Roon Nucleus i3 vs. Nucleus i7 sound comparison

I wonder if there has been any Roon Nucleus i3 vs. Roon Nucleus i7 sound comparisons, using the same system and room (changing only the Nucleus type)? How did they differ in termos of sound?

If you did a comparison, please describe the whole system, and the differences between i3 and i7.


They are not out yet.

I believed that Roon already had pre-production models that could be compared. I guess we will have to wait a bit more for these comparisons.

I’m not sure why there would be any sound quality difference .

The I7 would be helpful for a large library and the I3 for smaller ones .

In the audiophile world, in 99,99% of the cases there is an audible difference when the comparison is done properly, even if there is no clear reason for it.

I find that hard to believe

Love to see a blind test between these two servers on the same audio system.


I guess we will have to wait, until people start doing these comparisons, to know if there is a difference. I would be suprised if there is no sonic difference, but time will tell.

I’d be surprised if some people don’t hear a difference but be equally surprised if there was a difference.



What would a proper comparison look like?

Roon Nucleus i3 vs. Roon Nucleus i7 sound comparisons, using the same system and room, changing only the Nucleus type, and nothing else. Even better if double blind, but I doubt anyone would go to this level of trouble for this comparison. Describe the whole system (speakers, DAC, preamp/amp, cables, room, etc) where the comparison was performed, and music used. Describe any sonic atribute were a difference was heard, if any.

I also doubt that anyone would want to go to that trouble unless they had a theory that they might indeed sound different and felt motvated to want to test this theory out by conductiong a DBT. I think many (most?) people would proabbly be sceptical that there was any difference to be detected and not want to do to the trouble.

@VPN. The notion that the processor alone might make a difference should only be true in instances where you are using processing power heavily upsampling and using convolution. Therefore in my opinion any impact on sound or capability would be entirely predictable. I am not sure that getting in to this subject in any detail is at all helpful. To market the i3 and i7 on capability i.e. collection size and expectations of use is a more intelligent way of doing so and goes a long way to ensuring the customer gets the right option for their use case. If we were to announce grandly that one or the other sounded better you will be getting possible customers conflicted between what is right for their setup and what they believe to be the better sounding.


Statistics can be made to say anything. 105% of people agree with that statement.
Seriously though, if all the device is doing is streaming then what mechanism would cause the 2 units to sound different, unless one was not working to spec"?

Does anyone know if the Nucleus will have bridged ethernet ports?

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The question I would love an answer to…when can we expect them to start shipping?

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You are right that any sound comparison should be controlled, stating if the ROCK is being used for upsampling and/or convolution.

In my specific case, I am interested in sound comparisons when the ROCK is not being used for upsampling and not being used for convolution.

It is quite possible, like you pointed, that the i7 is more suitable if one needs convolution and heavy upsampling, so it is possible, for example, that without convolution and/or upsampling the i3 sounds better and with convolution and/or upsampling the i7 sounds better. We will only know if people perform these tests and share the results.



Read my post again. I didn’t actually say that! :wink:

To be explicit, I don’t think the tests are needed at all. There are more effective ways of impacting sound quality in my experience. Pick the NUC most suited to your needs and go with that and you won’t go wrong from the perspective of getting Roon to do what it does best. I you choose from the perspective of someone’s subjective opinion on what sounds best you may end up with entirely the wrong product thus ruining your user experience.


Is licence included in nucleus

It’s not. From the horse’s mouth:

More info in this post: