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Bluesound Node 2i or ... ?

ChambreNoire

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Hi there,

After some research I'm contemplating purchasing a Bluesound Node 2i (or perhaps the Vault 2i). For a while I was contemplating a Sonos Port as I have a Sonos Five in the bedroom and a Sonos One in the kitchen and it integrates nicely with Deezer. But I want the best option to feed into my Anthem MRX 720, Kef R5/3 setup and don't mind the additional service as I don't use the multi-room feature. Yes I know the 720 has PlayFi but honestly I can't stand it!

Any thoughts, counter-proposals, etc.

Much appreciated!

Cheers!
 

abdo123

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well it depends on what your use is, this is what your criteria should be for a streamer.

It has been mentioned that the DAC on the bluenode 2i is mediocre in Amir's review. but it packs a lot of features tbh, it's an awesome device if you bypass its DAC.
 

tw99

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What advantage do you see the Bluseound giving you compared to Sonos ?
 
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ChambreNoire

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It has been mentioned that the DAC on the bluenode 2i is mediocre in Amir's review. but it packs a lot of features tbh, it's an awesome device if you bypass its DAC.
I hadn't considered getting a DAC but I guess that could be an option sometime down the road. Any quick recommendations ?

What advantage do you see the Bluseound giving you compared to Sonos ?
I read on quite a few sites that the audio quality is better.
 
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ChambreNoire

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well it depends on what your use is, this is what your criteria should be for a streamer.
Decent control app, Deezer compatible, ability to create a queue then shut down the control app (ie not streaming directly from control app), for use as part of a lounge HC setup, 24/192 minimum I guess...
 
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ChambreNoire

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It has been mentioned that the DAC on the bluenode 2i is mediocre in Amir's review. but it packs a lot of features tbh, it's an awesome device if you bypass its DAC.
Actually I could just connect it to the Anthem 720 MRX via the Toslink Digital Optical out. The 720 uses AKM AK4458 I think. Should be better than the Node 2i's no ?
 

ex audiophile

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Hi there,

After some research I'm contemplating purchasing a Bluesound Node 2i (or perhaps the Vault 2i). For a while I was contemplating a Sonos Port as I have a Sonos Five in the bedroom and a Sonos One in the kitchen and it integrates nicely with Deezer. But I want the best option to feed into my Anthem MRX 720, Kef R5/3 setup and don't mind the additional service as I don't use the multi-room feature. Yes I know the 720 has PlayFi but honestly I can't stand it!

Any thoughts, counter-proposals, etc.

Much appreciated!

Cheers!
If hi res is important to you, the Node 2i will process high res files whereas the Port (I had 3 of them) is limited to 44khz. Both the Sonos and Bluesound interfaces are very good IMO so it comes down to the hi res thing. I doubt the DAC in the Port or the Node would measure very well, but whether or not that is audible is another thread altogether! I had two of my Ports fail and have to go in for service, so I'm a fan of the Node 2i :)
best wishes
 

Darwin

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The new Port is getting terrible reviews for sound quality which is pretty bad considering the silly high cost of $449.
 

Darwin

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I hadn't considered getting a DAC but I guess that could be an option sometime down the road. Any quick recommendations ?
I read on quite a few sites that the audio quality is better.

Bluesound does quite a bit that Sonos doesn't. Especially high res and MQA. Also Roon ready but that seems to be glitchy. I'm kind of scared off Bluesound though because apparently the software and reliability isn't very good.
 

Darwin

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well it depends on what your use is, this is what your criteria should be for a streamer.

It has been mentioned that the DAC on the bluenode 2i is mediocre in Amir's review. but it packs a lot of features tbh, it's an awesome device if you bypass its DAC.

I think he only measured through optical right? Not HDMI.
 

AdamG

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‘I use the Node2i internal DAC for full unfold MQA in Tidal content. For other streaming services like Amazon HD and Qobuz I bought s Schiit Modi 3+ DAC and use the node digital out to feed the Modi. Modi has a superior DAC. I am very pleased with the Node. It has full Tidal and Spotify Connect features as well.
 

BobPM

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The best part of the Bluesound Node is its app. I don't want to pay for Roon, and Bluesound is the best alternative I've found. It even exceeds Roon in its ability to access services such as Deezer and Amazon Music. In my opinion, a good DAC makes a big difference with the node, but your Anthem likely has internal DACs so you can just use the coax out into your receiver. Indeed, even if you used the analog outs from the node 2i, the Anthem probably converts it back to digital for signal processing, so just keep it digital from the start.

I find the better DAC sounds better than the output from the Bluesound with the second MQA unfold. Note this if a non-objective opinion.
 

pacman9270

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I have owned by Bluesound Node 2i and it is still going strong. I've used both QoBuz and Tidal and have had no problems. Love the fact that I can edit my playlist through BluOS and it also updates the streaming service playlists I have.
 

cjm2077

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I've used the Node2 (not 2i) for a few years to stream my music collection, and I think it's been a good product. The hardware works the way I want it to, but I'm using it with an external DAC. I've had it both hardwired and connected by wifi, and rarely had issues with the connection stuttering or dropping out, or just not connecting. The (android) phone app is excellent and allows me to control streaming from the 10k+ song library I keep on a server. The desktop program is not as good, is slow sometimes, and will just refuse to sort and display some large groups of songs/albums/artists or whatever else the display currently is. Overall it's easy to setup and run, can handle high-res files, and is transparent if you use it with an external dac.

Edit: And I wanted to add that the only streaming service I use (rarely) is Amazon music, but it is integrated decently well.
 
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mash

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If you use an external DAC with a Node 2i streamer, is there any way to have the external DAC handle MQA rendering? Most DACs only handle MQA via the USB input and the Node 2i does not have an USB out. Would something like the Gustard X16 allow the Node 2i to pass DAC/MQA processing over to the X16?. i.e If I remember correctly, the x16 has some capabilities to handle MQA via its COAX input. Not that I am a huge fan of MQA but just wondering if it can still be implemented outside of the Node2i?

Trying to answer my own question...apparently BlueSound support thinks that you can...

https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...ayback-Node-2i-with-Gustard-X16-External-DAC-
 
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Spotify as well as Tidal can connect directly to the Node 2i, without the bluesound app. That IMHO is a major advantage. The bluesound app does not have all the functionalities the spotify and tidal app have. All kinds of automatic created playlists and suggestions for instance based on your listening behaviour is not complete in the bluesound app.
 

Focos one

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If you use an external DAC with a Node 2i streamer, is there any way to have the external DAC handle MQA rendering? Most DACs only handle MQA via the USB input and the Node 2i does not have an USB out. Would something like the Gustard X16 allow the Node 2i to pass DAC/MQA processing over to the X16?. i.e If I remember correctly, the x16 has some capabilities to handle MQA via its COAX input. Not that I am a huge fan of MQA but just wondering if it can still be implemented outside of the Node2i?

Trying to answer my own question...apparently BlueSound support thinks that you can...

https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...ayback-Node-2i-with-Gustard-X16-External-DAC-
Hi, Not many cheaper dac's render final unfold via coaxial, Mytek liberty and the new dacmagic 200m are about the cheapest to do so.
 

iann

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If you use an external DAC with a Node 2i streamer, is there any way to have the external DAC handle MQA rendering? Most DACs only handle MQA via the USB input and the Node 2i does not have an USB out. Would something like the Gustard X16 allow the Node 2i to pass DAC/MQA processing over to the X16?. i.e If I remember correctly, the x16 has some capabilities to handle MQA via its COAX input. Not that I am a huge fan of MQA but just wondering if it can still be implemented outside of the Node2i?

Trying to answer my own question...apparently BlueSound support thinks that you can...

https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/e...ayback-Node-2i-with-Gustard-X16-External-DAC-

This is exactly why I've ordered an X16. It will decode MQA over optical and coax and the balanced outputs will be a bonus for me too.

The Node 2i is an excellent streamer and with Tidal Connect it's easy to use from the Tidal app.
 

Focos one

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It is a excellent streamer! Nice to hear that the x16 will fully unfold mqa with coaxial input. Will be interesting to hear if it improves on the node2i's dac
 

vlydog

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I considered feeding the X 16 with the Node 2i also.

If I'm hearing correctly, coax is the best connection between Node and X 16 for Master quality enjoyment?
 
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