Node 2 + external DAC

recently bought a Node 2 for use in a second system, for use with Qobuz, as well as Roon. i like it enough that i’m considering investing further in the BluOS ecosystem. curious whether anyone uses theirs with an external DAC, and if so, whether it’s an MQA dac?

I use mine with a Musical Fidelity MX-DAC - it’s not an MQA DAC but when Roon does first unfold that won’t worry me too much (and I value the room correction a lot more than a second unfold).

Worth looking at Roon + Bluesound problems if you haven’t seen it and are thinking of investing further.


When I had the Node 2 I used it for a little while with a Schiit Bifrost multibit DAC. But I couldn’t tell much difference between the internal DAC of the Node and the Schiit, MQA or otherwise. I sold the Schiit.


Have the BlueSound Node 2 as well and it’s been great so far. Also been thinking of an eventual external DAC but have read mixed things … especially considering MQA even in its current limited availability state.

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mixed things, meaning its ability to pass MQA to a downstream dac?

I am using the Vault (1) but primarily use it with its analog outputs. The optical is connected to a Simaudio Moon Nëo 430 HAD. (As is the analog outputs)
I wouldn’t say that MQA makes a world of difference in my ears. I almost always tend to prefer the DAC in Moon (and consequently non-MQA) slightly.
That said i feel the increase in audio quality with an external dac is slight and more of a flavour-kind, rather than quality. The Bluesound audio signature is a bit laid back and easy on the ears to suit all kinds of recordings and music but i still feel it hasnt been dumbed down into obscurity. For what its worth my old Vault 1 is still the best sounding Bluesound product i have used! (Especially so being powered by a sBooster BOTW Eco Ultra)


that’s my impression as well, that the node is inherently a little soft, whether used by its analog or digital outputs.

MQA is not the measure of things … I prefer Upsampling to 176 and 192.
The internal DAC of the Node2 is really good.
But I use my external DAC from AVM Audio.
The AVM DAC plays more accurately and with more pressure.
I use the Audioquest Cinnamon Coax - a perfect cable with a good price (that’s all you need).

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The MX-DAC is really an excellent DAC.
I had it in use for almost 1 year daily, via USB with my former Auralic Aries.
But I like the Node2 much more.

Interesting, I haven’t come across many other folk who use it. Clearly this is a very subjective area - I preferred it to the Node 2 - I found vocals more lifelike and more of sense of ‘space’ around instruments, but this is a very personal preference (as is whether or not the perceived difference justifies the cost). When I bought it I knew a lot less than I do now - I would certainly do more comparisons with other DACs before taking the plunge in the future. That said, my more recent room correction by HAF had far more impact than the differences between the DACs, and I now have no urge to make any further changes to my system.

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@martin83 you prefer the node to the Aries?

@woodford the mixed things we’re about the benefit of an external DAC vs just the Node directly. I’m happy now and without budget to explore further for the time being.

@Jonathan_Greene Yes, I submit the Node2. It runs more stable and sounds better in my ears even as a pure streamer than the Aries

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Good to know! I was also considering the Aries Mini but I’m very happy with this. My only complaint if I can even call it that is that the headphone jack is a bit under-powered for my Sennheiser 6XX … Though that’s easily solved going into my Marantz

I use my Node 2 with the Simaudio Moon 240i’s DAC, which was quite a bit improvement over the internal DAC. I’m reading such vastly different opinions about MQA that I decided to ignore that as a requirement when I upgraded my amp/DAC. I have to believe that Moon will add MQA support if it really becomes a thing…

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Edit: Just ignore me. I’ve misread the capabilities of the 240i, it seems.

Interested in the Moon 240i myself. Can I ask why you use the Node 2 with it? Thought the 240i is a Roon compatible network streamer as well.

Hi there. The 240i doesn’t have a streamer built in. You’d have to get the Ace if you want a streamer built in (Moon MiND). But the MiND is not a Roon device, which is why I use the Node 2 instead.