Community Music Discovery: October 2021

Lately I’ve been reflecting on one of life’s greatest paradoxes: that classical music can be intimidating. It only takes a few moments of sitting with the thought for the absurdity of it to bleed through.  It’s like saying ‘I saw the most terrifying field of sunflowers the other day’….someone might think you had suffered a head injury and call for help. Yet, some of us have experienced hesitancy when approaching classical music. Fortunately, Roon cures that reluctance and makes exploration a pleasure.

Roon subscribers are uncommonly knowledgeable across an incredible range of musical forms. They’re all on display in the What Are We Listening To thread of our Community forums. They know classical music particularly well, and they love to talk about it. Many of the descriptions that accompany their listening choices are simply radiant in their perception and appreciation. Their suggestions stimulate interest, and with a streaming service integrated in Roon, they’re all right there waiting at the end of a search. It’s really that easy! It’s still somewhat stupefyingly unimaginable, to those of us who were hanging around music stores 30 years ago, that music can be found and heard so effortlessly… it’s science fiction for music heads. The next thing you know you’ll have added 160 definitive classical compositions to your Roon library. And, without even a twinge of hesitation.

My Roon classical journey was jump-started with an RCA Red Seal discovery: Gregor Piatigorsky’s Dvorak; Walton: Cello Concertos. It’s a lively conversation between Piatigorsky and the Orchestra; the cello and the symphony exchange voices in vibrant repartee. A listener doesn’t have to be fluent in classical music to know there’s something special happening on this recording. 

TIDAL: https://tidal.com/browse/album/4918900

Qobuz: https://open.qobuz.com/album/0884977773224

From there, Roon recommended a handful of other RCA Living Stereo and Red Seal classics. I selected one that featured Jascha Heifetz performing Violin Concertos by Sibelius, Prokofiev, and Glazunov. It’s absolutely stunning to me that Roon made it so easy to find an album as remarkable as this one. I can’t imagine being able to accomplish this so seamlessly anywhere else but in Roon. This album is packed with imagination and drama, richly painted as sound. I’ve listened to it nearly everyday since I added it. 

TIDAL: https://tidal.com/browse/album/62707810

Qobuz: https://open.qobuz.com/album/0886445075557

My most recent find required no effort at all. It was shared by a community member, Sjaak D, in response to last month’s Roon Rediscoveries story. It’s a Philips collection by Mitsuko Uchida, Mozart: The Piano Sonatas. Sjaak recalled an evening years ago when he returned home to find his Hi-Fi and modest collection of discs stolen, including this one. And how, despite auditioning several collections of Mozart’s Piano Sonatas over a number of years, none exhibited the same zest or excitement demonstrated by the Uchida set. His longing went unsatiated until he was able to secure another copy of this specific collection. It only takes listening to a few pieces on this set to understand why.

Immediately thereafter another community member, Christian_S, affirmed the brilliance of Uchida’s performance. An instant bond was formed between two people who have never met, but are simpatico in their deep appreciation of music. This is how friendships are born. Any album that sparks a connection like that has a place in my library. 

TIDAL: https://tidal.com/browse/album/4717063

Qobuz: https://open.qobuz.com/album/0002894683562

That’s Roon, everyday. I get to be part of that, and if you’re a Roon subscriber you know what I’m talking about. In Roon you’ll discover the Community vibe of a great record store and all the inventory you could ever want, right under your fingertips. Each great album and accompanying conversation leads the way to another. The music never stops. 

So, while we have you, what Classical performances do we need to hear? This music is too good to go unheard. If you know it well and love it, help us to know it and appreciate it too.  Tell us here, and we’ll share your recommendations in our upcoming listener-curated playlists.




Roon Partner Update: September 2021

This month we have welcomed a new partner, Mission, as well as new devices from Astell&Kern, Mètronome and Zidoo.

You can read all about them in our latest partner update below. For a full list of our partner brands and every Roon Ready and Roon Tested device, visit our Partners page on the Roon website.

Astell&Kern SE200
Roon Ready

The latest Astell&Kern digital audio player to become Roon Ready is the SE200. Featuring interchangeable DAC modules from the A&futura series, the SE200 is Astell&Kern’s seventh Roon-compatible device.

Mètronome DSC
Roon Ready

Mètronome’s DSC is their third Roon Ready certified device.

DSC is Métronome’s first ‘three-in-one’ device: a top converter, streamer, and digital preamplifier all within a chassis machined from high-grade billets of aluminium.

Mission LX CONNECT
Roon Tested

Joining our family of audio partners this month is British loudspeaker pioneers, Mission. Founded in 1977, Mission was immediately recognised as one of the leaders in the development of acoustic engineering.

Fast forward to today and Mission is still innovating. The new LX CONNECT, which is Roon Tested, is Mission’s first all-in-one hi-fi system. The LX CONNECT consists of a compact hub with an OLED display, plus a pair of 60W active wireless speakers based on their LX-2 Mk II which have been specially engineered with high-power digital amplification modules.

Zidoo Z10 Pro and Z1000 Pro
Roon Ready

Since joining our family of audio partners, Zidoo has launched three devices. Joining our list of compatible audio devices in September was the Z10 Pro and Z1000 Pro which are both Roon Ready. 

The Z10 Pro and Z1000 Pro are both high performance 4K media players combining Dolby Vision enhanced video playback with high-resolution music playback.

What does it mean to be Roon Ready?

Roon Ready network devices have Roon’s streaming technology built in, and are certified by Roon Labs to provide the highest level of quality and performance in network streaming.

What does it mean to be Roon Tested?

Roon Tested devices work over USB, HDMI, AirPlay, Google Cast, and other protocols. They have been profiled by the Roon team to ensure simple setup and effortless daily use.



Roon 1.8: September 2021 Release

In our latest 1.8 release, we’re rolling out one of the Roon community’s most requested features: native control of Roon from your phone, even when the screen is locked. Alongside this, we’ve made it even easier to compare different versions of your favorite albums in Roon and expanded Roon’s exporting functionality.

Native control of Roon from your phone

You can now access essential controls natively from your Android or iOS* device without going into the Roon Remote app. Now playing information, volume, and pause and skip controls can all  be controlled from your phone.

Adjusting volume this way controls the level of your audio gear connected to Roon, and respects the volume limits you’ve already set in different zones. This latest update also includes support for your mobile devices physical volume controls, so you can change the volume of your music without even looking at the screen.

On iOS, we’ve also implemented the much-requested gesture support for navigation so you can now swipe from the left or right edge of your phone screen for easy back and forward navigation.

*iOS Beta only: to use this feature, go to your Settings in Roon Remote and enable ‘Lock Screen Controls’. Find out more

Compare versions of your favorite albums

Roon’s album page has always featured a “Versions” tab where you could find other editions of an album, including those from your own music library, TIDAL, and Qobuz. In our latest update, we’ve completely redesigned this view, making it even easier to compare versions in your library and beyond. Whether you’re looking for an expanded edition with bonus tracks or want to listen to an even higher-quality version, Roon lets you do this in a couple of clicks.

Take your Roon content to services around the world

We expanded and improved Roon’s exporting functionality, so it’s easier to copy media out of Roon, or to export detailed information about your music to Excel.

For those of you who enjoy listening to your playlists on multiple streaming platforms, we’ve also worked with our friends at Soundiiz to make it easier to export playlists and other content from Roon to various music services. Our new Soundiiz export mode generates a custom CSV file for any playlists, favorites, or library content you select, which can easily be uploaded to Soundiiz and synced to TIDAL, Qobuz, or nearly any other streaming service. 

Try Soundiiz Premium 

To get access to all of the Soundiiz features, including the ability to transfer all of your playlists to different streaming platforms at once and to keep all of your playlists synced between different platforms, use code “ROONVIP” at checkout to get 15% off the Soundiiz Premium subscription.

Since the success of Roon 1.8 release in February, we’ve received tons of great feedback from our community which we have been using every day to make improvements to how you use and experience Roon. In fact, since 1.8 we’ve made almost 150 bug fixes and improvements to Roon, and this release is no exception.  

New improvements include: a new “Date Modified” sort feature for your playlists, faster loading of your Daily Mixes, improvements to the search autocomplete user experience, high-resolution playback on supported Sonos devices and shuffling of tags that now includes playlist content from outside your library. You can see a complete list of improvements over on our Community post.

Without our community’s input, feedback and support, Roon wouldn’t be where it is today and for this we are truly grateful. If you have any suggestions, questions or you just want to come and say hi, you can contact our dedicated Customer Success & Support team via our Help Center or Community.

Community Music Discovery: September 2021

Hello, 

My name is Jamie and I’m a member of Roon’s Customer Success and Support Team. I also help out with alpha testing our new features, metadata development, and assisting our customers with getting the best possible experience when enjoying Roon. And now, I get to talk to all of you about music. Which is pretty sweet for me because aside from my family there isn’t anything that means as much to me as music. Like many of my colleagues at Roon I’m enamored with all kinds of music and I’ve been privileged to work in the music industry for many years. I was the kid who bought 7-inch singles with his lunch money and later grew up to do live music production, work as a recording engineer, record store clerk, music writer, radio DJ, sound archivist, tape restoration engineer, and compilation producer. The common thread that runs through all those roles is that they provided me with the opportunity to connect with people through a shared love of music. 

One of the things I enjoy most about spending my day with Roon is the way it fosters the rediscovery of music that has moved and inspired me throughout my life. The best parts of my workday are when Roon Radio brings that well-loved but somewhat orphaned song back into my orbit unexpectedly. What always surprises me is the journey that these songs seem to have taken in their absence. They bristle with new energy, gleam with a new coat of paint, or exude some elusive quality that has made them glow a bit brighter. The real explanation for their evolution is that we have changed. Our attention to sonic detail, discernment, taste, and music listening education has grown such that these songs seem to take on a new life. I’ve had no shortage of these moments and I’d like to lay a few of them on you.

Wilson Pickett – Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You. My CD copy of Rhino Records’ The Very Best of Wilson Pickett disappeared without a trace from my music shelf years ago and spirited away this track. Wilson took on every song that he recorded at 110%; what that means is that the songs that weren’t hits still smoke. On this one, Pickett is paired with a Gamble & Huff studio hit-squad that churns out just the right amount of grit. The fat, fuzzy, overdrive on the rhythm guitar part in the chorus was a new detail I had missed before.

Qobuz: https://open.qobuz.com/track/12220508

TIDAL: https://tidal.com/browse/track/19940807

Quicksilver Messenger Service – Mona. I had a dear friend who grew up just south of San Francisco in the late 60s and hitchhiked to the Fillmore West to see shows as a teenager. He told me that Quicksilver Messenger Service was one of the heaviest San-Fran groups he saw live, even heavier than The Grateful Dead. At some point, I ran into a used copy of their Happy Trails album. It showcased a few epic live Bo Diddley workouts that cemented my friend’s observations. Recently when I bumped into this song the beat had become even more tribal and propulsive. Bo’s primitive rhythmic chop is psychedelicized with driving lead guitar from John Cipollina while a second tremolo guitar part pushes the pulse of the song in and out of syncopation. Hearing it again after all these years was a revelation.

Qobuz: https://open.qobuz.com/track/18930964

TIDAL: https://tidal.com/browse/track/2501438

Reuben Wilson – Hold On, I’m Comin. There were a few serious Hammond organ cats at work for Blue Note Records in the 1960s. Reuban was never as highly regarded as Jimmy Smith, John Patton, or Larry Young but he could cook too. This supercharged version of Sam & Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin really gets things boiling. Wilson roots right down in the grove on this one and carries everyone along with him. Lee Morgan and George Coleman blow like they were raised at Stax, Grant Green leans into R&B riffs you could hammer nails with, and Idris Muhammad swings it all kinds of funky on the kit. This cut feels like it was custom-made for playlists. 

Qobuz: https://open.qobuz.com/track/1781377

TIDAL: https://tidal.com/browse/track/2326663

New music discoveries are exciting but there’s something equally special about these rediscoveries – at least we think so. Tell us about your experiences! Which songs have Roon ushered back into your life and library after a long absence? Pick two or three of them and share the qualities that you noticed this time around in the Roon Rediscoveries thread on our Roon Community forum. 

We’ll curate your selections for inclusion in our upcoming TIDAL and Qobuz playlists and publish your song comments on our Music Blog next month. Roon has always been about discovery and exploration. The thing that drives those two catalysts is connections and nothing connects a community quite like music. So, let’s talk music!




Roon Partner Update: August 2021

It’s been another busy month of partner launches at Roon! We’ve welcomed new brands Argon Audio, Silent Angel and Zidoo, as well as new devices from Astell&Kern, Matrix Audio and Soundaware. 

You can read all about them in our latest partner update below. For a full list of our partner brands and every Roon Ready and Roon Tested device, visit our Partners page on the Roon website.

Argon Audio SOLO
Roon Ready

Joining the Roon family in August, Argon Audio are a Danish hi-fi specialist with almost 20 years of heritage. Their mission is to bring their customers affordable high-quality audio solutions, which is something they achieved extremely well with the SOLO.  The SOLO is an easy-to-use network streamer, boasting an array of features including Roon Ready. It has a built-in DAC with an impressive signal-to-noise ratio of over 120 dBA and 64-bit volume for ultimate audiophile sound quality as well as optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs. 

Astell&Kern SE180
Roon Ready

The latest Astell&Kern DAP to become Roon Ready is the SE180. Featuring an interchangeable all-in-one module from the A&futura series, the SE180 offers a fun new experience while on the move. Astell&Kern now have six Roon-compatible devices.

Matrix X-Sabre 3
Roon Ready

Matrix added the X-Sabre 3 to their line-up of Roon Ready devices this month. The X-Sabre 3 is housed in a brand-new chassis and features a refreshed user interface and vastly improved sonic capabilities.

Soundaware A1, A1Pro and A300
Roon Ready

We welcomed three new Roon Ready devices from Soundaware this month. The A300, A1, and A1Pro are all powered by SOUNDAWARE’s FPGA processing and capable of streaming up to 384kHz PCM and DSD256. Upgrade to the A1Pro for SOUNDAWARE’s state of the art power supply and DC filtering technology. 

Silent Angel M1
Roon Ready

Joining our family of audio partners this month is Silent Angel. Founded in 2014, Silent Angel develops high-end audio products including streamers, network switches, and more. The Munich M1 is a flexible Roon Ready device featuring a built-in DAC, a high-quality headphone output, and coaxial S/PDIF and I2S connections.

Zidoo Z9X
Roon Ready

Zidoo was founded in 2014, developing high-end media players, network streamers, and DACs. Joining our list of compatible partners this month, the Zidoo Z9X is now Roon Ready.  

The Z9X is a swiss army knife 4K UHD media player that can satisfy audiophiles and videophiles alike. It can Roon Ready streaming your existing DAC or receiver via its HDMI, Optical, or USB outputs or one can take advantage of its built-in 3.5mm AUX output to easily add a zone to your Roon setup.


The Patricia Barber Interview

Image: Patricia Barber. Photo Credit: Jimmy and Dena Katz

We had the pleasure of speaking with jazz pianist and singer Patricia Barber about her new album Clique out today. In our last post, we sat down with the production and engineering team behind the album, and here, we had the opportunity to ask Patricia Barber questions about her creative process.

Clique features Barber’s trio members Patrick Mulcahy on bass and Jon Deitemyer on drums, with the addition of Neal Alger on acoustic guitar, and Jim Gailloreto on tenor saxophone. This album features covers frequently performed by this group at the Green Mill, Chicago, including works by Stevie Wonder, Alec Wilder and Thelonious Monk.

[Editor] Higher finishes with three covers and now we have the follow-up, Clique. What does the title mean? Is there a relationship between the songs on each album? 

Clique would be a great name for a nightclub. Perhaps it is another term for the “In-Crowd.”  

Higher is most definitely a song cycle. The harmony is more expansive than the prescribed harmony of jazz and/or the American Songbook. They are art songs and can be performed by classical singers as well as jazz singers. 
On Clique the songs are what my trio uses on tour between the original material to inject some rhythm and fun into the sets. 

Image: Patricia Barber. Photo credit: Jimmy and Dena Katz

What can you tell us about your songwriting process? 

My songwriting process is like reinventing the wheel every time. I wish I had a tried and true method, but it isn’t quite so easy. 

Sometimes a hook draws me into a lyric idea. Sometimes I scratch out a harmonic framework first and decide how the lyrics rhythmically will fall into the measures, I put dots on the staff. Then I start a poem/lyric with approximately that many syllables, then the melody carries the lyric. 

If the song is narrative driven, funny, witty, full of information, the lyrics come first, and I keep the music simple enough that the audience can understand the lyrics. It’s all different.  

How do you challenge yourself? 

I write the music I’d like to hear.  

Are there any tips you can share for other songwriters? 

Up your game. The world has enough treacle. Study the great songwriters, poets. Never underestimate your audience. Don’t expect to be paid until the streaming companies start paying composers/artists per play.   

You have a wide range of albums, from your own compositions of song cycles based on Greek mythologies to well-known covers. Is it a different experience recording an album of covers compared to your own compositions? 

With Higher the music is difficult, so we had to concentrate. But my trio is a very professional group of musicians and they bring a high level of concentration and artistry to everything we record. 

Do you have a muse? 

I have many muses, but I keep them private. They function as inspiration. 

Which artists/composers have influenced you the most?

Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Shirley Horn, Elis Regina, Jobim, Fauré, Schumann, Chausson.   

Listen to Clique on TIDAL.

Recording Patricia Barber’s Clique

Clique

We are big fans of Patricia Barber at Roon and so are many of our community members. We had the privilege of going behind the scenes of the making of Patricia’s latest album, Clique, with the album’s husband-and-wife engineering team, Jim Anderson and Ulrike Schwarz, who enjoy decades of combined recording and technical experience as well as many well-deserved Grammys, awards, and wonderful accolades.

Clique was recorded at Chicago Recording Company (CRC) and mixed at Skywalker Sound in January 2019 by Jim Anderson, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in 2020. Patricia Barber’s previous album Higher was recorded in the same sessions, and mixed at Skywalker in 2019.

Jim Anderson 

[Editor]: During the recording process, were all the musicians in the same room, or in separate booths with individual microphones?

The studios at CRC are built for recording and allow for flexibility in recording and mixing. 

All of the musicians are in the studio at the same time, but in their own separate areas: Patricia is in the main room with her piano, a Fazioli, and vocal microphone. She can see directly through the glass doors to the band, all in their own areas. It’s one giant visual circle. 

I’ve found that if the musicians can see each other well, that can make up for any deficiencies they might have hearing each other in their headphones. Good visuals in the studio can allow for snap decisions to be made while recording, allowing musicians to have spontaneity in their performances. 

These separate recordings allow me to have the maximum amount of flexibility when it comes to mixing either in stereo or in surround, and I can optimise the sound of each instrument without worrying about acoustic interference from other instruments’ leakage. 

Patricia’s experience with accompanying herself, live, and working with her band comes into play in the studio. She innately knows how to balance her voice with the piano and doesn’t overplay. This makes recording possible without having to blanket off the piano and disturb her performance.

Patricia Barber in the studio

Can you tell us more about the Horus/Pyramix digital recording system that you used?

For every album of Patricia’s that I’ve recorded, I’ve always looked to see what is the ‘state-of-the-art’ (SOTA) available at the time. For Cafe Blue SOTA was using a full 16bit analogue to digital converter. Modern Cool SOTA was using a Sony 3348 open reel digital recording system. Now with Higher and Clique we’re recording at 352.8 kHz and 32 bit.

Over the years, we’ve managed to increase the transparency and texture of our recording through increasing the sampling and bit rate of the digital systems that we use. 

The Horus/Pyramix system is used, for the most part, in classical recording, where one wants the most compelling and revealing sound possible. This also allows us to release in high resolution.

For Higher and Clique we recorded ‘double system,’ using the studio’s ProTools system, which is what the musicians heard in the studio and in the control room. While the recording was taking place, Pyramix and ProTools were synced, allowing us to use the studio system as a back-up, in case anything happened to the high resolution recording. 

All of this detail should be transparent to the performers and to the listeners. They should just think: “This sounds really good!”

For our readers, can you explain why you decided to mix the album in analog and why you chose the Neve 88 Legacy board?

I am an “old school” mixer, I’m most comfortable sitting at a large format recording console. At the Neve, I have access to everything that I need right in front of me and I don’t have to look at a computer screen or anything that can slow me down.

We use computers when we mix primarily as a playback device. I like the sound of how analogue signals sum, over how sounds can sum when combined in the computer.

All the words associated with analogue sound, warmth, depth, transparency, etc., come into play. I don’t have to ‘emulate analogue’ in my recordings and mixes.

Roon supports MQA decoding. It’s interesting you also did an MQA CD as one of the formats for the album. Can you tell us more about this?

I’ve not worked with MQA in the past. Knowing about MQA, I thought that we were missing a large part of Patricia’s audience and they would enjoy having her music available in as high a quality as possible. 

MQA allows listeners to hear in their homes the music in the quality as it was recorded, mixed, and mastered. 

I love Roon! Listening to Roon has drastically upgraded my opinion of listening to music streaming in the home and on the computer, as well. Thanks, Roon!

Jim Anderson

Ulrike Schwarz

Clique is being released on vinyl. Were the vinyl masters cut from the digital or analog master?

Bob Ludwig presented the DXD (352.8kHz/32bit float) mixes and the mixes on ½” tape (15 IPS, Dolby SR, +0/185nWb) at the start of the mastering session in A/B comparison to me. It was immediately apparent that the DXD mixes were far superior in frequency range, localization and overall stability of the image. 

They sounded so much better and transmitted the bounce of the bass and the music that is happening on this album. 

It was clear that the DXD files were the source for mastering. The DXD master Bob made from this source is the basis for the vinyl cut.

Can you tell our readers more about the MERGING+CLOCK-U technology which was used in the engineering process?

We were very excited to get our hands on such an exquisite piece of gear. The more precise and low noise the clock, the less jitter and more stability your recording/mix/mastering will have. The Merging+Clock-U is the Ultra Low Noise version of their digital clock spectrum. It is precise to 20 parts per billion (per second).

We had the Merging+Clock-U shipped to Skywalker for the mix of Clique 2.0, 5.1 and Higher 5.1 Surround. Higher was recorded in the same sessions and mixed in 2019 at Skywalker Sounds. Clique was mixed in 2020. 

If you compare the 2.0 versions of Higher and Clique you will hear the difference of the Merging+Clock-U versus the regular Merging Clocks. Patricia’s voice sounded freer, the bass had more bounce, there was more spaciousness in the overall sound.

We also didn’t have any fatigue listening and working for long hours. Another advantage we want to keep.

The album was mixed at Skywalker Sound, a legendary studio. Are there any unique tools available in that studio and/or did you bring anything with you to the sessions?

Skywalker is in many ways a legendary place. The staff’s attention to detail and willingness to let us bring in any sort of extravagant gear is unique. 

For this project we brought in our Pyramix/Horus system as a playback and recording system, with the added perk of the Merging+Clock-U. 

The base frequency of this ultra high clock needs to work with the automation of the analog mixing board. Since the Merging+Clock-U is designed as a standalone consumer piece, it needed a bit of convincing to work in a studio environment. This is where the excellent technical staff of Skywalker shines.

Skywalker also have access to the analog reverb chamber that we like to use in our mixes.

Mixes we do at Skywalker hold up in any other environment. What we hear at Skywalker is what we get. If it is great there, it will be great anywhere. There is no higher praise than that for a mixing location.

Are there any unique technical approaches that were used in the mix to prepare the album for mastering?

For this recording session we exchanged every power cable in the recording chain at CRC with custom made power cables and/or power accelerators of Essential Sound Products to lower the noise floor to infinity. 

We also used custom made IX-3 AccuSound cables for all interconnections in the recording chain. We took them to Skywalker for the mixing process. 

The laptop that was used for the recording was custom built and was the first of its kind in the world, allowing 64 channels of DXD recording.

Those are technical details that support the magic of the sound. The real brilliance is in the recording and the mixing.

Other than that, Bob Ludwig worked according to his principle of “Do no harm” to the mixes and carefully mastered Clique to its brilliance. Bob presents every master he does for us also in MQA and we decide if we want to embrace the MQA version for the download or CD version. Clique was a prime example to do so. I am very happy that we decided to have this as our streaming and CD version.

Ulrike Schwarz & Jim Anderson

Follow Jim Anderson on Instagram. Follow Ulrike Schwarz on Instagram. Stay tuned for our next post where we speak to Patricia Barber.

Listen to Clique on TIDAL.

Roon Partner Update: July 2021

We kicked off summer with an impressive array of 17 new Roon Ready and Roon Tested devices from audio heavyweights Arcam, Astell&Kern, Bluesound, JBL, Rotel and more… read all about them in our latest partner update below. For a full list of our partner brands and every Roon Ready and Roon Tested device, visit our Partners page on the Roon website.

Aavik 
Roon Ready

Joining the Roon family in June, Aavik are a Danish high-end audio brand who develop and manufacture amplifiers, digital-to-analogue converters, streamers and phono stages. You can now enjoy Roon Ready built-in on the S-180, S-280 and S-580 audio streamers.

Arcam ST60
Roon Ready

The ST60 is Arcam’s first ever dedicated hi-resolution audio streamer. Loaded with an abundance of features such as MQA, analog and digital outputs, and now Roon Ready, it is hugely versatile whilst being simple and straightforward to operate.

Astell&Kern KANN ALPHA
Roon Ready

Joining our family of Roon Ready audio partners in March of this year, Astell&Kern is a global leader in portable digital audio players. The KANN ALPHA is the fourth device to become Roon Ready, providing an ultra high power output to drive any headphone so you can enjoy a near-perfect sound experience wherever you are.

AVM
Roon Ready

AVM have been developing and manufacturing audio devices since 1986, making every device by hand in their factory in Southern Germany and is a new addition to the Roon Ready program. 

The OVATION CS 6.3 and OVATION CS 8.3 integrated amplifiers and OVATION MP 6.3 and OVATION MP 8.3 Media Players have all been certified as Roon Ready.

Bluesound Soundbar+
Roon Ready

The Bluesound Soundbar+ was designed specifically to deliver the highest quality sound through its quad-core processor and 120 watts of powerful sound with deep bass and rich detail. Designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing TV set-up, this audiophile-grade soundbar fulfills all of your home entertainment needs with added Roon Ready functionality. 

ELAC Discovery Connect Pro
Roon Ready

The Discovery Connect Pro is a Roon Ready multi-room streamer featuring a total of 8 playback zones. It has  built-in 192kHz 24-Bit audio DACs for each of its six analogue outputs to pair with its two digital outputs. 

JBL SA750
Roon Ready

In honor of JBL’s 75th anniversary, the JBL SA750 is a modern-retro Class G amplifier with streaming capabilities. Inspired by the classic JBL SA600 amplifier from the 1960’s, the SA750 combines mid-century styling with 21st century high-resolution streaming including Roon Ready built-in. 

Rotel RC-1590 MKII and RC-1572 MKII
Roon Tested

The RC-1590 MKII and RC-1572 MKII stereo preamplifiers are now Roon Tested. Both devices feature MQA support and multiple acoustic upgrades and refinements bringing an even higher level of performance and stunning clarity with a natural, enveloping sound stage. 

T+A Elektroakustik HA-200
Roon Tested

The HA 200 is T+A’s first dedicated headphone amplifier and features high-performance output stages that can drive even the most difficult of headphones.

Waversa WBridge and WNode S1
Roon Ready

The Waversa WBridge is a flexible digital bridge featuring WAP (Waversa Audio Processor) DSP and high-resolution playback. Connections include LAN, USB, Optical, Coaxial, AES/EBU and HDMI.

The WNode S1 is an all-in-one speaker system made out of a totally unique all aluminum chassis, that boasts a range of features including Roon Ready.

The Roon ecosystem is growing faster than ever

From our humble beginnings – the debut of the first Roon Ready network streamer (Auralic Aries) at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016 – the ecosystem of products compatible with Roon is now the largest collection of high-resolution audio devices in the world.

Roon is compatible with over a thousand individual products from nearly 200 brands, including premium audio heavyweights like Bowers & Wilkins, Bluesound, Denon, Devialet, Harman, KEF, McIntosh, and Naim Audio, and also a wide range of manufacturers of smart devices and DIY products. Thanks in part to that focus on interoperability, Roon has become an essential component in the listening rooms of recording artists, producers, record labels, music collectors, and audiophiles.

The cadence of new Roon Ready certifications has increased tenfold since 2019. Back then, just a handful of new products were certified each month, but in the first half of this year we’ve already announced over 100 new Roon Ready and Roon Tested devices. Forty new brands have submitted products for certification in that time, including key product ranges and new launches from notable audio manufacturers like Arcam, Astell & Kern, Cambridge Audio, and JBL.

We set out to create an ecosystem with something for every use case covering a wide range of prices, form factors, functions, and features. Now, Roon really does play with everything – audio products as varied as network streamers, soundbars, DACs, wireless speakers, all-in-one systems, and A/V receivers – at prices ranging from $100 to $100,000. With support for high-resolution PCM, DSD, MQA, and extensive DSP, Roon offers the highest possible audio performance at any price.

Recent announcements about lossless and high-resolution streaming from Apple Music and others have kindled new interest in high-quality audio. For listeners who want to go beyond their mobile phone with Bluetooth headphones, Roon provides the largest and highest-performance ecosystem for listening to high-resolution music on the widest range of audio equipment.

In addition to Roon Ready products, there are hundreds of Roon Tested products that bring the Roon experience to the rest of your home. Support for Sonos, AirPlay, and Google Cast streaming devices – as well as USB and HDMI receivers and DACs – means that Roon helps you get the best performance out of virtually any audio device.

To see the full list of Roon partners and certified products, check out roonlabs.com/partners


Roon 1.8 Summer Release

Our aim has always been to make it as simple as possible for you to find the music you love and play it on all of your audio gear. That’s why in our summer release, we’ve pushed the boundaries of Valence even further to improve how you search and discover music in Roon. Valence combines the expertise of our community with modern data science and machine learning to deliver a music player that understands your listening preferences like no other.

In the latest update to Roon 1.8, we’ve implemented some exciting new features, including personalized daily mixes, intelligent search, and a totally new TIDAL interface to improve the way you discover and listen to music in Roon.

Your Daily Mixes

Some days you want a little extra inspiration in the morning. For TIDAL and Qobuz users, every day Roon will deliver you six new Daily Mixes designed to give you something new to explore. Each playlist is themed on an artist from your listening history and includes 25 picks from artists you love and some you have yet to discover.

Created using a completely new Valence algorithm, the genres and artists in your playlists will change daily but you can expect a wide variety of music that reflects your library, listening habits, and what you’ve been playing lately.

To make it easy to find music to suit your mood, we’ve named each mix after a “headliner” artist featuring music from them and similar artists and genres we think you’ll find interesting. 

Find a playlist you enjoy? Save it so you can listen to it later. 

Evolving search

Over the last year, we’ve doubled the Roon team to over 50 people across five continents, which allows us to be more ambitious in the scope and number of engineering projects running in parallel. One great example is search, which is now being improved on an ongoing basis by our data team. This release features the first of many planned search developments: an improved user interface with predictive auto-complete.

Previously, when typing a search, Roon would auto-complete using only words from your library, but now it matches people and music across all known artists, albums, tracks, genres, composers, and compositions. 

Valence plays a big part in helping Roon make the right suggestions to you – predicting what you’re looking for as it’s being typed – whether the music is in your library or not. By clicking on any of the recommendations, you’ll get taken directly to what you are looking for, making it easier and faster to get to the music you want to play. 

Your core now preserves your search history with your profile, so it’s easy to get back to the music you were looking for, even if it’s on a different day or device. 

All-new TIDAL experience

We’ve worked closely with our friends at TIDAL to design a completely new TIDAL experience in Roon. The page has been redesigned to include many of TIDAL’s latest features and content, including top charts, TIDAL staff picks and latest MQA playlists and more. As well as all of this, TIDAL’s popular “Mixes for you” feature is now available for you to enjoy in Roon!

We hope you enjoy the new update and look forward to hearing what you think. For more information on the new release, head over to our Community