20 Dec 2023

Harman acquires audio technology platform Roon

Harman to complement its current audio offerings with Roon’s music aggregation, connectivity, and streaming tech

Audio giant Harman, whose leading brands include AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, and Revel, has announced the acquisition of the music management, discovery, and streaming platform, Roon, adding the technology to its already vast audio lineup.

A streaming platform for music lovers

Roon is a music streaming platform that was created for music enthusiasts. While featuring a comprehensive interface for browsing and discovering music, the platform also boasts a playback engine the acquiring firm says is “designed to deliver the best possible sound.”

The Roon platform is already compatible with 160 other audio brands and more than 1,000 high-performance devices, and according to Harman, under its umbrella and in alignment with its “work with all” strategy, Roon’s open device ecosystem will continue to expand.

“At Harman we take great pride in our ability to create exceptional audio experiences for our partners and consumers around the world,” said Dave Rogers, President of the Lifestyle Division at Harman. “The team at Roon shares our passion in bringing exceptional sound and connectivity to music lovers as they browse, discover, and listen at home and on the go. We are looking forward to welcoming Roon, whose impressive talent will join the Harman family and bolster our already robust engineering capabilities.”

Harman acquires audio technology platform Roon

Credit: Harman

Standalone business

While the acquisition will give Roon access to the larger firm's resources, according to both companies, not much else will change for the acquired platform. Roon, which also manufactures a line of hardware server appliances called Nucleus, will operate as a standalone business within the larger company's network, and it will also maintain its current team.

In addition, the audio giant affirmed that all of Roon’s operations will remain in place and will “continue to be dedicated to serving and growing Roon’s community of device partners and customers, under a joint mission to deliver engaging and personalized audio experiences across a universe of products and platforms.”

“Our team is ecstatic to join Harman, a visionary company that has been leading the audio industry forward for decades,” said Enno Vandermeer, CEO of Roon. “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 business’s growth and future. We look forward to continuing to bring our advanced data management, SaaS expertise, and consumer engagement capabilities to our broad ecosystem of partners, as we join forces with HARMAN to deliver even greater audio experiences to our customers.”

On the heels of other acquisitions and partnerships

The news of the Roon acquisition comes not long after the audio firm’s professional branch announced its plans to acquire the France-based audio processing, audio analysis, and immersive and performance audio technology firm, FLUX. Harman claimed it was taking FLUX onboard as part of a technology investment strategy, as Brian Divine, President, Harman Professional Solutions, said at the time, to “bring outstanding immersive experiences for live and recorded productions.”

Apart from these recent acquisitions, the audio giant also initiated some key partnerships earlier in the year. In March, the firm’s Digital Transformation Solutions (DTS) business unit joined forces with the healthcare cloud services provider, Infor, while the company also expanded its strategic relationship with real-time data integration solutions provider, Qlik, in April.

Harman, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics since March, 2017, designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things.

By Bettina Badon

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