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Roon vs. Sonos - A/B

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

shankarcams

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
301
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Location
Chennai
I have been a long term Sonos user, mainly because the UI is so good and because Sonos is natively supported by Logitech Harmony Hub, my remote of choice. I have tried Roon from time to time, but the killer issue has been its lack of integration with Logitech Harmony. Also, in fairness I did not probably give it a proper evaluation.

Recently I discovered a third party app that allowed me to control Roon via Logitech Harmony. And in the last year, Trinnov added a Roon-Ready endpoint to its Altitude 32 processor. These developments caused me to reopen the Roon trial. But this time I got a couple of fellow FMs to join me in a blind A/B test of Sonos vs. the Roon.

Here are the findings from the blind test:

1. Roon has much better sound. There is greater detail and balance in the sound. I do not say this lightly.
2. Sonos still has the better UI. From search onwards, Roon has some catching up to do.
3. Roon is very hardware intensive. I installed it on my Synology NAS, and even though the NAS was running at >50% all the time, the responsiveness at the remote end was very slow. A search would take 10 seconds to return. Scrolling was jerky and slow. Roon says this is how it will be unless the Roon software is installed on an i5 or i7 based server with an SSD for the Roon database itself. Sonos, on the other hand, does all its processing on itself (HW device) so clearly none of these issues exist.

The conclusion: Roon is a better product, but be aware of the collateral costs (required HW upgrades etc.) while migrating.

Shankar
 

balavignesh002

Active Member
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May 27, 2016
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171
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Chennai
Thanks on the details.

Does these cloud streaming services offer downloading the music content.?
Any idea about the streaming resolution of the content?
 

shankarcams

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
301
Points
43
Location
Chennai
A few weeks down the road I feel that the money I spent on the lifetime subscription to Roon is the single best investment ever. Less that a cable but has a massive impact on the sound.

I am enjoying.my entire library all over again! If you are on the fence, take this as a strong endorsement.
 

kapvin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
1,043
Points
83
Location
Mumbai/ Thane
I have been a long term Sonos user, mainly because the UI is so good and because Sonos is natively supported by Logitech Harmony Hub, my remote of choice. I have tried Roon from time to time, but the killer issue has been its lack of integration with Logitech Harmony. Also, in fairness I did not probably give it a proper evaluation.

Recently I discovered a third party app that allowed me to control Roon via Logitech Harmony. And in the last year, Trinnov added a Roon-Ready endpoint to its Altitude 32 processor. These developments caused me to reopen the Roon trial. But this time I got a couple of fellow FMs to join me in a blind A/B test of Sonos vs. the Roon.

Here are the findings from the blind test:

1. Roon has much better sound. There is greater detail and balance in the sound. I do not say this lightly.
2. Sonos still has the better UI. From search onwards, Roon has some catching up to do.
3. Roon is very hardware intensive. I installed it on my Synology NAS, and even though the NAS was running at >50% all the time, the responsiveness at the remote end was very slow. A search would take 10 seconds to return. Scrolling was jerky and slow. Roon says this is how it will be unless the Roon software is installed on an i5 or i7 based server with an SSD for the Roon database itself. Sonos, on the other hand, does all its processing on itself (HW device) so clearly none of these issues exist.

The conclusion: Roon is a better product, but be aware of the collateral costs (required HW upgrades etc.) while migrating.

Shankar
Hi Shankar, I completely agree.

I've been a roon user for some time. No NAS can really run it well. so Eventually I looked at a dedicated Roon Machine. I chose a Gen 8 intel NUC. i guess I went overkill on the specs and the memory (i7, 16gB, 256Nvme -- you can easily manage multiusers with an i5/8GB/64GBNVME). I attached a 2TB 2.5" HDD for the music (which has been enough for me since I have yet to rip all my CDs) and installed ROCK. mapping network drives (or attached USB drives) are a trivial task. for the 1+year I've had it, it has survived multiple power outages with nary a crash. and it is fairly green as far as power consumption goes (at least compared to my NAS box). having committed to Roon, you may wish to make that jump sooner than later.
 

shankarcams

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
301
Points
43
Location
Chennai
More to add... I was listening to "This man's too strong" by Dire Straits for the Nth time. My equipment, every generation of it, has aleays been reasonably good, so I expected improvements on the margin. However I was taken aback by some very deep organ notes as part of the chords in the song that I had never heard before, on the same speakers! To be fair this is an SACD 6 channel mix, and maybe the mix is different, but still my subs were blowing so much air that my pyjamas were flapping 10 feet away!

I ascribe it to the resolving capability of the RFoon.
 
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