I kind of agree, but not entirely. I got a Node 2i after failed experiments with other entities.
On the positives, I never had a problem with other zones. I am on the Apple ecosystem and the Node works flawlessly within Roon, and on its own. It is a fantastic streaming option, implemented much better than USBridge or SoTM.
On the negative, the onboard DAC is poor. I decided to bypass to a NuPrime DAC 9. The result is fantastic! In principle, the MQA rendition is not optimal, but it sounds great to my ears.
Bottom line: the Node with a good external DAC is a terrific alternative to other streaming modalities – unless you really swallow the MQA koolaid.
The one thing the Bluesound is not noted for is a poor DAC. I find the one in my 2 pretty good and on par with the DAC i had previously Arcam irDAC ii. I guess everyone has their own version of what is a good DAC though.
That is a very nice dac you have I bet the Node 2i sounded great that way. Out of curiosity, do you use Roon to sync the Node 2i with other Roon endpoints? It would not sync in my case due to the well known RAAT issue but hopefully it will be fixed in the future.
I really wanted the Node 2i to work in my system but sadly I could not fix the issues I encountered. I believe that these will be eventually fixed and I plan on revisiting Bluesound after a while.
I have had no problems syncing the Node 2i with other Roon endpoints. Thus far, it has been quite flawless.
Also, on my comment on the internal DAC, it is not bad – just not as good as most others. The addition of a good external DAC is, to my ears at least, night and day.
Just want to report You that I have purchased Node 2i some 10 days ago and am very disapointed with sound. It is thin and metalic, lacking presence, no finesse, agressive, etc. I am using it’s digital output straight into Meridian 218 controller and further down to DSP5200. Disengaged tone controls and external MQA dac enabled.
I tried to burning it in, playing music and burn in tracks continously. Now after 10 days there is a little improvement. Sonos Connect eats it, not to mention Roon and old Sooloos system.
I will try to talk with their tech support if they can help it. If not, I am returning it back.
You can play Roon direct to the 218 without issues…
Of course, I know that and I am doing it, however I wanted to have Hi Res streamer which can give more choices of streaming services, not just Tidal, and it seems I am failing tremendeously. I really tried in past 10 days every possible tweak to make its sound bearable but I failed.
I see, I just use Tidal and can find everything I want. It shows just how good the 218 is. Perhaps Roon will have more options soon.
Let us hope so, future is in streaming after all…
So, why is the What Hi-Fi? review so positive? What are they hearing that you’re not?
The richness across the frequencies is retained, but the soundstage appears further opened and with even more granular detail fed in. … most striking is the improvement in this streamer’s organisation, timing and dynamic expression. … It is in the subtleties of a composition that the Node 2i really thrives, showing its ability to pick out the varying intensities of a fingerpicked guitar, arpeggiated piano line or call-and-answer arrangement that may provide rhythm as much as hold a melody. … There is greater life to the performance as well; the Node 2i shows not only an increased level of expression but also enthusiasm.
I mean, this is a rave!
Well, I am listening through digital coaxial only, they are
Iistening through internal dac and analogue out. I didn’t tried that.
I also red that review before buying Node 2i and also the one from Darko and I am very disappointed…
Maybe I have faulty unit, or simply they didn’t bothered too much with digital outputs. I will still try with their tech support, more burn in time, then I’ll let everyone know…
One more thing, I was trying to change different settings in audio settings of Node 2i and interesting thing is that volume level drops for a good ca 6dB when You engage tone settings and still kept bass and treble levels at zero. Once You disengage them, volume level jumps back…
As I understand it that’s to give the necessary headroom for the correction - I think there’s an faq on theur sute about it.
Yes that is how it works.
Overall though you just might not like the native signature of Bluesound in your system. It’s not for everyone and I think is very system dependant. I noticed it was overall a lot flatter and less emphasis on high frequencies comparison to the Allo USBridge I had. But I know prefer it, it sounds more natural to me and I just played around with my speakers abit to adjust for the new sound signature. Their are a few on here that have tried and not liked it so your not unique, I wouldn’t worry about it. If it’s not for you send it back.
No, I never mentioned Node 2i dac is poor. I am trying to use exclusively its digital coaxial output.
Sorry got you confused with someone else. Apologies edited my post accordingly.
No problem, I wasn’t very much structured anyway
I upgraded from Node 2 to 2i and find it better sounding. To me it sounds more refined and rich. A bit more analogue I suppose.
In my humble opinion Node 2i has great array of features and pleasant sound for the price. Looking forward to get AirPlay 2
HI everybody, I have update to share, actually from few days back, now I am travelling… before I left I could hear that sound of Node 2i improved significantly. It become more detailed, rich, without irritating highs. It seems it needs more than 10 days of constant play to runs in… I’ll give update next weekend when return home…