Roon Labs Music Server/Player now works with SONOS speakers


In case anyone is interested in this, Roon now works feeding Sonos speakers as of Ver 1.3, released today. (Not seeing 1.3 there yet at download page, but will likely be there tomorrow). I suspect this is a good option for those with larger than ~65k music libraries. The Roon integrated database of information is quite nice as well. In any case, I have no financial interest in Roon, just letting other SONOS users know about the recent change.

From Announcement:
"With the 1.3 update, Roon now streams to Sonos devices! This means all the users in a home – with one app and one music collection – can play music to Sonos, Airplay, Squeezebox, Sooloos, and any of over 50 Roon Ready devices available today. "

https://roonlabs.com/index.html
https://roonlabs.com/downloads.html

17 replies

Userlevel 3
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I updated Roon last night and played with Sonos connectivity for an hour or so this morning. Seems to work well, although I haven't had time to fully explore.. Downsamples higher resolution files so they can play on Sonos gear. Plus, all the usual benefits of Roon (music discovery and exploration, etc.). Unlike Plex to Sonos, which I could never make work, this actually functions. Of course, Roon comes with a price (well worth it, IMHO).
So the local server options for Sonos now seem to be Roon, Subsonic, and Plex. Do any of these play well with Alexa or other connected home integrations?
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Toolio wrote:

I updated Roon last night and played with Sonos connectivity for an hour or so this morning. Seems to work well, although I haven't had time to fully explore.. Downsamples higher resolution files so they can play on Sonos gear. Plus, all the usual benefits of Roon (music discovery and exploration, etc.). Unlike Plex to Sonos, which I could never make work, this actually functions. Of course, Roon comes with a price (well worth it, IMHO).



Thanks for sharing! Does Roon understand stereo pairs in Sonos? So that one can send to a stereo pair in one room and a single speaker in another for example?
Userlevel 7
For my learning: if I have a multi room Sonos installation with music supplied by a NAS+Apple Music, what more will Roon give me, leaving aside the hi res thing?
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Not speaking from experience here, but the general consensus seems to be that Roon offers better metadata, artwork, information about the music and artist and genre, sets the music in context, etc. Kind of like getting the liner notes from the CD back. Borrowed from a user on another forum:

"I will add that one of the major things for me is the way Roon alliws you to discover new music.

The rich metadata leads you from one artist to the next. With the Tidal integration I have never been listening to more new music.

Any issues with the way Roon lists the music ( I prefer a folder based view organised how I like it - Roon dont do dat) I Ssimply go and edit the metadata for the tracks.

To my mind no other software comes close, not even same ball park."
Userlevel 7
Thanks; so what it does is help to access more music and obtain liner notes. But how does one get to play the new music that one discovers - via other services like Spotify/Apple and the rest? Presumably with a service like Tidal that can be done with less effort?
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I think there are two situations where it can be helpful: when streaming from tidal (I don't think they have Spotify integration?), and if you have a very large music library stored locally. I've looked into it briefly, and it's a bit like being in a record shop with a passionate nerdy owner who tells you: "Did u know that Jaco Pastorius recorded THAT album at the same time, but due to label politics it couldn't be released until two years later? Here, u actually have it stored here, and it's on tidal as well, let me show it to you".
oivavoi wrote:

Thanks for sharing! Does Roon understand stereo pairs in Sonos? So that one can send to a stereo pair in one room and a single speaker in another for example?



I'm the developer at Roon Labs responsible for the Sonos integration. We do indeed understand Sonos stereo pairs, two paired speakers will show up as one device in Roon. Sending music to a stereo pair and one separate speaker should work just fine.
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oivavoi wrote:

Not speaking from experience here, but the general consensus seems to be that Roon offers better metadata, artwork, information about the music and artist and genre, sets the music in context, etc. Kind of like getting the liner notes from the CD back. Borrowed from a user on another forum:

"I will add that one of the major things for me is the way Roon alliws you to discover new music.

The rich metadata leads you from one artist to the next. With the Tidal integration I have never been listening to more new music.

Any issues with the way Roon lists the music ( I prefer a folder based view organised how I like it - Roon dont do dat) I Ssimply go and edit the metadata for the tracks.

To my mind no other software comes close, not even same ball park."



I'm a Roon user, and a big fan. I'd say the description above is pretty much on the mark. For those who asked about how to play streaming music, Tidal is integrated with Roon, so well that it is almost seamless. Basically, Roon takes over and/or replaces the search, metatada and playing functions of Tidal, so Tidal becomes an entirely different experience. It also suggests other artists you might be interested in based on your preferences or what you're listening to at any given moment (if you want it to), and allows you to explore within genres of music. Of course, that means you'll need a Tidal subscription if you want to enjoy this aspect of Roon. Roon is not integrated with Spotify or any other streaming service. If you're not interested in exploring new streaming music and are simply interesting in playing your own, Roon still has plenty of utility. It's a great way to organize your library, to dig up metadata on what you already have, and with the latest 1.3 release it's an even better player than it was. The other big benefit: You can play all your music files or stream Tidal to any Roon compatible device in the house, controlling everything from a remote iOS or Android app. So, for example, you can attach a DAC to a Raspberry Pi or an old computer in the bedroom and listen there. All endpoints communicate with the computer that houses the Roon "core" software. And, of course, Sonos speakers can now be regarded as their own "endpoints" for playing music through Roon. Another advantage is that the music files need not be on the same machine as the core. They can be on a NAS or external hard drive. Roon isn't cheap, and you'd want to make sure it suits your needs before subscribing. But that's easy to do through their free trial.
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Roon labs keeps dropping out on Sonos when playing tidal ? Any suggestions?
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I have had three "Roon lost control of the audio device" errors in about a week, but with both Tidal and files on hard drives (NAS). Is this what you're seeing? In any event, I'd suggest perusing the Roon community, which is large and helpful. Roon has a programmer responsible for their Sonos integration, who no doubt will work to try to resolve your problem.
Big fan of Roon so very relieved with version 1.3! I use Roon also to stream across Sonos and the Bluesound / Apple TV devices.. I do have the same, Roon labs keeps dropping out from time to time for one two seconds on Sonos when playing Tidal.
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Long time Sonos user and recent Roon subscriber. To share a personal view as to what Roon offers over the Sonos app / hardware:

- Multiroom (in perfect sync) for other hardware such as Airplay, Bluesound as well as the Sonos hardware. This is beneficial if you have other hardware (e.g. airplay speakers) you want to use. Not important if you only use Sonos speakers.

- Works without the 65000 track limit. Roon can control Sonos and bypasses this limitation (not applicable to me as I don't have that many tracks yet)

-Hi Res support of course but this is less important for me (for now).

- Playcount allowing you to discover your music better. This was a bit issue for me because I have a lot of playlists that I use through Sonos. No way for Sonos to show me my least played tracks so I kept listening to the same thing over and over again. Roon partly fixes that as it allows me to reorganise the queue based on play count.

- Music curation. This is an interesting one. Roon links tracks by genre and allows you to start playing tracks in a sequence that is new. It creates combinations of tracks in my library that are super fun. Almost like having a DJ mixing your music.

- Hope Theatre PC benefits. IF you use a home theatre pc (I do) feeding your dac and you want to use it to watch movies and listen to music from, then Roon can allow you to sync playback from PC to other devices that are RAAT enabled (e.g. Bluesound speakers or other PCs). I have a Sonos connect as well but always disliked I could not have SONOS zone on the PC instead. Roon allows you to use the PC for music in sync with other RAAT ready devices.

HOWEVER (in my opinion), Roon is less attractive if:

- if you use Spotify primarily
- You use Sonos speakers exclusively and you don't wish to also control other hardware (e.g. Airplay speakers) then Roon is less attractive to you
- You don't desire to use a PC as a Zone in perfect sync with other PC zones (or RAAT ready devices)
- You do not care so much about play count and track management / reorganisation


I have been using SONOS for over 10 years and love it. I tried Spotify (premium subscription) but I found I somehow did not like the sound quality. I know I am a minority but I like to buy tracks (iTunes, FLAC etc) and keep them.

I have found that Roon controls Sonos very well provided you take care of the network stability and reach. I had some drop outs initially but found this was due to network issues which I fixed. No drop outs since. The Sonos app is a tiny bit faster (less clicks to reach volume control) compared to Roon.

Hope this personal view adds to the conversation.

Best wishes
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Exploring Roon for moy sonos set up but wanted to make sure that Roon will stream music to the sonos connect units smoothly and not just the speakers. And when using Roon with sonos, is the volume controlled with the roon app?
MSNWatch wrote:

Exploring Roon for moy sonos set up but wanted to make sure that Roon will stream music to the sonos connect units smoothly and not just the speakers. And when using Roon with sonos, is the volume controlled with the roon app?



I have been using Roon with the Sonos Connect boxes (as well as the Playbar) and I can confirm that the volume control in Roon works quite well with the Connects. As a matter of fact, there appears to be a greater level of control over the function of the Connect within Roon than with the current version of the Sonos desktop interface.
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I can also confirm that Roon controls the volume on the Connect (and Beam, Play 1 and Play 5).
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Same here, all good with Roon :-). I am also happy to see it works more reliably now.

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