Pre-Sale advice sought: Bluesound speakers and Roon Nucleus

Hi all –

I’m a total “newbie” to digital audio, so please excuse me if I’m missing something fundamentally simple. I have dutifully read (and re-read) the various Knowledge bases, but there are some specifics I’m not understanding. We’re in the middle of a gut renovation of our house and I wanted to plan the home network/entertainment topology.

My overall goal is to have the ability to stream playlists combining FLAC from ripped CDs with MQA content from Tidal to multiple zones in the house over wired Cat 6a ethernet.

I’m considering Bluesound speakers (Pulse 2i and/or Pulse Mini 2i) for Roon endpoints. I thought I’d use a Roon Nucleus (I don’t think I have the quantity of content to justify a Nucleus +) adding an SSD drive to the Nucleus to store my ripped FLAC files.

I visited an authorized Bluesound dealer close to work. The salesperson was familiar but, admittedly, hadn’t had any hands-on experience with Roon/Nucleus (not trying to slam audio salespeople :grinning:). He told me that in addition to the Bluesound speakers, I’d need a Node 2i at each zone.

My questions are:
• Is it correct that I’d need a Node 2i at each endpoint?
• There are some zones where I might add 2 Bluesound speakers for stereo mode, other zones where a single speaker is fine. Is the Node 2i necessary to run a pair of Bluesound speakers in stereo mode?
• End to end, can Roon software manage this? Will I have to become proficient in BlueOS as well?
• Any other suggestions you might have to make this topology simpler or more robust without breaking the bank?


Is the size, looks if the speakers that is driving that choice?

No, this is complete rubbish.



Note that if you’re going with Roon rather than BlueOS there’s a myriad of other potential options as alternatives to the Bluesound speakers. If you’re sticking Bluesound though, I would advise waiting until the current Bluesound sync bug is addressed (search the forum) - it has taken over a year but finally looks like it might happen.

It’s unbelievable a salesperson not understanding what I presume is a limited enough range that he sells. The Pulses are all Roon endpoints and all they need is power and Ethernet (or wireless).


Just to fill in a little info regarding the Node 2 or 2i:

If you had an existing, “traditional” stereo setup, either an integrated amplifier (or receiver, etc.) and speakers, you could add a Node 2i in the same way that you could add a CD player. You would control the volume with the amp, and you would select the music, playlists, etc. from the Bluesound app or from Roon.

If you had a set of powered speakers, you could also use the Node as a preamp, and control the volume from the Bluesound app or Roon.

As was said, the Bluesound speakers do not need a Node, they run by themselves and they too are controlled by the app or Roon.

I think the Nodes are a great value for the money, and if I did not already have Sonos speakers, I would go for the Bluesounds.

Roon makes it easy to control both :slightly_smiling_face:

Good luck!

Most of the points are well covered already, only things I’d add are:

  1. Roon copes fine with stereo pair (or even multichannel + sub) setups, they are configured in BluOS and then show up as a single unit in Roon.

  2. Have a good listen to the Pulse in the setting you plan to use it if possible. I’ve got a few bits of Bluesound kit (node 2, powernode 1, soundbar, sub, couple of flexes and a pulse) the Pulse is the only one I don’t rate. Very boomy sounding, totally unusable in my lounge for TV sound and barely passable for background music when I tried it in my old kitchen. It’s going on eBay soon. Every other bit I’ve been delighted with and found them to offer great value for money.

Have a Pulse in the bedroom and sounds ok!. Just do not use the EQ setting, Sounds better in my opinion.

Thanks, everyone, for the speedy replies!:sweat_smile:

As I mentioned, the gut renovation is currently under way. With its progress, I don’t anticipate being able to making the purchase until the summer. I’ll definitely keep an eye out on this forum regarding the sync issue. Hopefully, there will be a resolution before then.