Why use Roon instead of just Tidal?

I’m currently using Roon through my iMac using my iPhone and iPad as a remote and going to my Node 2i. I only have Tidal running through it, I don’t want my music library, just Tidal. I have too many songs that I really don’t want to have to wade through if I added my library. The information section on different artists is nice but I can just as easy Google them like I always have. I don’t believe it helps as far as so if quality as opposed to just using Tidal.

Am I missing something on why I should use Roon? I like the fact that it connects to my Node automatically whereas I have to connect to it using Tidal. I hate the fact I can’t control the songs from the lock screen with Roon and I can with Tidal. It seems everything I read people are using Roon but usually through a computer directly. I won’t do that, I just want to control with iPad mainly. I also have issues with it dropping out for a few seconds while I’m listening. It also seems to skip the first second when skipping ahead or back.

Maybe using Roon through a remote just isn’t what it’s supposed to be but I can’t see a reason to keep using except for the automatic connection. What am I missing here?

If you do not feel that you are missing anything, even when trying out Roon more extensively, I would say that you’re probably good with just having a streaming service such as Tidal.

I like Roon for using in three different locations at home. I don’t have a huge ripped or downloaded library and mostly use Tidal. If I only had one system I would maybe consider not using Roon.

But now I use Roon and its convenient. I also appreciate the music Roon chooses when I don’t actively make a choice to change. But I guess most services now a days provides something similar.

Rule of thumb: if it doesn’t feel right for you, then use something that feels more right :+1:t3:



This is the technical support section and is focused on solving technical problems. Questions as to Roon’s worth or “Why is Roon better” should be handled in the Roon Software section; as those amounts to individual user’s use cases. That being said, on to …

Hearing your brief descriptions, it sounds like you have the Core/Server running on an iMac, which receives the incoming Tidal stream, processes it and then sends it out as PCM to the Node2i; and Roon server is controlled by an iPad.

First question, is any of these devices wired or is this all wireless. As wireless would explain the intermittent drop-outs.

As for the couple of seconds that get cut, check to see if you have the option to increase buffer sizes, Settings/Audio/ choose device and go into device settings… Advanced settings and Buffer Size, if it is configurable, will be there. Increase it until the cut-offs stop.

As, I am just another user and not official support; To better help support, please provide the following information:

To help our team resolve your issue, please make sure to describe the issue , and describe your setup :

Describe The Issue

When you start a thread in the Support category, Roon Support will need to know:

  • What’s not working
  • How often the issue occurs

This could be “every time I start the app”, or “every time I click a certain button”,etc.

If you’re having a crash or an issue that happens sporadically, it’s helpful if you can let us know an approximate time for when it last happened.

Describe Your Setup

It’s important that you include all relevant setup information so our team can get a clear understanding of the issue.

Your post should include:

  • Details on your Core machine (OS, Hardware specs)
  • Networking details (especially what hardware you’re using, how everything is connected, and anything notable about how it’s all configured)
  • Audio devices in use
  • Library details (where your music is stored, whether you’re using a streaming service, how many tracks are in your library)

Including these details in your first post helps us resolve your issues faster.

If you are just streaming Tidal to a single zone without DSP, Roon will offer little to you vs the Tidal app other than richer metadata. Roon becomes more valuable or a must have when you start wanting to integrate a local collection, have multiple streaming services (many Roon users have both Tidal and Qobuz), want to stream to multiple zones that include non airplay or chromcast devices, want to stream hi res to multiple zones (airplay and chromecast only support 44.1k bitrates) or want to use dsp technology to upscale, equalize or correct room sound issues.


That depends; Tidal’s app, imho, doesn’t match Roon’s rich DSP options, not to mention, the ability to add DSP to MQA streams.

Hi @Dean_Seales,

As @Rugby mentioned, the #roon section is the best place to discuss why to use Roon vs TIDAL, but it does sound like you have some Roon technical issues noted here as well, which we can certainly look into if you wish.

Do you have any DSP active such as Crossfade?

Can you please provide your full setup details?

Currently Roon can only control zones which are local to your iOS devices (meaning Bluetooth or “System Output”) from your lock screen. You can connect to your iOS device via Bluetooth to have control, but do know that this will limit your sample/bit rate to the iOS devices native rates. We’re looking into adding more options here outside of just the local zones, but this is a feature request and I cannot comment on a timeline of when/if this will be done.

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I highly recommend watching the video below as a primer and if it Roon is still not compelling, then you don’t need it. If you do like it, then you should watch the other updates as well.

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Thanks for the recommendation. He clearly states Roon does nothing to the signal so it’s doesn’t help there. I won’t use zones, I’ll only listen where I happen to be sitting. I have 2 Nodes, one on each stereo system. Nothing in there leads me to believe I need Roon.

Thanks. Kinda what I was thinking too, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

Your two stereo systems would each be a Roon Zone if you had a Roon endpoint in them both eg. Chromecast or another streamer. So where you’re sitting isn’t the point, as such.

Your problems with tracks skipping and missing the first part of tracks is a very common and known problem with the Bluesound Node 2i. A lot of people have abandoned the Node 2i due to these issues. I had one for 2 days and gave it back to the dealer.

In my system I have just one zone - my living room stereo - and I find Roon an invaluable part of my music listening. The Roon Radio suggestions of new tracks and artists (which auto-play as I listen) have introduced me to loads of great new music I’d never have discovered otherwise. Also, the links within the album/artist pages make it very easy to dig into details about different artists, albums and similar music I might like by clicking the ‘similar to’ and ‘influenced by’ areas. Just using the Tidal app would be like cutting off a hand, compared with the richness of the Roon experience.

I have a Nucleus and use an iPad in my system and it seems most people use a tablet too. It works great. I see no need to lock the iPad and control from the lock screen, I just leave it open.

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Yeah I know how it works, it’s just not something I think I’ll ever use. I’ll sit at one of my systems and listen so I can just connect to that one as I need.

The information thing is what I thought I would enjoy the most but I just don’t use it. I guess I’m used to researching the “old fashioned” way by Googling as I’ve done for years. The recommendations Tidal seems to do a much better job than Roon for me as far as what I’d like (both 1000 times better than Apple Music).

I’ll have to look into the skipping thing. Is it a Roon/Bluesound thing because I don’t think it happens with Tidal.

I find the sound quality from the native tidal app to be vastly inferior compared to Roon streaming to the same end point.

In fairness I have to do it from my iPhone as I don’t have a tidal streamer but the network connectivity is identical in both cases.

It’s because the 2i version is not Roon Ready. The old 2 worked fine, so I’m told.

Re the artist info and links etc. How can googling things be preferable? You end up with loads of results you don’t want and have to leave the Roon app as well and the whole process takes much longer. Also, you have to decide what to search for, rather than have multiple relevant links presented to you by system that’s made for this purpose. If you prefer Googling then good luck to you. Personally, I couldn’t think of a less convenient way to search for artist info, unknown links between artists, concert tickets, etc etc than manually googling each search term.

I’ve tried several times and I always end up looking where I know I can get the info I want. It’s easier because I can pick and choose what I want to read. I’m smart enough to know what’s legitimate and what’s not.

I follow several bands media pages and one thing I know for sure is they’re not a place for new fans, the members generally think everything is great. So as far as new music I’ll stick to the sites I’m familiar with. I can see how it’s easier if you’re new to exploring music but I’ve been doing it a long time. To me it’s simple and a lot more fun. I never know where it will lead me and I enjoy the adventure. So perhaps if you’re just using Roon and social media you’re missing out. But if you want to just use it good luck to you.

Ps It’s really not that hard now is it?

Interesting. You say you’re using iPhone, how are you getting it to your endpoint?

Not a question of being hard, it’s that Roon presents a lot of information right in front of you in a helpful easier to use way for most cases. Of course, in-depth stuff like the website of a particular artist is something different eg. the website of Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek has lots of extra stuff for the more committed fan, and I do read that site often. However, when I’m using Roon to listen to Early Music/Renaissance I find the hyper-links and extra info very pertinent to my experience.

I can get TIDAL from my phone to my amplifier via Bluetooth, AirPlay or Chromecast. None sound anywhere near as good as TIDAL over Roon via Roon Bridge.

I started the Tidal trial around June/July of 2019. That was the first time I had tried any streaming services other than Pandora. Having Tidal streaming, easily selected music, to my Denon receiver with HEOS was a new and exciting experience for me. I don’t know how to use it as you described.

I also had around 300 cd’s that I seldom listened to because deciding what I wanted to hear and finding the disc was a pain. And, like you mentioned, I had a lot of music I didn’t want to listen too. I had heard about having the discs ripped to a drive and decided to give it a try. That is when I found out about Roon. It was so easy to “wade through”, as you put it, all my music and rediscover some I had forgotten about.

When I logged in to Tidal through Roon I liked the interface better, but I hadn’t spent that much time with just Tidal. Then I added the trial for Qobuz. Having it all accessible, selectable, and being able to play music so easily anywhere in the house, garage or shop with a Roon Ready device is fantastic, for me.

I didn’t have any way to play music except for a receiver in my living room and sometimes my PC in the bedroom. Now I have music everywhere and can’t imagine being without it.

If you’re satisfied with what you have, don’t care for what Roon has to offer, then you are not missing anything. It is something different for everyone depending on their needs.

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Got ya. I can’t tell a difference in the sound quality between Roon and Tidal.

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Thanks for the info. I decided to go ahead and keep using Roon for a bit just to make sure. This morning I have lost the signal to my Node 3 times then came back on playing a different song. Twice it just stopped (wouldn’t even appear in my list), had to close it and reopen. Both times I connected Tidal to Node through my iPad. This is making my decision easier. It seems there’s an issue between Roon and Node 2i. If that’s the case I will keep my 2 Nodes.