Introducing ARC Voice Control for Android Auto and CarPlay

Arc voice controls

We’re back with an exciting new update full of ARC improvements, including one that many of you have eagerly anticipated: Siri and Google Assistant voice control for CarPlay and Android Auto! Now, it’s easier than ever to “keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel” and enjoy safe, easy, hands-free access to your favorite music while you drive. All you have to do is tell ARC what you’re in the mood for, and it’ll do the rest.

We’ve also bundled a nice batch of enhancements and assorted fixes in ARC and Roon. On the Roon side, we’ve corrected a few Roon Remote issues and found an easy, effective solution for customers whose cell and internet providers make it difficult to use ARC.

Google, let’s read more!

ARC voice controls

Roon Ready road trips

According to your responses to our recent surveys, Community posts, and social media comments, Roon ARC is essential for road trip adventures. Over 65% of you said you use it whenever you’re in the car! That’s music to our ears. With those kinds of numbers, your feedback naturally takes the wheel when our work changes direction.  

Over 50% of you said you’d prioritize design changes to make searching, browsing, and navigating ARC easier when using Android Auto and CarPlay. Voice control integration was far and away your top ease of use and safety enhancement request. With so many unified customer voices harmonizing around a feature request (you sound great, too!), we shifted into high gear to deliver everything in time for your summer excursions! Now, it’s easier than ever before to get your groove on while getting a move on. 

ARC voice control

Say it loud…Siri, play James Brown

When you connect ARC to your car, you’ll see two new top-level tabs that make browsing your music easier and faster: Browse in Android Auto and Search in CarPlay. Use them to quickly access your top genres, start genre radio, or browse for albums by genre with just a few taps. 

You’ll find the new Siri button in the search tab on CarPlay and the Google Assistant button on the main Android Auto screen. Better yet, you can say ‘Hey Siri’ or ‘Hey Google’ and access them without lifting a finger!

Remember, the more specificity you give voice commands, the better the results. This is especially true when making a voice assistant your sonic sommelier. With this in mind, we’ve designed them to work well with tracks, albums, artists, playlists, and genres. They’ll even flex Roon’s metadata superpowers when searching for and queueing up your music. 

You can make more general requests like, ‘Play some James Brown,’ ‘skip this track,’ and ‘Start this song over.’ Or, you can be more specific, ‘Play the song Purple Rain by Prince,’ ‘Play The Clash album London Calling,’ or ‘Shuffle my Epic Road Trip Jams playlist’ – and be immersed in music instantly, all while keeping your hands safely on the wheel. 

When you’re stuck in traffic, take a hands-on approach by flipping through the Search and Browse tabs. Who thought five o’clock gridlock would help us reconnect with our music collections?! And we’ve fully integrated your voice commands to behave like any other search in Roon. You’ll find them saved in your History and Recently Played tabs so you can continue your music journey or dive deeper when moving from the car to your couch. 

ARC’s new voice command features are a fast, fun, easy, and safe way to say what you want to play! You can find more details on setting up and using voice controls here.

Tailscale to the rescue

Recently, we made sweeping improvements to remedy the issues that some customers have had connecting to ARC. Unfortunately, some of you still have problems using ARC due to things that are completely outside your control. Customers in some regions face restrictive internet and cellular service policies that impede the port forwarding ARC utilizes when you take Roon on the go. We can’t abide letting a load of service provider contract jive get in the way of your enjoyment of ARC. 

So, we rolled up our sleeves and searched for a workaround. We’ve got good news! After extensive testing and customer feedback, we recommend Tailscale, a free and easy solution that helps resolve these issues. Without getting too far into the tech weeds, Tailscale lets you easily create private internet connections so devices in different locations can communicate as if they were on the same WiFi network. I know; my brain exploded, too! 

If you’ve been struggling with ARC connectivity using port forwarding, Tailscale could be the workaround you’ve been looking for. Check out this in-depth article by Roon’s Tech Team experts for more details. Those guys rock! 


We’re very excited to continue providing top feature requests and fixes driven by your feedback! 

Whether you’re bound for new adventures or just “motorvatin'” through your routine, ARC makes the ride more enjoyable by transforming the driver’s seat into a favorite listening chair. We hope ARC voice controls for Android Auto and CarPlay make your summer sojourn soundtracks more memorable! 

We’re grateful for your help and remain committed to ensuring that Roon meets your needs and continues to provide the most engaging and immersive music listening experience available. As always, we thank you for being part of the Roon community!

Experience the excitement today with a free 14-day Roon trial!