There are two variations of the new Roon Nucleus, the standard Nucleus (i3, 4Gb RAM, 64Gb OS SSD) and Nucleus+ (i7, 8Gb RAM, 128Gb OS SSD). The Nucleus has been specially designed to skillfully manage and play your music via Roon’s software/operating system.
|i3 processor||i7 processor|
|4GB RAM||8GB RAM|
|64GB OS SSD||128GB OS SSD|
|Libraries up to 12,000 albums (120,000 tracks)||Libraries OVER 12,000 albums (120,000 tracks)|
|Multi-room systems up to five zones||Multi-room systems OVER five zones|
|Gigabit ethernet||Gigabit ethernet|
|2x USB 3.0 port||2x USB 3.0 port|
|Thunderbolt 3||Thunderbolt 3|
|Internal 2.5″ HDD/SSD bay||Internal 2.5″ HDD/SSD bay|
At the heart of every Roon system is a Roon Core. This is the brain behind the entire Roon experience – it manages your music collection, streams to your audio devices, and stores the Roon database. Nucleus was developed by the Roon team to provide a silent, high-performance, power-efficient appliance to host the Roon Core. Every aspect of the hardware, operating system, and software is optimized to make Nucleus the very best way to run Roon-by the same team who made Roon.
Nucleus requires a Roon account with a valid subscription, which you can purchase at https://roonlabs.com/
If you’re trying Roon for the first time, getting started is a snap. Just connect and power up Nucleus, install the Roon or Roon Remote app on your devices, sign up for a Roon account, and you’re all set. If you already use Roon on another device, there’s one extra (optional) step: Nucleus will take the place of your existing Roon Core, so you can migrate your Roon database from the computer you’re using now to your Nucleus, or you can start from scratch.
Nucleus has no display or interactive components. To experience Roon, you will use the Roon app on a Mac or Windows PC, or the Roon Remote app for iPad, iPhone, or Android devices. Note: Only Mac, Windows, and tablets provide access to all of Roon’s features. Due to their smaller screens, the Roon Remote app on phones has a limited feature set.
There are three ways to use Nucleus to play audio, and you can use any or all of these at the same time. The first is connecting an integrated audio component, DAC, or headphone amp via one of the two USB ports. The second is to use the HDMI port to connect to an audio/video receiver (AVR) or another device which supports multi-channel audio over HDMI. The third (and most flexible) is to stream to your audio device(s) over your network; Nucleus supports many different types of networked audio devices, including Airplay, Sonos, 100s of Roon Ready products, and devices with legacy streaming protocols from Devialet, Meridian, Squeezebox, and KEF.
Nucleus can manage your music files three different ways, and you’re free to mix and match these as well. The first is to connect an external hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) via USB. The second is to install an optional internal HDD or SSD. The third is to store your files on a network attached storage (NAS) device, which Nucleus will access over your network.