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Bluesound Node Review (Streamer)

Mansinthe86

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I got the Cxn V2 and feel like it sounds really good. Despite it being a old DAC chip that doesn't even measure that good.

but what I really like about the Cxn V2 is, everything just works. Tidal, qobuz, Spotify, roon, airplay, usb drives.. the display. XLR out, RCA out, the option to bypass the internal DAC.. I think even DSD works.

And the streammagic app is actually not that bad. Compared to Yamaha Musiccast it's much better.
 

RadioBuddha

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I got the Cxn V2 and feel like it sounds really good. Despite it being a old DAC chip that doesn't even measure that good.

but what I really like about the Cxn V2 is, everything just works. Tidal, qobuz, Spotify, roon, airplay, usb drives.. the display. XLR out, RCA out, the option to bypass the internal DAC.. I think even DSD works.

And the streammagic app is actually not that bad. Compared to Yamaha Musiccast it's much better.

Looking at the Youtube video reviews and demonstrations it does seem like an awesome solution, just a brief question because I don't want to divert the thread, does it connect quickly to internet radio stations?
 

Mansinthe86

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Looking at the Youtube video reviews and demonstrations it does seem like an awesome solution, just a brief question because I don't want to divert the thread, does it connect quickly to internet radio stations?

Yes. Really fast. And it often gets the 320kb stream instead of only 128kb.
 

RadioBuddha

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Yes. Really fast. And it often gets the 320kb stream instead of only 128kb.

Thanks for responding, that is awesome, but I thought it was up to the radio station vis a vis the higher 320kb stream, I did not know that the network player could actually improve on that front.
 

Sound_freq

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Looking at the Youtube video reviews and demonstrations it does seem like an awesome solution, just a brief question because I don't want to divert the thread, does it connect quickly to internet radio stations?

It is relatively fast, especially when you have the stations saved as one your presets!
 

Laserjock

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Yeah, that's pretty much how I am about the Node.
I actually love how I can use my existing SiriusXM through the Node as well.
I drive a LOT and even though satellite radio isn’t the best quality (sounds good in the car), the Denon reports 44.1kHz from the digital output of the Node.
 

RadioBuddha

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Yeah, that's pretty much how I am about the Node.

As skeptical as my posts have been, I do think the Bluesound Node is a viable option for many people, I'm still considering it, how fast does it tune into internet radio stations?

Also one thing it does have going for it, Bluesound has a history of supporting older devices with software updates, that is key as many other companies don't have such a good history, Grace Digital and even Sonos have dropped the ball at times.

And as far as the Dac goes, there is a good chance I won't be able to detect a difference, I like how the mid 2015 Macbook Pro sounds, if it can match that, if it is fairly neutral, that would work for me.
 

Rottmannash

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As skeptical as my posts have been, I do think the Bluesound Node is a viable option for many people, I'm still considering it, how fast does it tune into internet radio stations?

Also one thing it does have going for it, Bluesound has a history of supporting older devices with software updates, that is key as many other companies don't have such a good history, Grace Digital and even Sonos have dropped the ball at times.

And as far as the Dac goes, there is a good chance I won't be able to detect a difference, I like how the mid 2015 Macbook Pro sounds, if it can match that, if it is fairly neutral, that would work for me.
This may answer one of your questions. Pretty fast. I tried to attach a video of how fast it played a radio station but got a message that file type was not supported. It was about 2 seconds or less after touching the icon for Radio Paradise Rock station.
 

MaxBuck

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As skeptical as my posts have been, I do think the Bluesound Node is a viable option for many people, I'm still considering it, how fast does it tune into internet radio stations?
Using TuneIn, essentially immediately once you've added a station to your favorites. Same for SiriusXM.
 

RadioBuddha

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Using TuneIn, essentially immediately once you've added a station to your favorites. Same for SiriusXM.

That is awesome, thank you, and to the previous poster, thanks for trying to upload a video, one of the frustrations of some if not most of the Youtube tech reviews, they rarely show you the GUI, they rarely show you real world usage of the device, I would much rather see it in action, I could do without hearing the poetic descriptors of how the audio sounded.
 

RadioBuddha

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Using TuneIn, essentially immediately once you've added a station to your favorites. Same for SiriusXM.

Again I don't want to hijack the thread, perhaps a few of the Bluesound veterans can answer, besides a possible Dac sound quality improvement, any major functional differences between a Bluesound Node 2 and the current Bluesound Node? I know the presets are different on the top of the device and there is no HDMI ARC with the older Node 2, but if there are any Node 2 owners here, it would be cool to here your thoughts on any major differences.
 

ivayvr

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Are you asking about the difference between the current and Node 2 or 2i? If it is really about the Node 2 it does not have the two way blue tooth and I am not 100% certain it can decode MQA files (take that with a grain of salt). If it is about current Node and 2i you already mentioned all the differences I am aware of.
 

TK33

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Again I don't want to hijack the thread, perhaps a few of the Bluesound veterans can answer, besides a possible Dac sound quality improvement, any major functional differences between a Bluesound Node 2 and the current Bluesound Node? I know the presets are different on the top of the device and there is no HDMI ARC with the older Node 2, but if there are any Node 2 owners here, it would be cool to here your thoughts on any major differences.
USB audio output is promised on their website in a future software update for the new Node, which I guess would be useful for those who use DACs with only a USB input.
 

BlackTalon

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Apr 14, 2021
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It's a few months into that promise now. I wonder if they will actually come through with it. I'm on the fence about pulling the trigger on one right now, especially since I bought a 2i prior to the 'Node' announcement directly from Bluesound for $449. I'm searching for value in that extra $100.
 
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Frank Sol

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The USB firmware update is coming 'tomorrow'... You know what is said about tomorrow

Double shame Bluesound wont write the USB firmware for the 2i
 

Orion76

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Wow. This place is educational!

After reading the glowing reviews all over the internet about the Bluesound NODE (Gen 3), I finally put it in my shopping cart last Friday. Then I discovered this place, and this review-

This is sad. There is a lot of distortion which in this day and age is just not acceptable. I looked up the DAC chip and it is the TI PCM5242. Sadly it is specified at 94 dB SINAD at -1 dBFS. So it is bad to start with but the Node knocks a few more dBs from that, landing it straight in our "poor" bucket of DACs in red

And decided not to buy it.

I should mention that this is my first serious attempt at getting into streaming. Since I am new to it, I don't know exactly what I will want or need. The Bluesound looks to have an epic laundry list of features-

Supported Audio File Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA-L, OGG, ALAC, OPUS
Supported Hi-Res Audio File Formats: FLAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF, MPEG-4 SLS
Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD Bluetooth

I'm mainly doing this to finally try some hi-res streaming. Maybe TIDAL or Qobuz or Roon.

But back to the bad DAC performance. Who wants that? After reading through this whole thread, it sounds like I can get better results by using an external DAC. My P6 preamp has an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC. I think both optical inputs might be full, but I can run coax out on the Bluesound and into my preamp that way.

What else- I won't be using USB and I do have an iPhone. I'll also be on Wi-Fi only, as my networking gear is in a different room and I can't run an ethernet cable to the Bluesound.

So given that I already have what should be a nice DAC sitting around, and I think this has all the features I need, should I give the Bluesound a try?
 
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curiouspeter

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Wow. This place is educational!

After reading the glowing reviews all over the internet about the Bluesound NODE (Gen 3), I finally put it in my shopping cart last Friday. Then I discovered this place, and this review-

This is sad. There is a lot of distortion which in this day and age is just not acceptable. I looked up the DAC chip and it is the TI PCM5242. Sadly it is specified at 94 dB SINAD at -1 dBFS. So it is bad to start with but the Node knocks a few more dBs from that, landing it straight in our "poor" bucket of DACs in red

And decided not to buy it.

I should mention that this is my first serious attempt at getting into streaming. Since I am new to it, I don't know exactly what I will want or need. The Bluesound looks to have an epic laundry list of features-

Supported Audio File Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA-L, OGG, ALAC, OPUS
Supported Hi-Res Audio File Formats: FLAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF, MPEG-4 SLS
Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD Bluetooth

I'm mainly doing this to finally try some hi-res streaming. Maybe TIDAL or Qobuz or Roon.

But back to the bad DAC performance. Who wants that? After reading through this whole thread, it sounds like I can get better results by using an external DAC. My P6 preamp has an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC. I think both optical inputs might be full, but I can run coax out on the Bluesound and into my preamp that way.

What else- I won't be using USB and I do have an iPhone. I'll also be on Wi-Fi only, as my networking gear is in a different room and I can't run an ethernet cable to the Bluesound.

So given that I already have what should be a nice DAC sitting around, and I think this has all the features I need, should I give the Bluesound a try?
I doubt one can readily hear the difference between a "good" DAC and a "poor" one.

I have a Gustard X16 hooked up to a Teac AX-505. It sounds awesome but I cannot honestly say why or how.

I have a 2021 Bluesound Powernode on another system. I got it for usability reasons. BluOS and Roon can directly control the volume. Also, the HDMI integration is nice because the TV remote can seamlessly control the TV volume.

If you want a better DAC with the same usability you will need to spend ~$1500 for the new NAD C 700 or ~$2700 for the NAD M10.

I was also considering the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 but I ended up wanting something that could work without Roon. I have yet to build a Roon core for the other system.
 

Laserjock

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Wow. This place is educational!

After reading the glowing reviews all over the internet about the Bluesound NODE (Gen 3), I finally put it in my shopping cart last Friday. Then I discovered this place, and this review-

This is sad. There is a lot of distortion which in this day and age is just not acceptable. I looked up the DAC chip and it is the TI PCM5242. Sadly it is specified at 94 dB SINAD at -1 dBFS. So it is bad to start with but the Node knocks a few more dBs from that, landing it straight in our "poor" bucket of DACs in red

And decided not to buy it.

I should mention that this is my first serious attempt at getting into streaming. Since I am new to it, I don't know exactly what I will want or need. The Bluesound looks to have an epic laundry list of features-

Supported Audio File Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA-L, OGG, ALAC, OPUS
Supported Hi-Res Audio File Formats: FLAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF, MPEG-4 SLS
Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD Bluetooth

I'm mainly doing this to finally try some hi-res streaming. Maybe TIDAL or Qobuz or Roon.

But back to the bad DAC performance. Who wants that? After reading through this whole thread, it sounds like I can get better results by using an external DAC. My P6 preamp has an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC. I think both optical inputs might be full, but I can run coax out on the Bluesound and into my preamp that way.

What else- I won't be using USB and I do have an iPhone. I'll also be on Wi-Fi only, as my networking gear is in a different room and I can't run an ethernet cable to the Bluesound.

So given that I already have what should be a nice DAC sitting around, and I think this has all the features I need, should I give the Bluesound a try?
Send in your P6 to see how well it does on the analyzer.
 

Rottmannash

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Wow. This place is educational!

After reading the glowing reviews all over the internet about the Bluesound NODE (Gen 3), I finally put it in my shopping cart last Friday. Then I discovered this place, and this review-

This is sad. There is a lot of distortion which in this day and age is just not acceptable. I looked up the DAC chip and it is the TI PCM5242. Sadly it is specified at 94 dB SINAD at -1 dBFS. So it is bad to start with but the Node knocks a few more dBs from that, landing it straight in our "poor" bucket of DACs in red

And decided not to buy it.

I should mention that this is my first serious attempt at getting into streaming. Since I am new to it, I don't know exactly what I will want or need. The Bluesound looks to have an epic laundry list of features-

Supported Audio File Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA-L, OGG, ALAC, OPUS
Supported Hi-Res Audio File Formats: FLAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF, MPEG-4 SLS
Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD Bluetooth

I'm mainly doing this to finally try some hi-res streaming. Maybe TIDAL or Qobuz or Roon.

But back to the bad DAC performance. Who wants that? After reading through this whole thread, it sounds like I can get better results by using an external DAC. My P6 preamp has an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC. I think both optical inputs might be full, but I can run coax out on the Bluesound and into my preamp that way.

What else- I won't be using USB and I do have an iPhone. I'll also be on Wi-Fi only, as my networking gear is in a different room and I can't run an ethernet cable to the Bluesound.

So given that I already have what should be a nice DAC sitting around, and I think this has all the features I need, should I give the Bluesound a try?
I have the Bluesound Node 2i and run coax out to the Topping D70 and before that the Topping E30. Very nice performance for the money. Just bypass the DAC and you're good to go. It is a very capable and fully-featured streamer.
 
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