Roon vs JRiver

Hi all,

I am using JRiver currently on my laptop and am quite happy with it for earphone listening via an AQ Dragonfly.

With the recent rave of Roon, I downloaded the trial to find out more about it and whether it is worth the costly switch. The Roon sub is $119 a year or $499 for a lifetime sub which is hefty compared to JRiver's one-time price of $29.99.

When I compared Roon with JRiver, and I only did this with my laptop, AQ Dragonfly and Shure earphones, I find that Roon's noise floor is rather high compared to JRiver which is actually almost dead quiet. Maybe I am not setting it up correctly but the Audio set-up tab seems rather straightforward and intuitive.
The other thing about Roon is you can't set sampling rates with the versatility that JRiver offers.

Has anyone else compared Roon with JRiver?
I would appreciate any input before I make the decision to stick with JRiver.

Thanks in advance.
J. :)
Given how quickly the digital playback environment changes and how quickly companies go in and out of business, I'd be very cautious about a "lifetime" subscription.  Never heard Roon, so no knock on their product, but it is a new spin-off company and who knows what could happen (like a competitor buying them out and killing the product)  (of course, that never happens) 
Thanks for the input. It is good advice not to go for the lifetime sub. And there isn't much justification to pay the steep yearly sub compared to the very reasonable one-time price for JRiver, including the regular upgraded versions.
Guess I will stick with JRiver.
J. :)
But, does JRiver allow you to explore artists, genres, tracks, etc. in the same manner that Roon does across Tidal and your library?

If not, it's an apples-to-oranges comparison in terms of functionality. If you don't factor in the advantages of Roon (if they're at all important to you), then your decision will be made simply on the two points above: Cost, and Something that hasn't even happened.
A JRiver license is $49.98 and the upgrade cost for each new version is between $20 and $26. New versions come out about once a year.

JRiver does not have Tidal support and will not, You can run Tidal software and pump the sound through JRIver, but JRiver has made it clear they will not incorporate  Tidal into their product.
Thabks, all.

The primary deciding factor for me is sound quality. The other functions and Tidal are secondary.  

The higher noise floor with Roon is just too significant for me to ignore.  

I haven't upgraded my JRiver since version 19 and so have not kept up with the pricing.  I am quite happy with the sound quality of this version although I am unsure as to how much it can be improved with each new version.  

Will try Roon again some time down the road.  Hopefully, they would hae the noise problem solved by then. 

J. :)
Glad to help. 
I treid Roon, and promptly canceled it within the trial period and continue to enjoy Jriver 21.  Roon was to quirky for my machine (does not like other audio players on the OS and really (REALLY) wants a 64 bit OS.  

when I cancelled, I advsied what the isues were (incompatability, unstable, crashed my PC) and all they kept doing was offer me a lower price.  I love it.  I talk quality - they talk price. 

I just signed the petition "Bring together Roon & PS Audio Bridge II" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

This is the letter on the petition that is addressed to PS Audio’s Paul McGowan and Roon’s Brian Luczkiewicz

Many of us own PS Audio PerfectWave DAC products. The PS Audio Network Bridge allows the PerfectWave DAC to operate at its fullest potential, and that potential is a force to be reckoned with! For many of you, I am preaching to the choir. This DAC & network enabled Bridge is one of the best available on the market.
Roon is simply the most impressive music management software that I have ever seen, and I think I have seen them all! It is beautifully designed so the experience of listening to music is enhanced while using it, rather than countless other programs that are a tedious distraction. Roon is not overcomplicated, yet it allows us to correctly configure the precise controls that a proper hi-fi DAC such as the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC requires.
For those of you who are Roon users, I urge you to check out the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC. For the PS Audio owners, you MUST download the trial to Roon right away! It will change your life!
This petition is to show support to the good people at Roon & PS Audio. They are already working together to try to figure out how to integrate Roon & the PS Audio Bridge, so this petition is to help them give the project some steam and get it done! Please sign this and forward it to any Roon or PS Audio user that you feel is appropriate. The more support we demonstrate may just push this past the tipping point!
No prob, Mark. Glad to help.
Personally, I find Roon a well developed piece of software.  I find JRiver to be fine sounding, but an extremely poorly designed app. There is no comparison. Not even close!
Sorry to say that you are compare apple to orange.
If you want to compare SQ you should compare with jPlay, HQPlayer, XXHighend just to name a few. and each of them has Pro and Con just like JRiver.

However, if you want to compare music Management. Roon is second to none that currently existing. And just to say Roon might be a new name but people who did Sooloo 10 years ago and also HP Music.

Hope this clear things out. 
I certainly agree that the Roon interface is the best out there today....

J. :)
I am testing Roon, JRiver21, and Foobar2000 on a T+A MP2000R DAC/streamer, T+A PA2500R Amp, Piega Classic 60.2 speakers, Kimber and Wireworld cables.
The Roon interface is the best I have ever seen. JRiver is usable, and Foobar is not verry well.
The sound of JRiver and Foobar is much better then Roon. I do not know what is wrong with the Roon sound but I do not like it on my equipment.
My experience is quite different. Jriver is crashing (on all computers, not only mine) when you select DSD upsampling and press skip a few times. 

I had ZERO such a problems with Room. It has been super stable to date (Xeon 8-core processor, 64-bit system, 16GB ram).

Roon's library management is easily the best in the biz. So is the Tital integration and their iOS app. They have been developing their software for over 10 years (they first started as Sooloos) - and it shows.

You can greatly improve the sound quality in Roon by adding HQ Player plug in. This is how I use mine.
Elberoth, what is the hq player plugin? Is that available for both Mac and PC?
J.River had never a crash on any computer I have seen. I use native DSD (DSD64 - DSD256) no up or down sampling, and had never a problem.
The computers are Intel dual and quad Core Celeron, AMD Quad and Eight Core, 2GB, 4GB and 16GB RAM. ZERO problems with J.River.

You are right about the software managment. Roon is by far verry much better then J.River.

But the Roon sound is terribly, all detail in the music is gone. The sound is more importend then operating and managing the software.
I will try the HQ Player plug in.
Roon is simply better with metadata. That means nothing to me. I just want great sound and Jriver gives it to me. Also the cost of Roon is rediculous. What happens to your lifetime subscription when they go out of business.
Don't know the significense of Roon incorporating Tidal and jriver not. When I want to listen to Tidal I just stream from Tidal
Agree with Alan, and I do the same.  Over the weekend I discovered a way of having Tidal going though JRiver/ASIO vs the PCs or Windows audio path (PC - USB to Mcintosh D100 DAC, can probably be done w/other DACs.)

Can't say that the sound quality one way or another is better or even different, but this way I can take advantage of the JRiver's DSP settings if desired.
I was going to give Roon a try until I looked at the licensing. I use two systems, on for development and playing around and the other for actual use by the family. With Roon I would need to have 2 licenses to do that. Also, I spend time in Florida during the winter. I cannot take my main system so I either use a laptop or connect through the Internet to my main system. Unfortunately, Roon only works on a local network. So, the only way to use it remotely is to license it to yet a third laptop system which I take with me. Net, I need 3 licenses ($360 a yea) or 3 lifetime licenses ($1,500). That is not going to happen. Plus, even then, I do not have remote access no matter what. I get remote access and the ability to install on several systems for $25 a year from JRiver. As much as I would like to try Roon, the cost and lack of remote access means I will not be able to use it.
Alan, to say Roon is simply better with metadata is a big understatement.  I agree, it is expensive, but the user experience taken as a whole is on another level compared to JRiver and other software.  When I listen to music, I like the control software to be as little as a burden as possible.  JRiver is old fashioned and poorly designed from a user experience standpoint.  Roon on the other hand goes the other direction.  Not only is it a joy to use, but the advanced use of metadata allows me to quickly rediscover hidden corners in my collection.
I stopped testing Roon and removed it.
I've used JRiver, I dropped it and went back to the Free Foobar 2000, I used both in conjunction with and without JPlay. I didn't use it very long, but I tried XXHighend.  Foobar and JRiver sounded better than XXHighend... This forum and my feeble mind convinced me that if i'm not paying for something it can't be as good. What it came down to for me is that I became very comfortable and learned the ins and outs of Foobar so well.  Its free and its sound quality is on par with the few that I've tried. Getting your music labled (tagged) is an extra step, but its second nature to me now. I could be persuaded to change,  but I've got Foobar 2000 down and that's were I'm staying for the time being. 
Good luck to all, but I wanted to share my experience. Tim
Is it true that in order for my ipad mini 2 to control roon, it has to be 64gb? I bought a 32gb ipad and just read a support thread on a room forum saying it has to be 64gb.

Hello All!!

New here but this thread deals with an issue I'm actively trying to resolve:  Roon or JRiver?

Got both on my machine and AB tests show to my ears that the JRiver sound is more dynamic and clearer. At same volume set, Roon is softer and subdued. However, Roon metadata is outstanding and the interface for playing music is superb. The JRiver playing interface is still largely text-based and harks back to a Windows file system appearance. 

JRiver is struggling to import my cover art from file (I know its there) and I'm having to manually import cover art either from file or the internet album by album. Roon breezed through this with no problems.

One major drawback on Roon is that its library is virtual, being the result of links rather than an import.  So when anything in the library is deleted, the original source file is actually lost from disc forever!  The community seem quite happy to live with this and set much store on backups. I find it such a major departure from best practice that I now doubt the whole Roon project. Reviews on the Google Appstore regarding the touchscreen app have also not been reassuring.

I sense a fundamental cultural difference between the two organisations: Roon is agile, fleet-footed and empathises with the user; JRiver is more corporate, a little less connected with the user, but strong on standards and best practice.  There are advantages to both, I suppose.

Got a year's subscription on each, so got a bit of time to make up my mind.

Got both on my machine and AB tests show to my ears that the JRiver sound is more dynamic and clearer.
Got the Roon free trial just to find out my iPad is too old to use the app. Oh well, no good to me now. Jriver works just fine for now as I too am a bit antiquated.

how do you "run Tidal software and pump the sound through JRIver". Please explain.


pixelphoto - I should have been clearer. Tidal software itself does not allow you to redirect the output to JRiver, unfortunately. I use Bubble UpNP on an Android tablet, available in Play Store.  It has Tidal support and can send the output to JRiver's DLNA renderer. It is not as nice an interface as the Tidal App, but it works fine. It lets me send  HiFi, CD quaility output to JRiver for playing. You can also send it to another DLNA renderer if available.

Bubble UpNP allows you to choose the renderer for output, and all you need to do is select the JRIver renderer. In JRiver, you just need to be sure the DLNA rendered is turned on DLNA in Tools - Options - Media Network - Advanced. I think it is by default. I play the CD quality files directly, but you can also use JRiver's DSP studio if you wish.

Bubble UpNP is a easy way to use Tidal through JRiver, as long as you have an Android device.  Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions.