Roon Nucleus Music Server

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Stream and manage your music library with the Roon Nucleus Music Server, a multi-room, multi-user music server. It connects directly to your network and can be controlled via your phone, tablet, or computer. No technical configuration is necessary.

Requires subscription to Roon software.

Nucleus: the center of your music

Nucleus is the center of your Roon music system. It’s the housekeeper, the traffic cop, and the brain that takes care of the music in your life. Using Nucleus, Roon manages all your music – on hard drives, NAS, and streaming content – and allows you to play it on all the audio devices around your home. Nucleus is the best way to run Roon at any price.

Roon Nucleus

Made by Roon

The brain behind the entire Roon experience is the Roon Core. Every aspect of Nucleus — hardware, operating system, and software — was developed to provide a silent, high-performance, power-efficient Roon Core, by the same team that created Roon.

Spedometer in the red zone

Simply the Best

Nucleus is the easiest and fastest way to get your Roon system running. No computer or networking skills required. You just take it home, plug it in, and download Roon apps for your mobile devices and computers. Nucleus keeps itself current with automatic updates.

Just plug Nucleus into your network, connect your hard drives, download Roon remote apps (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows) and you’ll be ready to play music using a wide variety of audio devices, including AirPlay, Sonos, Roon Ready, Devialet, KEF, Meridian, Squeezebox, and a huge variety of USB DACs.

Aside from being a powerful, fanless music server, what sets Nucleus apart is that it’s powered by Roon OS – a fast and lightweight operating system optimized to do just one thing: browse and play music. Roon is a multi-room, multi-user networked audio platform built to the exacting standards of audiophiles, so it offers features like bit-perfect playback, DSD, and PCM upsampling, multichannel playback, and signal path display.

Roon Software


Roon software can be used on many platforms, including Mac, Windows, and Linux PCs, as well as NAS devices and a variety of media servers. Each of those platforms has its benefits and shortcomings, but none of them achieves a perfect balance between ease of use, raw performance, and audiophile design.

Based on feedback from audio dealers and custom integrators, Nucleus was designed to do just that... provide the best Roon experience in each of these areas.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

– Antoine de Saint-Éxupery

Roon has enjoyed tremendous success among computer audiophiles and other tech-savvy enthusiasts, but Nucleus was created to reach everyone who loves music. It is a product which requires nearly no computer knowledge or networking skill. You literally take it home, plug it in, and control it with the Roon Remote app for iPad, iPhone, or Android device (and of course the Roon app for Mac/Windows). Because it's running Roon, Nucleus finds the audio devices on your network and makes it easy to stream to them.


Unlike simple music player apps, Roon is designed to make use of modern computing power (and the more of it the better). So we've worked with Intel to develop Nucleus on their highest-performance NUC platform, which means that using Roon with Nucleus feels incredibly fast, and there's horsepower to spare for handling large music libraries, multi-room streaming, and digital signal processing.

In the white paper, you'll learn what design decisions led to the choice of CPU, boot media, internal storage options, and more.

sound waves

Built for Better Sound

Nucleus has no fans, spinning disks, or moving parts of any kind, and its minimal operating system is tuned for delivering high-performance audio. Whether you put it in your listening room, on your desk, or in a rack, you can be confident you will be getting the best sound from any music server.

Intel computer chip

Developed with Intel

The rich Roon experience requires modern computing power, and the more the better. We worked with Intel to develop Nucleus to support Roon now and in the future. It has horsepower to spare for large music libraries, multi-room streaming, and DSP.


Rather than a desktop or server operating system like Windows, a Linux distribution, or a system-builder tool, Nucleus uses a truly bespoke operating system. Roon OS is an optimized Linux-based operating system developed by Roon Labs to provide the best reliability and performance for what Roon does – networking, storage, and fast database access – and nothing else.


We've seen our share of audio products with network capabilities, and often it's clear that they were designed without network security in mind. Learn what's unique about the way Roon OS powers Nucleus, protects itself from "enterprising hobbyists", and ensures reliable and robust operation even in extraordinary network conditions.


Nucleus is for people who love music, so it has to stand up to the scrutiny of the toughest customers out there. Designing Nucleus without fans, spinning disks, or other moving parts – while maintaining the level of computing performance Roon requires – brought some interesting thermal and mechanical challenges. Learn why Nucleus is the best way to run Roon whether you have a top-spec listening room, a home theater, or a dedicated multi-room equipment rack.

What is Roon?

Roon is a music management and listening solution that takes a very different approach to interacting with your music. Instead of seeing a spreadsheet-like view of your music (as with iTunes and almost all other media systems), Roon provides a very rich non-list based experience, using credits, artist relationships, genres, lyrics, concert/tour dates, artwork, and more to allow for an informative navigation and exploration of your library.

Roon Software

Roon manages digital music files collected on hard drives and networked storage. It can also watch your iTunes library, and optionally integrate with the music streaming service TIDAL.

Roon cleans up your music library, upgrades the metadata associated with your music, and provides a user interface that is far richer than anything else out there. Roon makes music exploration and discovery both informative and fun.

Roon provides no-compromise audio perfection. Bit-perfect playback of lossy and lossless file formats, including high-resolution audio content (PCM and DSD). Additional conveniences such as crossfading and volume normalization make it suitable for both concentrated listening sessions as well as social events.

Roon manages your audio renderers (the things that make sound). Whether they be built-in sound devices, like your laptop's audio output, a USB connected DAC, or even networked audio devices.

Roon is an application suite that must be installed. It is not a website. It runs on Macs, Windows PCs, and Tablets, Linux PCs, Android Tablets, Apple iPads, and iPhones. Support is provided on the Community Site, and membership details and configuration are provided on the Roon website.

Roon uses your music files, Internet Radio streams, and content from the TIDAL streaming music service, but doesn't come with any music.

The Roon software is constantly being improved and updates are always free of charge to licensed users.

Free 30-day Trial

Try Roon for free for 30 days when you purchase any compatible device.


Haute Fidelite
Hifi Choice
Hifi News Outstanding Product
Positive Feedback
TAS Editors Choice
Tone Audio
Wall of Fame
Best of 2018


Roon Magazine Guide
Roon Magazine

Guides & Advice
by Moon Audio

Moon Audio Review
Moon Audio

by Marty Smith
Sep. 2018

Stereophile Review

by John Atkinson
Jul. 2018

Hifi Plus Review

by Chris Thomas
Aug. 2018

Hifi Pig Review
Hifi Pig

by John Scott
Nov. 2018

Darko Audio Review

by Steven Plaskin
Aug. 2018

Tech Hive Review
Tech Hive

by Michael Brown
May 2015

Home Theater Review
Home Theater Review

by Matthew Partrick
Sept. 2018

(Size: 146.6 KB)
Roon Nucleus and Nucleus+ Media Server
(Size: 55.3 KB)
Roon Nucleus and Nucleus+ Media Server
(Size: 285 KB)
Roon Nucleus and Nucleus+ Media Server


  • Manages your music stored on USB hard drives, NAS, and streamed content from TIDAL
  • Runs Roon OS and is controlled by the Roon Remote apps for iPad, iPhone, macOS, Android, and Windows
  • Streams music to USB, Sonos®, AirPlay®, Roon Ready™, and many other audio devices
  • Silent design with no fans or moving parts
  • Requires a Roon subscription



Input voltage

12-19V DC

12-19V DC

I/O ports

(2x) USB 3.0 (can be used for hard drive and/or DAC)
HDMI (stereo and multi-channel audio output)
Gigabit Ethernet LAN

(2x) USB 3.0 (can be used for hard drive and/or DAC)
HDMI (stereo and multi-channel audio output)
Gigabit Ethernet LAN

Internal drive

2.5” SATA SSD or HDD up to 9.5mm drive height

2.5” SATA SSD or HDD up to 9.5mm drive height

Library capacity

Up to 10,000 albums (100,000 tracks)

Over 10,000 albums (100,000 tracks)

Multi-room streaming

Up to 6 simultaneous zones

Over 6 simultaneous zones

DSP capability

All DSP functions available in the PCM domain.
Certain combinations of functions using DSD source or destination formats, upsampling, or multichannel processing may not be possible.

All DSP functions available.

5.0 / 5.0
5 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Excellent. It's what I've always needed.
April 30, 2019
1 year ago
I only needed the Nucleus not the plus since I only have 4 zones. I had been checking out music servers for several years and there was always something that I didn't care for. Onboard DAC that I didn't want because I have a great DAC I wanted to use. I didn't want to rip my whole library over again. The cost of the unit,,,,etc. But then the Nucleus showed up and I said yes. This will work great in my system and the price is a fraction of other servers. So the price for a lifetime Roon subscription is well offset by the cost of the Nucleus. Stereophile Magazine gave it a coveted A ranking also. I love it.
April 29, 2019
1 year ago
Roon Nucleus
Best audio purchase I've made in years.
January 10, 2019
1 year ago
Roon's Recovery Magic
How often do you buy something and think, "I would gladly have paid twice as much." Roon's ability to create an immersive musical listening experience does more than recover staring at the graphics of a favorite album sleeve, reading the liner notes, and dreaming about music. The Roon reach across the web, grab content and tell brilliant stories is better.

I opened my Roon Nucleus yesterday. There is NOTHING in the box other than a beautifully machined brick. Roon's software is epic, awesome, and well crafted, but where is the "Quick Start Guide?" I just finished a guest blog post about my Roon setup experience and will work on a Quick Start Guide next.

But don't let that last paragraph create the impression setting up Roon is difficult. I'm just impatient and like to jump in. When I couldn't figure out where to connect ROON (to your router), I did what they want - I pulled up the manual and read a paragraph and figured out the rest as I went (mostly intuitive, but read my Moon Audio Marty Music Magic guest blog post if you want to connect your Sonos system).

I LOVE my Roon Nucleus. Software and hardware form a seamless partnership. I'd loaded and paid for Roon software before Drew explained why I needed the Nucleus and not the Nucleus Plus. Hooking Roon Labs beautiful brick into my network transformed Sonos and my listening experience. I don't know enough about the Sonic benefits of internal versus external drives, but I know what I like and love. And I love my Roon Nucleus!!!!
August 23, 2018
Works exactly as advertised. Perfect addition to my system.
July 22, 2018
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 1 question Browse 1 question and 5 answers
Is the Nucleus a core and output device in one?
Michael L on Jan 9, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes, It will output via USB directly to your DAC

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