Bluesound Node 2i Wireless Multi-Room Hi-Res Music Streamer

Bluesound Node 2i - A wireless streamer integrating multiple services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, and many more. Includes a built-in dac capable of full MQA decoding.

This is the place to discuss the Node 2i.

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I’ve been using this as my primary music source in my main listening setup.

The thing I really like is it’s ease of use via the Bluesound app. It’s been updated regularly which is nice, as it recently adjusted the font sizes and layout on iPad (it was far too large previously, now it suits the higher pixel density).

I have it connected via LAN, so it’s been very stable. I actually can’t remember it ever crashing.

I also like that it’s quite feature rich. It has a built in 3.5mm headphone output, which isn’t the best of course, but it’s there.

It also provides SPDIF in/out, so it can be used as either a pure streamer connected to a dac, or as the dac in your audio chain.

RCA outputs are also provided with selectable ‘Fixed/Variable’, which I use connected in ‘Fixed” mode to an Rupert Neve RNHP (original pro model) as my headphone amplifier.

The negatives I have are minimal.

The dac is mediocre. Bluesound went with a TI (I don’t know the model number) chipset, which is disappointing as they use (previously, I think they’re moving to ESS chipsets) Burr Brown chipsets in their sister company’s (NAD) dacs.

(The Node 2i recently received an update which may have swapped out the dac chipset.)

There’s no way to apply equalization other than simple “Bass” and “Treble” controls.

The only other “negative” that I can think of is that it’s ‘always on’. There’s no way that I’m aware of other than unplugging the unit to turn it off.

Overall I’m very happy with the performance and experience that the Node 2i has given. It’s a good little streamer that’s not too expensive for the features that it has.

Bluesound also makes a version with built-in storage (2TB) and optical drive called the Vault 2i, which would be a better option for those with moderately sizable CD collections.

Note: I will add photos to the post later in the week.

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Hey Christopher,

thank you for the information. I saw a review by Darko a few months ago. This is quite a nice solution.

the formfactor, the SPDIF in/out and the app make it very intersting for the price

I like the idea to tell the Node via Google Assistent to play radioparadise in the morning :slight_smile:

As source for the RME ADI 2 I have to use our 18inch desktop replacement laptop at the moment,
if I want to listen to music in the living room. We always put the laptop and powercord away after we are done, which is a pain.
For looks I have to agree to this compromise we found with my wife :slight_smile:
The Node could be perfect for us

the vault 2i CD transport is over 1k, so I still seach for one which stacks nice with the RME ADI 2 + THX 789

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I really like it. It’s the best source alternative I’ve found in its price range (non PC/Mac), and the BluOS app runs smoothly.

Their sister company NAD makes a component-sized streamer in the Master Series, the M50.2.
It’s pretty nice looking but it’s expensive.

Maybe some day…

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Ah yes I saw this piece in reviews.
did you recognize the quite new M10?

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Yes, I have an older low-end NAD dac/amp that I enjoy (I use it as the dac for my computer setup), so I follow NAD’s product releases.

The M10 seems like a pretty good product, but it’s kind of ‘pricey’ and the reviews have been mixed.

It’s a very nice aesthetic, definitely wife-Friendly.

becomes more and more important these days for me

Bluesound Node 2i Review.

Comparison on Network Streamer including Node 2i.

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You see this video @ValentineLuke

https://youtu.be/Z0Bc7xWHaxA

Looks pretty cool :sunglasses:

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Yeah, I actually just watched it! :grin:

I really like my Node 2i. It just works well.

My only real complaint is that the dac is lacking a bit. That’s why I’ve been searching for a dac to add to the audio chain the Node 2i is on. It’s currently connected to a Rupert Neve RNHP (which I truly love) that powers my LCD-X.

I had two RNHP’s at one point. The other was connected to my computer that has an older NAD dac (Burr Brown chipset) which sounded great paired together. That’s how I knew the dac in the Node 2i was lacking.

After reading and discussion, I think I’ve decided on the Bifrost. Hopefully I’ll be ordering it soon. I still have to replace the other RNHP that I returned (probably with another RNHP! :laughing:), so I’ll see how long I have to wait for either.

I don’t think the issues I have with dac would be as prevalent on a speaker setup, as you don’t have the same presentation as you do with headphones (the Audeze’s are pretty resolving, they reveal flaws and traits of amp/dacs).

It may be a good solution for a speaker setup, as I really like every other aspect of the Node 2i. I also know that Bluesound recently updated the Node line of products (adding ARC-hdmi, and updated dacs), so they probably sound better than my unit.

It may be worth trying out.

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That is what I was thinking too, I could avoid having to get powered speakers like say the Kef LS50 Wireless at almost $2000, and get this little amp/Dac/streamer and a quality set of bookshelf speakers and save a few bucks for my ZMF fund lol and be good to go for my small room. I wonder what speakers would pair well with that amp/Dac built into it? 120Watts 60 watts per Channel I believe.

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The KEF passive LS50’s are about $1000, and the Powernode 2i is another $900. I would think that the Active versions will sound better than the Passives, if you were seriously considering the KEF’s, I’d probably go with the Actives.

There are so many good bookshelf/monitor speakers available that cost less than the KEF’s. If you were looking at a lower cost option then it would make more sense to go with the Powernode.

If you find a well priced active, then I would totally recommend the standard Node 2i. I’ve considered this as a future use for mine.

KEF LS50 Mini Monitor - Black Edition (Pair) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XS424HJ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_74.sEb6JK3W58

Bluesound Powernode 2i Wireless Multi-Room Streaming High-Res Amplifier (with HDMI) - Black -Tidal HiFi for $0 for 3 Months https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WFQZ66T/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_25.sEbEZFRYAA

One last thing, I saw that Tannoy has some newer Active monitors that look promising. They pioneered concentric drivers, I believe. These are also relatively inexpensive compared to other active monitors of similar specs. Maybe something to look into.

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This is great advice!! I will dig in and check these out, thank you!

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Anytime.

Looking forward to hearing what you decide upon. :+1:t4:

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I think it’s a tougher decision then grabbing say headphones for me as I honestly don’t want to spend that much money on a set of Kef 50lsw even though I can get them discounted open box. By the time tax and everything is added up it’s still A significant investment for me and will greatly delay my ZMF Aeolus pick up.

Add to this I can’t as easily use them If I did get them as often as I would like with my daughters room being next door.

I already have a pair of Klipsch 41pm https://www.klipsch.com/products/r-41pm-powered-speakers which sound ok, they aren’t my favorite sound but I got them open box for half off so it wasn’t a bad deal.

It could be more interesting to just get the Bluesound Nodi2 to hook up to those powered monitors on stands on my desk now and my desk is on wheels so I could actually turn my desk and face my listening chairs and almost create a listening triangle and be able to stream music through the bluesound app from the seat of my chair with my existing speakers. Also what I like about that solution besides the obvious cost savings is my ability to move that bluesound nodi 2 downstairs to my big speaker set up and hook it up to my Denon surround sound receiver if I am listening down there with my wife or friends. I wonder if there really is any benefit for my given current situation to get the bluesound with the amp built in or not. Maybe there is if the DAC is a significant improvement. I know the Dac to you doesn’t sound as good as you would like in your version so that deters me some.

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I think the Node 2i as a very versatile and competent product. I will even go as far and recommend it, with the caveat that it won’t change the sound of your active speakers, but provide a rich feature set. The App is pretty awesome, by the way.

The dac is good, but not the best.

I mean, I plan on pairing it with the Bifrost ($699) so it’s not really a fair comparison…

You can always try it with your existing Active Klipsch speakers, and return it if it doesn’t work for you. You can get it through Amazon, or I also like Crutchfield (I’ve purchased electronics from them, excellent customer service and it’s not the behemoth that Amazon is).

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That’s what I am thinking too, I shop with both so I may just try it out as the flexibility of the return process with either of those retailers is very simple and straightforward. The one thing I did see from the newer version with the amp is it does support Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound as well now, not sure if your version does or if it would really matter anyways as I have my Denon receiver for that. I use Firestick from Amazon for watching everything so not sure that would really need to integrate with the bluesound anyways.

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Yeah, mines the previous version, two-channel only.

I like it enough to consider the Vault 2i, which is the same product with an added cd drive/hd to add my cd collection.

Their sister company NAD make a really sweet version (no dac, just a straight digital music player) in their Master Series. But it’s $$$$…

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could you connect the Firestick with HDMI to the TV and get audio via optical out of the tv to the DAC?

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