Do You Really Need a Pulse?

Do you really need Roon, as the Pulse review below begs the question? Many early adopters seem to fully embrace Roon, and its meta data. As I was late to the party regarding digital playback, I side stepped Roon. Basically for two reasons, I found the sound of the Innuos ZENith marginally better sans Roon, and based on that felt it was not a great value proposition. The latter due to my preference for listening with no distractions as in looking up meta data for a particular track. Since the Innuos Sense App has hit the street and the PULSE line has been released, I believe my choice was correct, especially for my needs. Nothing inherently wrong with Roon, but why pay for a feature set I’d unlikely use.

With that I’ll add a recent review of the PULSE by Alan McIntosh. My take away is the PULSE is most capable, but the DAC and cabling are going to play an important role. For those who like reviews when researching a potential purchase:

Innuos Pulse - Alan McIntosh


In my experience, systems sound better without Roon. Also, Roon handles classical music poorly.

Admittedly both may have improved after I decided I was uninterested.


I have been roon for two years after getting back into critical music listening. Life got in the way, but I got back and honestly it was Roon that enabled and made me really get back into it.

That being said, I do not have a high end disc spinning device, and jumped right into streaming with Roon. That being said I cannot comment how it sounds vs Innuos/Aurender/Auriic and others that have their own what I call all in one solutions.

Obviously like anything else, when its all in one, one company is in charge of and can change anything along the chain, that alone can make me think yeah, it could sound better. There are many that say they hear a difference.

To me the discovery of new music is really the killer part of it. Nothing comes close. Not to mention the slick interface which all others try to copy. I also use the DSP engine built in to do room correction. Works wonderfully.

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No, but I am an early “lifetimer” and I enjoy having it as an option.

Critical listening is (still) reserved for JRiver Media Center/streaming my music collection and the occasional SACD via a PSA DMP.

“Roon Radio” is worth the price I paid for Roon. Just not sure I really need Qobuz AND Tidal as well.


[Addenda (since the thread title was changed): Yes, I believe I need a pulse. Would be difficult to enjoy my music without one… The whole system would essentially be lifeless, I am afraid. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.]


The Qobuz app is superb, Innuos Sense is very good, but nothing gets close to Roon for multi-room. Sound with a dedicated server is fine. I can stream Qobuz natively on Lumin and I can’t hear a difference.


The (ongoing) price was far too high, and as far as I could tell it did it’s best to obfuscate the source of the music, merging libraries etc. which is the exact opposite of what I wanted.
Add to that Logitech Media Server does everything I want, is highly extensible, and is completely free (and open-source hence there are multiple “appliance” OSs that support it, or it can run on Linux or windows or Mac) with multiple endpoint platforms available too just makes it a “no-brainier” decision to me.
Later reading folks saying Roon doesn’t “sound” as good just makes me feel smug at having chosen it :wink:


Edit: my response below is in the context of the original subject which read “Do You Really Need Roon?” As can be seen, I do not need a Pulse. Well, I need a pulse. Just not a Pulse.

I stream via Grimm’s MU1. It exclusively - at least for now - works with Roon, so the short answer is “Yes, I really need Roon.”

But beyond that I have to say that I’ve never enjoyed music more than I have working via Roon’s system (at least partly due to the MU1’s performance), which has allowed me to discover an enormous amount of new, interesting music via Roon radio.

So beyond really needing it, I really want it too.

Totally off topic: I’m incredibly glad that PS Audio hosts these forums, that I managed to find them, and that I absorbed @aangen’s posts about his experience with the MU1. For some reason it seems to work great with Roon, avoiding the “sound quality” complaints that so many users convey online. It was a big splurge for me, and one that I absolutely do not regret.


I am really tempted to look at one of the big boy streamers (not Grimm. Not that big) rose 350. New G.2.2 or U2. But Roon for now does my room correction. I don’t care how good the streamer improves over what I have now it’s not going to correct the two jumps caused by my room. So direct compare Roon to no Roon would not be true A/B. Only the Aurlic 2.2 coming out includes room correction built in. That I could do Roon vs Native software. But it would x cost me $6500 to get that answer.

I switch between Roon/Qobuz and JRiver on a 60/40 basis. Don’t get the Roon doesn’t sound as good complaint. Don’t NEED anything but three squares a day and a safe place to sleep, but for less than the price of a new audiophile fuse, a year of Roon/Qobuz is one hell of a deal.


Early adopters, got a “deal”, no doubt about it.

Not so much a complaint, and surely wasn’t intended to be. An observation based on a comparison I did over four years back when I was exploring streaming/server options. At the time of purchsing my first server/streamer, an Innuos ZENith Mk3, I put Roon off as maybe later, and felt the sound was not as good as Innuos “native”. My ears, and my dollars.

From the above responses many point to what I describe as bonus features provided by Roon that go beyond basic streaming. DSP room correction, multi-room functionality, access to their meta data, and library management.
I came from a MacMini/iTunes experience and frequently described it as a hair shirt experience. The change to a purpose focused server/streamer has changed my thought regarding streaming in general; mainly as a convenience for exploring new musics. A side benefit is the majority of my CD library is now available to me at my “multiple homes”, not a typical situation.

What I found interesting in the Pulse review was that Alan’s opinion was the Pulse using the Sense app was sonically mariginally better than Roon, aligning with my experience. Alan seems to think the PULSE is a winner, and that ROON is not a requirement.

From what I learned, and Al has mentioned, the Grimm MU1 needs ROON.

BTW, the intent of the thread Title was also to provide a teaser as a lead in to the Innuos Pulse review. :grinning:

Glad many are happy with Roon, for multiple reasons.

Now on to spinning some vinyl.


Sometime next week I hope to have my first dedicated streamer in my system. I hope the Eversolo will address the sonic shortcomings I hear with my iPad setup- overly warm sound and lack of transparency. If so, I expect my time streaming will go way up. I wish qobuz had an easier way to discover new material. A radio function would probably help. I probably would enjoy Roon for that reason alone but I can’t justify to myself another paid subscription. Maybe it would be worth it but I suspect I’ll never know.


I’ve been using TIDAL Connect and BluOS more than Roon over the last year.

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Based on pricing alone the Ever Solo, in this day and age, seems to be a smart move value oriented decision. As they are in considerable demand it isn’t much of a risk, should it not meet your needs.

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I agree with @amsco15 in that when I’ve done comparisons I just don’t hear any improved sound when not using Roon. Having said that, what I really love about it is the way it helps me discover (or really, rediscover) music in my collection. It is far better at that than anything Ive ever used before. Sometimes I even use it to decide what record to pull out to give the turntable a spin. Another fun option for that is to hit the “random item” in discogs (assuming you have your collection cataloged there)


I couldn’t agree more.



No Roon/No Audirvanna/No Qobuz/No Tidal for me. Amazon Music played Bitperfect via Bluesound Node 2i with all my PCM files on a USB SS Drive plugged into it works great. All my DSD files and Artist Folders are on another USB SS Drive plugged into my Sony UBP-X1000ES. It is starting to get painful with the ever increasing amount of files I’ve been amassing. I might have to bit the bullet and repurchase Audirvanna since they won’t send me a download file of the version I had with the license key I bought from them.

A terrible way to treat your customers IMHO.

I canceled my subscription to Audirvana yesterday. What a useless nightmare that was. Bah.

Roon is essential to me.


The need for Roon comes down to how one uses it, or chooses not to. Clearly not essential here. Like all of our choices its personal preferences, and I’d say this thread has run its course, as it has devolved into its for me, no it’s not. My point was to direct the community to the Pulse review.

Hey Elk, Time to close this turkey, no?


wait… but did you change the subject line? Didnt it used to say “Do You Really Need Roon?” - Im not sure I would have even noticed Pulse not really having known what it was.