Roon Ready Products and RAAT?

Hi Guys.

I’m considering to buy Bluesound’s Node 2i which is Roon Ready and also can handle full MQA decoding.

It has really nice functions. Airplay2, Homekit, MQA and Roon Certified. That’s really full package for my taste. Exactly what I needed, any one of them are not that I want to lose.

But I googled about this product and seems like the sound quality is not that good.

So I want to use it only for hub. And buy a DAC+amp which has nice SNR and blah blah.
But for now I have to buy a budget one… such as AV receiver.

Then I should connect Node’s optical or coax output to the receiver’s optical / coax input?

I’m wondering what happens about RAAT and MQA full decoding.
Digital signal goes to the AV receiver which maybe not including Roon Ready or Roon Tested also not MQA certified.

Does the Node do its job and send final digital stuff to receiver?
Or the AV receiver (DAC) should also have same functions?

And if the DAC also needs the MQA full decode and RAAT.
Anything to recommend for cheap one which would sounds better than Node 2i?

If this is the case and you have concerns–and I’m not making judgement here–using it as a hub won’t resolve this. An amplifier isn’t going to do wonders to a poor source.

Moreover, if you bypass the Bluesound’s DAC and use any one of three digital outputs you won’t benefit from the MQA renderer. You’d probably be better off using the analogue output.

Maybe consider alternatives including amplifiers with digital inputs that are Roon tested, e.g. Cambridge Audio CXA61 or CXA81.

Hi, if you want to benefit from MQA, you have to use the analogue outputs of the Node 2i. If you have concerns about sound quality that can be addressed.

It is up to you to decide if this is something you want to do as it does add significant expense and potentially voids warranty.

I doubt that the DAC in a budget receiver is going to sound any better (and maybe worse) than the Node 2i. I have three of them in rooms around the house and while they are not reference quality, they are certainly good enough for most occasions. The rest of the equipment in your chain also matters. It makes no sense to put a really good DAC in front of a cheap amp and speakers. If you don’t have a highly resolving set of speakers, amp, etc, you may think the Node 2i is fine. Probably best to get one and try it out. You can always bypass the DAC and upgrade later.

As has been stated, to take advantage of the Node 2i MQA DAC, once it converts the digital signal to analog using the Nodi 2i DAC, you must use analog out to any subsequent device and analog in on said device. Otherwise, if you use digital out from the Nodi 2i, you will bypass it’s MQA DAC and use the DAC included in the subsequent device.