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What Does “Roon Ready” Actually Mean?

What Does "Roon Ready" Actually Mean?
Written by publishing team

If you’re a serious music fan who owns (or builds) a modern hi-fi system, then you definitely know (or are learning) about Roon. It’s an audio server and platform that brings together all of your music — from the digital audio files you own (like from CDs and digital purchases) to the music services you subscribe to (like Tidal, Qobuz, and Apple Music) — into one unified library. Then it organizes them into an intuitive interstitial, so that you can easily find, search and discover new and old music.

The other great thing about the Roon is that it’s compatible with a lot of different hi-fi components and amplifiers, so it doesn’t tie you to any one ecosystem – you can build and customize the home hi-fi system you want.

The rune system consists of three components. First, there’s the Roon app and subscription services (starting at $10 per month), which you need to control all of your music. Second, it’s Roon core, which is the server (device) needed to store all your music; You can turn an old computer into a Roon core or buy a dedicated streaming device like the Roon Nucleus ($1,459). And third, you need “Roon Ready” speakers or playback devices.

If you are interested in trying out Roon for yourself, you can do so for free by subscribing to the free 30-day trial of Roon.

What is “Roon Ready”?

If you have a Roon subscription along with a Roon core, the final piece of the puzzle is a music playing device, such as a wireless speaker or network streaming device, that is “Roon Ready”. You’ll see this labeled along with support for Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2, and Bluetooth, and if the speaker or audio component is “Roon Ready,” it simply means that it has been certified by Roon and, therefore, can be detected using the Roon app and platform (the same way that It can detect a Sonos speaker in the Sonos app, for example) and can stream high-bitrate audio (up to 32bit/768kHz).

The other cool thing is that, as with Sonos, you can use Roon to stream multi-room audio throughout your home; You can have the same audio playback or several different streams (up to six, depending on your Roon core) playing on different Roon Ready systems throughout your home.

“Roon Ready” vs “Roon Tested”: What’s the difference?

When searching for speakers and components that work with your Roon system, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a new term, “Roon Tested.” The important thing to note is that Not Exactly the same as “Roon Ready”.

The amplifier or audio component “Roon Ready” means that it supports Roon Audio Distribution Technology (RAAT), which allows it to play the highest quality audio as well as work well with Roon software. This means that all buttons, screens, and inputs are fully compatible with the Roon software, so if you do something on the speaker or audio component, like changing the volume, you’ll see the change in your Roon app (which it’ll affect other components in the Roon system.

An amplifier or audio component that is “Roon Tested” and not “Roon Ready” means that it will continue to work with Roon. The wireless speaker or audio component will be discoverable in the Roon app and you will be able to control the playback. However, it likely does not support RAAT, so it will not stream the highest possible audio quality that Roon can provide, and the buttons and interfaces on the device will not work with all Roon Ready devices in your system. Basically, the “Roon Tested” experience isn’t as great as the “Roon Ready” experience.

You can learn more about all the different Roon Ready and Roon Tested amplifiers and audio devices on the Roon Partnership page.

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publishing team