Bluesound Node 2 experiences

How do you like your Node 2?

Way more than I expected to. I got one as a stop-gap measure for an extra zone and to toy with MQA and Qobuz – but it somehow ended up in my main system. :smiley:

I use mine for SPDIF coax out (which is fine, slightly more controlled compared to a Pi/Digi+ combo) and for headphone listening (way better than expected, does not make me miss my Mojo – with an admittedly mid-fi AKG K550).

It is a nice display of what a properly implemented RoonReady device is capable of: the Node 2 switches sources automatically, even when a different one is playing (local files, Roon, Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal, etc.). It offers an analog/digital input for hooking up a TV or other device and it can learn IR codes for remote control. No Airplay or Chromecast (yet?) – but if needed a Chromecast Audio / Airport Express could be hooked up digitally.

In short: me like. A lot.

I like mine a lot. I have three as Roon endpoints. I think for the price point it’s hard to beat. However, for my primary listening room, I do not use Bluesound as I prefer a higher end DAC solution and support for DSD. I would also suggest wiring. Even with top of the line wireless routing gear, Bluesound has a tendency to drop out or exhibit other problems when wireless. I find this both when using Roon with it as well as just the native Bluesound control app. I have a large library which I think contributes to the problem (when using Bluesound’s native app). For my one wireless Bluesound endpoint, I use Roon to limit the maximum playback quality to Redbook which helps with the wireless issues.

I’m using a power node 2 and also love it. An added bonus to me is the BlueOs widget on the iphone/ipad which makes pause, play and volume control instant. Start a track in roon and immediately you see it in the widget and have control of that zone… bliss :clap:

Also I programmed the 5 preset buttons as my favorite radio stations… no more digging into roon to play them… again bliss :smile:

Why not use the Roon widget on the iphone/ipad? I haven’t noted it to be slower than BlueOS - maybe I need to go try it.

I only use the BlueOS widget for the alarm feature - something that Roon has yet to incorporate into their offering.

roon widget for iOS??

I mean the Roon app for iOS,

ahhh :smile: the widget is instant. WAY faster then opening the roon app, waiting for it to connect (again) and then changing the track or volume.

Hmmm… I’ll try it out this evening. Just empirically, I’ve not noted lag with the Roon app… but I will focus on it this evening. Thanks.

I like mine a lot. It replaced a Squeezebox Touch. I bought it with the idea that I’d run it through my Schiit Bifrost multibit. But when I went back and forth between the Schiit and the analog output of the Node, I really couldn’t tell the difference. So I just use the analog out.

I added the IR controls to my Logitech Harmony remote: it now sends play / pause / forward / back to the Node (also when playing Roon!) and controls volume / mute directly on the amp (like it always did). Commands work in the Harmony applet on iPhone as well (it’s a bit faster than Bluesound’s).

I’ve mapped 5 radio stations to presets too and mapped these to keys 1-5 on the remote. Music or news in the morning is now a two-click operation on a ‘regular’ remote. No applets, no apps – just two thumb-presses on hardware buttons. I’m savage. :smiley:

I’m also using a harmony remote (the basic one that came with the hub. IR control using the physical remote is indeed excellent as well…

I love that smart/dumb remote (even more so with the added Bluesound controls): just grab and press blindly. For basic controls, it does not get quicker or easier than this.

I had one and sold it just before it was surprisingly announced to become a Roon Ready endpoint. Really loved it. I tried many different things since but I could easily live with the Node 2. I had a NAD D 7050 even before that, so I was a fan of the affordable NAD hardware. They make some really high quality affordable stuff NAD & Bluesound.

Hey all, is it only for the analogue outputs of the Node 2 that MQA is decoded?

Does the Node 2 decode MQA for passing through to the digital outputs?

Yes, only analog.

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That’s not entirely true: in Bluesound settings you can choose if you want the digital outputs to output undecoded MQA (in case you have a DAC on the other end that does the MQA decoding) or partially decoded MQA (first unfold to 94/24) for non-MQA DACs.

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Thanks Rene. So it can already do the first unfold from Roon Tidal Master at 24/48, to 24/96 and then pass that 24/96 PCM through to a non-MQA DAC?

Right now, it doesn’t need Roon to do the first unfold?

Yes, but not from Roon at this time: Roon needs some nuts and bolts added for the Node to recognize MQA and do the unfolding. These will be added in time.

For now, I play my handful of MQA albums via the Bluesound app, but at the moment Tidal masters played from Roon are not decoded by the Node.

Hi Rene,

That’s helpful info. Have you tried outputting MQA on analog and partial unfolded MQA on digital? Would it be possible?

I have one node2 hooked up (analog) to my main system as well as to a NAD D3020 for my deck (digital), so I’m using both outputs simultaneously. Never actually tried MQA with them both playing at once…

Maybe I should do this myself when I get home,… but alas, on the road again!