Roon is not for me, but what is?

Agreed! Chill out everyone… it’s a good and legit question.

I personally think this topic is awesome! I want to hear about GOOD solutions and alternatives to Roon.

I understand @Fus_fus wants his/her cake doesn’t want to pay for it, but maybe there is a compromise.

I’m going to clean up this topic to be less about this topic being on Roon’s forums, and more about discussion of alternatives.

Please, let’s keep the topic on-topic! Either talk about the pros and cons of other solutions or explain why the OP is missing Roon’s value proposition. I’m eager to hear both from all of you.


Because he / she mainly listens to playlists and does not have many albums / library and because does not want to pay for Roon?

This is something that has a lot of what mobile users want with cloud based streaming as far as I can tell. I don’t think it’s a well known system - I believe it’s developed where I live in Singapore. I personally haven’t tried it but might get around to it one day.

One option is to buy an Innous Zen Mini. A CD ripper with storage options between 1TB and 8TB. Music management is via innuOS. Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz and Internet Radio are integral. If required, you can buy into Roon at a later date: as Roon Core/Bridge is also an integral feature.

Hi spinaltap, that’s a fine machine. But you’ll need to speed read through the thread to see why (I would guess) this may not be an option on the table for the OP. Too many reasons for me to type hehe. A great machine though.

As I mentioned even before Danny’s post, I think this topic is great because when you look at / try / discuss all the options out there (I’ve tried everything and am always looking out for what’s new/changed) it makes Roon look better and better… today anyway.

It’s kind of a “why Roon?” thread in a different form.


If one has no money to pay for Roon subscription and necessary hardware, everything else is a moot point

Great answer and this is resonates with my personal belief in product development. If a product/solution is open enough to discuss other services and see their value it’s also open enough to evolve and stay relevant over time.

In the long run I think Roon will evolve and also cater for a more, excuse my vocabulary, “modern” way of experiencing music.

Even if OP will not continue with Roon today maybe Roon in the future will be a viable alternative for OP and similar people. Roon already has quite strong playlist like ability and will hopefully work even better in the future for people who does not “own” music and thus only stream.

I would love Roon to be something like a music/hifi equivalents of Apple’s “TV” app where you connect all your subscriptions and get one great experience rather than a scattered landscape. With all of Roons abilities to explore and know more about the music you love. This “tier” could then also be 100% cloud based and a different subscription model. In the future. Maybe. Presumably. :ok_hand:t3:


Apple music pretty much covers most of my playback needs but to a lesser quality sound wise.

. Own library integration
. Huge Apple catalogue
. Curated playlists
. Smart playlists
. Shared playlists
. Mobile usage
. Offline usage
. No core required

I am a happy myVolumio user. Runs on hifiberry Digi+. Has native Qobuz and Tidal.
Cost is reasonable per year if you only have one device.
As I mainly use roon, I have put roon Bridge on top of volumio (ssh and then install according to this)

I asked way up in the thread if Shairport is fiddling with the bits in any way (asking the question - I don’t know the answer).

So I decided to find my old AirPort Express (which has TOSlink output…) to hear if it’s any different to using the DigiOne’s Shairport Airplay. It’s digital coax RCA vs TOSlink so not exactly apples to apples. I then dusted off my old HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro with it’s TOSlink output, to make it a closer comparison.

There is a difference to my ears. I won’t claim Shairport is doing anything funky to the bits (I don’t know) but it’s not official Apple Airplay support - I would suggest you pickup a used AirPort Express if you can. They’re going for cheap on eBay after being discontinued.

I also have a Bluesound Node 2i at the moment, which supports Airplay 2 and Spotify Connect (both officially). So that should cover you with the native Tidal, Deezer and Spotify native iOS apps, which all have a great UI/UX in their own different ways.

The Node 2i’s Airplay also sounds noticeably better (to my ears) than the DigiOne’s Shairport Airplay.

I’m using the Node 2i for something other than Roon at the moment. I’m using a HQP Embedded server acting as a hub (a recent new HQPe feature) and I can feed the Node 2i’s digital output (or any TOSlink output) into the HQP server input and apply DSP to Tidal/Deezer/Apple Music/Spotify/whatever and send this DSP’ed audio over the network to endpoints, to the DACs. Works and sounds fantastic.

Would be great if RoonOS could act as this type of audio hub in future. I know @danny himself has expressed interest in the past but that is for a separate topic.

All devices I’ve mentioned above (DigiOne, HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro, Bluesound Node 2i) are all great Roon endpoints too, of course.

OP, you mentioned ALLO and DAC. What about your receiver? My Pioneer AVR has integrated networking with ability to connect to Tidal and other services. Navigation is possible through Pioneer app, which is not as good as Roon or other interfaces, but avoids your need for a server or, for that matter, the Allo or Naim, since the AVR has an integrated DAC.