What's The Deal With Roon?

I was curious what Roon was, so I thought I give it a try with the 2 weeks free trial. But I really don’t get it. I have been using Tidal and the BluOS app, and before that I had Apple Music… and they all list the music you have, and play it… what’s the difference?

I tried to connect my network hard drive to Roon for about 30 minutes, but gave up… it didn’t work. I thought that the interface was hard to navigate through, and except from lyrics on some songs, I couldn’t find anything that would make it worth paying for. It doesn’t even look that good.

I must be missing something… because I know there are a lot of people out there who love this service, but I don’t see why I would want to pay money for something that I already have for free… :-/

So…what is it that you want to do (speaking as a user)? If you want to troubleshoot, you need to provide a lot more info as per the sticky post. You’ll find both users and support personnel knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to help.

If you want to rant…good job.

If you want to stop using Roon, just stop.


I relate to the pain of not ‘understanding’ Roon within the 14 day trial. Unfortunately, on first sight, it’s information overload and I don’t think 14 days is enough to try and work out all of the functions it offers by yourself. The more I’ve used it, the more I’ve warmed to it.

Despite working in a HiFi company myself, I would strongly advise going to your local (or preferred) HiFi dealer and letting them demonstrate Roon to you. Then you’ll know whether it’s something you’re willing to invest in or not.


Hi Niklas

I understand your frustration, I was in the same boat as you a few months ago (during the trial). But then I saw a friend’s Roon setup (he had it setup perfectly) and I understood how it could help. Infact I only have 1 room so mutiple zones are not an attractive feature for me, yet I still signed up. The biggest selling point for me was Roon Radio. I discovered so many new good music through Roon Radio that I would otherwise have not known. Plus once you discover these, its so easy to look up info on these songs , artists etc.

Again Roon is a luxury, not a necessity for hifi music. If u r in NYC, I’d be happy to show you how I set it up. Hope this helps.

@John_V please be nice to a new user.


I haven’t been using it for 14 days. I installed it today. Tried to connect my hard drive to it, but failed. Then I spent maybe 5-10 minutes browsing the interface, and came to the conclusion that it was just a mirror of my Tidal account, where I can play my songs…which I can already do. But I guess there has to be more to roon than that…or else I don’t understand why anyone would pay for it…

Are you asking for help on doing this?

Many will offer help, but if your intent is to only vent your frustration then no one should waste their time.

I got so frustrated and disappointed that I canceled the subscription, and I can’t reopen the trial period. Well…I just wanted to know what the deal was…and why people are using it, and paying for it, when it felt like there wasn’t anything special about it…and the interface looked like you were browsing a website, but I guess I will never know. There were also a lot of album art missing. It was just a bad experience.

You gave up too soon, but have a good life.


They might want to look into an easier way to connect your network hard drive to roon. In the Bluos app that Im using, it was just with a “click of a button”, and it was all done. With roon I couldn’t figure out how to do it…and there were no information about how to do it either. There were only a box with Network Share Location, and something about smb…and I found an smb adress inside my router, but that didn’t work…and I tried with the ip adress to my hard drive, and that didn’t work…

Oh well…It’s not the end of the world. I can still play my music just fine…and that’s all that matters. Still don’t know what roon offers more though…

I can relate to the OP. During my 15 day trial period, I was baffled by all the hoopla I was hearing about Roon. At the end of the trail I decided not to subscribe and was asked by a Roon team member why I wasn’t keeping it. I told him that I wasn’t convinced it was worth the cost. He gave me another month for free and I stuck with it. Now I’m a lifetime subscriber.


Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with Roon in the beginning. Mine was totally different. I had just found out about ripping cd’s and decided to spend a couple of days ripping mine to the My Music folder on my PC. Then I found out about Roon and installed it. Within minutes Roon had found My Music Library, populated the database and I had pages and pages of albums with bios to select from and enjoy. Then the radio function kicked in and I got to listen to music that I forgot I had. When I added Tidal/Qobuz the radio function and search facility provided me with an endless supply of new music. All just a click away from being added to my library.

I guess it all depends on where your music is located. Mine was in My Music folder and apparently Roon found it by default. I don’t recall doing anything other than installing Roon on my pc.

In the few months since then I decided to go with the NUC/Rock and the lifetime subscription. Could not be happier about all this if I tried.

The reason why I made this post was that I wanted to know what roon offers compared to other services. What Am I paying for? Am I getting something for my money?

When searching Google I can find that roon offers more information about the artist, albums, tour dates etc. But is that really all? Im not much of a reader…more of a listener.

At the moment I am using Tidal and the Bluos app. Why should I get roon? What do I get with roon that I cant do or experience with what Im currently using?

I thought the same thing at first. But it’s a great tool to combine all of your music and streamed music into a product that gives you the best audio quality available. I like seeing the signal path of my music, the artwork, the Album, Artist, and Track information, the links to associated albums and artists as well.
At first I didn’t care about the mutli-room features but now I have 6 Roon zones in the house LOL! It’s wonderful for entertaining. Using my Iphone and Ipad as the remote control is fantastic as well.
Roon is not a necessity. But if you’re into music it puts a finishing touch on your listening experience.


People are into Roon for different reasons which is great, but it also makes it a bit difficult to provide a single, focused USP when describing the service to someone coming at it cold.

For example, my music streaming background was based entirely around Squeezebox and Squeezebox Server (LMS).

Roon’s unique value for me is:

  1. Tight integration between local and streaming libraries - they just appear as a single entity.
  2. Rich, hyperlinked metadata. So artist bios and albums reviews link to new material that I can explore, discover and listen to new stuff from directly, without leaving the service to an external website.

For some people the use-case is completely different. They’re focused on the playback, DSP, multi-room and hardware integration possibilities.


For your setup it may not make such a difference. However, your Node cost you about $500 and a Lifetime Roon Sub used to cost $500, now $700. Roon can be used on all kinds of devices. BlueOS only runs on the Node. When you get rid of the Node the software goes away with it. When I change my equipment Roon stays right with me and is used on all of my gear.

Well… that depends on your usage. Let’s put aside the massive differences in terms of interface (so all the metadata and interconnection).

One thing you get is a very clear indication of your signal chain. So you know if and when it’s being messed with, and what works and doesn’t.

In the stuff I don’t think either BluOS or Tidal can do, there’s EQ / DSP / Room correction. You get world-class multiroom (and friggin’ multi-room room correction if you want that), here again with a clear indication of what works and what doesn’t. Oh, if you feel like adding a speaker in your shower, that’ll cost you a RaspBerry and a HAT, and it’ll work without faffing around too, too much. Want to build a dedicated server ? RoonLabs’ tell you what stuff they put in theirs, and include their OS in the price of your subscription.

Is that stuff worth what RoonLabs asks for it ? Well, you’re the only one that can make that decision.

I didn’t understand anything of what you just said, so I guess no, it’s not worth it for me.

I don’t know what I was expecting…but I truly thought that it was going to be a better experience than what I am used to. Maybe a nicer interface…ease of use etc…but it was all the opposite. The interface was thin…looked like a simple webpage. There were album covers missing (for some reason), and it was impossible for ME to connect my hard drive with my flac music.

In Roon, open the main menu and choose Support. Click on Roon User Guide.

There is, of course, The Roon Knowledge Base to peruse.


About 70% of the value prop is the integrated metadata from reviews and bios so it’s understandable that it isn’t going to float your boat.

The lack of album art you experienced is some form of setup issue.