Bluesound Node 2 vs Denon Heos Link HS2

Hi all, I am going to purchase one of the above to stream Tidal Hi Fi and music on my PC wirelessly to my Denon X2300W AVR.

In terms of sound quality, both have received very good reviews, both supporting Hi Res files.

I know that the Node 2 supports Tidal Masters MQA. Does anyone know if the Denon would stream from Tidal in Hi Res (obviously not the full MQA quality), or does it default to just lossless CD quality?

Does MQA make that great a difference over “normal” Hi Res or indeed FLAC lossless CD quality?

The Denon in the UK is £200 cheaper than the Node 2.

Thoughts/recommendations would be most appreciated. Many thanks.

I didn’t think the Heos was a Roon endpoint.

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I have the Node 2 and in terms of sound quality, to my ears, is a disgrace.

Tidal doesn’t stream anything in hi res. They stream standard sound quality or CD sound quality (16/44.1) or MQA (which in my opinion is not Hi Res since is lossy, but ignore that). According with the specifications, the Heos looks like is not a Roon ready device (corect me if I’m wrong), so unless there is an application out there that can do the first MQA unfold and send whatever to the Heos, you’ll only get cd quality from Tidal.

For each opinion in one way you’ll find two in the other way. You’ll have to decide for your self, but since i’m here, in my experience MQA only brings more expenses to the equation and absolutely nothing new or improved to the sound compared with Hi Res (24/xx) version of the same material. As for the cd quality, I personally prefer the CD version vs the MQA version. But again you’ll also find opposite experiences.

Now, the smart thing to do is to buy both, see what each of them is about and keep the one that has more value to you. The only thing you need for that is your ears.

The main issue with Heos it may be the fact that is not an ROON end point (I asume that you are using ROON since you asked the question here). If that’s the case, probably the best solution is Node 2.

Either way, for the Node 2 I recommend you to try both his analog outputs and the digital (coaxial) one (connected to the X2300W) and see (hear :grinning:) which one sounds better.

And as a golden rule, assuming that you’ll consider my opinions (and others if any) you should only see them as a starting point for your in deep research and personal experience. There is nothing out there to compete with your ears in deciding what’s good for your musical happiness. It is also important to enjoy the ride, in the end you may find more satisfactions on the road that at the destinations. :grinning:

Think you’re correct. Looks like it might be the Bluesound.

Thanks for your observations, plenty of food for thought there, especially re SQ of the node 2! Will re-assess. Much appreciated.

Daniel, can you please ban yourself? I’ve used 500 words trying to give the guy a wider picture and you made his mind in one sentence. Not fair man! :joy:

You mean like Roon? :smiley:

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No, I think you gave a more thorough response. I was actually going to do the same point to point but I was on a phone and typing detailed responses like yours while mobile … is… painful. LOL.

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I have the Node 2 and I think the sound quality exceeds its price point.


Now I’m more confused Daniel! Please forgive my ignorance, but I’m new to this.
Are you saying that I could use the Heos and get a first unfold via Roon, sending say 24/96 to the Heos, or because it is not a Roon endpoint it will not work?
I was told a couple of weeks ago that Roon cannot stream wirelessly direct to my Denon AVR. How I get round this at the moment is having my laptop connected via HDMI to the Denon. I can then access Tidal Masters either directly from the PC or via Roon on my iPad. However, with the latter method, I find it drops connection periodically. It’s also a bit of a nuisance having to have this HDMI connection each time I want to listen to music.
I have my Denon connected to my router via Ethernet cable.
Obviously, being able to control everything via my iPad or phone however is a much better experience.
Apart from the two previous streamers mentioned, I have also considered the Arcam rPlay, which supposedly offers even better sound quality, and similar connections. All three offer Tidal as an app, which is why I’m interested. Thanks.

Thanks Paul, now I’m even more confused!!

It really is a matter of personal opinions regarding ‘sound quality)’, which you always have to be careful of (other than your own). Not everyone hates MQA either :grinning:

Sorry, didn’t mean to confuse.

  1. Roon can do the first MQA unfold and send that to any DAC that is either a Roon Endpoint or is connected to a RoonEndpoint.

  2. The Heos is not a Roon endpoint so you cannot send directly to the Heos over the network.

  3. You could however put a Roon endpoint between the network and the Heos so the chain would be
    Roonserver > Network(Ethernet) > RoonEndpoint > Heos > Denon AVR. But at that point why have the Heos?

You could just get a device that functions as a RoonEndpoint and connect that to your Denon AVR. There are a several options, but the easiest would probably be a Chromecast Audio and use a toslink spdif into the Denon.

Good advice cheers.

Thanks Daniel, will consider your advice, appreciated.

Daniel, I found an old Chromecast (version one) about the house and tried your suggestion. The only connections on this model are USB for power and HDMI on the Chromecast itself.
I connected both USB and HDMI to the Denon, connected to my router and it updated itself to the latest firmware.
Then I tried Roon, and it connected and works!
What I have noticed though, is when playing Tidal Masters, the play light is showing green (Hi-Fi) and not white, (best quality). When I was previously connected with the pc directly to the Denon via HDMI, I was getting the white light, indicating Hi Res.
Do you know if the Chromecast is capable of this, and if so, what settings I should alter? Thanks.

If you click on the Green light is should bring up the Signal Path and that will let you know which step is causing the Green result. If you post the screen shot that would help.

That being said, I think the original Chromecast was limited to 24/48. If you open up the device settings, under the advanced section (open by clicking the link on the bottom) what does it say is the MAX Resolution (should be the 1st drop-down in that section)?

Here is the screen shot you asked for, together with two others. When I open device settings…advanced…I can’t see anythi

ng resembling Max Resolution? Still sounds good though! image


So the green light is because the volume is set down from 100. Turn it up to 100 (in Roon) and see if it goes away.