Roon

Roon Nucleus Music Server

£1,550
Version:

Since its introduction in 2015, Roon has made a huge impact in the audio market thanks to its unique combination of great functionality, focus on high-end sound and a metadata library that's in a class of its own. By transforming the way we experience music, and taking a hardware-agnostic approach to the market, Roon is setting the new standard on how audio lovers engage with their music.

As a result of its success, more and more people have been building dedicated servers on which to run Roon, but while devout hobbyists and single-source users may get everything they need by building their own system, many DIY solutions fall short of the expected standard to function in a high-performance environment. Roon Labs, the developers behind Roon, therefore decided to introduce two server solutions, Nucleus and Nucleus+. Below we go into greater detail as to why these servers were introduced, what makes them unique and why they truly are the best way to experience Roon. 

Unlike simple music player apps, Roon is designed to make use of modern computing power (and the more of it the better). So Roon have 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.

Two models are avalilible Nucleus or the Nucleus+

Both the Nucleus and Nucleus+ servers look and function in exactly the same way. Their difference is primarily down to the Intel® processor used in each model, which shifts their speed and workload capacity.

The standard Nucleus is suited to smaller multi-room environments, or for installations where complex DSP processing is not required. It's also suited to smaller library sizes.

Nucleus+ is the more advanced solution, for complex or high-end environments and for lightning-fast handling of larger music libraries.

Nucleus Features

  • Fanless
  • 2 USB ports for USB audio devices or external storage devices
  • 2 HDMI audio outputs for connecting to your AVRs
  • Ethernet port for networking, for easy zero setup networking
  • Updates for firmware are integrated into the Roon App
  • Includes 1 year Roon subscription

Capabilties

  • Up to 10,000 albums (100,000 tracks)
  • Intel Core i3 processor and  4GB of RAM
  • Up to 6 simultaneous zones
  • Certain combinations of DSP + DSD may not be possible. Upgrade to the Nucleus Plus if you need DSP with DSD content

Nucleus+ Features

  • Fanless
  • 2 USB ports for USB audio devices or external storage devices
  • 2 HDMI audio outputs for connecting to your AVRs
  • Ethernet port for networking, for easy zero setup networking
  • Updates for firmware are integrated into the Roon App
  • Includes 1 year Roon subscription

Capabilties

  • Over 10,000 albums (100,000 tracks)
  • Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB RAM
  • Over 6 simultaneous zones
  • All combinations of DSP are available

Which model is best for you depends on three factors: The size of your music library; the number of zones (rooms) you want to run; and the Roon DSP features you intend to use. The base version of the Nucleus is rated to handle libraries up to about 10,000 albums or 100,000 tracks, six zones, and limited DSP options (you can’t, for example, use both a convolution filter and DSD512 upsampling at the same time). The Nucleus+ is designed for everything above that baseline, and it places no limits on DSP functions.

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