BluOS or Roon's?

Color me confused. I have a Lifetime Subscription to Roon, and truly love its radio feature that kicks in at the end of playlists, etc.

But I’m drawn to buy a Bluesound Node 2i. (I want to be able to unify playbacks for my Qobuz account, my wife’s Amazon HD account, a Deezer account…and I can’t do that just on Roon.)

  1. Would I be controlling the playback through Bluesound’s OS on my phone, or on Roon’s? How does this work out in the Real World, folks?

  2. I’ve read of people who’ve “given up” using Roon to use Blu’s OS instead; others who’ve found ways to continue to use Roon’s “with my Node.” How/what/why? What did you choose (for those of you who have this configuration), and why?

  3. Is there any other unit under $1,000 that I should be looking at which would allow me to easily stream, and control on both Android and Apple phones, playback of all these things? (Please don’t tell me to go build my own and save money; I CAN’T. Truly can’t. I’ve been playing back through my Dell computer and want to graduate from that.)

Any praise/condemnation of your Bluesound Node 2i is welcome, too.

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If you are using features of Blu OS then you would be using the Bluesound app to control those features, like Amazon and Deezer. With Roon, a Bluesound is only an audio endpoint.

Meaning…you SWITCH controllers, depending upon whether you want a “pure” ROON experience (with the radio kicking in after your playlist) or just stream Qobuz, etc. directly to the Bluesound.
Has anyone noticed degradation/improvement of sound quality from NOT using Roon? Have a small Topping D10 DAC…

Yes. I do this, frequently. I listen to Primephonic (using Airplay 2) and Spotify (using Spotify Connect), as well as Roon. I simply stop listening to one source and then start another. In that regard, the Bluesound Node 2i is well designed and implemented.

The bad news with the Node 2i - mine (and many others on this forum) won’t reliably stay connected to my wireless network. And that’s not just with Roon, but also with Spotify connect. For some reason, I don’t have issues with Airplay 2.

Finally, I (and others) am experiencing a brief truncation at the start of playback when using Roon.

I solved the first problem with a wireless bridge, like one of these:

There are smaller/cheaper equivalents.

I am hoping Roon and Bluesound address the second issue.

Good hunting in your search for the right streamer!

Assuming this was a question, the answer is yes. Correct

I’ll throw in my two bits. I used to have a Bluesound Node 2 and used it primarily to stream MQA files, as its DAC (and, as well, the 2i) was MQA capable (my other DAC is in my Devialet Expert 220 Pro and it is not MQA capable). I found the BluOS interface good and, at least for the Node 2, bug free. In order to simplify, I finally gave up the Node 2 for one primary reason: aside from its complete unfolding of MQA files, where Roon only gives the first unfold, Roon simply sounded better and was more intuitive, at least for me. So, it you find value in both systems, you could use both, as I did at one time.

I also have the Bluesound node 2i and use it both ways. Most often I use Roon, I like its interface, the sound quality is better to my ears. I will switch to BlueOS when I want to airplay or use Spotify.

Thank you, Michael. Could you clarify, though? Roon “sounding better”; do you mean playing Roon THROUGH some other system/streamer sounds better than playing it through the BlueSound 2? Or do you mean playing Roon through the BlueSound sounds better than separately streaming Qobuz, Deezer, Amazon HD, etc THROUGH the BlueSound and the Blue Sound OS??

Thank you, Irfan; are you saying that – all streamed through the same BlueSound Node 2i – the Roon streaming (controlled through the Roon app) sounds better than Spotify, other services, streamed through the same equipment? Just trying to sort it out…

Thank you, Kenneth. Could you clarify; is the problem coming from the fact
that you don’t have the BlueSound connected via ethernet to its source, but
are connecting it wirelessly? Or are you saying that once it is connected
with a wired connection the wireless-attempts to send sound TO IT (i.e.,
like Chromecast?) don’t work reliably. Just trying to sort it all
through…

Also: are you happy with the sound quality?

Best,
Jerry

To my ears streaming from Roon to the Node 2i does sound better than Spotify streaming to the Node 2i. Now that being said the Spotify does sound really good. Some of this is probably source file differences.
The higher res files on my Roon will obviously be a better source.
I have not tried to play a network file through BlueOS to the Node. Roon just makes this so convenient. Plus I like all the tagging and links that come with Roon.

Are the hi-res files on your Roon from a USB library or something? Or a streaming service? I have Qobuz…

My previous setup had my Bluesound Node 2 connected directly to my Devialet. I always found Roon sounded better.

No. With a wired connection, the Node 2i stays connected and everything works fine (except for the Roon truncation issue, which is a different problem). With wireless, not so much.

The analog out sounds okay and I enjoy the MQA output from Roon.

I recommend reading these two links before purchasing a Node 2i, if you are interested in sound quality measurements:

Initial Review (1st post):

Follow-up with digital coax output into another DAC:

I use a couple of Node 2i in my house for Roon and still use Bluesound’s app for them at times too although its really redundant. I use the Nodes as a means of getting Todal/Quboz into either a pre-amp then into an amp or in another location one of the nodes feeds into a small power amp directly and I use the bluesound or roon app to control the volume of the unit. In both cases I’m using the RCA outputs of the Nodes. Both sound fine; neither system is my main high end systems (I use Roon into PS Audio Directstream Junior via the bridge, then the bridge balanced output into a Pass XP 10 Pre-amp, then the pre- amp into the Pass x250.8 power amp - all via balanced connections).

The nodes work flawlessly and sound great even when being listened to in all but the most critical situations. If need be, you can take the digital output of the node and use your own high end DAC to convert the signal and the result is great.