What does Roon offer? I'm coming from the Meridian world

Hi Danny
Can you clarify what Roon is going to offer? I currently have a Sooloos 2.2 system and was planning to move to Sooloos 3, however due to all the changes obviously that is on hold now, will Roon sw effectively replace Sooloos 2.2 or will I still need some kind of Meridian / Sooloos core sw and or hw product?

Good luck with your new venture.


I’m going to answer your question tailored for a Meridian/Sooloos user that understands that Roon will be a similar product to Sooloos. Correct me if that is not a good assumption.

Right now, we have a software-only offering, and that is what we will ship first. It will run on OSX or Windows. Think of running it on an small Intel NUC or a Mac Mini, and that being your “system core”. Or, you can run it standalone (Core+UI in one) on any laptop or pc you may have lying around.

You will be able to control it from another OSX or Windows or Android tablet. iPad is going to come very soon after. Unlike the Sooloos offerings of the past, the UI you see will be the same, no matter the device you run it on (this will not be true later when we add a custom UI for phone form factors, but that is not going to be available at initial release).

The software supports music on your own built-in or USB/Thunderbolt connected harddrive/SSD, or over the network on a NAS.

The software supports a variety of audio endpoints. The list is not finalized for release yet, but will surely include Meridian, Airplay, Linn’s Openhome/Songcast, and something new called RoonSpeakers. We are working with other hardware manufacturers to include RoonSpeakers support in their hardware. We also have some additional protocols in the works. UPnP/DLNA is not one of them. The support there is horrendous and inconsistent. Maybe soon, I’ll write a blog post about why its so bad.

We also support USB endpoints, via the OS, and via “exclusive” or “direct” mode, which bypasses the OS mixer. This allows a bit perfect stream from our application to the endpoint. We will be certifying many products in this mode. Others will probably work, but when we certify that they work, we are sure no one is messing up anything. Unfortunately, there are a million ways to screw up the audio stream, and many products inadvertently do. Also, as of Android 5.0, there is a possibility to support USB endpoints there too.

We will support all the common file formats at 1x,2x,4x,8x sample rates, and DSD (over PCM), and although we will not provide any DSP filters at first launch, they will come soon after.

The software will require a data subscription (very affordable annual subscription, or a one time lifetime license). The data and experience we provide using this data makes everything else look and feel ancient. We have moved away from artist -> album -> track hierarchy. This exists only as a small portion of our navigation. I wont speak too much about this here, as our blog and the the website will soon be ready with a ton more information about this.

Hope that gives you a bit more information for now… remember, we haven’t launched yet! Things are still in flux!


Sounds good.

I look forward to trying it out.

Sounds like a very interesting setup.
Can I ask you to clarify one more thing?

Are you only looking at providing data for locally stored music?
Or do you intend to link to service like Tidal as well?

Both. The experience is really nice when using a streaming music service. Our focus is on your personal collection, but we augment the experience with the service, inline. Our forward browsing experience gets enhanced in ways no one else accomplishes, including the streaming services themselves. Our new integration model provides all the benefits you expect with your library, but extended to the service, but without overwhelming you with “all the content”.

Enno’s blog post mentioned that we started this entire thing to solve the above problem. This integration feels like we finally made a dent in it.

Reading the information above it is clear that I could use Roon with my MC200 used as an endpoint, and that I cannot run Roon itself on the MC200 “core”.

Does that ability to control a Sooloos endpoint include telling an MC200 or MD600 to play music that is stored on their storage? I.e. If I install Roon on an OSX server, and I have an existing MC200 or MD600, do I need anything else?

An MD600 is a store and core not an endpoint, the MC600 is core store and endpoint (x6). So as I understand it a minimal system could be OSX box running Roon with Flac files on it and an MS200 or in your case an MC200.


Incredibly exciting news and opportunity for so many to enjoy our music collections like never before.

You got it.

As I said, I’d love it if Meridian would offer a Roon software upgrade for the MC200 and other cores. The new software has higher CPU and ram requirements, but I’m sure it’d work.

The endpoint only devices at Meridian would not need any upgrades. MS200, MS600, ID4x, etc…

If Meridian does not offer an upgrade to the “cores”, you can still use them as an endpoint, and I believe the storage is already exposed as a read/write SMB share. It should work fine.

If you want to get going with Roon ASAP, it’ll be a simple thing to do with existing gear, and maybe some upgrades will possible later, from Meridian and others.


I’m a bit confused at the moment. I recently bought a Sooloos Control:15. Are you saying I will not be able to use it as a Core or Control?

The C15 has three roles, storage, control and playback (audio endpoint).
Meridian is expected to continue to release Sooloos, at least the next version, say 2.3, supporting MQA.

Roon has indicated it will work with Meridian end points, while running itself on i.e. an intel nuc or mac mini type of device.

Which should give you the choice to use your C15 either:

  • with Meridian Sooloos with MQA and current user experience
  • as an audio end point with Roon, where Roon runs on additional hardware (ie a NUC) and you control it through a tablet

There is a third option in theory, which is that Meridian will actually embrace Roon and deliver that embedded on the C15. I would suspect that to be at least a little a ways off (as Roon sees ’ embedded’ as a next evolution), but potentially roadblocked by hardware constraints on the C15 (perhaps upgradable, ie memory) and, more importantly, Meridian would need to want to do this (Roon already said they’d like to).

@rovinggecko, thanks! I couldn’t have said it better.

@jaapaap, if there is concern about MQA, it should be noted that Roon does not support MQA right now (April 6th). It may at launch, it may not. We will have to see. This is up to Meridian.

I think people are getting confused/concerned about Sooloos vs Roon because they think Roon is the successor to Sooloos. It is not; it is a new product in the same space.

I see where you’re coming from and that it’s out of your control. I just have to hope that the third option happens. It would be a real shame and very awkward not to be able to use the Control 15 as a control…

Does Roon need to support MQA? My understanding of Roon is that it will deliver the music to the endpoint (Sooloos or otherwise) from a NAS with a pretty UI.

Since MQA is embedded in the PCM of the music file it’s surely the case that Room is not required to decode the MQA, merely deliver it to MQA enabled hardware that can decode the MQA information.

Non MQA hardware will ignore the encoding and deliver CD-quality sound.

I might have missed this info, but could you tell us the minimum spec of the hardware needed to run Roon? If I’m buying a Mac Mini that could be repurposed for a Roon server at a later date I’d hate to find out the spec is too low.

Roon supporting MQA means that it will play the MQA files to your endpoint in better than CD quality.

My limited technical knowledge causes me to see your answer as a restatement of the first paragraph of the query? Should I take that restatement as a "Yes it will"or “Yes it could if licensed” support MQA? Would saying it will unconditionally, assume concrete arrangements/agreementshave been made with Meridian to do so, which are not finalized/are contingent on successful negotiation of related, or other matters of strategic and economic importance?

MQA plays at CD quality if you don’t have a decoder. If you have a decoder, MQA can play better than CD Quality.

My understanding is that only 3 products support MQA decoders right now, at least that’s what I can deduce from Meridian’s MQA website. The same site states:

… revealing full quality with a hardware or software MQA decoder.

MQA is being licensed by leading hardware and software creators around the world.

We have had talks about being one of those licensees of the software MQA decoder, but we don’t have it yet. I hope we will have it before release, but that is up to Meridian.

I think you are used to concrete announcements from Meridian and others. We will have those too, but I’m a lot more open about what’s going on behind the scenes, unless we are limited by NDA.

I realise it’s early days, but how soon is ‘very soon’? This UI is key for me adopting Roon

Yah I realize that a lot of others are like you too. We have already started the work, but I cant give you a timeline. It is the top priority post-release.

Thanks for your reply. I am reassured by the openess and look forward to more info soon.