We love a bit of Roon here at EI, ever since its introduction in 2015, Roon has offered an attractive and engaging way to experience browsing music. Artist photos, credits, bios, reviews, lyrics, tour dates and composers are located automatically within the software and then interconnected by links to build a surfable, searchable digital magazine of a music collection. Roon finds all the same links between personal files and the millions of tracks available on TIDAL and Qobuz, so users can start with the music you know, then explore and discover new stuff.
However, Roon is not just about content, but is also a multi-room, multi-user networked audio platform built for audiophiles. It offers features like bit-perfect playback, DSD and PCM up-sampling, multi-channel playback and signal path display. Roon plays to a number of different types of devices on a home network and can be controlled from a single control app.
For these reasons, Roon Labs released its Nucleus and Nucleus+ servers in 2018. Built on Intel Core i3 (Nucleus) and i7 (Nucleus+) processors, they delivered the ultimate Roon experience. Boasting a purpose-built OS for reliable performance and a unique set of features, they have established themselves in both the high-performance home audio and custom install markets.
Today Henley Audio, UK distributor for the hardware, has announced the imminent UK availability of a new, revised version of the servers. The Nucleus and Nucleus+ retain the specifications of the previous version, but benefit from new production facilities, a facelift and some revised features.
Nucleus and Nucleus+ units are now being manufactured at a new production facility in California, USA, and in the move Roon Labs has taken the opportunity to revise the chassis into a wider, deeper and shallower form, while retaining the same passive cooling system as the previous iteration. The internal layout has also been changed to allow for internal SATA drives up to 15mm deep (the previous version could only accommodate 9mm drives), and the inclusion of a second HDMI output on the back panel. There is also more eco-friendly packaging used with the new version.
The changes made in the 2019 Nucleus and Nucleus+ have no real-world impact on the product specifications (like library size or zone count) or user experience (sound quality or speed). In implementing these changes, Roon Labs has also managed to retain the same price as the original version, and stock is available across the UK during September 2019. SRP £1,500.00 (Nucleus) / £2,500.00 (Nucleus+).