Tech Talk

Tech Talk

Intro to Roon

By Nathan Schwartz
Sales Coordinator, Roon Labs

In 2004 a group of like-minded, tech-obsessed friends came together looking to solve a shared problem by combining their expertise in networked technology and user interfaces: managing their extensive music libraries. This quest resulted in Sooloos, a best-in-class platform for file import, file storage, touch-based music browsing, and audiophile networked playback.

In 2008, the Sooloos team joined with Meridian Audio to further their role as the pioneer of audiophile networked playback systems and touch interfaces for music. With the launch of Windows 8 in 2012, their recognized leadership in touch interface led to developing software for HP. The team then went on to found Roon Labs in 2015.

The aspirations for Roon were simple: to bring even more music to listeners, elevate their listening experience and give them the ultimate freedom of choice when it came to enjoying their favorite Hi-Fi gear.

So how do they do that?
Firstly, your Roon music library is organized wherever and however you want it to be – it can come from existing music ripped to a hard drive, in any number of locations on a network, as well as from music streamed from TIDAL or Qobuz. Roon adds a host of metadata automatically and, for the obsessive collector, you are given every possible tool to manage, tag and organize any album as you prefer.

Roon home screen

Secondly, this all happens in a single, metadata-driven, image-filled interface, whether it is the music you own or the music from a streaming service. Reviews, bios, labels, release dates and credits are not just information to read, they are indexed hyperlinks, which builds connections between the music you already listen to and the music you should listen to.

Artist album page

Thirdly, Roon is always learning through a machine learning system we call Valence. This system drives the suggestion for Roon Radio and a host of interface features, customized just for you. Because Roon users are enthusiasts, they often have big music collections and actively engage with them, so Valence is like always having an expert making just the right suggestions for you.

Additionally, we recognize that all of this user experience wouldn’t succeed unless it was easy to use and worked with everything. So your Roon system can be controlled from any Mac, PC, iOS or Android device. It can play to any Airplay, Chromecast or Sonos device, as well as any of the hundreds of devices that have implemented our high performance streaming technology to become Roon Ready.

Lastly, power users deserve some love too, with our DSP Engine and Signal Path features. Upsampling allows users to take even CD-quality content and make it shine through their high-resolution PCM or DSD DACs while the Convolution Engine and EQ Filters can help them tame their rooms and get the most out of their systems. Roon’s Signal Path feature also allows you to know exactly what is happening to your audio at all times, so you can know you are always getting the most from your system.

For all of that, we feel like we’ve only just begun. Our mission is to continue to learn and grow to develop the best music app for music fanatics and with every update, we always strive to deliver more.

Roon was founded with a goal to help people have an easier time enjoying their music, and so far, we think we’ve done just that… and then some. We’re excited for the future of our partnership with our friends at HARMAN, and we’re looking forward to what Roon Ready and the incredible Hi-Fi engineering team at HARMAN can achieve.