of that discussion.

(and if you have any doubts about permanence being an important selling point, ask yourself when the last was that you read a review that didn’t mention build quality)

I’d be interested to see what proportion of that are cheap and cheerful RPi?

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No I’m no Xekomi. Nothing is permanent & I don’t know how manufacturers sell their audio products in relation to Roon.

As per my original reply to you…can you please stop telling me what I am saying, when I am telling you that’s not what I am referring to & you’ve now ventured well off topic from my original post relating to free manufacturer licensing fee.


Hi Mike,

I hope you are well over there…new strain of covid emanating from your country sounds extremely concerning. I have a few friends over there (& been there twice by the by), but I’m sure I don’t get a good picture.

As for RPi, I really don’t know much about Raspberry Pi, other than they are an English computer company. Further, I think they’ve sold a large amount of their boards. I would assume as a company they are doing very nicely these days, but I’m not sure what you’re asking of me here?


That’s pretty clear, yes.

You’re, let’s say, dCS. Your entry level streamer is around $4000, and is a beautifully finished piece of kit (seriously, check one out if you can). Currently, you control both your software and your hardware. Tough luck for you, RoonLabs listened to some dude on their forum who thought that everyone should pay for the software he likes to use, and now asks for 5 or 10% of your retail prices or whatever for integration.

You’ve got two options: tell your customer “listen, that $4000 device is going to last a couple of years (we’re not talking about marketing “'till the end of time” according to said Roon Forums user), and oh, yeah, you won’t be talking to me if you have a problem with it, you’re going to be dealing with this company RoonLabs if you have a problem setting it up. And you’re going to be paying a yearly $120 for the privilege. Oh, and if RoonLabs goes under, well, tough luck, because the licensing fee we paid to Roon means we can’t afford the extra guy to write our own software stack that’d allow you to use UPnP in case they went down”.

Or option two: you tell Roon to go screw themselves hard.

Which is it going to be ?

No I have not. I’ll repeat slowly: implementing Roon has a cost. Roon making manufacturers pay for the privilege would be bad for Roon’s bottom line. Your original post was not thought out.

Because Roon’s endpoint software is free, Raspberry boards allow for very cheap Roon players is probably why that was mentioned. Instead of paying (at least) several hundred per “zone” like would be the case for something from a hifi manufacturer, you can build your own for tens of dollars / euro.

Yep it’s a it runaway at the moment , we have been in self enforced lockdown since Mar we rarely even venture out …

The reason I mention RPi is that if you read threads there are loads of people using RPi with say Ropieee to create a Roon Bridge via USB for under $100 putting the hi fi money into DACs not streamers. Negating the Roon Ready bit. I just wonder how many users have gone this route, I have for instance.


Oh - I’m really not the expert here, it’s well beyond my knowledge base.

On a whim, I’d suggest that as you’ve done yourself, it is a very popular route. I only say that based on ‘flimsy’ evidence I read on audio sites and the like. And as you’ve done, put the funds into better dacs than a mere hat would provide and kept the change. :smiley:

Ouch…March…I have been so fortunate in regard to the pandemic; it’s really a nonevent where I live (touch wood). However, I can emphasise with my folks (in their 80’s) living in Melbourne with extremely hard lockdowns, curfews & more. So, I have a fair understanding of what such harsh measures bring. Hopefully, it’s over for them now & you’ll be able to get back to a resemblance of normality sooner, rather than later.

Warm regards.

Mike that seems to be a thing on the forums here, but I wonder if it is a thing out in the world, but I honestly have no idea.
I have looked at some streamer DAC, headphone amplifier combos and while they are starting to come to market, certification seems to be an issue.

The only one I can remember being certified is the Teac, and given the number of issues with Active speakers not getting their certification it does make me wonder how much work is involved.
I know that I have built 4 Pi’s in the last 6 months for streaming to various devices, but I am not sure that I am representative of normal either.