For many, it is not just the sound quality of digital streaming that is less pleasurable than vinyl, but the entire listening experience feels like it's missing something. For those who subscribe to Roon, or have had the opportunity to try it out, will know that Roon is aimed as a control program that adds that missing sparkle that we once had with vinyl and CD.

This version of Roon has massively changed the overall look, focusing far more on the extensive metadata provided by the RoonLabs team instead of clogging the display up with different rooms and settings, letting you focus more on what it has to offer.  For those new to Roon, you are able to get up and running far easier with their new start-up procedure, simply allowing you to add a music library (and/or a streaming service) and listing the compatible devices for you to enable.

Another highly unappreciated feature that has become far more noticeable is Valence.  Valence is effectively the person who works behind the desk at the record shop giving you the very best suggestions based on what you listen to.  Most streaming services will base suggestions on algorithms and overall trends, but those with a deeper or more obscure taste in music would notice these algorithms can become very circular and end up referring you back to the start in three or four clicks.  Valence is there to make sure it is a journey of music, not a round trip.

Valence can easily be identified from the home page with a wealth of information on what has been recently released based on your individual taste, with statistics on what genres you’ve been listening to recently. This has also revitalised the automatic ‘Roon Radio’ that plays at the end of an album or a playlist and immediately asks whether a suggestion would suit the mood you are in. It does not get offended or snobbish if you do not like the suggestion, but instead uses your response to suggest better music in the future when listening to a similar style of music.

For those who would like to experience Roon we can offer a 30 day trial for you at home and we are happy to demonstrate the software in store with any compatible streaming products.  For those who are currently using Roon, you will get reminders on start-up when your Roon is not up to date with the latest firmware, or you can go into the ‘Settings’ > ‘About’ page to check.

Watch this space, because we are planning a Roon event!