The Roon Ready Promise & the Case of the Bluesound 2i

@Kirk_Thomas, in my own experience, hard wiring greatly reduces the frequency and severity of the reported issues, but does not entirely eliminate them. I’ve hard wired where it’s possible and am considering an EOP solution where it is not. Nonetheless, I selected Bluesound 2i because of the combination of endpoint capabilities + Wifi.

@Henry_McLeod,

Watching the market, I would imagine that for some time the HW manufactures are more in need of being Roon Ready that Roon is of having more HW partners sign up. Therefore Roon has plenty of leverage to enforce compliance with their standards related to the Roon Ready program, including on-going certifications, SDK updates, etc. Roon needs to protect the integrity of their brand and their certification program - otherwise, it isn’t worth much.

Thank you @Mc_Ef, you are correct in that the problems are far more acute when using Bluesound 2i as a wireless endpoint. It’s also true, that minus these issues, the Bluesound units have a lot going for them. Were I to be making a recommendation, I would say to a new buyer if they are considering wireless connection: STAY AWAY. If they are planning 100% wired, then your suggestion of trying with a retailer that has a liberal 30-day return policy is quite reasonable. With the added caveat that Bluesound and Roon have not demonstrated a propensity to address issues in a timely fashion.

John, I agree with your initial premise that Roon must respect and protect its “promise” of Roon-ready. In my case I made my significant (for me) investment in Bluesound’s 2i based on that promise, and I suspect others have and will continue to do so into the future. Integrity matters.

I’m sorry to read that Bluesound and Roon have not demonstrated a timely willingness to own the issues that have been uncovered here and as I suspect someone in both organizations takes the time to read these threads (in best practice organizations this undoubtedly occurs) I would hope that well reasoned complaints and dialogue such as you have motivated here will find a more responsible action taken in the future. For “buyers” into both these businesses (like myself) this was my expectation when I bought into both and I’m sure any future like customers will be expecting the same.

Thank you for your post (and add-on responses) John. It definitely has sparked a great deal of very useful and meaningful dialogue on the subject of Roon’s end point certification and promise, and those manufacturers agreeing to participate in that Roon promise as well.

It isn’t just Bluesound though is it. There are at least two big name UK manufacturers who seem to regularly pop up in the Support forum with issues around starting playback at maximum volume and just stopping playing. These manufacturers sell five figure kit that is ‘Roon Ready’.
I have had my own run in with a Bluesound/NAD amplifier and won’t be touching either manufacturer with the proverbial barge pole ever again as a result. It is sad to hear that Bluesound are still having issues nearly 2 years later.

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I’ve updated my findings in a new thread…

You can read it here

If you already own a Bluesound product and you need to run it wirelessly and can’t, then have a look at my solution. I had to buy WiFi extenders and connect directly to each speaker via an ethernet cable - you may have an old wireless router lying around which can run in bridge mode…

John, I just wanted to chime in to say my experience is the same as yours.
From what I found: In wireless mode, a single Bluesound device (Flex 2i OR Bluesound 2i) works with Roon provided the signal strength is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Even then, the playback delay problems do occur after successive track skipping. Adding a second Bluesound device in wireless mode… forget it.
These problems only affect Roon + Bluesound. Spotify, multiroom airplay, etc. all work fine with Bluesound in my experience, even when on WiFi only.
As for the Bluesound support… best to be avoided as it will drive you crazy.

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Now Roon doesn’t recognize my Bluesound soundbar anymore. I guess that fixes that problem.

There are now several topics covering Bluesound and their ongoing issues, and given my past experience I’m unsurprised at the lack of response from them, but I am a little mystified at Roon’s silence. I can’t think of another product with better transparency with their customers, so it seems quite out of character for them.

I understand that they don’t want to appear to other manufacturers (as well as current partners) as being a difficult company to deal with, or one which shifts blame to the partner, but I’m surprised nonetheless. It’s typical of me that I would own the one product that has stumped even their boffins :joy:

Anyway I hope there is either a solution or that Bluesound is quietly dropped as a partner

Does anyone know if NAD suffers similar issues? I have a D3045 and it’s been flawless, but obviously that’s unencumbered by a wireless connection.

We run at our place a total of 6 Bluesound/NAD models, 4 of which are connected via Wifi, one of which is an older model. They work just fine.

That would be quite a disservice to all the people who are using the two successfully, don’t you think?

Fair enough, completely agree and that was actually selfish of me, but maybe have warnings for WiFi issues, or label it as an ethernet-only Roon Ready device. Or my personal preference would be just to fix it so that it works flawlessly. I’m forgiving of WiFi and prefer to avoid it due to the obvious issues, but if I’m connecting at -47dBm then I would suggest that the issue really might lie with the WiFi execution rather than signal strength.

There just needs to be some acknowledgement that, while many are running it well, there are a significant minority who are having problems on wireless and my main frustration is that it’s being ignored or, worse still, the blame is being turned on the user when some of us have clearly demonstrated that the issue lies elsewhere.

When it works, I think it’s a decent product (seems to have no problems at all via the BluOS app) but I bought it for the Roon capability and at least a small “sorry” or something would go some way to easing the frustration. Instead it’s silence or blame. I’m sure you can understand the frustration there

Do you run the Node 2i wireless?

Full Disclosure: As I have declared before in this forum, I am a both a BlueSound and NAD dealer. I’m not trying to sell the products here, just trying to be helpful.

I have not tried to run a Node 2i via WiFi. As I posted on another thread (wish there were not all split up!), we are currently running:
BlueSound Flex (original) - WiFi
Bluesound Flex 2i - WiFi
BlueSound Pulse Mini 2i - Wifi
NAD M10 (currently Uncertified) - WiFi
NAD 368 w/ BluOS v1 card - wired
NAD 658 (currently Uncertified) - wired

Yes, we encountered the dreaded sync problem in the past. However, that issue has been rectified by BlueSound/NAD, and all the the above currently work just great. Even with our Nucleus doing extra DSP gymnastics such as MQA decoding, Upsampling and EQ.

Thanks for such a comprehensive reply. I think a big part of the issue here is the popularity of the Node 2i as a Roon device. It is worth reminding ourselves that the majority of BlueOS devices work fine, and there are work arounds for the 2i in Roon. Hopefully Bluesound will get around to addressing this soon, then this can go away!

I just ordered my second Pulse Flex. I hope this wasn’t a mistake. I was also planning to order the sound bar. Definitely going to wait on that now.

I had some problems with my current Flex stuttering and stopping when I took it out on my deck. I added another WAP (Ubiquiti) and all is fine now… Except…

After a short while of running on battery, the buttons stop working.

Unfortunately, what other RAAT wireless speaker options do we have?

Edward, I had problems with the Soundbar (2i) but I managed to resolve them by using a power line adapter (TP link TL-PA4010).

I was using a single Flex 2i without issue but as soon as I added the Soundbar 2i it all became super problematic over WiFi. The bluesond diagnostics were showing excellent and good signal reception respectively but still… unusable. the power line adapter (for the soundbar only) solved the problems. It is quite small and discreet as well.

I am not sure if this is an option for you but worth considering if the wifi proves problematic.

Unfortunately there are no other RAAT wireless speakers I can think of.

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Thanks a lot @Yiannis_Kouropalatis. This is helpful info. Were your problems when playing to the Soundbar and Flex at the same time, or when playing to the Soundbar only?

Did you use powerline adapter for BOTH the Flex and the Soundbar, or just the Soundbar?

Hi Edward,

I only use the power line adapter for the Soundbar 2i. The Flex 2i is operating via WiFi without issues for me.

Keep in mind that some people do not encounter problems with Bluesound (see other posts above in this thread), even with WiFi only. Others like me suffer a lot when using Bluesond with Roon. I found that adding a second Bluesound device on WiFi (no matter which Bluesound it is), causes playback delays, freezes if you skip tracks and occasionally disappearing players from the network. I have documented these problems in various posts so have a look at my activity to find out more if you are interested.

In any case, with my current setup (Flex 2i and Soundbar 2i), all works fine after wiring the Soundbar via the power line adapter.

All the best

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Here is a data point. I have two BlueSound Node 2’s and a Vault 2. They worked intermittently over WiFi with Roon but in April, they quit completely. The Vault 2 however is not WiFi, it is connected by a LAN cable and Roon cannot find it. It isn’t just WiFi that is a problem.