At first glance, Roon is a typical multi-platform multi-room application that also functions as a digital music collection library. What makes Roon unique is the ability to play beat music, both lossy and lossless.
Roon, however, is not a separate streaming platform, it is an application that allows you to manage services and collections that we already have access to and send them to audio output devices. We control Roon from the level of a computer application, smartphone or tablet. However, before we get into Roon’s functionality, it’s worth briefly explaining why it’s worth playing music in beat-perfect mode.
Simply put, bit-perfect is a media player feature that allows you to send a digital file without any modification. Most players allow us to make changes to a digital file that require digital signal processing—whether it’s changing the volume, changing the bit depth, or something else. These changes do not have to be destructive to the file being restored, but if we want to deliver the file to the system exactly as it was saved, then bit-perfect is the desired option. And Roon is a player that is equipped with this functionality, moreover, it does not require complex configuration of additional protocols,
To start using the Roon player, you will need the heart of the system, which in this case is the Roon Core.
Roon Core centralizes the Roon app so we don’t have to update every segment of our system every time we update the app. Roon Core is responsible not only for the organization of the music collection, but also for the playback process itself – i.e. conversion, output volume control, playback queuing, as well as all multi-room functions.
The core can be a PC or Mac computer, a NAS server, or a dedicated music server such as Roon Nucleus. The software manufacturer publishes on its website a complete list of partner products that can become the heart of the system. Once we have the right device, all we have to do is integrate our music collection and this is one of the most interesting features of the Roon app.
All Roon functions are controlled using the Roon controller, an application that is a kind of remote control. The Roon Controller gives you access to our library and allows you to control Roon Core. Management applications are available for:
Most importantly, they are all unified to maintain uniformity when playing music.
The source and destination devices determine whether we can use the full capabilities of the Roon system.
Many manufacturers are aware of the benefits of Roon systems and therefore certify their devices. Among audio equipment manufacturers with Roon Ready products, you can find the names of very popular world-class brands.
Unfortunately, Roon is not a free system. Its creators offer it in three versions:
- Monthly subscription $12.99.
- An annual upfront subscription that costs $9.99 per month.
- Lifetime subscription, $699 after price increase.
Thus, it is not a cheap solution, but the possibilities and, above all, the pleasure to use that Roon provides make it worthy of consideration. Moreover, thanks to the centralized architecture of the system described above, we are sure that we do not pay for a product that is not technologically outdated. The creators of Roon have also provided new subscribers with a free 14-day trial period to get familiar with the possibilities of this powerful system.