The Roon Ready Promise & the Case of the Bluesound 2i

I actually agree with your concern. From my perspective, Roon Ready means that Roon has put the product thru extensive testing. But hey, certain use cases will occasionally get missed. I just don’t think a manufacturer should be automatically removed from the Roon Ready designation because there may be issues for some users under certain conditions that weren’t discovered during the testing process.

BUT, I very much would like to know of those use cases without having to scour the bowels of many threads attempting to find and assess the validity of such cases. If Roon knows, then I would very much like them to share that in an easily and intuitively found manner.

Hey, just my two cents worth. Perhaps I should have listed this under feature requests.

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@mdconnelly,

I agree that a bug, even a severer one should not trigger an immediate revocation of Roon Ready status…there is printed marketing material, logos, etc., etc.

BUT, there should be some limit to how long a device can fail to perform basic Roon operations and still remain Roon Ready.

Unless there is some type of SLA provision between Roon and the hardware manufacturers there is nothing that prevents a device from receiving Roon Ready status once and then falling out of compliance but still being advertised as Roon Ready. In this scenario, the customers lose and Roon Ready becomes meaningless.

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That’s not what happened, IIRC, as there was an extensive period between the release of the ‘i’ line, and Roon Ready certification. Whatever problems have surfaced, they have done so on items that were explicitly tested.

Thanks @dhusky, you are likely correct, which shines the light on the thoroughness of the testing and/or the upkeep of being compliant with “Roon Ready.” Particularly as the setup and use case to demonstrate the problems are rudimentary.

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I agree completely on this. But it will always fall on Roon to verify the extent of the problem and determine at which point the manufacturer is no longer acting in good faith to resolve it. A thorny issue I’m sure.

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I experience all of the same issues as the original post. I have found that allowing the Bluesound bar time to wake up helps with the silent playing sometimes but other than that I’m at a loss.

Completely agree. My pair of Flex 2i are both useless as a Roon endpoint. One of them had to be returned (I had absolutely no help at all from Bluesound who insisted that I’d made a mistake in the setup, luckily the retailer was more helpful). The replacement was able to be found by the BluOS app, but they’ve never been able to play more than three tracks in a row before Roon loses control of them. Usually it’s less than halfway through the first track before this happens.

I love Roon, it works perfectly on several of my other devices (from my Moon Neo Ace all the way to the simple Allo DigiOne) but I really wish someone had warned me about the uselessness of the Flex range and the total lack of concern from Bluesound in helping their customers with this. It makes Roon look bad regardless of whose fault this is, so I’d also like to see them revoke the Roon Ready status before someone else makes the same mistake as I did

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Unfortunately Roon customers always seemed to have been treated as second class citizens by Bluesound. Those who have a working setup are generally delighted with it, those who don’t often seem to have found themselves blamed or ignored.

FWIW, I also support the idea that Roon Readiness should imply some ongoing commitment - at the moment on the one hand there’s no obligation to keep pace with RAAT updates and on the other seemingly no obligation to fix late emerging bugs. Whilst this ?probably affects few users, for those who are bitten it must be maddening.

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@Damon_Copeland, in my own experience, neither turning off standby mode for the Bluesound device (eliminating the need for ‘wake up’ time) nor using the device when already ‘awake’ eliminates the issue. Sadly.

@Jay_Kay, I’m not sure it impacts only a few users. I believe it affects many users who just give up in silent frustration.

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The symptoms you describe with the Bluesound 2i are very similar to what I experience when trying to get Roon to play through Sonos. Outside of Roon the Sonos performs without issues.

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@c2c2c2 Unfortunately it only fixes it probably 1/4th of the time for me. Sometimes rebooting Roon fixes it, sometimes waking the soundbar up via the BluOS app fixes it, and sometimes I just tell Alexa to start playing a Pandora station because I’m tired of sitting in frustrated silence punctuated by my own cursing.

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I have a long(-ish) history with Bluesound and Roon and I have had my fair share of issues. I am not surprised that the integration of Roon into partner platforms is difficult to get right and also difficult to maintain as firmware / product changes occur. It takes a lot of coordination and collaboration between firms (Roon + Partner) and then an ongoing technical collaboration to maintain the integration. Considering many partners can’t even ensure bug free operation of their own platform (e.g. Naim, Bluesound etc.), imagine how hard it becomes with Roon as an external partner. The result is an occasionally or frequently difficult user experience as in the case of us who attempt to use Roon with Bluesound speakers. I am always hoping Roon will eventually develop speakers so they can control the entire ecosystem. Anyhoo… I have gone back and forth with Sonos, Bluesound, Naim and Allo Digi devices. The Allo Digi end points are bullet proof. Sonos also works well as long as you are ok with the sound quality. I cannot get passed the listening fatigue from the Sonos sound flavour so I had to try something else. I use Allo Digi devices successfully at my second home and they are stable as a rock over WiFi. I had no choice but to go with Bluesound for my small apartment as there is no space for a proper HiFi setup. Flex 2i for the bedroom and Soundbar 2i for the (tiny) living room. Of course I ran into the problems mentioned in this and other threads. Here is the support thread I have opened:

I have found a way to live with the Bluesound system but it is very very sensitive. I can only skip track once and avoid successive skips. The Soundbar needs to have at the very least a ‘Good’ WiFi signal strength. If a Bluesound firmware update happens, I have to restart Roon core. There are 5-10 second delays upon playback start. I have accepted all this and I am living with this system for two reasons: 1) I like the way Bluesound sounds with Roon and 2) there is no other Roon ready solution that offers compact speakers that I can use in my tiny apartment (Sonos brings me listening fatigue).

I am thinking of trying power line adapters soon to see if the Bluesound speakers behave better that way.

Beautiful way with words you have, John. That initial post was a lovely read.

I’m another long-term, long-suffering Bluesound / Roon owner that’s lived with his devices dropping off the network since Day Dot. I’ve never thought it a Roon thing; always assumed it’s a Bluesound thing. My particular problem seems relatively limited to some owners’ stories: just Bluesound devices disappearing off my network and essentially being non-existent as far as the Roon and Bluesound apps are concerned. And it can be different units (I have Node 2, Powernode 2, Soundbar, 2x Flexes) absent on each app at any given time. And the units hooking back onto my network (after restarting my mesh network, for instance) can be a crap shoot.

I’ve never really liked Bluesound’s assertion that nearly all the time, it’s a problem with the network. My position is – everything else I have hooked up on the network, works. And, given that I work from home in games development, there’s a lot of stuff – games consoles, computers, Hive, light bulbs, printers, tablets, all sorts. Bluesound is the only thing that doesn’t. Ergo: your fault, sunshine.

I recently followed the particular rabbit hole relating to my problems (via public-facing forums, rather than Customer Support), turned on multicasting on my Velop, then bit the bullet and turned off and unplugged everything in my house with an internet connect, then killed the network itself, waited five minutes, then slowly turned everything back on one by one.

That was only a few days ago right enough, but… so far so good.

Thank you @Pete_Morrish, very kind of you to say.

My apologies,
but I saw that mr. dhusky use before Musical fidelity Mx dac and Node 2 . Is it worth to buy Mx dac , compared to sound from onboard dac in Node 2?
Thank you…

Hi John - Welcome! I felt it a worthwhile improvement at the time, but I’ve learnt a lot since and I think there’s probably greater improvements possible for the money. FWIW I now use a Lumin D2 DAC/Streamer, which is great. Depending on your budget and functionality you may also want to check out other DACs like the Chord Qutest, RME ADI-2, Benchmark DAC3 and Mytek Brooklyn or some RPi DAC/Streamer solutions (e.g. Allo Katana, ApplePi DAC).

Thank you for reply,
I will check options you mention.

Best Regards,
John

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I was reading something on another forum where a Node 2 user wanted to use an aftermarket PSU to enhance his device. He wasn’t a Roon user and has been more than happy with his device. Rather than fit the supply to his 2 he was advised to upgrade to a 2i because although materially the two devices are the same, work done on the WiFi module (shielding, noise reduction and software) had made the device sound better than its predecessor. He complied and I await his findings with interest. But if the 2i owes its jump in performance to the WiFi module when using Bluesound then I can almost understand their reticence in making any changes hurriedly.

I brought my Node 2i back from from my office (my desk had too much head-fi stuff on it :smile: so I’m back to using my Walkman).

Anyway, I tried using this device again with Roon, using an 802.11ac connection with Roon Server running on my new Mac Mini.

The good news is it seem that the Node’s AC Wi-FI connection problems have been solved by BluOS.

The bad news: Wow… the truncation problem at the start of playback is still there. You can really hear it with Tool’s new album, using the title track at the start. The bell/cymbal strike at the start of the track is truncated at the start - very noticeable.

To verify this is a Node 2i problem, I switched my Bryston BDP-1 back into Roon mode (I normally use MDP playback because, well… it sounds better). No truncation with the BDP-1, so it’s not a file corruption problem nor is it a Wi-Fi problem - I also setup the Node 2i through the same wireless bridge with no change.

Finally, I dug out some RCA interconnects and tried the analog output from the Node 2i - same truncation as with the coax digital output.

So, it’s clearly a software problem on the Node 2i.

I can’t believe BluOS isn’t aware of these issues, but it doesn’t surprise me. IMO, their development team needs serious help. I’ve reported a number of issues with the playback app. One example: the macOS controller app highlights the wrong playing track, which others tell me has been a problem for more than a year. Their support people are very polite, but if you look at their support forum, nothing ever gets fixed.

I do wonder, however, how issues like these make it though the Roon certification process. Is there not bit-perfect playback testing?

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