Testing waters. Help

Hi everyone. In anticipation of Roon integration with Bluesound, I am thinking about giving Roon a try. After reading quite a bit, I can’t still fully grasp what Roon is, and why would I pay so much money for it. However I am willing to start the 14 day free trial.

Can somebody help me do this right from the start? Here are some details:

I have about 700 CDs ripped in Apple Lossless using iTunes currently saved on a PC and backed up on two HDDs, one of which connected to my router directly.

I subscribe to Tidal Hifi tier.

I have a dedicated 2.1 channel setup for music only, using Bluesound Node 2 as the player. Node is able to find the HDD connected to router and play it fine. For now. I am getting a Bluesound Pulse next week for another room.

I have an iPad Pro (the big one) that will be used as the Roon "controller "

Can somebody help me getting started? On another note, the 14-day trial is way too short to really try it before paying $119. Any coupons or deals to extend it to one month or more?

Roon will run on the PC, so this will need to be on when using Roon. Once installed, you point Roon at your music store. Anything the PC can see Roon will see.

When bluesound is updated, it will show up under audio devices in Roon. select it and enjoy.

Under services log into Tidal and be amazed at the integration.

It really is quite simple once you have the software in front of you.

And frankly if you are not in love after 14 hours never mind 14 days, Roon probably isn’t for you.



Thanks John,

A few follow up questions please (if you don’t mind):

Can I install the Roon software in a different PC than where my ALAC files are stored? If not, can it be installed on a NAS such as WD My Cloud? What about the Roon Core Kit I have been seeing mentioned around here?

Does the PC where Roon is installed has to be on at all times to play music via Bluesound when it becomes available or through my iPhone?

Other than playing my music on my Bluesound Node 2 via Roon iPad interface, where else will I be able to utilize Roon?

Yes, preferably install it on the best specced PC you have.
Once that PC can “see” your music, Roon will.

Yes Roon need to be running to play the music. It won’t play music through your iPhone the iPhone will only act as a controller (currently that is, but I’d be surprised if we don’t see this ability soon that iPhone and Ipad can act a players, as android already has this capability)

Well the Bluesound Pulse should work also and Roon can play to Airplay devices, Squeezebox and with 1.3 Sonos.


Thanks. Much appreciated!

It sounds like the PC where Roon would be installed would serve as the “core”.

Can Western Digital My Book Live I have work as the Roon Core? My ALAC files are there and Bluesound Node 2 is able to pull them from it.

If WD does not work as Roon Core, then which is the preferred NAS to do that? What is Roon Core Kit, and where can I buy it.

Finally, I noticed that some hardware partners have Roon Essentials built in with Lifetime Roon subscription included. I was looking at ELAC one. Is this a better way to get Roon?

I apologize for newbie questions, but I am just that with Roon :wink:

I think it would be good for you to slowly read through the Knowledge Base. Here it describes the architecture and the strategies of Roon. Where, why, what, how etc
In a nutshell, Roon pulls all your digitally stored music together in a very enjoyable package allowing you to explore the links within your music files (and Tidal) in a way not possible previously.
Also consider Roon 1.3 is just around the corner, so even more goodness to come.
Enjoy, Chris

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Have you perused the knowledge base, it really has all you need to know.

Here is the piece about architecture:


Even though Roon will run on some high powered NAS, they are not the recommended core machine as PC, Mac, Linux are just more capable as they have more power. (Having said that there is a thriving community of NAS users https://community.roonlabs.com/c/roon/qnap-synology). I doubt your WD will cut the mustard though, and if you go the NAs route you rule out using HQPlayer in the future and are likely to find it runs out of steam well before a PC core will as Roon advances in to upsampling etc.

As an example my core is on an Intel NUC. It has a 2TB drive where I could store my music or I could connect an external hard drive but as my music was previously on my qnap NAS I have left it there and told roon to “watch the music folder” on this NAS.
Previously I connect this directly to my Chord DAC via USB. I now am trialling using a raspberry Pi so that I dont’ have the PC in my music room.

So you need a core, connected to your network, preferably on a PC, this will play to your output (bluesound products) and you can use an android or apple tablets and phones as controls (as well as the PC).

Hopefully this helps, I’m off now to get some nice fresh bread on a frosty morning in Dublin…



Thanks John. I appreciate your help!

P…S thanks Chris too

I’d just add, start simple. Install it on your PC and connect to some music files.
See if you like it, then explore further.

Not sure what you’d find after 14 days that would change your mind about whether you like it or not. Most of us know pretty quickly from our first interactions, then work out the rest as we go…

Thanks everyone!

As my only way to actually test Roon with a player is with Bluesound (Node 2 on my stereo system, and standalone Pulse), and the rumored integration of Bluesound with Roon will come on January 31st, I will wait until the weekend of January 28 before I start my free trial.

Unless of course something/ somebody changes my mind to do it earlier :smile:

By the way, great community in here, passionate and knowledgeable. IMHO a product is just as good as its community of users and followers.

I would wait until 1.3 is released. Then start your trial.

:smile: That may not happen until summer. I read this forums talking about 1.3 for a while now.

I think it will be closer to end of Jan than the Summer… The sneak preview of what’s coming would be enough to make me wait if I were doing a 14 day trial again - especially if you’re waiting on Bluesound integration.

Thanks to the nice gents from Roon Labs I have exchanged emails with, I was able to get a 30 day free trial instead of the usual 14 day free trial. By doing so, not only will I have more time to evaluate, but also, will be able to evaluate with my Bluesound Node 2 I have (and the Pulse arriving on Monday) when Bluesound integration as RoonReady device is implemented as promised on January 31.

I installed the program on a Windows computer, using my iPad Pro as a controller. “Played” with it for several hours yesterday. I gotta say: impressive!

Great interface, and visual presentation.

Perfect integration with Tidal. My ripped library of CDs in ALAC is fully integrated in one "library " that includes my Tidal favorites.

The problem I have with sorting Tidal albums by artist (currently not available through BlueOS Tidal app) now goes away.

Killer sorting capability via its “focus” feature. Simply amazing!

Extensive genre , and most importantly, sub genre database. Also, fully user customizable (on genres and sub genres)

Includes all kinds of information on tracks and artists (lyrics too!!!). All in nicely laid out presentation and interface.

Perfect visual presentation of the technical info on resolution of tracks , including the path from Roon Core to the player.

I don’t have a player that is RoonReady (yet). That is until January 31, when BS becomes integrated with Roon. So can’t test that. Only been able to play via my AirPlay devices (Apple tv and Denon receiver), but of course not in high resolution playback.

The Roon Knowledge Base has been extremely helpful in helping me figure things out.

As my Window PC where my Roon Core is installed is connected to wifi , I may need to find the way to connect it via Ethernet. Bluesound Node 2 is connected via Ethernet already. As Node 2 will become RoonReady on January 31, that’s all I need to do, right? No need to connect PC to Node 2 in some other way?

I will have to experiment more, and start doing my own customized grouping and sorting, tagging, but Roon so far has impressed me, and looks like a keeper. Having said this, I may do the annual subscription as $500 for lifetime is too much. I feel uncomfortable to pay so much money for a service / startup that may not be around in a couple of years. Unless I find a discount code somewhere, as I read those may be available somewhere from someone. I just need to find them.

Sounds like you’re having fun. :grinning:
Where did you get the Jan 31st date from out of interest?

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As long as your PC is connected to the network via cable Roon will see your endpoints once they are Roon Ready.
I would only use wireless for the Remote controllers.
I don’t think you’ll find discounts as Roon is a small company and requires the income to survive, invest and grow. Start saving to be in a position to convert to lifetime down the road. I don’t think you’ll regret it. In ten years time you’ll see it as the best bargain you ever had. Just my opinion though, what do I know?
Above all, enjoy. I am sure we will all be interested on your impressions of the Bluesound and its performance once Roon Ready.

It was announced on Bluesound forums from Bluesound support reps.

Also, below:


Thanks Chris.

I will just have to find a way to get an Ethernet cable from my Ethernet gigabit switch to the PC. Doable.

As far as the discount is concerned, I fully understand your point on new company and all. However, the fact that at the Roon sign up page there is an option for entering a discount code from “special events, dealers, partners, etc.” means that those discounts exist. I have also found various forums on the web with folks giving out discount codes for Lifetime via PMs, although these forums are several months old.

On another note, and while I wait for my Bluesound RoonReady integration, is there any way to utilize high resolution playback on headphones via mobile (such as iPhone/ iPad )? I realize that some type of Roon compatible DAC will be required, but I have no idea where to start.


You can’t get local output on iPads, but you can on Android tablets.
A Meridian Explorer 2 in USB on a computer will give you high res and MQA.
I listen mainly through my Meridian system at 96/24 and it sounds great even undecoded MQA sounds better than CD in many cases.

Well, that’s a bummer! I have no Android stuff, just iOS (iPhone and iPad). Any plans from Roon on adding support for iOS devices?

I am not even sure whether my Marshall headphones are good enough for high resolution playback hooked to a PC (see attached).

Those Meridian DACs look good, especially since capable of decoding MQA. I noticed the Explorer2 is $199 on Amazon, while the Explorer is $149. Any differences between the two other than being second vs first gen?