Case For Mosaic vs Roon

I own a Vivaldi stack and also am a Roon lifetime subscriber. Besides the incorporation of Deezer, what’s the case for using Mosaic versus Roon? Thanks in advance for indulging me on this.

Like you I’m in the same boat. My library is on a Roon Nucleus with USB 8TB drive rather than on a NAS. So, I’m assuming to even take advantage of Mosaic, I’ll need to pull the drive from the Nuclues and plug it into the Upsampler. Sonic benefit is all I would be after, though I’d expect to lose any advantages that Roon offers. I suppose if the sonics are better, I could duplicate the drive and use Roon to simply act as visual info while the other drive connected to the Upsampler as actual player for Mosaic. Updating both drives with new music via the network might prove a challenge. Though I’m not sure about that either. I’ve already found value in the radio function though there’s no apparent support for Flac streaming stations, at least yet.

The two are complementary, see the following Mosaic FAQ

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Mosaic certainly complements Roon in as much as source and filters/etc selections.

However, Mosaic is also able to stream from Tidal, Qobuz, etc, as well as a UPnP server, so in many ways can replace Roon - which is what the question is about.

I would like to see some mention of UPnP setups so that they can work with Mosaic exclusively. I believe Minimserver would be one such setup… I wonder if that would work?

What I would say is:

Mosaic is a simple way for you to play your music (local or streamed). You would have to set up a UPnP server for your local files so that makes it a bit more complex in principle. It is also possible that Mosaic would sound better than Roon - or viceversa.

Roon provides you with a wealth of metadata, has DSP if you use it, multi-room playback, a richer interface, and does not require you to bother setting up a UPnP server.

I subscribe to both Qobuz and Tidal plus have my local library on a QNAP NAS. I like that all my favorited albums plus my own are grouped together in Roon versus having to click separately in other applications like Mosaic or Audirvana. Roon also has a nice Versions feature that allows you to view the spectrum of sound quality available on a given album.

I do like the Internet Radio search function on Mosaic (better than having to paste URLs in Roon). The huge drawback, though, on Mosiac is that I can’t access FLAC radio versions (yet?).

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Agree with all your points, especially the versions bit.

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Did some rudimentary testing of the SQ in using Mosaic vs. Roon Nucleus. At least in my setup it’s no contest: Roon Nucleus wins. Using my Synology NAS as source, over WiFi, it’s not even close. Using flash drive plugged into the dCS Upsampler it’s closer. However, the latter only allows for FAT32 which, for large libraries like mine, kills that as an option. More a convenience. And due to NAS noise (I’ve also tried a QNAP in close proximity to my system using Ethernet) the drive and fan get in the way of music appreciation. Don’t want to rewire to put the NAS far enough away. Also, I’m beginning to think that the software layers in the NAS are not nearly as well behaved for bit transmission as the Roon Nucleus. I’m found that accessing it over WiFi on other Roon Ready units in my house (microRendu and Audio Alchemy DMP) is excellent.

‘Course, all these other options are not comparable - apples to apples, that is.

I’ve been keeping a tally of the Mosaic vs Roon sound quality comments that have been posted publicly as well as those that I’ve received privately. The split is a very consistent 50/50 when comparing Roon via Ethernet to Mosaic UPnP. There are also a fair number of people who hear no difference but prefer one or the other solely based on UX.

Knowing the internals of how this stuff actually works there should be no SQ difference as long as all things are kept equal. Typically an even split of observations suggests that there is no actual difference which jives with what’s actually going on under the covers.

Not trying to rain on anyone’s parade or dispute what someone is hearing, but in this case there is no actual “better.” It’s all a matter of preference so as long as you’re enjoying the whole experience and listening more then you’re on the right track.

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I preferred Mosaic sound to the ROON Rock and sold my NUC.

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I do hope dCS will continue developping Mosaic in the future, I appreciate so much the initial effort, and I am pretty sure the next release shall improve the user/listener experience.
Some metadata, as they are called, would be a nice addition, at least as we had it in the previous dCS application.
Auto completion in the search functionality would be nice too, again, as we had it in the previous application.
Plus all the rest that creative people will suggest…

But please, never stop improving this excellent application, one day there won’t be any reason to discuss Mosaic vs Roon :smile:

Thank you for the compliment! It’s very much appreciated.

Mosaic is under constant development and we have a release planned in the near future which will include some very nice enhancements.


Hello, concerning internet radio, it seems that Roon is moving forward on this topic and would propose in the coming weeks a « catalog » of internet radios gathered by the Roon community. Let’s see.

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Mosaic in as much as you’re referring to it is a “player”. It can play from both your local library and from streaming services. However, it does not integrate all of it or provide the metadata fabric that connects it all together.

In Roon, all of your streaming service (I have both TIDAL and Qobuz) are fully integrated with all your files - it is almost hard to tell which is local and which is streamed - plus there is an enormous amount if added metadata that links all the music together. Additionally there is Roon Radio. And finally, it allows you to play to a host of devices, including any DAC (pretty much), SONOS, Airplay, and Chromecast.

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All you say is correct…but because of that, Roon needs a server (application and data. Running this server is not as easy as just launching Mosaic on a tablet or a smartphone.

So, a number of Mosaic users hope that this application shall continue to get more and more functionalities over the years, while keeping this ease of use we all appreciate.

I do hope that dCS will never stop growing Mosaic because Roon is way better on some features…but until now, no one ever mentioned that using Roon sounds better…and eventually what counts the most ? :slightly_smiling_face:

Roon and mosaic sound different ?

Not impossible, it is Roon server sending data to a “Mosaic” client…but dCS team might share their findings on that matter.
I don’t use Roon until now, but if it sounded better I would change my mind…

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Me and 2 my friends are prefered Mosaic sound vs Roon. We tried to compare on 2 NUCs, 2 dCS Bridges and 2 Bartoks. More transparent and natural sound with Mosaic. But I’ll return to more Roon tests later again))

You don’t use Roon but it sound bad ? Strange statement no ?

Could you describe more the system ? In both case the servers are Roon based or for the mosaic you use an UPnP server ?