Bluesound Node 2 and great customer service


More than a few months ago I ordered a Bluesound Node 2 from a reputable audio e-retail store. I am writing about my experience with the Bluesound product and company. I have not used the Node 2 to stream MQA files, although I hope to do so in the future. This review is about the playback and integration of digital files from iTunes files stored on a Western Digital HDD (My Cloud) and Bluesound customer service.

I had debated on whether to get the Node 2 or the Vault 2 with one major consideration being the prices, as the Node 2 is around $500 and Vault 2 is around $1200. The other consideration being I have a large library of iTunes music (around 1 TB) on a HDD and I wanted to have access to the music with a simple control device to my stereo without using the computer. With the Node 2 I can do that without ripping all my CD’s into (the other potential choice, the Vault 2). Therefore the Node 2 was the best choice as a streaming device (Tidal or Spotify) and additionally access to my digital library of music on a HDD.

Although the setup of the newly arrived Node 2 was quick and easy I had encountered some problems. I had helped my neighbor with the setup and installation of a three speaker Sonos system at least 6 months prior and the Node 2 was every bit as easy but I could not get the Node 2 to find and play my HDD digital files, nor could I see many of the album cover art of those files. After trying to troubleshoot this for about a week, I decided to contact Bluesound customer service for a trouble ticket.

After I setup a time and day, Jon from Bluesound gained access to my computer and HDD remotely and figured out what the problem was and fixed it. It took two attempts but Jon was patient and determined to help with the process. Kudos for the great customer service from Jon and Bluesound. One more word here, it had taken me many hours to fix the album art so that Bluesound software could recognize it. The trouble ticket from Bluesound works, but you must follow it perfectly.

I am very happy with the Node 2 and satisfied with the great customer service. Keep up the good work… Bluesound.

2psyop
Thanks for the post, 2psyop.  Quick question - is the Node 2 capable of gapless playback?  TIA.
bondmanp
Although I had not tried to configure the Node 2 to do gapless playback, I did not know if it would or not. Here is the "official word" from Bluesound below...

Here at Bluesound, we are an alliance of audiophiles with the mission to create innovative wireless digital audio products and technologies, that allow for the most true-to-life music experience possible. Bluesound Players offer gapless playback by default for all supported file types (BLS-KB13-X01).

There is no feature to manually configure options for gapless playback or cross fade between tracks.

Hope this helps. BTW I have many different file types in my personal audio library. So far, the Node 2 has played them all without any problems or glitches. It's nice to be able to have over 14,000 tracks available to me on an Iphone as my remote controller.


Thanks, 2psyop!  That's exactly what I needed to know.  If my Squeezebox craps out (or if I just get tired of waiting until I can buy a DAC that goes higher res than 96/24), the Node2 looks like just the ticket.  I have heard it front very expensive systems, and the results were impressive.
bondmamp
Hey I had a Squeezebox some time ago and I liked it..but I would say the Node 2 is far better. Much easier to control music with computer, ipad or smartphone. A really good dac and integration for an external dac. An integration with Roon, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, etc. I use Spotify and might try Tidal’s HQA files. The ability to have many kinds of digital files on your own HDD- FLAC, AAC, ALAC, WAC, AIFF, WMA, WMA-L, OGG and MP3 available for playback (I have over 14k songs on my WD MyCloud HDD!) Up to 24/192 hi-rez playback and can play HQA files. Also the Node 2 has a really fast ARM Cortex processor. All that and great customer service has given me much admiration and respect for NAD, parent company.

The Node does also....sound great. It sounds as good as my redbook CD player, sometimes better.
Thanks again, 2psyop. I use the SBT with a DAC, a highly modded Beresford called the Superberry by K-Works, a local modder. It sounds very good, but my original SBT died, while Logitec still supported it, so they sent me a new one. I know that won’t be an option next time. I also have a server with over 18,000 tracks, and I am concerned about compatibility. Almost all of them are Red Book resolution, with a handful of 96/24. But I will soon have the ability to rip my vinyl in hi-res, up to 24/192, so it may be time to dump the SBT. BTW, I have a free Android app that allows me to control the SBT from my phone (Squeezer). I also really like the random track and random album options on the SBT. Does the Node2 offer those?
One basic menu on the Node 2 allows one to chose a few different options such as all albums, all artists, all songs, or select the file folders on your HD.

It is not as comprehensive as say, Itunes, because Itunes had many search functions. I spoke with a tech at Bluesound and he stated they will continue to make improvements on the gui and software.
BTW I did not know the SBT had all that capability. It sounds as if you really squeezed all the great sound and flexibility that could be had!! Sounds like a great system and a huge library of music.
Correction: On the question of a random track with the Node 2- Yes the top menu allows the user a "random song" choice.
Thanks, 2psyop!  My hi-fi budget for 2017 is blown, but 2018 might bring a Node2 for me!  I will post my impressions if & when I get one.