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Bluesound Powernode Streaming Amplifier Review

Rate this streaming amplifier

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 98 43.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 102 45.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 16 7.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 3.1%

  • Total voters
    223

nygafre

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Hi,
To all those guys that wrote that BluOS software is good, here is an advice.
Do not, never ever, remote control a streaming device with software like Symfonium or BubbleUPnP on Android...
You may be shocked at what really nice designed software can do that BluOS can't do.
Please elaborate?
 

PenguinMusic

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Please elaborate?
Are you convinced that BluOS is superb ?
If so I will not try to tell you otherwise as you probably own a BlueSound

But for me, having a software that is not able to update it's database incrementally and has to rescan the entire database each time a new track is added is not really up to date.

Or a software that is not even able to get you sort your music with the Album artist tag is something I can't have as a guy who listens to classical music a lot.

Or software that does not allow you to sort albums by the same artist other that alphabetically and not by album release date is just surprising !

Of course those features may have been added in latest releases. But 2 years ago they were not there... My Bluesound device started at home for about 1 week before I returned it :-(
 

nygafre

Active Member
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Are you convinced that BluOS is superb ?
If so I will not try to tell you otherwise as you probably own a BlueSound

But for me, having a software that is not able to update it's database incrementally and has to rescan the entire database each time a new track is added is not really up to date.

Or a software that is not even able to get you sort your music with the Album artist tag is something I can't have as a guy who listens to classical music a lot.

Or software that does not allow you to sort albums by the same artist other that alphabetically and not by album release date is just surprising !

Of course those features may have been added in latest releases. But 2 years ago they were not there... My Bluesound device started at home for about 1 week before I returned it :-(
I’ve never said that, just stated that I like the Powernode. Just curious to what you meant by your post (seemed a bit dramatic first).

But duly noted, some valid points there.
 

PeteL

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If you can't make a Hypex amp unit perform better than that, then you are not engineering with performance as a priority.
Hypex UcD tech is 20 years old. UCD 102 specifies THD+N 0.03% typical and this amp has less than 0.02%.... Pretty good optimal Engineering to me...
1691092537730.png
 

nstzya

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Jan 23, 2021
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Hi Amir -- apologies if someone asked this already (I looked at all posts - didn't see this question) but is it possible to test the Powernode N330/Node N130 using Roon to mimic a network/streamer source instead of using the "external sources" ADC and Toslink inputs to the Bluesound units?

Wondering if the SINAD would be better? As a data point for people who don't use the Optical/Analog inputs to the N330/N130?
+1

I use mine purely streaming via Tidal Connect and/or Amazon Connect and have been very happy with it's performance. Wonder if a digital direct streaming input would test any differently?
 

PeteL

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Choosing parts that match your elevated price point is also part of good engineering.
Not that simple, but yes, you choose parts based on the specifications you want to achieve, at a certain cost that make it a viable product financially. NAD/Bluesound is a North-American company on a distribution/ retail business model, It is in their affordable line of all in one integrated/streamer, and I am fully convinced that they have put a lots of effort to reduce BOM Cost as much as they could to reach a certain profit margin at a performance point that they judged/tested sufficient for the market they wanted to reach. That probably include listening tests, among other ways to assess that's good enough. That's how you stay in business in this market. Yes you can choose different models like selling direct, but that's not what they do. If your BOM cost end up being more than 1/6th of the retail price, it's simply not viable. Yes, They are in the business of making money.
 

Timcognito

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Not that simple, but yes, you choose parts based on the specifications you want to achieve, at a certain cost that make it a viable product financially. NAD/Bluesound is a North-American co great tesmpany on a distribution/ retail business model, It is in their affordable line of all in one integrated/streamer, and I am fully convinced that they have put a lots of effort to reduce BOM Cost as much as they could to reach a certain profit margin at a performance point that they judged/tested sufficient for the market they wanted to reach. That probably include listening tests, among other ways to assess that's good enough. That's how you stay in business in this market. Yes you can choose different models like selling direct, but that's not what they do. If your BOM cost end up being more than 1/6th of the retail price, it's simply not viable. Yes, They are in the business of making money.
Agree with everything above and add that the features, lifetime curated app/UI, seamless connectivity to input devices, streaming services, NAS, and i-radio, subwoofers, multiroom, integration with all of Lenbrook lines like NAD and Dali on one dashboard are all part of sales/customer decision to buy Bluesound. ASR rates signal in vs signal out and bypasses those features purposely as a MO for the forum which is of great value for those who value those things as most important, but not everyone is that customer. That said as digital electronics with high specifications are approaching near commodity ubiquity it is a shame that Bluesound is mediocre on that front when so many others seem to achieve high test marks at a low price.
 

PeteL

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Agree with everything above and add that the features, lifetime curated app/UI, seamless connectivity to input devices, streaming services, NAS, and i-radio, subwoofers, multiroom, integration with all of Lenbrook lines like NAD and Dali on one dashboard are all part of sales/customer decision to buy Bluesound. ASR rates signal in vs signal out and bypasses those features purposely as a MO for the forum which is of great value for those who value those things as most important, but not everyone is that customer. That said as digital electronics with high specifications are approaching near commodity ubiquity it is a shame that Bluesound is mediocre on that front when so many others seem to achieve high test marks at a low price.
OK, but which ones, In the sub 1000$ All in ones streaming and multi room capability amplifiers? Not saying there are none, but many?
 

Beershaun

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OK, but which ones, In the sub 1000$ All in ones streaming and multi room capability amplifiers? Not saying there are none, but many?
A wiim pro+ fosi audio amplifier gives you better performance with nominal drop in convenience (2 boxes) for ~$300.
 

PeteL

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A wiim pro+ fosi audio amplifier gives you better performance with nominal drop in convenience (2 boxes) for ~$300.
Sure, that was not my question, but thanks.
 

AltoVariago

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I own a Powernode N130 and I am extremely happy with the sound (powering two Kef LS50) and the convenience of use. I am using it exclusively for tidal streaming (mainly MQA) and rarely for listening to internet radio stations.
I use mine purely streaming via Tidal Connect and/or Amazon Connect and have been very happy with it's performance. Wonder if a digital direct streaming input would test any differently?
 

KenA

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People who own these generally love them. Unless you are critically listening with top speakers, it does it’s intended job and serves its target market well.
 

MyCuriosity

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Be careful Bluesound does not allow multiple profiles on a single unit or system of units. This is the kind of thing that many have complained about but Bluesound has def ears to its users feature requests. See my link above.
Thanks for that but I use roon for different profiles.
 

Timcognito

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OK, but which ones, In the sub 1000$ All in ones streaming and multi room capability amplifiers? Not saying there are none, but many?
That was the point I was trying to make. People are not buying it for the amp.
 

Timcognito

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Last edited:

PeteL

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Thanks I own three Nodes and frequent this site. https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/en-us/community/topics.
Edit: Many buy it for all in one and are not savy or do not care as long as the sound is decent and Amir confirmed that.
Yes, it was my point from the start, If Bluesound can save 50 bucks while 99% of their target market won't notice the measurable flaws, well, that's smart, that's good business practice, that's what make companies sustainable. It should not be considered "poor engineering"
 

Timcognito

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I should not be considered "poor engineering"
Yes we are in alignment there. And my point, although close, was ASR's narrow focus tends to exaggerate accuracy of playback signal as the ultimate reason to purchase a device when we are ta point that this accuracy is becoming common place compared to ten years ago. Other ergonomic and connectivity features ignored and not reviewed at ASR can be just as important to a consumer. Posts here at ASR on this thread show that many are happy with the performance of their PowerNodes.
 

Brantome

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I use mine purely streaming via Tidal Connect and/or Amazon Connect and have been very happy with its performance. Wonder if a digital direct streaming input would test any differently?
Amazon Connect (or AlexaCast as it’s known) to a BlueSound device will support 16/44.1 at best and more probably just lossy SD quality. Bluesound steadfastly refuse to implement the Alexa MRM stack that WiiM use in order to get up to 24/192 bit perfect from the Amazon Music app. But your presence on the WiiM forum would have told you that anyway ;)
 
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