Macworld

Roon Labs’ Nucleus music server: Exquisite hardware for exceptional software

Roon Labs’ Roon music server software is is unparalleled in terms of its performance, its robust metadata support, and its flexibility. You can integrate any AirPlay, Chromecast, or native Roon RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transport) speakers and other audio gear for multi-room streaming. The high-end music-streaming services Tidal and Qobuz have integrated Roon so their subscribers can benefit from the Roon’s user interface and its deep well of metadata (reviews, lyrics, artist bios, genre classifications, album credits, release dates, recording dates, and even live concert dates). And that’s just scratching the surface of what Roon is capable of.

Roon is software, so you’ll need hardware to run it on. You can run it on a headless (no display needed) Mac or a PC, or you can set it up on a high-end NAS box (Roon recommends having at least an Intel Core i3 Ivy Bridge-architecture CPU, 4GB of RAM, and an SSD to run the server software). But none of those options are aesthetically pleasing (or quiet, since they’ll probably have cooling fans), and you might run into overheating problems if you hide the gear in a closet. And then there’s the whole matter of configuring Roon itself.

Roon now

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