Thoughts regarding zones

Before Roon I only had my main speakers in the living room. Now I also have a kitchen zone, a bathroom zone, and a study zone. I use zones to play the same music in two or more zones at the same time and I use “transfer zone” when I want to take the music with me to another room. I have never had the use for playing two different pieces of music at the same time.

It seems to me that the user interface for zones favors playing different music in different zones at the same time, whereas grouping zones requires going one menu deeper and clicking save after ticking off boxes.

My request for the zone UI would be to move the grouping feature out to the zone selection UI and make it something like the layer interface in Photoshop where you can click layers on and off from visibility. I realize the analogy is not precise. In the case of Roon all “layers” or zones would be playing the same music. But the feeling of clicking zones on and off seems like the most simple way to do zones. The one music number playing in the entire system would be jumping or grouping seamlessly between zones.

It could also be a way to transfer zones as you would just click the zone you want to transfer to and then click the original zone off (or mayby even drag and drop).

In my smallish setup in my smallish apartment 9 times out of 10 it is the same two zones I switch between or group together so a way to define a “next most used zone” setting would be helpful. The logic would be: If I play in one zone (eg. living room zone) there can be a user defined next zone to that (in my case the kitchen zone). And reverse my kitchen zones “next zone” would be the living room. In that way I could transfer or group to the “next zone” with one button. That would take care of most of my zone grouping or switching with just one button.

Another nice touch would be keyboard shortcuts for zones. That would your Harmony remote number buttons could be used to switch zones on and off.

There is probably a technical developer nightmare underneath this idea that I don’t know anything about. The idea also favors those only playing one track at a time. And there are probably other network aspects that I haven’t thought through. Just my thoughts on simplifying zones. Feedback is most welcome.

We have 4 zones which regularly have 4 different sources playing. Only ever used groups when there is a big party. So the current method suits my household very well. I do use transfer zone a lot to.

Maybe an option to create a pseudo zone in settings would be better, i.e. a zone that’s always made of n+1 zones?

This would only show in zones if the constituent zones are available and inactive. The current method for grouping could then remain.


Guys, I have questions regarding zones. I have Bluesound speakers in 3 different zones, the Kitchen, Studio, & Bedroom. Right now all three are grouped together into one zone because I like listening to the same music streaming throughout my apartment during the day. What I want to be able to do is also add other zones with the Kitchen & Studio in one zone and the Bedroom in it’s own zone. The reason for this is that if I’m sleeping in my Bedroom, when my roommate comes home and he wants to listen to music in the Kitchen & Studio, he won’t accidentally turn on my Bedroom speakers. If my roommate only used a dedicated Kitchen & Studio zone he won’t be able to accidentally turn on the Bedroom zone. As it is now, since all three zones are linked together the only way to turn off the Bedroom zone is with the slider to turn down the sound to 0. So is the following possible with Roon? Can I have three dedicated zones?

  1. Kitchen+Studio+Bedroom
  2. Kitchen+Studio
  3. Bedroom

You can’t use the same endpoint (Bluesound speaker) in more than one grouped zone at a time. You will have to group zones when you need them. That is one of the reasons why I suggested a simpler or faster way of grouping zones in my post.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some UI changes in the next release:)

Yeah, or the ability to nest zones. Probably gilding the lily, tho.

Maybe instead of grouping and ungrouping zones there could simply be a check mark next to each zone that you click on and off though I don’t see how this could work if you want to play different music in each zone.