Enno Vandermeer and Danny Dulai, the original pair behind the Sooloos media control system, have formed Roon Labs, with software products planned for Q2 of 2015. Meridian Audio agreed to transfer the company’s software applications business to the newly established entity.
Meridian Audio agreed to transfer the company’s software applications business to the newly established entity.
Explaining the deal, Meridian CEO John Buchanan said, “We entered the music streaming market in 2009 with the best-in-class music server combining Meridian’s legendary audio quality with the unique and intuitive user experience we had acquired with Sooloos. As the market for streaming products continues to boom, and with the introduction of higher quality music services, Meridian continues to grow its business in this area by investing in developing our award-winning range of high performance audio and home theater products and focusing on the specific needs of music lovers and the dealers who serve them.”
Noting that Roon Labs and Meridian are “independent companies,” Buchanan said that the two brands “will continue to collaborate and work closely together into the future.”
With more than 15 years of experience working together, Vandermeer and Dulai believe that their new venture is a “spiritual successor to Sooloos.” Vandermeer will assume duties as the company’s CEO, while Dulai will serve as CTO.
Describing the vision for his new company, Vandermeer said that, “Roon Labs produces software that lets music enthusiasts interact more deeply with their collections, by exploring the music, the people who composed, performed, and recorded it, and the multi-dimensional connections between them.”
Vandermeer said that his goal is to reach a broader audience and to support their choices, both in terms of music content and audio hardware. “We look forward to making important partnership and product announcement to the market very soon,” he stated.
Explaining his original decision to sell Sooloos to Meridian, Vandermeer recalled the need at the time to create dedicated hardware for the experience his company hoped to achieve. When they wanted to grow, Meridian “was a perfect partner, being a pioneering leader in digital audio hardware,” he explained. “Now, as technology advances, we feel that it’s time to focus on software, outside the constraints of a hardware business.”
Roon Labs traces its roots back to 1999, when the revolution surrounding digital music files began reaching critical mass. With new potential came new problems, and the two set out to create solutions instead of waiting for someone else to make them.
On their history, Enno recalls that, “This started as a hobby. We were music lovers, music collectors, music creators, and audiophiles, who wanted to create the best system we could imagine to enjoy our music. Then we decided to share our creation with the world in 2005, as expensive and hardware-driven as it was to do at the time. Looking forward, we’re excited to bring our most powerful offering yet to a much larger community, as software.”
New products are already in testing at Roon Lab. Announcements with details of features and pricing will be available soon, including features clearly intended to appeal to the custom integration channel.
Meridian Audio retains the Sooloos brand name and the Cambridgeshire company remains fully committed to the Meridian Sooloos system, including the ongoing development of new features, such as the recent system integration of TIDAL’s high-fidelity music streaming service.