Samsung-Owned Harman Acquires Multi-Room Audio Platform Roon

Harman acquires Roon
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Photo Credit: Roxanne Joncas

Samsung-owned Harman has acquired Roon, a multi-room audio technology platform aimed at music enthusiasts. Here’s the latest.

Roon offers a rich interface for browsing and discovering music, along with compatibility with almost any audio device. The playback engine is designed to deliver the best possible sound and is available for all popular operating systems. It also manufactures a line of hardware server appliances called Nucleus.

Under the acquisition, Roon will operate as a standalone Harman business with its existing team still in place. All Roon operations will stay in place and continue to be dedicated to serving and growing Roon’s community of device partners and customers.

Harman says it is committed to growing Roon’s open device ecosystem, which includes collaborating with more than 160 other audio brands. It delivers audio across more than 100 high-performance devices—with its sights set directly on Sonos and its closed ecosystem.

“Our team is ecstatic to join Harman, a visionary company that has been leading the audio industry forward for decades,” says Enno Vandermeer, CEO of Roon about the deal. “By combining forces with Harman, Roon gains the incredible scale, resources, and reach of a global technology leader, while maintaining our independence to invest in the businesses’s growth and future.”

“We look forward to continuing to bring our advanced data management, SaaS expertise, and customer engagement capabilities to our broad ecosystem of partners, as we join forces with Harman to deliver even greater audio experiences to our customers.”

Samsung acquired Harman for $8 billion in March 2017. Harman owns several audio brands under its umbrella now including AKG, Bang & Olufsen, Harman Kardon, Infinity Audio, and JBL. Meanwhile, Roon makes apps for all types of devices including DACs, smartphones, laptops, PCs, smart TVs, Wi-Fi speakers, and even USB players (remember those?). It also supports AirPlay, Chromecast, Internet Radio, Qobuz, Roon Ready, Sonos, Squeezebox, Tidal, and local music files.