Bluesound Node 2i Wireless Multi-Room High-Res Music Streamer $549 Review

October 8, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“As I was nearing the end of the review period, a TAS colleague asked me if I could recommend a music server for a friend of his who wanted to dip his toes into the waters of streaming. The friend didn’t want anything fancy or complicated, nor did he want to spend a lot of money, but he did want something good and representative of both the quality and quantity of music available through streaming sources. Without hesitation I recommended the Node 2i. Truth in reporting requires me to point out that I’ve by no means even begun to audition everything that’s out there in sub-grand streamer/DACs. However, I have used the Node 2i daily for nearly half a year in superior sound systems where I was able to compare it directly to similar components costing over ten times its $549 asking price. So I am pretty confident saying you would be hard-pressed to find a package that dovetails convenience, selection of music, trouble-free streaming, build-quality, flexibility, and true high-end performance as impressively as the Node 2i. Add to this the fact that its provenance is NAD, a manufacturer with over four decades of making value-driven components that are synonymous with reliability and longevity. If all that isn’t persuasive enough, it costs less than most high-end cable manufacturers’ so-called “affordable” interconnects, and if you purchase it through the Bluesound website, you get thirty days to return it if you don’t like it. Meanwhile, if the streaming bug really bites you, the music server part of the 2i can be used in the clear with a more upscale DAC should you desire to go that route. (I used it into a Benchmark DAC3 and the DACs built into a McIntosh C52 preamplifier and a Marantz SA-KI Ruby SA-CD player, all with great results.)”

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