Seriously ... How to use my Node 2i?

Hi my fellow friends,

I just came back from my local hifi dealer - bought a Node2i to get rid off MacBook Pro APTX streaming.

I was recommended the NODE2i - and upon asking if it does work with ROON, the answer was YES … Now how can I really use ROON? Even upon disconnect my old MacBookPro, I can’t find anything how to use ROON as kind of a remote to the NODE2i (which again is using QUOBUZ).

THANKS! Jürgen

The Node 2i is a Roon Ready device, but you’ll still need a Roon core for it to work. Was Roon running on the MacBook or are you using a Nucleus, NUC or other device to manage your music library?

Thanks for the fast reply, first of all! Yes, Roon was running on the MacBook - but I don’t want the MBP up and running all the time.

Furthermore, I used APTX only from MBP to amplifier, but my stereo & speakers should be better than this Bluetooth source … while, on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to span a cable across the room into the amplifier.

Talking about a Roon core, I suppose I wouldn’t have any other than the MBP - I expected the Roon application to connect to some sort of (Web)Services of the Node2i and then “remotely control” the Node2i hardware :roll_eyes:

Take a look at How Roon Works as this will explain things for you.

Your MacBook is The Core and needs to be running when you’re listening to music. It may also be used for Controlling Roon although you could use an iPad for that purpose too.

The Bluesound Node 2i is an Audio output and this needs to be connected to your home network just like your MacBook. To use the Node do the following:

  1. Make sure your Bluesound Node 2i is up to date.
  2. Enable your Bluesound Node 2i in Roon’s settings, i.e. Settings > Audio.
  3. Make sure the analogue outputs from the Node are connected to your amp and the correct source is selected.

Ideally, you should make use of wired networks with Roon, but let’s get you working before discussing the options.

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OK - got it. Unfortunately really is not what I was looking for with “Roon ready” :frowning: … what’s the point of streaming with a Node2i (or alike), using Roon to control and search Qobuz e.g. for “similar” music — if I always need the MBP turned on, not even the “always on iPhone” being able to serve as a core.

Roon has such a good interface, worth some money in addition to the hardware and streaming services — I really hope for some future “being able to configure a Node2i as the core” release :slight_smile:

Thanks again for your great and fast help!

Best wishes to you, Juergen

I think your dealer may have mislead you somewhat and you’d do better with a Nucleus (although this has 3x price tag of the Node.) That said, they are not comparable products.

What amplifier do you have? Does this have digital inputs?

Fair enough, he wasn’t aware of Node2i and Roon working together at all (despite this, I think he’s really good in his job). Roon was coming up at the end of my questions - and when he looked up, the homepage was telling “Roon ready” and we/ he should have gone into more analysis what this means…

My amp is a Rotel-1572 feeding the Quadral Vulkan Aurum VIIIr speakers. I truly love those (just got them in Dec-2019) but the MBP Bluetooth was too much of workaround and I believed the APTX Bluetooth didn’t match the hardware setup.

I connected to the Node2i with optical and couldn’t get away for hours now, listening. Will need to sort out some details, e.g. why the amp mostly always shoes “44.1k” even when playing hi-res. For now, I’ve just been enjoying today :slight_smile:

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To be honest, you didn’t need the Node 2i since your amplifier has an onboard DAC. You could achieve the same with a streamer, e.g. Metrum Acoustics [Baby] Ambre, Allo USBridge, DigiOne etc., or simply connect the Rotel directly to a Nucleus or NUC running ROCK.

Good to be honest, I like that.

You gave me some options to look into, as I was really looking for a streaming device compatible with Qobuz. It should have been user friendly (search & filter, categories, filter also out singles/ EPs from search results - and happily give personalised recommendations ) … still and again also Roon stays on the list to be compatible. Hence, I’ll need a streamer with a core. I liked the price of the Node2i for a reasonable start … will search over the weekend for something else.

The BluSound app gets better when using it, but still is comparable to Qobuz “native apps” - and worlds apart from Roon.

Thank you so much!

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https://roonlabs.com/

You really need to read all this information and learn what Roon is and what it can and cannot do.

If all you want is Qobuz then just use The Bluesounds native software BlueOS and it’s app it’s pretty good and you won’t need anything else. Roon is a server and client based system so always requires the core server part to be running on a pc or Nas type device.

Thanks also to @Jim_F and @CrystalGipsy … I understood the basic facts where Roon is coming from (requiring this physical core).

However, as a user, I may also have expectations at least on the future - which is Roon being able to scope with a virtual core. I wouldn’t use multi-room functionality, but the UI of Roon is far better than any BluOS, Qobuz or Tidal UI - that’s where Roon kicks in for myself, personally.

To me, Roon might be understood as a (highly welcome, positive) parasite, hooking onto my virtual music libraries, taking control as a brain. No need to store thousands CD’s physically on a core hard drive. Just like the alien parasite in a movie enhancing the capabilities of his host. Again: a highly positive, welcome parasite … but the “core” functionality to some is streaming.

If I imagine the BluIOS software improving, there wouldn’t be any need for me to pay additionally for Roon. I suppose I am not the only one, hence Roon might loose quite a number of users over time.

Just a few examples on BluOS (Max OS X) app failing: Handling a play list, when about two dozen entries were given, it doesn’t display correct title names at the end anymore - nor proper re-sorting or deleting them. Issues on Search appear endless: Poor results columns, no further filtering on whatever (genre, title, HiRes, …) … and of course, Roon has a neat recommendations algorithm, which will be the most difficult one to be replaced by another vendor. And then in BluOS (app), searching for something, almost any click immediately means to play the entry, disturbing the current play.

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So, what is your question? Do you need help using Roon as it exist today?

Have you thought of building your own ROCK (Roon Optimised Core Kit) to act as your Roon core. This should connect to your Node 2i, meaning that you would not need your Mac

I am not a technical person just a keen Roon user, so if anyone reading this believes I am wrong please do say

As I say I am not a technical person but I did build my own ROCK thanks to the excellent guidance notes provided by Roon

The improvement in music quality is immense. You could make your own ROCK (cost me £330), buy a ready made one (somewhat dearer) or a Roon Nucleus (£1500)

Well, the post helped me to understand Roon really is not online/streaming/cloud - you name it - ready and existing today. Hope they’ll change it in the future, if not hardware is their main margin maker (like for IBM :slight_smile:)

Haven’t searched for many details yet - my first hope was to use the USB of the Node2i and just connect an external hard drive (although I haven’t intended usage for storing music, only caching).

Now I wonder if the bigger BluSound deviced with integrated hard-drive would act as a core - will look it up.

You refer to improvement in music quality … do you mean buffering internet/streaming connection losses? I am using streaming from CD to HiRes quality, so I didn’t understand (sorry).

Hi Juergen

Music quality I mean clarity and sharpness of sound that I had not heard before

I stream and play my own files, both have a greater clarity and "punch ’

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I have the Roon core software on a Roon Nucleus connected to my router using ethernet. I have a Roon ready Oppo 203 end-point connected to my router using ethernet. The Oppo is connected to a Bose system using HDMI and Sennheiser headphones using RCA. I stream MQA and high resolution from Tidal and Qobuz. I also have a Meridian Prime headphone amp and Meridian Prime power supply feeding Mr Speakers AEON headphones. Roon and my systems work perfectly and sound great. I couldn’t ask for more. I bought a lifetime subscription to Roon.

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No it won’t run Roon core. It runs Bluesounds on server software and will act as an endpoint only.

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Juergen,

I am in sync with your suggestion for future of Roon. I run Roon core on a MAC Mini, and I like the Roon interface / DSP capability / Upsampling, etc - and also have Bluesound 2i which I use as a Roon end point at times. My MAC mini is also directly to my Hegel H390 by USB, and I can bypass the Bluesound 2i (which I use for my 2nd setup as well).

I would love it if I could run Core on the cloud - perhaps on a virtual machine on AWS / Azure. Anyone from Roon can comment if I can run the Roon core in the cloud on an AWS virtual machine ? Has anyone tried it ? Let me know as I have access to a cloud based virtual machine. Cheers