Bluesound Node 2

I'm a complete newbie in the digital space, not counting CD players of course. I'm also on a path to upgrade my system from other various angles, mostly preamp and speakers. All that said, I'm currently using a Bluesound Node 2 with a hifi Tidal subscription. No computer files or hardwired USB connections. My first question is where does Bluesound fit in the digital wireless streaming quality hierarchy. And a related question is what would be a good upgrade path, again assuming only wireless streaming as the source. I see a lot of high end DACs out there, some several thousand dollars and wonder if those are only used for connection to a laptop and running computer hirez files, etc. Not a whole lot about wireless streaming. All in all, some guidance in the digital wireless streaming space would be appreciated. Thanks.
I use Bluesound.  I started with the Vault 2, subsequently added a Node 2 for a system in another room, then a Pulse Mini for my kitchen .
  Do you have more than 1 system?  The Node was intended to be part of a whole home unit, similar to Sonos but better quality.  If you do I would but the Vault and rip your CDs with that.  It is possible but not easy to integrate the Blu Sound with another Source of files, such as a PC.  Since you haven't started saving music to another system I think you will find it easier to keep it all under 1 roof
. If you only have 1 system, and you want to rip your CDs, I would suggest buy the Vault anyway and sell the Node.  You will take a slight beating on this but since you already like what the Blusound sounds like with Tidal this is still an easier and potentially less expensive than going the PC route--and certainly less frustrating .
Thanks. I actually don't have much of a need to store my existing CDs in a separate storage device mainly because I can listen to almost all of those CDs using Tidal. At this time, I'm primarily looking to upgrade to another device that can play the Tidal-sourced content with higher quality audio. Of course it also needs to provide a simple user interface - similar to the Bluesound app, to access Tidal selections, etc.  Unless I'm missing the details, the majority of the high end outboard DACs or even the high end preamps with a built-in DAC only seem to support hardwire/USB connectivity for content retrieval.
@mahler123, @kalali...sorry to hijack this thread, but I have a quick question.

On the Bluesound Node 2 using Tidal, does the Artists folder, list your saved (favorite) Artists in alphabetical order?

OP--it sounds like you just need a better dac.  The DAC in the Node is good, better than the dacs in the receiver that mine is hooked up with, but the Node 2 costs around $500, and that doesn't leave much in the budget for a high quality dac.

From the first post you appear to be a newbie, so if you don't understand what I am talking about, don't be afraid to say s  

  However, one cause for pause...Tidal is supposedly going to add a lot of MQA content, and Blue sound dacs are MQA compatible.  If that is important to you, then you might want to use the Bluesound Dac.  My suggestion would be to upgrade to a better DAC now, and if MQA ever actually hits the market place, you can always switch on your preamp between the two dacs .

  Again, if you are trying to figure out what I've just written...don't be afraid to ask.

mofi--regrettably the answer to your question is no, the favorites section tends to be helter skelter.  However, blusound itself keeps alist of Artists

in alphabetical order.  I listen primarily to classical music so the bluesound organization scheme winds up being haphazard, but it probably works well for non classical

I would agree with mahler123 that an external DAC is the way to go. I use an Auralic Aries Mini which I suspect is pretty much on par with Bluesound quality wise and it benefits tremendously from running into my standalone DAC. Definitely check one out and if you have a budget and want specific recs let us know.

Thank you guys again for your great input. I feel I'm really spoiled by the ease of using the Bluesound/Tidal combo to play any music I like, or don't like, from my mobile device. It has allowed me to explore the music genres that I never knew I liked this much. I have also used this opportunity to educate myself about various audio coding formats out there just to keep up with what some of you guys talk about. We have a brick and mortar hifi store nearby and I might stop by and see if they'd let me borrow one of their high quality DACs for a few days. This would at least help me decide where to focus for the best bang for the bucks upgrade path in my audio chain. Maybe after all, this piece is not the weakest link in the chain. My current set up is:

Bluesound Node 2 -> NAD C165BEE (MP input) -> McIntosh MC2200 -> ML Aerius I.

I also have a Vincent SP-331 amp being fed from the second preamp out port driving a pair of Definitive Technology BP20s in an adjacent room.

@ mofi

My Tidal artists list is in order on my Bluesound Node
Looking back I see that your question was about Tidal on Blusound. My answer pertained more to Blusound itself.
  I did try the free trial of Tidal and for me, it was simply awful, but I listen to Classical, and Tidal doesn't seem to care about Classical
mahler123 - Out of curiosity, when you say awful do you mean sound quality of the user interface? I do occasionally listen to western classical selections in Tidal and in most cases I find the SQ worse than a standard CD. The jazz selections, especially the newer recordings sound much much better. That is also true for other genres and I attributed the disparity to original recordings quality. I'm now wondering if they stream certain selections or even genres at lower resolution rates than others. I wish there was a way to know at what rate the content is being streamed. Maybe there is...
Yes, I meant the interface .  Another poster here described the Classical Interface on Tidal as appearing to have been designed by a Chimpanzee ; that is probably an insult to chimpanzees. Fwiw I didn't think the sonics on Tidal were anything special.  A great streaming site for Classical is ClassicsOnline.
I would agree the search function for Tidal leaves something to be desired but not really an issue for me as I don't really listen to classical. Much easier searching non-classical music on Tidal.
As an experiment, I hooked up my Node 2 directly to my amp which is as older McIntosh MC2200 with separate channel gain controls. It sounds great, actually sounds a little more open when compared going through the preamp. Node 2 is literally a preamp itself allowing a subwoofer connection. Using the mobile app, you can control bass, treble, etc. Anyway, you guys with a Node 2 should try a direct connection and may just be pleasantly surprised.
The Bluesound Node 2 is fantastic. I've had mine for a couple of months now. It has become my primary source. I use it connected by Ethernet to my router and its analog out to my integrated amp to stream internet radio and my music library on my iMac. The dac in it is very good and it sounds great.

I had been using mine for streaming Tidal through Wifor several months and had it connected to my preamp but about a month ago I started using it as a preamp/DAC and have go right into my amp. I think it sounds a little better this way. I might get a very basic switch or a passive preamp just to be able to switch between source components. It's even driving my active subwoofer quite well. All in all, its a real nice little gadget.
It's a great toy. Even though I don't have my music on files, it's just the most fun piece for Internet-radio streaming. I have mine connected via digital coax to Marantz sa8004 SACD player's dac. Sounds much better than when connected directly to my preamp.
Those of you who own a Node 2, or any other DAC that can stream music wirelessly, have you tried a comparison in the sound quality among these configurations: 1) wireless streaming using a service such as Tidal, 2) stream the same source using hard-wire connection to the router, and 3) playing high resolution music from a laptop via USB? I'm particularly wondering if I'm losing some sound quality by streaming wirelessly vs. having my Bluesound directly wired to my router. Thanks.
According to the Roon Labs website the Node 2 will be Roon Ready soon. Another reason to try this great affordable streamer. Also, it sounds fantastic.


Will the Roon upgrade be pushed to existing units or only on new models? Also, has anyone tried using the USB port to play music from a computer? So far I've only used mine for wireless streaming. Thanks.

It is my understanding that Roon is software and Bluesound would provide an update which would make existing Node 2 streamers "Roon Ready".

According to Bluesound; the type A USB port is for "connection to USB memory sticks and supported peripherals" and the type B port is for "product servicing".

It is also my understanding that you cannot connect a computer by USB to the Node 2.

I am really looking forward to the BluOS update to support Roon. I will also give credit to Bluesound because their BluOS is extremely good itself. Bluesound has really impressed me by keeping things up to date and their customer service is outstanding.



"It is also my understanding that you cannot connect a computer by USB to the Node 2."

This line should read; ".......cannot connect to a computer by USB to the Node 2 to play music."
Thank you guys. I'm also quite impressed by both their product as well as their customer service. It is practically a complete preamp/DAC, even with a subwoofer output, of course with the limitations noted above. They spent literally two hours on the phone with my wife to help her set it up while I was away on a trip. 
back to the question of how does it sound in the hierarchy of streamers? Meaning, using it as a streamer only and by passing the internal DAC in favor of an external DAC. I know there is a debate that streamers shouldn’t really have a sound signature, their primary purpose is just functionality and features, but from doing a lot of reading it seems people do hear a difference in sound quality from streamers. Otherwise why would anyone pay several thousand dollars for an Aurender streamer  like the N10 if you can get pretty much the same functions from a much cheaper streamer?