Roon vs Lightning DS


I am a very happy user of the Lightning DS app I find it easy to use and very good sounding and feature rich. And I love that it’s free! However people rave about Roon constantly. Any real world comparisons between Lightning and Roon anyone can share?


I like Roon interface, it is features rich, anything you can imagine are built-in. Many manufacturers like to include Roon Ready function into their hardware. The built-in DSP and Room correction are something not many can offer in the software level. Though it come as a high price tag, I can use it as Roon Ready in Aries Mini though I still prefer to use LDS when playback Tidal Masters.

I also have a NUC installed with ‘ROCK’, a dedicated Linux based with Roon.


I am a Roon subscriber and I give it a B+. The menu system is kind of all over the place. It has some of my titles seemingly “lost”, especially parts of multi-volume sets that I have. And the sideways scrolling is, I’ll say, controversial and disorienting. On the plus side, as mentioned, it is feature rich, gives you a lot of information about the music/artists most of the time and it runs pretty rock solid. I am Android user so mostly don’t use LDS but what I’ve seen is pretty impressive, and it’s free.


rcaudio you’ve hit it on the head for me LDS is free and that’s hard to beat. I don’t doubt that Roon has more features but not entirely sure I need them. Hopefully I will hear from others who have used both more extensively.


I use both but prefer Roon while using my local music library on a Synology NAS. Roon automatically update music collection while LDS requires a time consuming rescan to make the new files available. Another great benefit is that I can run Roon on my windows PC’s to control my Aries. My experience is also that Roon is more stable and Tidal/local library integration is great.


Norway thanks for replying can you clarify you say you prefer Roon using your local library does that mean you prefer Tidal on Lightning DS? I also have a Synology NAS btw so your comment on Roon is applicable, I will say that for me the LDS library rescan usually takes just a couple of minutes. That may be because my library is fairly small only about 640gb right now. Also any comments on sound quality Roon vs LDS?


Hi guys,

I also have a Synology and am wanting to give the Roon trial a go. I may not have enough hardware power for Roon though, according to their specs. My NAS is DS-1513+. It has an atom processor and 2GB ram. I’ve ordered another ram stick to bring it to 4GB as that’s cheap enough. And I will use an external SSD to a USB 3.0 port on the NAS. I don’t want to upgrade the whole NAS for a faster processor.

Which Synology models do you two have? Any thoughts on the necessary power for running Roon. It will stream to an ARIES.



I am personally a bit hazy on the whole Roon hardware power thing and wasn’t sure what would be powering it my Synology 214-Play or my Ipad Mini or the Aries. My NAS has a Dual Core processor a 1GB ram so not sure if that comes even close to getting the job done for Roon.


I use both and roon is a step below regarding sound quality compared to the LDS solution.

Yes Roon ui is better and has more features, but at the end LDS still superior with the sound quality.

This is why i choose LDS. I use Audirvana 3 too in upnp mode … my third choice (sq is so flat)


As long as Tidal music is played through the Aries I find it hard to notice any difference if the control is made by LDS or Roon. I use the Synology DS1815+ with 4 Gb of Ram and Roon database on an USB3 SSD disk. This hardware is on the limit as both Ram and CPU are running on high high load (60-80%) for simple operations. Local music library of 3 TB, 135k files. I use an Oppo UDP-205 as DAC connected balanced to Accuphase E-470. My impression is that the sound is better when running via the Aries compared to using the Oppo as a Roon endpoint directly.


Norway and deuch thank you both that’s good info it seems like Roon is more about organization and features and not any gain in SQ over LDS. Plus it seems I lack the computing power to implement Roon without upgrading my NAS. Plus it’s expensive and LDS is free. Think I will stick with LDS!


It’s the way i’ve chosen too.

It really depends of your needs :
If you want DSP, room correction, DSD upsampling etc roon is the way to go.

If you focus on SQ, LDS is the best choice imho with a pretty decent gui.


Pstrisik: pls let me know how you get on with Roonserver on your Synology. I have the same 1513+ and I did the 4GB ram upgrade but no SSD. I cannot run Roon on this hardware without dropouts etc. I’m interested to see if your SSD approach makes a difference, as I too am not ready to move to a newer NAS.


Will do. I just received the memory module yesterday. I should be able to play with it this weekend.

My SSD, by the way, is external. Just plugged into the USB 3.0 port on the NAS. Roon indicates this is sufficient (as good as SSD as one of the NAS drives).


Well, may not be the only reason for dropouts. My experience is pretty good. I upgraded my DS1513+ (atom processor) to 4GB ram and added a 250GB Samsung external USB 3.0 drive ($119 at amazon - - there is also a PNY or a Sandisk for $100). The renderer is an ARIES and control is with an Android Tablet. While the GUI could be snappier, it seems to work fine and is responsive enough for me to live with.

I am not using any transcoding or DSP functions which would add demand to the processor and probably make it less workable. Music plays fine without dropouts. I only had a bit of time last night to listen with it, so we’ll see over the rest of the weekend.

There are a number of folks with lesser powered Synology’s that are doing ok. Check this thread on the Roon forum:


Thank you, so you have roonserver on the ssd?

And do you play any hi-res content like 24=192 flag or dsd files?

On my 1513* Roon would crap out randomly, but more so on hi=res content.
I am hoping to make it usable with an external ssd rather than buying a whole new nas…


The external SSD drive is named RoonServer and set up as a share. So, yes. I don’t have any DSD, but I am playing Bitches Brew in 192/24 right now. Fifteen minutes into the first track with no skips or drop outs.

Are you using any settings that would increase processor demand, like DSP?

Can’t say the SSD will do it for you if something else is at play, but it’s going good for me.


Hi deuch,

Just curious how do you use Audirvana 3 in upnp mode. Tried Roon for a short while but decided it was not for me. Have Audirvana on a MacBook Pro and MacBook 12" and like it a lot. Just recently got a Mini and feeding it to a Graham Slee DAC via Digital Coaxial and sounds great but looking to expand its functionality using existing software but to be honest this topic goes over my head at times!.


I have AURALIC Aries that I love. The only feature I am missing with Lightning DS are the lyrics that ROON ( and DEEZER) can display while listening the song.

Is there plans (or possibility) to have the Lyrics displayed with Lightning DS while listening the song ? .


I tried Roon several months ago and I liked the interface and the information that I got about musicians and albums quite a bit. I decided to stick with the Lightning DS because I prefer to keep things simple.

I play my music on my “Good” stereo from the SSD hard drive that is installed in my Aries Mini. My surround receiver accesses the music on the SSD hard drive in the Aries Mini. Everything works just fine on my wireless network. I don’t need a NAS or separate Roon Software that does not run well on my iMac that otherwise runs everything else just fine.