Naim app is on the “up”… Roon, not so much

I have had my Atom for a couple of years or so and was initially a little frustrated by the Naim app, but it has kept pace with developments from Qobuz/Tidal and Spotify as well as improving on many other aspects… having initially subscribed to Roon to provide a nicer interface, I am increasingly of the opinion that Roon has run its course… they seem incapable of any meaningful improvement, their basic functionality is, if anything, getting poorer, and they seem to be stretched in resource just to keep the app working (of sorts) with its current level of functionality.

With “Connect” type functionality and Naims ever improving software support, I am finding very little need for Roon.

Great job Naim!

I don’t want Roon to fail in any way, but I am finding very little to get excited about regarding their future in the streaming music market.

Just some random rambling I know, but was curious as to whether others are finding the same?


I too loved Roon on first discovering it a couple of years ago.
I bought into the Innuos world of locally stored music and their streaming too.
When Innuos 2.0 came out, I fully abandoned Roon.

However, I’ve sold all my Innuos hardware, and now happily rely on my Nova for streaming when not playing vinyl.


Not me. Roon deals with all of my needs. I don’t have to select the music source only the album I wish to play. The depth and bitrate is there to see too.
A bonus for me is being able to do DSP in stereo for some minor room correction.


I can’t get excited about how good UI’s are.

There has been a lot of criticism directed towards the Naim app, but for my needs it’s perfect, simple and easy to navigate. For someone who only uses the UI as a means to an end, ie, find, select and play music, it does the job perfectly, anything more is overkill.


I use the Naim app for my Atom HE, works great, use the Innuos Sense app for my Chord/Innuos set up, again very good. I have a Roon subscription but never use it anymore, some may disagree but the Naim and Innuos app’s sound better, Roon has best info.

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I agree that the Naim app is far better than it was 5+ years ago. Naim obviously have devoted resources to it and good for them!

We continue to enjoy Roon and are very happy that the ND555 is “Roon Ready.” We prefer the Roon UI.

Roon’s been improving the UI as well. I have no idea what the OP’s bases are for concluding that Roon has “run its course” and is “getting poorer.” Not my experience at all.


IMO the search is worse than it was, their iPad app has worsened (erratic and jumpy scrolling).

Their continued inability to use modern development framework for iOS has caused numerous performance issues in iOS remote apps (for some users, not all it seems).

Basic functionality, such as support for iPad magic keyboard scrolling, have been requested for years and could be implemented with a few lines of code if they ditched Xamarin.

Their business model, requiring intimate access and regular database dumps are pretty demanding for streaming services… the encumbent Qobuz and Tidal, are very unlikely to be joined by any other services as far as I can see.

Increasingly, integration between Roon my chosen service (Qobuz) has broken for several days with albums disappearing from the Roon library.

When it works, it’s great, and it does offer functionality above and beyond what the Naim app offers (DSP etc…), but in my view they have, at best, stood still for the last few years and I wanted to extend my congratulations to Naim for not doing the same.


I can’t see any way how Roon’s basic functionality got worse, and the comparisons with e.g. Tidal or Naim apps are a bit pointless because most of the Roon functionalities are not even there. That’s fine if one doesn’t need them, but Connect or the like is not a replacement if you do. Roon may have run its course when Naim or streaming service apps have somewhat comparable features, so probably never. Roon’s development resources may occasionally seem a bit stretched, but my guess is that they have several times the Naim app development resources.

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My main use of Roon is purely for browsing and selecting music, and finding related artists/reading about the artists.

For these purposes, Roon used to be excellent (plus all of its other functionality). However, for these simple needs, the performance has really worsened IMO. Erratic scrolling being the real pain point.

I am quite aware that Roon is different from the “Connect” like functionality… I was merely using these technologies as examples of technology that Naim has readily incorporated compatibility for (in firmware rather than app), whereas Roon seem incapable of introducing even the simplest UI improvements.

I simply don’t see their business growing, and as a by product of that, their development speed is not going to improve.

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Sorry, I have not seen poorer performance nor do I experience erratic scrolling. It’s very reliable for me on Android phone and pad, and on Linux (using the Windows version) as well.

I find it odd to mention the addition of Connect as an example for the Naim amp trumping Roon development speed. In the 1.5 years I have known the Naim app, it acquired this one kind-of-major feature for something that I don’t use, and if I did would give me as the only change a switch from Chromecast to a better implementation. The rest was mostly small bugfixes for basic issues that should not have existed in the first place, and it still cannot deal with my 2500 Qobuz favorites without frequently becoming unresponsive for seconds (known issue).

In the a little shorter time I have used Roon, there was one major release 1.8 with large new features and a major UI overhaul (whether one likes it or not), and many smaller improvements, plus bugfixes. “Incapable of introducing even the simplest UI improvements” does not seem to resemble the empirical facts.

As far as I have read, their business grew from about 150K to 250K customers over the last year. Whether their development speed improves I cannot predict, but to me it seems that it’s already much faster than at least the Naim app.

Wake me up when others let me edit metadata of streaming services, have more than a dumb favorite yes/no logic, understand that release date is not the same thing as original release date, have detailed cross-linked credits, allow me to define my own tags and bookmarks on the fly, and let me combine metadata and my tags to define filters that I can save. At the very least.


For me Roon has steadily improved in performance and functionality.
As mentioned by @Suedkiez the ability to quickly make metadata changes to Tidal and Qobuz is brilliant; spelling mistakes and punctuation errors annoy me but only for the time it takes me to alter it :slightly_smiling_face:

Errmmm… wasn’t suggesting you had experienced this.

Congratulations on being the single fact-holder :clap:t2:.

Every statement I made was clearly identified as my experience/opinion… I can assure you that if you had experienced the level of scrolling performance I had, you would have a level of frustration.

My OP was with a view to seeing if others may have had similar experiences and if they had seen a similar improvement in the Naim app.

My (personal) reasons for using Roon initially have largely been addressed by an improved Naim app.

Predictably enough, however, it inevitably attracts comments from those with different experiences to tell me I am wrong.

I’ll get back in my box…


No, in the OP you were just drawing wide-reaching conclusions about the future and viability of Roon based on your limited use cases, an annoying issue that may well be not widespread, and somewhat selective reading of the development history. I’m just saying that I have not seen anything like the issues you are experiencing, and that I find your analysis and conclusions not convincing.

The facts are out there in the world, nobody holds them, but you were presenting them somewhat selectively. The changelog from Roon over the past year is several times as long as Naim’s. Anyone who wants to know can read them as they are public.

Of course, for some use cases and users, certain changes in the Naim app may have made all the difference. Why not.

You asked for other opinions and I gave you my Roon experience and reasons why your conclusions about the obsolescence of Roon are not correct for my use cases. You should have said that you are only interested in experiences that confirm yours.

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I have zero usability issues. It searches and scrolls just fine on my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Pro.

I cant use the Naim app to stream to the other music systems in my house, unlike some on hear affording one Naim system was hard enough so more is out of my reach. There ends the story of the Naim app for me. I use it for updating and the occasional input change. As control apps go it’s good, I just don’t have the need to use it as it doesnt fulfill my needs and as @Suedkiez said with a large streaming library it tend to grind to a halt.

Roons not perfect but it’s still way ahead of anything else for my needs. Run its course? I think not. Got growing pains? Definitely and this is something they need to get over and sort out as support isn’t their greatest forte. Issues with iOs have been around for a while but as it doesn’t seem to affect every user it’s taking them time to get to the bottom of it. Search currently is a work in progress and it does need to get a whole lot better. But I am still using Roon and have no plans not to.

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Let’s face it, if Roon had been developed by Naim and it were a Naim exclusive, everyone would be shouting from the rooftops how Naim has by far the best music server and apps of all hifi brands

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I suppose if you have one device then roon serves little purpose IMO. However I have multiple streamers, from google chrome cast, through to raspberry pis through to hand built computers and roon flows throughout, same interface, same user controls. I know this system works because my family can use it without issue.

The DSP functions are icing, the interface is fine, it does what it needs too, but ultimately its the consistency across multiple hifi that I find appealing.

However if I just had a naim nova or what ever, I would not feel the same way

Depends again. If you use library metadata editing/adding or any of the other things I mentioned, like several rating levels, filters, bookmarks, cross-linked credits, etc, they are just as helpful on a single device.

One thing that people from English-speaking countries may not realize is how many gaps there are in metadata and partially content for local music traditions. No service knows much about, e.g. certain parts and eras of indie and related genres from my home countries, music that is very important to me.

Roon metadata working automatically for so much, and its ability to let me edit streaming metadata and integrate my local music in one interface, makes it possible to complete my library with these albums and artists nearly at the same data quality level as Pink Floyd et al. enjoy.

My sentiments, although the fact it’s not siloed off into your music , Tidal , Qobuz is what drew me to it. Having used LMS for years I got fed up of having to go into different sections and the apps where not great and different on each platform so Mises who’s iOS and I am Andorid had different functionality. Roon was a natural graduation from LMS to me. I would not have bought the Atom if it wasn’t for Roon as I wanted an all in one system that supported Roon and it arrived just at the right time. The Naim app still siloes of streaming from your own local music which is one reason I just won’t use it for playback I don’t want to have to switch, one search across all is the only way to go.

This is a big benefit. Add that the Naim app displays Tidal and Qobuz differently, and you can’t find which is the better resolution without playing it, and Roon quickly wins the day if you use a local music, Tidal and Qobuz.

I’ll grant that the Roon iOS app is laggy when switching in and out of apps and it would be good to fix that.