Bluesound Node Streaming DAC $599 Review
December 23, 2021 § Leave a comment
I started out my listening session with the Node by streaming “Lambent Rag” (24-bit/44.1kHz FLAC, Tidal) by electronic musician/producer Clark. The piano here had a full quality, while the song’s percussive elements (presumably the close-miked string hammers in the instrument’s interior) had a dynamic, driving sound. At the track’s climax, the whole thing starts to sound like a Philip Glass composition tossed into a blender, and its presentation with the Node handling decoding duties was impressively wide and enveloping.
Having recently compared the Atmos mix of Steven Wilson’s track “King Ghost” from his album The Future Bites (24/96 FLAC, Qobuz) with the plain-vanilla stereo version, I was impressed by how spacious the stereo track sounded in my home theater. Listened to now on my music-only system with the Node plugged in, I heard clear delineation between the various vocal strains, including Wilson’s near-spoken-word delivery, a soaring falsetto during the chorus, and sampled dialogue. Synthesizers also had a rich, pulsing quality, and the dense, tall, IMAX-like sonic presentation I heard in my theater was retained.