Nucleus Guide

Nucleus Manual

Introduction

What is Nucleus?

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 that made Roon.

Roon account

Nucleus requires a Roon account with an active subscription, which you can purchase at https://roonlabs.com/

If you're trying Roon for the first time, getting started is a snap. If you already use Roon on another device, you can migrate your Roon database to your Nucleus, or you can start from scratch.

Controlling Nucleus

Nucleus has no display or interactive components. To experience Roon, you'll download the Roon app on a Mac or Windows PC, iPad, iPhone, or Android device. Note: Only Mac, Windows, and tablets provide access to all of Roon's features. Due to their smaller screens, the Roon app on phones has a limited feature set.

Playback

There are three ways to use Nucleus to play audio, and you can use any or all of these at the same time:

1. Connect an integrated audio component, DAC, or headphone amp via one of the two USB ports
2. Use the HDMI port to connect to an audio/video receiver (AVR) or other multichannel HDMI device
3. Most Popular: Stream over your network. Nucleus supports many networked audio devices like Airplay, Sonos, 100s of Roon Ready products, and devices with legacy streaming protocols from Devialet, Meridian, Squeezebox, and KEF

Storing your music files

You can use Nucleus with any or all of these storage strategies:
  1. Connect an external hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) via USB
  2. Install an optional internal HDD (up to 2TB in size) or SSD (up to 8TB in size)
  3. Store your files on a network attached storage (NAS) device
  4. Connect your TIDAL or Qobuz accounts and import your favorites

What's in the box?

  1. 1 Nucleus or Nucleus+
  2. Quick Start Guide
  3. 1 Power supply (to be connected to Nucleus)
  4. 1 Power cord (to be connected to the power supply)

Device Details & Back Panel Layout

Nucleus Rev A

  1. Power button and Power LED
    1. Press the power button once to turn on the unit or initiate a clean shutdown.
    2. A dim white LED will be lit when the unit is powered on.
    3. Hold the power button for 4 seconds to hard power off.
  2. Power connector
    1. Connect the power supply here.
  3. HDMI port 
    1.  This port can be used as a multichannel audio output.
    2. This port can be used for diagnostics by the Roon support team
  4. Ethernet port
    1. Connect your Nucleus to your network via an Ethernet cable.
    2. Nucleus will only connect to your network over Ethernet.
    3. Note: the lights here should be on and blink even when the unit is not turned on.
  5. USB 3.0 ports (2)
    1. Can be used for connecting:
      1. USB storage drive
      2. USB audio device
      3. USB network adapter
      4. USB CD ripper
  6. Internal Storage Size
    1. Supports 2.5" HDD or SSD with a drive height of 7mm or 9mm.
  7. Thunderbolt port
    1. Currently not active. May become active in a future firmware update.

Nucleus Rev B


  1. Power button and Power LED
    1. Press the power button once to turn on the unit or initiate a clean shutdown.
    2. A dim white LED will be lit when the unit is powered on.
    3. Hold the power button for 4 seconds to hard power off.
  2. Power connector
    1. Connect the power supply here.
  3. HDMI port  (2)
    1.  This port can be used as a multichannel audio output.
    2. This port can be used for diagnostics by the Roon support team
  4. Ethernet port
    1. Connect your Nucleus to your network via an Ethernet cable.
    2. Nucleus will only connect to your network over Ethernet.
    3. Note: the lights here should be on and blink even when the unit is not turned on.
  5. USB 3.0 ports (2)
    1. Can be used for connecting:
      1. USB storage drive
      2. USB audio device
      3. USB network adapter
      4. USB CD ripper
  6. Internal Storage Size
    1. Supports 2.5" HDD or SSD with a drive height of up to 15mm.

Setup

1. Connect and power up nucleus

The first step is making power and network connections and starting Nucleus.

2. Update Nucleus firmware

Before using Roon with Nucleus for the first time, it's important to make sure your firmware is up to date.
Note: Not updating Nucleus firmware could lead to data loss or a failed migration.

3. Prepare your storage and audio devices

Nucleus will discover devices connected via USB, HMDI, and ethernet at any time, but it's simplest to have these devices connected and powered on before you get started.

4. Start using Nucleus

Now that your equipment is connected, it's time to install the Roon app (for Mac and Windows PC) and/or the Roon Remote app for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices, and connect to Nucleus. From here, you can migrate an older Roon installation to Nucleus as well.

Maintenance

Nucleus comes with an administrative interface that can be loaded using any web browser.

Support

If you need help getting started with Nucleus, you can contact our support team by starting a new topic in the Nucleus Support category on our community site.

Where to Buy

To purchase Nucleus, inquire at your local HiFi retailer (US and International), or visit the Roon Store (US only).

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