Bluesound Node 2i network player/bridge

Bluesound introduced a new series of network players and looking at them I thought they were pulling my leg for they look identical to the previous models. And then the web buzzed about drastic sound improvements. Time for a review.

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Bluesound Node 2 review:
Bluesound Node 2 Update:
Streaming audio players:

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Guy Gichon says:

Hi Hans,
You mention several times that the DAC chip is less relevant and the more important aspect is the implementation – makes perfect sense.
Does the same apply for MQA implementation in a DAC or is the implementation the same for all DACs?
Let’s assume there are 2 different non-MQA DACs (with different DAC chips) that you find to produce the exact same sound quality (i.e both engineered with good implementation) , then both brands implement MQA in a new version without changing anything else, will they both benefit with the same improvement?

Ian Hatton says:

I would like to hear more about the sound differences between the 2 and the 2i – in which areas is the 2i stronger?

vadimkrylov says:

Hi Hans! I do have a Node 2 but want to improve its sound quality. Can you suggest how to do it?

Guy Gichon says:

How is the sound quality Vs Cocktail N15D ?

Ruud Stet says:

Hans, I agree on your take on the sound quality. I own both a node 2 and a chord Poly/mojo combination. The latter is the clear winner on detail and accurate reproduction of voices and instruments compared to the node. But the node does mqa and offers fatigue-free listening that gives it it’s own place in my system.
A question. Could you consider a video on mqa rendering? Listening tot mqa files through the analog out (=full mqa) of the node 2 gives a coherence between instruments that is somewhat lacking when using the node for decoding and the Mojo as a dac (toslink in). The Mojo doesn’t seem it’s usual brilliant self. The individual instruments and voices sound great and better than through the node’s analog out. But the coherence of the orchestra is lacking. Same with the tidal desktop app for decoding and the Mojo connected over USB. Any thoughts?

Ian Sharp says:

Great features, but it’s a bit of a shame they did not put more attention into improvements into the audio quality.

Ser Loin of Lamm says:

Great review as usual. I was reading on your website your article on upsampling vs over sampling and wondered what you thought of the new Chord MScaler? It would be great if you did a review – if not on the actual product, then on the technical side of what such a product might do and if such a product might be worth investing in for those of us who play red book CD quality music via an external DAC? Thanks

Sorin G says:

Hans, compared to the Yamaha WXC-50 do you think the extra cost is justified considering only sound quality?

hifi noob 2018 says:

I have the node2 and really enjoy it, however would buying a separate Dac help improve the sound quality? I was thinking of maybe something from Schiit audio.

Tjabbe Babbe says:

Thanks for your good work!

yourotherleft says:

Wish this one has usb or i2s output.

Will Mac says:

Funny that whathifi said in their new review, basically implied the SQ of 2i was night and day over the 2

badd99 says:

was hoping soon you could do a video on the New SOtM sNH-10G. Please make sure you compare it very critically to the Cisco WS-C2960-8TC-L.

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