Roon Community contributor Steven44 graciously contributed the following review. Roon Editorial staff added layout and minor editing to convert the forum posts to a review format.
Zuma Lumisonic is a state-of-the-art Roon Ready lighting and sound system. Each light/sound unit is an all-in-one audio system. It’s very sophisticated and supports multiple audio services onboard, plus Alexa voice control.
This system may be the first to use Roon in a full home automation product. Zuma Lumisonic won the prestigious 2021 CEDIA New Hardware award (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association).
I was originally looking for a new intelligent lighting system and a sensible way of putting surround sound in an open plan space. Big screens have rubbish sound quality, and I did not want a soundbar.
What were the options? In-wall speakers? Sonos? Lightwave? Lutron? Everything I looked at was a compromise on installation costs, wiring, sound quality, and duplication of systems.
Then Zuma opened a pop-up shop for the Lumisonic launch where I could see the whole system in operation. (They now sell through independent retailers.) Ultimately the system does not compare to anything else, as there is nothing comparable. The design and technical team have worked together since they did the B&W Nautilus, 30+ years ago.
I installed the product throughout much of my house last year; in seven months we largely rebuilt the entire space. One of the main features is that it is incredibly cost-effective, much cheaper than putting in something like Lightewave + Sonos, and infinitely better. Each unit only draws about 8w, so on one circuit I have 22 units on a ring connected to a single rocker switch.
It is designed to be self-installed because all you have to do is attach a 24v transformer to the existing lighting circuit. I was going to put the units in myself, but ultimately Zuma came round and offered to assist, as it was a large installation. My electrician installed all 50 transformers in half a day. That’s how easy it is.
Compatibility and supported services
Zuma Lumisonic supports multiple audio services; Roon Ready, Amazon HD, TIDAL, Apple Music, Airplay, Spotify, Radio, and Alexa voice control.
Spending a few months using Alexa and Amazon HD for voice-controlled music was ultimately rather frustrating. It’s OK until you start to get specific; then, it throws up unexpected music quite often. Plus, I have a lot of downloads that are not on Amazon. The Amazon HD app is also rather horrible. It’s fine if you just want Mozart, Steely Dan, or very popular tracks. I’m much happier using Roon and have since canceled the Amazon HD subscription.
My primary interest was in the lighting side of this product; it’s as advanced as the sound. You can buy one unit, expand an existing LED hole to 95mm, connect the supplied 24v transformer to the existing lighting circuit, and install the unit. That can be done in a few minutes.
Zuma has “well-being” settings that combine sound and light. It also has a Circadian setting that automatically changes the light intensity and warmth throughout the day. It’s made me want a Roon Circadian sound setting, changing the mood dependent on the time of day.
Another key feature is that you can connect them to Shelly relays. With a Zuma-programmed Shelley relay behind the wall switch, you can turn off the lights without cutting power – meaning they can still be used for sound. In effect, they are never powered down. If you want to power them down for a software update, the Shelly relays can be switched off using the Shelly app or Alexa.
Roon + sound quality
The Zuma Lumisonic audio system is wireless/Roon Ready and can be easily fitted into an existing lighting circuit. Zuma zones can be grouped in Roon or Alexa. Lumisonic was engineered by Lawrence Dickie (B&W, Vivid) and Trevor Wilson (Naim), who I assume was involved in the Roon implementation.
As mentioned, the main sound requirement for this project was home cinema. For that, I use seven Lumisonic speakers in two zones using Airplay via an Apple TV+. The Apple TV+ can also group zones as easily as Roon. I have 50 Zuma units in total; 24 are for sound configured in about seven Roon zones. No problems at all. I can stream 24/192 all day long and have four bars on almost every unit.
These units can receive audio via Roon or with AirPlay, which is not as good for a couple of reasons, not least because these units operate at 24/192 PCM, and AirPlay is limited to only 16/44. Roon plays 24/192 native format (Roon calls it Lossless), and DSD files get converted to 176.4/32 PCM (Roon calls it High Quality). It certainly sounds better than AirPlay!
Roon provides phenomenal sound from a 95mm external diameter unit. I’ve always assumed a small speaker is a compromise. These units are very small, but listening to Shostakovich’s first violin concerto, they sound very good.
For anyone who knows it, the main dramatic staccato theme in the second movement borrowed from Act 3 of Lady Macbeth (in the opera, it’s used when Zinovy’s body is discovered) comes across very well. There’s a kettle drum at the start of the 4th movement that actually sounds like a kettle drum when played through the Lummisonic. There is a lot to be said about filling a room with sound using this kind of system rather than using point sources for stereo. In some respects, it’s as realistic as real live music.
One of the big features of this system is the DSP and excellent sound dispersion! The patented spring mounting system is also fundamental, as it gives an extremely strong fix. There is no chance of the units rattling and distorting at high volumes. You get no sensation of a point source, so you get a very even, immersive sound. We bought a Devialet Phantom Reactor for the same reason, which is Roon Ready. My wife uses it in her work environment all the time.
I also have a Roon Ready 2-channel system in a music room (Wilson/Devialet/Innuos), plus a six-speaker Lumisonic array in that room. In addition to those, there are 6 other Zuma zones, a Devialet Phantom in a garden room, and a Naim Mu-so QB2 zone for a total of 11 Roon zones. I have four more Zuma Lumisonic zones planned – Roon does everything, everywhere.
Roon certification is intended, first and foremost, to ensure ease of use and that Roon-enabled products work as they are meant to, simply and fault-free. That has always been my experience. I’ve used a Devialet Expert Pro for 6 years, and Roon Ready was the best thing that happened to it.
If Roon were to design a multi-room audio system, Zuma Lumisonic would be it. For sound, the products are made for each other.
Full Specs for Zuma Lumisonic can be found on their product page. For more Roon Ready products, visit our Partners page.
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