Bluesound Powernode 2i & Sonos Amp

I watched John Darko’s excellent youtube video on the Powernode 2i last night. He doesn’t do a comparison but did mention in passing Sonos.

So I was wondering how the Powernode compares to the Sonos Amp as they seem like pretty similar products to me - compact streaming amps that you just connect up to a pair of passive speakers and are ready to go, and which enable a certain level of connectivity at a reasonable price point.

Any views or insights?

In Europe the Powernode is €200 more than the Sonos at €899 compared to €699.

For that €200 you get:

  • An additional analogue line in
  • Bluetooth & Airplay in
  • Bluetooth out
  • Headphone output
  • Slightly more advanced on device controls?
  • Anything else significant?

In terms of the actual amp Powernode claims ‘60 Watts x 2 into 8 ohms of HybridDigital™ power.’
whilst the Sonos claims ‘Class-D digital amplifier. 125 W/Ch at 8 ohms’.

Given JD was powering his kef LS50 speakers just fine with the Powernode I’m guessing the difference here isn’t really significant?

Design wise I don’t think there is a huge difference. Maybe I prefer the Sonos but I’m not actually that keen on black for stereo products so my preference would probably be the white Powernode.

So the Powernode seems like a great product in the segment and I have a nice pair of existing speakers it would go nicely with but of the additional features i’ve identified above none are really anything I’d want. i’d always be using Roon to stream not bluetooth or airplay, I wouldn’t use headphones in my home. Maybe having an additional line in would be nice but at the moment I’d just be streaming plus connecting a turntable so the one line-in the Sonos has covers me.

So does the extra €200 give me anything in terms of better sound (better dac? better sound reproduction from the amp) or maybe future proofing?

Thoughts/insights anyone?

Not quite the comparison that you’re looking for, but I just replaced a Sonos ConnectAmp with a Powernode 2i this month…

  • it sounds loads, loads better
  • it works properly with Roon (I had drop-outs on Sonos)
  • there’s a remote available
  • airplay works great
  • it plays MQA

I have it running with a convolution filter for room correction (as the system’s sitting on an antique french dresser) and it sounds quite, quite superb.

I haven’t heard the Amp though…

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Thanks for the reply - much appreciated.
This is the key really. Hopefully someone has experience of both the new Sonos Amp and Powernode but it seems likely the Bluesound will be significantly better.

I have not heard the Sonos Connect Amp, neither the Powernode 2i so I can’t say anything on amplification side, but I did have the 1st gen Sonos Connect (non amp version) and I have a couple of Node 2i’s.

The Bluesound node 2i 's (in my opinion) are in another league.

Sonos have some terrific software, but Bluesound app isn’t far behind and they both cater for a large selection of streaming services (including Amazon HD). Appreciate hi-res is not for everyone but it’s worth noting Sonos still haven’t implemented hi-res.

The Powernode 2i does appear to be best bang for buck when looking at a single box solution


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Thanks for the reply.

Would you say Bluesound is in another league because of features (like hi-res) or sound quality?

Sonos offers me everything I need in terms of features but an extra €200 for significantly improved sound seems well worth it to me.

Sound quality on the Node 2i is far superior to me, but I am basing this off a comparison with the Sonos Connect 1st gen. However, the added ability of Hi-res may be of value to you too.

However, it’s probably worth seeing if anyone has experienced the newer Sonos Connect amp, it may be very good?


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@zanimos I have the Powernode 2i, it’s a great piece of kit. As others have said the sound quality is superb and I agree. Didn’t like the bluesound app though so I always use the Roon app and it’s fantastic

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I have some other Sonos products which I’ve been happy with so I am keen to get some insight but great to hear so much positivity about the bluesound.

Thanks - appreciated.

Yeah I use Roon all the time so if the bluesound app isn’t great it doesn’t concern me at all.

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Apparently John has only head the old Sonos amp not the new one so likely he was referring to that. I have the new Sonos Amp and may be picking up a Powernode with HDMI today.

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I respect Sonos and believe they deliver great value for most people. But I have compared Sonos with competition on multiple occasions and Bluesound is for example always one step ahead when it comes to sound reproduction. (In my experience)

I have heard the new Sonos amp and the new Powernode 2i, but not head to head. Still would definitely go with Powernode 2i and I’m considering using that for music on my terrace.

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For web radio BluOs is far better the roon though. Having the ability to program your favorite stations to the preset buttons makes turning on radio is simple as a swipe from your phone/tablet.

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Would love to hear your insights when you get chance - if you don’t mind of course!

Yeah I’ve got a Sonos Play 5, a 3 and a 1. I’ve been really happy with them and the only thing I’d really say is that the 5 is no replacement for a stereo pair of speakers even in my small apartment.

Not a radio person personally but that’s a good bonus to have.

And even better, with the Bluesound devices, you can program presets using a real physical remote.

Much better for late night switching, and of course using the volume controls (and muting when answering a phone call), as compared to unlocking your phone, getting to the app, etc.

I just tried the Powernode 2i with HDMI and compared it with the new Sonos Amp. I couldn’t really hear a difference. Plus I was surprised to find you can’t use the Bluesound sub and speakers to create a 4.1 like you can with the AMP. Seems like a very missed opportunity by Bluesound.

What about two Sonos 5 in stereo?
Personally I found two HomePods sound better than two Play 5’s except there is no EQ on the HomePod and its bass heavy. Amusingly the HomePod is cheaper by a fair amount too.

Now that’s interesting!

Yeah buying two 5s (or an additional one anyway) just seems an expensive way of going about things and I have a decent pair of bookshelf speakers I’d like to utilise. HomePod is interesting. I have an old Apple speaker and that is really decent apart from being a bit bass heavy.