Nucleus is the center of your Roon music system. It’s the housekeeper, the traffic cop, and the brain that takes care of the music in your life. Using Nucleus, Roon manages all your music – on hard drives, NAS, and streaming content – and allows you to play it on all the audio devices around your home. Nucleus is the best way to run Roon at any price.
Just plug Nucleus into your network, connect your hard drives, download Roon remote apps (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows) and you’ll be ready to play music using a wide variety of audio devices, including AirPlay, Sonos, Roon Ready, Devialet, KEF, Meridian, Squeezebox, and a huge variety of USB DACs.
Aside from being a powerful, fanless music server, what sets Nucleus apart is that it’s powered by Roon OS – a fast and lightweight operating system optimized to do just one thing: browse and play music. Roon is a multi-room, multi-user networked audio platform built to the exacting standards of audiophiles, so it offers features like bit-perfect playback, DSD, and PCM upsampling, multichannel playback, and signal path display.
Roon software can be used on many platforms, including Mac, Windows, and Linux PCs, as well as NAS devices and a variety of media servers. Each of those platforms has its benefits and shortcomings, but none of them achieves a perfect balance between ease of use, raw performance, and audiophile design.
Based on feedback from audio dealers and custom integrators, Nucleus was designed to do just that... provide the best Roon experience in each of these areas.
Roon has enjoyed tremendous success among computer audiophiles and other tech-savvy enthusiasts, but Nucleus was created to reach everyone who loves music. It is a product which requires nearly no computer knowledge or networking skill. You literally take it home, plug it in, and control it with the Roon Remote app for iPad, iPhone, or Android device (and of course the Roon app for Mac/Windows). Because it's running Roon, Nucleus finds the audio devices on your network and makes it easy to stream to them.
Unlike simple music player apps, Roon is designed to make use of modern computing power (and the more of it the better). So we've worked with Intel to develop Nucleus on their highest-performance NUC platform, which means that using Roon with Nucleus feels incredibly fast, and there's horsepower to spare for handling large music libraries, multi-room streaming, and digital signal processing.
Rather than a desktop or server operating system like Windows, a Linux distribution, or a system-builder tool, Nucleus uses a truly bespoke operating system. Roon OS is an optimized Linux-based operating system developed by Roon Labs to provide the best reliability and performance for what Roon does – networking, storage, and fast database access – and nothing else.
Roon is a music management and listening solution that takes a very different approach to interacting with your music. Instead of seeing a spreadsheet-like view of your music (as with iTunes and almost all other media systems), Roon provides a very rich non-list based experience, using credits, artist relationships, genres, lyrics, concert/tour dates, artwork, and more to allow for an informative navigation and exploration of your library.
Roon manages digital music files collected on hard drives and networked storage. It can also watch your iTunes library, and optionally integrate with the music streaming service TIDAL.
Roon cleans up your music library, upgrades the metadata associated with your music, and provides a user interface that is far richer than anything else out there. Roon makes music exploration and discovery both informative and fun.
Roon provides no-compromise audio perfection. Bit-perfect playback of lossy and lossless file formats, including high-resolution audio content (PCM and DSD). Additional conveniences such as crossfading and volume normalization make it suitable for both concentrated listening sessions as well as social events.
Roon manages your audio renderers (the things that make sound). Whether they be built-in sound devices, like your laptop's audio output, a USB connected DAC, or even networked audio devices.
Roon is an application suite that must be installed. It is not a website. It runs on Macs, Windows PCs, and Tablets, Linux PCs, Android Tablets, Apple iPads, and iPhones. Support is provided on the Community Site, and membership details and configuration are provided on the Roon website.
Roon uses your music files, Internet Radio streams, and content from the TIDAL streaming music service, but doesn't come with any music.
The Roon software is constantly being improved and updates are always free of charge to licensed users.