Roon Price Increase - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Roon Price Increase

I went to start a trial for Roon and noticed the price increased from $499 to $699 for lifetime. I was on the fence at $499, but am walking away briskly at $699.
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 08:07 AM
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I have not tried Roon yet but am interested. That price is quite steep for a software only product. I use Audirvana and am generally happy with the sound quality...
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post #3 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 10:19 AM
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The CEO posted a pretty interesting (and transparant) post about it on their message boards:
https://community.roonlabs.com/t/lif...-499-699/84339


FWIW my opinion is that:
1) As a lifetime subscriber this is great news for me; it means Roon is thinking long-term-health (which likely is better served with the annual-subscription-model) over indulging in a pile of short-term "candy" (his words, not mine) in ways they could have brought along an influx of $500 lifetime subs.


2) I do think it's a little crappy on their part to *only* make the offer available to free-trialers and annual-subscribers-whose-subscription-is-less-than-30-days-old. I'd be *really* chapped off if my annual sub was ~10 months old and I had every intention of switching to the Lifetime before my next sub was up... and they didn't give me the option to do so at $500. That's unfortunate for them. I would have preferred to see them make that offer available to ANY annual subscribers, to switch "within the next week at $500 rather than $700".




But overall it's good news in that I think it means business is going well over at Roon. It's fantastic software. It does *almost* everything you I want it to do. It does so many things so well... things that I had no idea I wanted ("needed") before I tried Roon. It's very well-thought-out, and powerful/capable.


If you are only what I'll call a "desktop user" - one "seat", at a desk, with headphones - and - nearfield speakers, then I think you can get an equally-good-experience from other alternatives for a lot less money. BUT if you have multiple endpoints in multiple rooms, there is nothing that I know of that is more powerful, capable, and elegant, at feeding-and-controlling multiple zones, than Roon.
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post #4 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 10:29 AM
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Unfortunate, I was considering to buy it
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post #5 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 10:39 AM
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I too was considering the lifetime license at $500 but will probably explore other options (Emby, etc) at this point. I’m not sure I buy their CEO’s rationale as it stinks very much of self-sacrificial, moral grandstanding.

I’m also skeptical of the “weaning off junk food” excuse for not giving advance notice on the price hike. 1) They did it before and despite the supposed hindsight gnashing of teeth, they are doing pretty well today, and 2) the average person lacking self-discipline not to gorge on junk food is understandable if not excusable. A company’s management who lacks the financial self-discipline to budget and plan is neither understandable nor excusable.

Bottom line is I think they are primarily fishing for investors and a steady, reliable income stream makes them that much more attractive an investment than otherwise. Also I (cynic that I am) see mentioning (in an “offhand manner”) that the lifetime subscription option will eventually go away is an attempt to drive a gorge of “candy” at an inflated price in time for the holiday season.
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post #6 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 03:57 PM
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CEO explanation makes great points... unless you throw Audirvana+ into the equation... then 500-700 a year seems...expensive.
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post #7 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFP View Post
I too was considering the lifetime license at $500 but will probably explore other options (Emby, etc) at this point. I’m not sure I buy their CEO’s rationale as it stinks very much of self-sacrificial, moral grandstanding.

I’m also skeptical of the “weaning off junk food” excuse for not giving advance notice on the price hike. 1) They did it before and despite the supposed hindsight gnashing of teeth, they are doing pretty well today, and 2) the average person lacking self-discipline not to gorge on junk food is understandable if not excusable. A company’s management who lacks the financial self-discipline to budget and plan is neither understandable nor excusable.

Bottom line is I think they are primarily fishing for investors and a steady, reliable income stream makes them that much more attractive an investment than otherwise. Also I (cynic that I am) see mentioning (in an “offhand manner”) that the lifetime subscription option will eventually go away is an attempt to drive a gorge of “candy” at an inflated price in time for the holiday season.
Amazon is going to own the streaming market in short order. Tidal has officially been put on notice in my opinion. These boutique brands providing meta data and library consolidation for the few people left with personal media will be minuscule. I will not give Roon a second look at this pricing, and I have zero interest in paying a monthly service for library/streaming integration with metadata I will probably never utilize. Best of luck to them, they are going to need it.
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post #8 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 07:36 PM
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Recently began trial-one year sub to provide time to build server, acquire suitable tablet for remote, etc., intending to purchase $499 lifetime if all went well. Now feel as if someone stuck a gun to my ribs.
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post #9 of 26 Old 11-22-2019, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molon_Labe View Post
Amazon is going to own the streaming market in short order. Tidal has officially been put on notice in my opinion.
Unless you know something I don't about a way to put Amazon into WASAPI Exclusive on desktop, or bypass the Android renderer using something equivalent to USB-APP on mobile, or cast to people's HiFi speaker systems using there current streamers/receivers/gear.... I completely disagree.

I have subscriptions to both Tidal and Qobuz currently, and as long as everything above remains true I have no intention to pick up Amazon's in addition to or in place of either of them...
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-23-2019, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
Unless you know something I don't about a way to put Amazon into WASAPI Exclusive on desktop, or bypass the Android renderer using something equivalent to USB-APP on mobile, or cast to people's HiFi speaker systems using there current streamers/receivers/gear.... I completely disagree.

I have subscriptions to both Tidal and Qobuz currently, and as long as everything above remains true I have no intention to pick up Amazon's in addition to or in place of either of them...
Amazon HD just launched. You may not have a choice as most industry experts believe Tidal will be displaced by Amazon and will not survive. If Amazon becomes the primary streaming service, hardware vendors will adopt it. Too early to tell, but I tend to agree with the articles I have read on the future of the industry. Only time will tell. In all transparency, I don't use any service. I stream my local collection within my home via BluOS.
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Recently began trial-one year sub to provide time to build server, acquire suitable tablet for remote, etc., intending to purchase $499 lifetime if all went well. Now feel as if someone stuck a gun to my ribs.
If I read the CEO article correct, you are covered under the old price.
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post #11 of 26 Old 11-23-2019, 06:22 AM
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If I read the CEO article correct, you are covered under the old price.
Unless they're willing to visit a new house and pick up a paintbrush, the 30 days offered isn't enough time against many competing priorities.

After a few weeks on a clunky pc, it's by far the most intuitive diy streamer I've used and has excellent network capabilities; can't wait to try the remote. The extensive metadata has limited value to me, and am concerned re: creeping adware. Biggest wish from this old guy is a file folder hierarchy view, apparently a nonstarter.
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post #12 of 26 Old 11-23-2019, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Molon_Labe View Post
Amazon HD just launched. You may not have a choice as most industry experts believe Tidal will be displaced by Amazon and will not survive. If Amazon becomes the primary streaming service, hardware vendors will adopt it. Too early to tell, but I tend to agree with the articles I have read on the future of the industry. Only time will tell. In all transparency, I don't use any service. I stream my local collection within my home via BluOS.
I'm perfectly fine with us landing on a "agree to disagree" place here, but I question the "many industry experts" that believe that.

Without things like a desktop application that supports WASAPI Exclusive mode (something that SHOULD HAVE been part of the roll-out), current audiophiles with Tidal/Qobuz subscriptions aren't gong to switch en-masse.

It's possibel that "it's early" and "Amazon will eventually integrate with and support a wide range of non-amazon hardware and software".... but.... based on their past performance and behaviours elsewhere, I personally wouldn't bank on that.

So they're left with trying to convince new/interested audiophiles to:
A) care about audio quality and pay them more for it (which hasn't been the general trend for the last 20ish years)
B) Go all-in on their service/ecosystem/hardware-for-the-software

I would never go so far as to say Amazon can't/won't make it work.... but I think it's far from a slam dunk. Everything I've read and seen online and "IRL" suggests that it has gotten off to a pretty rocky/slow start.
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post #13 of 26 Old 11-23-2019, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
I'm perfectly fine with us landing on a "agree to disagree" place here, but I question the "many industry experts" that believe that.

Without things like a desktop application that supports WASAPI Exclusive mode (something that SHOULD HAVE been part of the roll-out), current audiophiles with Tidal/Qobuz subscriptions aren't gong to switch en-masse.

It's possibel that "it's early" and "Amazon will eventually integrate with and support a wide range of non-amazon hardware and software".... but.... based on their past performance and behaviours elsewhere, I personally wouldn't bank on that.

So they're left with trying to convince new/interested audiophiles to:
A) care about audio quality and pay them more for it (which hasn't been the general trend for the last 20ish years)
B) Go all-in on their service/ecosystem/hardware-for-the-software

I would never go so far as to say Amazon can't/won't make it work.... but I think it's far from a slam dunk. Everything I've read and seen online and "IRL" suggests that it has gotten off to a pretty rocky/slow start.
I agree with you on all points but "audiophiles" are so few in number they won't keep anyone's lights on. Tidal is rumored to barely be keeping the lights on as it is. Tidal claims 3 million subscribers but many analysts question that number and estimate it be closer to a million. If Amazon erodes any of their market share, which they undoubtedly will, they might not survive. Amazon wouldn't have entered the HD market if they didn't have their eyes on Tidal's market share. Too early to tell.
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post #14 of 26 Old 11-23-2019, 01:35 PM
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I just killed my Tidal subscription for Amazon HD.
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post #15 of 26 Old 11-23-2019, 02:10 PM
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Tidal seemed to have more HD tracks of the music I listened to but as an Amazon Prime member the 50 percent subscription price increase wasn't worth it. By itself it doesn't seem like a lot but you gotta try and manage all those monthly bills that we all have. Daughter wanted Disney+ so I cut my music subscription cost.
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post #16 of 26 Old 12-28-2019, 12:19 PM
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Whew, as a new Roon subscriber I purchased the lifetime subscription just in time. It's one of the few times a made a "good" financial decision ;-)

One point I would like to make is the one that got me to pay $500. After using the trial version I discovered Roon is more than a simple streamer with metadata. It was the way Roon is a transport and connects to so many network devices. The way it intelligently converts audio on the fly. It always does this with keeping the audio quality at the highest level possible. When I saw all of this and the myriad of options on how you want your digital music accessed and transported, I was sold.
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post #17 of 26 Old 12-28-2019, 11:04 PM
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I agree with you on all points but "audiophiles" are so few in number they won't keep anyone's lights on. Tidal is rumored to barely be keeping the lights on as it is. Tidal claims 3 million subscribers but many analysts question that number and estimate it be closer to a million. If Amazon erodes any of their market share, which they undoubtedly will, they might not survive. Amazon wouldn't have entered the HD market if they didn't have their eyes on Tidal's market share. Too early to tell.
That worries me about Tidal, as neither Amazon nor Qobuz offer the same sound quality as Tidal Masters. I don't believe in higher than CD resolution being audible, but after many blind listening tests with myself and my girlfriend, it's clear that Tidal Masters are a step above Amazon/Qobuz/CD in terms of sound quality. From what I understand, Amazon and Qobuz are higher resolution than Tidal, so they should theoretically sound better, but they sound worse(to my ears). Is Tidal manipulating the sound in some other way, other than increasing the resolution? Are they different masterings?

If Amazon does take Tidal down, my hope would be that they buy them out and absorb whatever "secret" that Tidal is using for their "Master" recordings.
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post #18 of 26 Old 12-29-2019, 11:40 AM
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That worries me about Tidal, as neither Amazon nor Qobuz offer the same sound quality as Tidal Masters. I don't believe in higher than CD resolution being audible, but after many blind listening tests with myself and my girlfriend, it's clear that Tidal Masters are a step above Amazon/Qobuz/CD in terms of sound quality. From what I understand, Amazon and Qobuz are higher resolution than Tidal, so they should theoretically sound better, but they sound worse(to my ears). Is Tidal manipulating the sound in some other way, other than increasing the resolution? Are they different masterings?

If Amazon does take Tidal down, my hope would be that they buy them out and absorb whatever "secret" that Tidal is using for their "Master" recordings.
One of the controversial aspects of MQA (the format Tidal Masters uses) is the engineer can actually apply an EQ curve to the file itself, that might be the difference you're hearing. I don't think Amazon would have any interest in licensing anyone else's technology, it's not really their thing but I'm sure they wouldn't mind getting one or more of the smaller competitors out of the market.
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post #19 of 26 Old 12-29-2019, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcn View Post
Biggest wish from this old guy is a file folder hierarchy view, apparently a nonstarter.
Available in many competing products; but of course the main offering of Roon is its cataloging by content, not file location.
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-01-2020, 10:00 PM
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I was going to buy lifetime as well. I did a year subscription a while ago and I really wanted to go lifetime but I couldn't afford it then. Now that I see that it's $200 more expensive, the 40% price increase for the same software is tough to swallow. $700 is a lot of money to pay for an interface and metadata.
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-03-2020, 08:18 AM
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I was going to buy lifetime as well. I did a year subscription a while ago and I really wanted to go lifetime but I couldn't afford it then. Now that I see that it's $200 more expensive, the 40% price increase for the same software is tough to swallow. $700 is a lot of money to pay for an interface and metadata.
... and exactly how long is a 'lifetime' in technology?
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-03-2020, 09:43 AM
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... and exactly how long is a 'lifetime' in technology?
Good point and the answer is how ever long they can remain in business.
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-04-2020, 01:49 AM
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I just started getting into the HiFi niche, and I have been pondering about Roon, but after their price increase, Roon is no longer on my list. I wish Roon the best and hope their new business model doesn't bring them down.
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-04-2020, 10:17 AM
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I understand that they did it for their own internal benefit, but when you can get quality streamers for $599 with a free eco system and software suite (BlueSound), or really good streamers with software also included (Aurelic), they are asking for a huge chunk of change.

This is going to push me into either an Aurelic or maybe a PS Audio Direct Stream DAC with Bridge II for my next upgrade.


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post #25 of 26 Old 01-14-2020, 02:56 PM
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I was looking at $1500-2500 streamers in late 2018

Discovered the very economical RaspPi Allo DigiOne Signature for less money at 90-95% of the quality. Add in a lifetime Roon subscription and it was still less money as a package.

After having the software for all this time I do admit it is a solid solution. I still cannot wrap my head around paying so much for software though. The DigiOne is useless without the Roon software though. Roon was much better than the included software in the commercial streamers and the salesman at the audio store kept saying you'll want Roon ON TOP of the hardware. Made the decision to go with a RaspPi easier.

As Roon gets more robust and more and more hardware companies sign one, it'll only get better.
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post #26 of 26 Old 01-14-2020, 05:16 PM
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Lifetime? Whose lifetime?
What if company is sold and new owner won't honor it? Like on my window warranty?
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