Zones and Private Zones

To clarify some confusion on Private Zones:

Zones are composed of 1 or more endpoints (multi-endpoint zones are what we called grouped zones, so you can play the same thing in two locations or more). We only support grouped (or some people called it “linked zones”) with kind types… so for example, Meridian zones can link to Meridian zones, and Airplay with Airplay. USB zones can not be currently linked, but it is on our roadmap.

A Roon Remote exposes its own outputs as zones, but the idea is that Remotes are transient in nature, and not fixed infrastructure. For that reason, we chose to call them Private Zones and make them only accessible from the remote itself. They may not be the feature you are looking for, but they are the right feature for some scenarios.

For the situation where you want to use computers, tablets, phones, network audio components, etc as your zones, and those devices don’t support Airplay, Meridian Streaming, or SongCast (in dev now), then you need those devices to run RoonSpeakers, which is our own streaming protocol that solves many of the issues related to latency, buffering, clock ownership, clock drift, samplerate/frequency negotiation, etc. It also allows us to build user experiences like we do, unlike pull based protocols like OpenHome and UPnP (we really need to write that blog post I’ve been promising about why the pull model leads to bad UX).

Anyway, we are working with 20+ hardware partners at the moment (more being added daily post-Newport) to add RoonSpeakers to their devices. Many of the brands you love are on our list. On top of that, we are going to be releasing RoonSpeakers as a Mac OS X application that lives in your menubar, a Windows application that lives in your system tray, and iOS and Android apps as well. We even have something working on the Raspberry Pi. I think you guys have already convinced us that a Linux build (headless) needs to be released for Roon and for RoonSpeakers.

So, where private zones won’t meet your needs, you should run a less transient endpoint that isn’t tied to the Roon application, software RoonSpeakers!


Thanks. That explains why it shows “RoonSpeakers” Streaming instead of showing LHLabs Geek Out exclusive driver on this remote laptop version.

@audio2addict – that’s just a shortcoming of our display right now. Since we know about the “other side” of RoonSpeakers endpoints, we could add an extra node in Signal Path to do convey the LHLabs Geek Out exclusive driver is the final endpoint. It’s coming…

Does that mean you’re working with Larry and LHLabs? I have their Source and Infinity Plus DAC on order.

I’ve asked @enno to reach out to them at Newport.


Thanks for the information about Zones. From what I understand currently, all PCs (except the server if using a PC for the server role) are private zone. In future PCs that are configured as Roon Speakers will be able to be controlled by any remote. Will a Roon Speaker also be able to work as a remote too?


Thanks for the information.
I really like how I can connect my Teac UD-501 DAC to my MacbookPro by USB to listen to the database on the MacMini. It sounds really great.

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Note that network zones (currently only Meridian and Airplay) can be controlled by remotes today.

The idea is that Roon becomes way much more flexible when these two are separate.

For example, if you want a device to function as an audio zone, you don’t need to run the remote interface all the time, or even meet the graphics requirements – RoonSpeakers is just the audio zone, so it’s very lightweight and can run 24/7 on all kinds of devices.

Conversely, if you have devices you only really use as remotes (like, say a touchscreen computer in the middle of the living room, or a tablet), those can function simply as remotes, without them all showing up in the list of audio zones.

When it makes sense, you’ll of course be able to run the Remote app and the Roonspeakers app on the same device, and then it will be the same experience as when you’re connected to your main Roon install – fully controllable audio zone, and fully functional interface for picking music.

Hi Danny,
Is there an ETA for Songcast support?

Is there a technical roadblock behind this (aligning timing etc) or a functional choice?
In my setup it would be really nice to link my Meridian ID40 with my DDDAC USB dac…

Technical. As I noted, it’s in our roadmap to fix this limitation.

Thanks, I interpreted the roadmap to include USB zones to be linked to other USB’s, but if that is across to Meridian, awesome.

its cross to everything :slight_smile:

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