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Roon releases its most affordable Nucleus music server for multi-room audio listening

 Roon Nucleus One.
Roon Nucleus One.

Roon's music servers are great, but they've been quite expensive – until now. The new Nucleus One server could bring the firm's clever music tech to a whole new audience. The new product is the most affordable Roon server on the market, with a price tag less than one-third of previous models.

A lower price doesn't mean you should lower your expectations, though. Roon says that the Nucleus one is "comparable in performance to the previous Nucleus", with rock-solid reliability and high performance.

According to Roon founder Enno Vandermeer, the goal has always been to make Roon available to as many people as possible. Since the Sooloos system nearly two decades ago, "we've been on a mission ever since to develop something we could recommend to our friends and families". According to Vandermeer, the Nucleus one is "a dedicated Roon server for the price of an off-the-shelf mini PC".

If you're not familiar with Roon it's part of the Harmann audio family, which also includes the likes of AKG, JBL and Mark Levinson. Roon's music servers are designed to provide a useful, unified and multi-room compatible front end to your music library to create "a surfable, searchable digital magazine covering your entire music collection". It works not just with locally stored music but with the best music streaming services like Tidal, Qobuz and KKBOX, all within the same interface for a consistent experience.

Roon Nucleus One: price and specifications

The new Roon Nucleus One has been molded from polycarbonate and designed to echo the premium Nucleus Titan server. Its 2.5-inch drive tray enables you to add SATA storage of up to 8TB through either SSDs or hard disks.

It also supports USB drives via its Type A connector at speeds up to USB 3.0, and there's an Ethernet connector for networked devices and HDMI for stereo and multi-channel audio output. The Linux-based Roon OS software can handle up to 10,000 albums or 100,000 tracks in one library, and it can send audio to up to six different multi-room audio zones. There's a quiet internal fan to keep everything cool and it's all controllable via the Roon app for Android or iOS.

The Roon Nucleus One has a US price of $499 and will go on sale on May 15, 2024.

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