Roon Debuts Its ‘Most High-Value, Low-Cost Roon Server’ Yet

Roon's Nucleus One server can make your audio set up a lot more convenient. (From: Roon)
Roon’s Nucleus One server can make your audio set up a lot more convenient. (From: Roon)

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The Nucleus One offers elite audio management at a budget-friendly price, at least compared to its variants.

Roon Labs has launched the Nucleus One, its most affordable dedicated music server for Roon users. At just US$499.99, it’s a great alternative to other premium mini PCs and a compelling choice for anyone seeking an easy-to-manage music server solution.

A Roon server is like a special computer that manages your music library, handles playback, and drives the Roon control app. It organizes your music files, retrieves metadata, and provides a seamless, synchronized experience across multiple devices in different rooms.

Nucleus One Features

A close look at the new Roon Nucleus One server.
A close look at the new Roon Nucleus One server.

Roon Labs’ newest product, the Nucleus One, combines style and high performance in a music server that offers a plug-and-play experience. Its easy setup and automatic updates remove the need for technical know-how in computers or networking.

The Nucleus One is optimized for the Roon ecosystem and popular streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz. It has a 2.5″ SATA drive, supporting up to 8TB of storage for those with large music collections. Case in point, this device can hold up to 10,000 albums (100,000 tracks).

The Nucleus One prioritizes wired connections. (From: Roon)
The Nucleus One prioritizes wired connections. (From: Roon)

Featuring two USB-A ports, one Ethernet port, and an audio-only HDMI port, the Nucleus One prioritizes wired connections. This design choice omits Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, reinforcing its dedicated role in networked audio systems.

Designed for performance under heavy use, the server has dual vents and a cooling fan to avoid overheating. This allows it to manage up to six simultaneous streaming zones with ease. Meaning, you can stream music to up to 6 different rooms at the same time.

The Nucleus One's unique “bird’s nest” top. (From: Roon)
The Nucleus One’s unique “bird’s nest” top. (From: Roon)

It has a polycarbonate matte black plastic case with a special “bird’s nest” design on top. This makes it look similar to the more expensive Nucleus Titan.

“In the rare case where one team can control hardware, firmware, operating system, and application software, it’s possible to do amazing things. Nucleus One is the culmination of all our experience up to this point: a dedicated Roon server for the price of an off-the-shelf mini PC.” says Roon founder Enno Vandermeer.

Here’s a look at the Nucleus One’s complete specifications:

SpecificationNucleus One
Internal StorageProvides space for 2.5” SATA SSD or HDD up to 15mm drive height (drive not included)
Library CapacityUp to 10,000 albums (100,000 tracks)
Multi-Room StreamingUp to 6 simultaneous zones
DSP CapabilityMost DSP functions available in the PCM domain
Some DSD + DSP combinations may not be possible
Connections2 x USB Type A 3.0
1 x audio-only HDMI
Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Networked audio devices
Audio OutputsNetwork audio streamers
USB DACs, speakers, and amplifiers
Stereo and multi-channel HDMI devices
Over 1,000 devices from the best HiFi brands
Chromecast & Airplay connectivity
Control SystemsRoon API, Crestron, Control4
Dimensions & Weight9.5" (L) x 9.5" (W) x 2.25" (H)
4 lbs 3 oz (net weight of product only)
AccessoriesAC power supply (19V, 60W)
Ethernet cable
Eight screws for mounting optional internal drive

Who Should Get the Nucleus One?

Roon's Nucleus One server offers a clean look. (From: Roon)
Roon’s Nucleus One server offers a clean look. (From: Roon)

The Nucleus One is ideal for audiophiles looking for the following:

  • A dedicated audio server that fits effortlessly into their homes.
  • A simple and clean system without messy setups using makeshift computer equipment.
  • Easy access to the Roon OS and streaming services minus complex software setups.
Roon's Nucleus One server. (From: Roon)
Roon’s Nucleus One server. (From: Roon)

In a discussion on the r/audiophile subreddit, one user explained the draw of the Nucleus One.

“This Nucleus One is singing right to me, as someone who wants a very clean and simple dedicated music “server” and enables me to seamlessly interact with Roon + Tidal/Qobuz. I, for one, will be buying one without hesitation,” said heywaj10.

Despite lacking Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, its appeal as an affordable, easy-to-use device for running Roon remains. It attracts audiophiles on a budget who value both practicality and design.

“This will appeal to folks who don’t want to mess with a SFF computer but would rather just have a self-maintaining “appliance” to run Roon. It is a lot less money than the previous Roon appliances (which were ridiculously overpriced),” said GlennAlanBerry.

Where to Buy

Roon will release the Nucleus One on May 15, 2024, but you can pre-order yours now via the official Roon online store. US residents are entitled to free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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