Posted on 19th July, 2017


Roon, one of the best advancements in digital music management in the last decade, is “the music player for music lovers”, and we agree. With the Roon Essentials 1.3 update, the ELAC Discovery Music Server reaps the rewards.

ELAC, a loudspeaker brand who celebrated their 90th anniversary last year have become the brand to watch in recent times. Having already recruited legendary designer, Andrew Jones of TAD fame, along with acquiring specialist digital-audio brand, Audio Alchemy and their founder, Peter Madnick, late in 2016, ELAC are positioning themselves as a serious high-end sound solution company.

Along with the complete range of Audio Alchemy’s range now offered under the ELAC banner and simply branded ‘Alchemy’, the Discovery Music Server is one of ELAC’s first digital audio products.

Tagged as a “High Resolution Multi-Zone Music Server with Roon”, the Discovery is the first product on the market produced by a third-party manufacturer with a pared back version of Roon, dubbed Roon Essentials.

StereoNET reviewed the Discovery earlier this year which you can read here:

It’s a Roon Core, and the Roon Essentials controller offers all but the most hardcore of users all they would need to enjoy their digital libraries, without Roon’s typical annual or lifetime license fees.’

The Discovery is a superbly thought out product, delivering exceptionally good sound for the dollars, and unequivocally recommended.

As we’ve come to expect from Roon who are constantly listening to their customer’s feedback and ideas via their thriving online community, Roon have released an update to their core software which adds new features to the Discovery Music Server.

ELAC Discovery Music Server

Performance has been improved in Roon Essentials 1.3 software release. Importing, editing, and other database manipulation is much faster, screens load more quickly–especially on remote devices, remote devices will re-connect more rapidly, and Roon Essentials search engine has been completely re-written, ensuring autocompletion and search no longer make you wait.

New features include a rework of the ‘tag’ feature, making it now possible to tag Albums, Tracks, Artists, Composers, and Compositions, Playlists, and even other tags. Tags can also be assigned to different user profiles within the app, so each member of your household can have their own stuff.

There is also now a top-level browser for tags, so you can see them all together and use them as a jumping-off point.

“Focusing” on a tag is much smarter in 1.3. For example, if you add a bunch of albums to a tag, you can select “View All Composers” and see the composers that appeared on those albums, or “View All Compositions” to see a list of the songs.

Roon Essentials 1.3 also introduces a re-designed playlist browser, and a brand-new spreadsheet-style playlist screen, with selectable columns, sorting, and filtering support, as well as a tool for locating duplicate tracks within a playlist.

Elac Discovery Roon Essential 1.3

Streaming to Sonos hardware is fully supported in Roon Essentials 1.3. You can set up your Sonos devices from the Audio tab in Settings, and jump right in. Roon Essentials will stream losslessly up to the 48kHz/16bit limitation of the Discovery, and will automatically downsample higher resolution content.

Further enhancements have also been made in the RAAT streaming protocol that ELAC says improves performance both from a user perspective, and also vast sonic improvements.

The ELAC Discovery Music Server is a very well-designed server that is perfect for the music lover that doesn’t need more than 30,000 tracks in their library. For an investment of $1,799 RRP, it removes the needs to subscribe to Roon’s annual or lifetime licensing fees, but does come with a stripped-down version of Roon so do your research to determine if it’s the right product for you.

For more information visit the ELAC brand page.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

Get the latest.

Sign up to discover the best news and review from StereoNET in our FREE Newsletter.

Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: synergy audio visual  roon  elac