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The Bluesound Node vs. Node 2i Comparison and Review

Bluesound Cover Image

A New Generation of Music Streamers

Bluesound is one of our favorite streaming companies here at Moon Audio, providing a high level of functionality at a reasonable price point. As with all things, a new generation of music streamer is here: the Node. Bluesound has made some quality-of-life improvements under the hood of the new products with a new quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor and a new DAC that operates at 32-bit/384 kHz and supports audio resolutions up to 24-bit/192 kHz. The new units also include HDMI eARC and also have a lower signal-to-noise ratio of -113 (down from -110dB) and THD+N of 0.002% (down from 0.005%). The inclusion of the HDMI makes the new Node more media-center friendly, with the ability to hook it up to your TV and entertainment system.

There have been some design improvements with an enhanced full-glass touch interface and precise volume slider. The Bluesound aesthetic remains, with a sleek looking box (in either black or white), and intuitive touch controls. You'll want to put it in a central location and show this thing off. All your music is ready for listening at the touch of a button.

About Bluesound

Bluesound is an award-winning wireless hi-res sound system that lets you play music in any and every room throughout your home. Choose music from your favorite streaming service or from a music library connected to your home network. Control where, at what volume, and when music plays with a free BluOS app for your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Getting the crisp and detailed sound that only an audiophile-grade system can deliver has never been easier. Bluesound's streaming products are also great as an affordable entry point to work with ROON. The Vault 2i allows you to easily and effortlessly rip your CD collection and allows you to stream it to any room in your house. Both the Node 2i and Vault 2i are extremely intuitive and configurable devices that allow you to play both your streaming services and personal music library.

Bluesound Just introduced their second generation Node. They made some quality-of-life upgrades from the Node 2i, it doesn’t make the old model obsolete, but expands upon your wireless HiFi system to make it even better as an additional piece.

Bluesound Node Music Streamer Review

Coming Soon!


To Node or Not to Node

Here’s the kicker – the last generation Node 2i was a phenomenal device, and still is. The new Node retains all the original functionality of the Node 2i with the small addition of the HDMI eARC input. Since the Bluesound ecosystem works seamlessly with other Bluesound devices, now is the perfect time to get an amazing music streamer for even less.

The Node 2i is still a very capable device, with more than enough analog and digital input/output options to please the most dedicated audiophile. Online streaming services, internet radio, and even your own digital music library held on a computer, smartphone, or external drive – it is all integrated into the Node 2i.

  • Connect to any existing stereo amplifier, AV receiver, or powered audio system.
  • Featuring digital and analog input/output options, headphone stereo mini jack, subwoofer RCA mono.
  • Seamlessly stream music from a CD player or turntable through the NODE 2i to other Bluesound Players.
  • Simple setup directly inside the user-friendly BluOS Controller app.
  • Access and stream Internet radio stations, cloud music services, and your own local music library to multiple Bluesound Players.
  • Control music wirelessly with the intuitive BluOS Controller app.
  • Works with Bluesound RC1 Remote Controller
  • Connect Bluesound to your Amazon Echo with the skill in the Alexa app and use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to control Players around the home.
  • AirPlay 2 lets you play music or podcasts from wireless stereo components throughout your house — all in sync.

SET YOUR MUSIC FREE: Featuring an array of analog and digital input and output options, the NODE 2i gives you infinite playback choices to rule your sonic domain. With the ability to connect to a CD player or turntable, the NODE 2i ensures that your physical music collection continues to thrive. Easily stream your favorite tracks from the source of your choice and hear it anywhere in the home.

ALL THE MUSIC EVER RECORDED: With Airplay 2* built-in for easy integration into the Apple ecosystem, the NODE 2i is one of the most flexible streamers ever. Premium high-res music services like TIDAL®, Spotify® and Qobuz®—as well as virtually all other popular music services and Internet radio stations can be found directly inside the BluOS Controller app. Access your downloads, your iTunes library and any other content from a NAS drive, all without turning on a computer.

ULTIMATE VOICE CONTROL: With skills and support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, you can easily connect your Bluesound Player to the corresponding app and enjoy hands-free voice control of personal music libraries, streaming services and more using simple, streamlined commands. Select a track, play your favorite playlist, pause or skip a song, and even say which room you want to listen to music in. A quick and easy to way control your music, voice control brings you a whole new way to experience music throughout the home.

FILL YOUR HOME WITH MUSIC: Seamlessly connect the NODE 2i to multiple Bluesound speakers throughout the home with the BluOS Controller app and create an intuitive multi-room music system unlike any other.


Here’s the kicker – the last generation of Node 2i was a phenomenal device, and still is. The new Node retains all the original functionality of the Node 2i with the small addition of the HDMI eARC input. Since the Bluesound ecosystem works seamlessly with other Bluesound devices, now is the perfect time to get an amazing music streamer for even less.


The original Bluesound Node 2i Music Streamer is now just $499.00. Don’t miss this opportunity to get an exceptional music streamer which will integrate into any home system for a steal of a price. Stay tuned for our review of the new Node from Bluesound! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. Happy listening!


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Specifications (Comparison)

Bluesound Node 2i

Connections

  • Network: Gigabit Ethernet RJ45; Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac, dual-band)
  • Audio Input: Combo - TOSLINK / 3.5mm input
  • Audio Output: Analog RCA Stereo with FIXED option, Coaxial RCA, TOSLINK digital optical
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 aptX HD wireless built-in, Two-Way (transmit & receive)
  • Headphones: 3.5mm Stereo Out, Wireless Bluetooth Out
  • Subwoofer: RCA Out
  • USB: 1 x Type-A port for external drive connection (Fat32 or NTFS formatted), 1 x Type-B (mini) for product servicing
  • Trigger: 12V trigger out
  • IR Remote: IR Sensor Built In - front panel
  • Power: Universal bi-pin AC Cord input (100 - 240AC)

Bluesound Node (New)

Connections

  • Network: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac, 2.4/5GHz) Ethernet RJ45, GigE 1000 Mbps
  • Audio Input: Mini TOSLINK / 3.5mm Stereo combo HDMI eARC
  • Audio Output: Analog Stereo RCA (Fixed or Variable), Coaxial RCA, TOSLINK digital optical, USB Audio 2.0*
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 aptX HD Two-Way (transmit & receive)
  • Headphones: 3.5mm Stereo Out, Wireless Bluetooth Out
  • Subwoofer: RCA Out Network Pairing to PULSE SUB+
  • USB: Type-A Port for external drive connection (Fat32 or NTFS formatted)
  • Trigger: 12V Trigger Out
  • IR Remote: IR Sensor Built In - front panel with IR Remote Learning IR Input 3.5mm Jack
  • Power: Universal bi-pin AC cord input (100-240AC)
  • *Note: *Available for free with future software update

Audio

  • Supported File Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, ALAC, OPUS
    Hi-Res formats - FLAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF
  • Native Sampling Rates: 32 - 192 kHz
  • Bit Depths: 16 - 24
  • Performance: SNR - 110dBA; Distortion, THD+N - 0.005%
  • DAC: 32-Bit, 192kHz
  • Supported Operating Systems: Plays music from network shares on the following desktop operating systems: Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, Vista 7-10, Apple Macintosh 7-10
  • Free Internet Radio: TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, Calm Radio, Radio Paradise, LiveXLive, Radio.com
  • Supported Cloud Services: Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, Deezer , Qobuz, HighResAudio (VAULT Required), Napster, KKBox, Bugs, Taihe Music ZONE, SoundMachine, IDAGIO, OraStream
  • Voice Control Integrations: Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant Skills
  • Integration Partners: Control4, RTI, Crestron, URC, push, iPort, ELAN, Lutron, roon, Airplay 2
  • Album Art: JPG

Audio

  • Supported Audio File Formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA-L, OGG, ALAC, OPUS
  • Native Sampling Rates: up to 192 kHz
  • Bit Depths: 16-24
  • Performance: SNR -113dBA; THD+N, 0.002%
  • DAC: 32-Bit, 384kHz Differential Output design
  • Supported Operating Systems: Plays music from network shares on the following desktop operating systems: Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, Vista 7-10, Apple Macintosh 7-10
  • Free Internet Radio: TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, Calm Radio, Radio Paradise, LiveXLive, Radio.com
  • Supported Cloud Services: Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, Deezer , Qobuz, HighResAudio (VAULT Required), Napster, KKBox, Bugs, Taihe Music ZONE, SoundMachine, IDAGIO, OraStream
  • Voice Control Integrations: Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant Skills
  • Integration Partners: Control4, RTI, Crestron, URC, push, iPort, ELAN, Lutron, roon, Airplay 2
  • Album Art: JPG

General

  • Processor: ARM® CORTEX™ A9, 1 GHz
  • Finish: Available in White or Black Matte
  • Included Accessories: 2x AC power cords; (Europe & North America); Ethernet Cable; Stereo RCA to RCA Cable; Toslink Optical to 3.5mm Mini Adaptor
  • Storage Environment: -10° C to 50° C, 20% to 80% relative humidity
  • Operating Environment: 0° C to 40° C
  • Product Dimensions: 220 x 46 x 146 mm; 8.7 x 1.8 x 5.7 in
  • Unit Weight: 1.12 kg / 2.45 lbs

General

  • Processor: ARM® Cortex™ -A53, Quad-Core, 1.8GHz per core
  • Finish: Black/White; Matte Satin Paint
  • Included Accessories: 120V AC Power Cord; 230V AC Power Cord; Ethernet Cable; Stereo RCA to RCA Cable; TOSLINK Optical to 3.5mm; Mini Adaptor; Safety/Warranty Guide; Quick Setup Guide
  • Storage Environment: -10°C to 50°C, 20% to 80% relative humidity
  • Operating Environment: 0°C to 40°C
  • Product Dimensions: 220 x 46 x 146 mm; 8.7 x 1.8 x 5.7 in
  • Shipping Weight: 2.28kg/5.03lbs
  • Shipping Dimensions: 300 x 300 x 74 mm; 11.8 x 11.8 x 2.75 in

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