• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Harman acquires Roon

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,943
Likes
10,613
Location
São Paulo, Brazil

kemmler3D

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
2,770
Likes
5,166
Location
San Francisco
Pretty interesting. I do like to see more competition in the multiroom space, so this should shake things up a bit over time.

My personal issue with Roon is I can't get my head around paying a subscription for streaming already-acquired music in my own house. A refurb WiiM mini is about $60 on eBay. I get why Roon Arc would need a subscription, but for streaming on my own Wi-Fi?
 

ahofer

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
4,846
Likes
8,523
Location
New York City
Pretty interesting. I do like to see more competition in the multiroom space, so this should shake things up a bit over time.

My personal issue with Roon is I can't get my head around paying a subscription for streaming already-acquired music in my own house. A refurb WiiM mini is about $60 on eBay. I get why Roon Arc would need a subscription, but for streaming on my own Wi-Fi?
I know. I'm a lifetime member, but it really irks me. I have to install and maintain a whole different streaming system to access my own damn files.
 

Matt_Holland

Active Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2023
Messages
230
Likes
357
Interesting. They must want to multi-room technology to take on Sonos/Bluesound and Wiim. I predict a lite version of Roon that will be free with Harman brand’s hardware and not require a physical core.
 
OP
Matias

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,943
Likes
10,613
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
To my use case I also think WiiM made a killer line of products that offers the multi-room streaming+local software player "for free"... Why would I pay for Roon?

Yes, I know it does this and that more, but still it is an incremental upgrade for a lot of money (lifetime) or another monthly subscription. Thanks, but no thanks.
 

anotherhobby

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
601
Likes
1,228
Interesting. I just dropped my Roon subscription about a month ago after trying it for several months due to:
  • unacceptable (to me) support model
  • inability to play on my own local network across subnets
  • value/price (it's good, but not that good).
I wonder if Harmon will inject their own opinions (like, maybe change the support model), or if they will leave the existing Roon team to continue as is?
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,173
Likes
231,817
Location
Seattle Area
Gosh... A big company like this could kill an acquired product in a year or two without thinking about it. So unless they were not profitable and were going out of business on their own, I am worried about such deals.
 

kemmler3D

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
2,770
Likes
5,166
Location
San Francisco
To my use case I also think WiiM made a killer line of products that offers the multi-room streaming+local software player "for free"... Why would I pay for Roon?

Yes, I know it does this and that more, but still it is an incremental upgrade for a lot of money (lifetime) or another monthly subscription. Thanks, but no thanks.
Indeed, and it's been possible with various open source tools for a while if you were willing to mess around with an RPi or something. WiiM just offers low cost and high convenience. Roon seems to only have convenience? But by all accounts, the tech works well. So I agree it's possible that Harman is considering integrating it into other products at a lower cost to compete with Sonos.

For example, JBL bluetooth speakers have had a 'broadcast mode' for a long time, but I am not aware that it's used very much. But if you could get all of those on Wifi with a nice, modern, intuitive app, it could really challenge Sonos in a serious way. So, in other words, if they added wifi chips and Roon to their portable lineups...
 

Matt_Holland

Active Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2023
Messages
230
Likes
357
Gosh... A big company like this could kill an acquired product in a year or two without thinking about it. So unless they were not profitable and were going out of business on their own, I am worried about such deals.
I agree it’s worrying for Roon as we know it. How many existing Roon hardware partners will object to funding their competition?
 

mhardy6647

Grand Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
10,801
Likes
23,266
Must be consolidation season in the content industry, with recent changes of ownership of BMI and Roon... and, of course, good old MQA. :)
I guess it's the non-visual content industry, come to think of it.
 

Matt_Holland

Active Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2023
Messages
230
Likes
357
Long time ago Meridian acquired them and then let them go. Interesting that they would repeat this.
There’s quite a story behind this…
Meridian acquired Sooloos which became Roon instead of Sooloos v3 when they parted ways. Interestingly, Roon appeared quite soon after the breakup. Sooloos was free software as per Meridian’s wishes…
 

Puddingbuks

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
587
Likes
981
Gosh... A big company like this could kill an acquired product in a year or two without thinking about it. So unless they were not profitable and were going out of business on their own, I am worried about such deals.
Indeed, I once used a hiking app for many years, all was well until it was bought by a bigger platform. In few months time, it was destroyed. All my uploaded hiking trails & photos were gone, thousands of trails of other people too.

Lifetime subscriptions scare me, because 2-3 years is a very long time in the internet / online business
 

mhardy6647

Grand Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
10,801
Likes
23,266
I know. I'm a lifetime member, but it really irks me. I have to install and maintain a whole different streaming system to access my own damn files.
We never had that problem with LPs. You could borrow 'em from the library, or buy 'em youself -- and they'd all play on the same record player.
Oh, oops. I guess I might've mistaken this for the "simplicity" thread.

;)

There’s quite a story behind this…
Meridian acquired Sooloos which became Roon instead of Sooloos v3 when they parted ways. Interestingly, Roon appeared quite soon after the breakup. Sooloos was free software as per Meridian’s wishes…
Oooh, so many "O"s in those names! Sooloos... Roon...
Does this mean that, if Roon does well, the parent'll rebrand itself as Harmoon? Or maybe the grand pooh-bah will remoniker itself. How does Samsoooong sound in Korean?

Sorry, gang -- It's one of those short, short New England almost-winter days & I am feeling wry today.

1701118005119.jpeg
 
Last edited:

TK750

Active Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
228
Likes
407
Location
UK
That's pretty interesting, I'm more of a foss guy myself but I've given roon a go the past few years on the $3 3 month deal they do every black friday. It seems pretty convenient and I can definitely see the appeal to people who don't like to tinker with things and want something that just works. The normal pricing had always seemed fairly extortionate to myself though, as others have mentioned not something I would ever even consider paying a subscription for. I guess they figure most audiophiles are usually not short of cash and happy to cough up for the lifetime deal? Anybody know how many subscribers they have etc?
 

SCR

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 10, 2022
Messages
39
Likes
109
Location
Berlin
Gosh... A big company like this could kill an acquired product in a year or two without thinking about it. So unless they were not profitable and were going out of business on their own, I am worried about such deals.
Harman is owned by Samsung, so chances are that Roon is being turned into another Samsung content service to augment their connected hardware at some point.
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
3,747
Likes
5,797
Gosh... A big company like this could kill an acquired product in a year or two without thinking about it. So unless they were not profitable and were going out of business on their own, I am worried about such deals.

Unless the technology can be used to enhance the automotive or soundbar division, I really do think it will die. Look at Logic7, Lexicon SL-1 technology, RABOS, and the whole Harman Citation line-up which was intended to compete against Sonos...
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,173
Likes
231,817
Location
Seattle Area
I agree it’s worrying for Roon as we know it. How many existing Roon hardware partners will object to funding their competition?
Likely fair number if not all. Managing this will be very tricky.

The other risk is key employees leaving after their mandatory staying time (usually 6 months to 2 years).
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,173
Likes
231,817
Location
Seattle Area
Unless the technology can be used to enhance the automotive or soundbar division, I really do think it will die. Look at Logic7, Lexicon SL-1 technology, RABOS, and the whole Harman Citation line-up which was intended to compete against Sonos...
That's what I am worried about. I created a business at Microsoft that generated $50M pure profits with just a couple of employees managing it. Management could care less given the grand scheme of things. They said put everyone on Windows because that is the main money making machine.

The only thing that will save them is if there is a fan of their technology up high. Doubt that this is in place at Samsung.
 
Top Bottom