I have a Bluesound Node 2 that died recently and I'm wondering what I should do next. First off, it was only 3 years old. I got conflicting reports from customer service as to what went wrong, but either way, it was working fine one day and the next day it would not respond and it would not re-set. I have been round and round with customer service and as far as they are concerned, it is out of warranty, so tough toenails; they will not take it back for a repair. They offered to sell me a new unit at a reduced price or a refurbished unit at an even lower price but somehow that doesn't sit right with me.
My habit has always been to buy reasonably good gear and keep it for a long time. It's also my habit not to reward a manufacturer with additional purchases once they have done me wrong. I have never had a piece of gear fail so quickly. I have never had a manufacturer tell me they would not repair or service a component. This little guy was not abused, and barely moved from the time I plugged it in, so I don't think I did anything wrong.
Now I know a lot of you folks love your Nodes. Admittedly, I did too. I used it almost every day, created dozens of playlists (which are presumably gone forever) and I even added a Qobuz subscription about 6 months ago. I can't tell you how many friends I demonstrated this set-up for. I was actually considering adding a 2nd unit for my primary system. Basically, I was all in. Now I'm just stuck.
That's my tale of woe, so here's what I'd like to know: Were my expectations for this component too high? I understand that computer products have can have a short lifespan, but this seems a bit extreme. So should I pony up for another unit? Or do I try to save up for something more upscale and presumably better built (or better supported)? Cambridge Audio has a streamer I think might work, but I heard not all streamers can handle 30k+ files. I have actually heard several really nice units like the Aurender (at AXPONA) but that's probably out of my league. So what affordable alternatives are there, that also sound decent?
This is my first post/discussion thread here on A-gon, so go easy on me : ) Thanks for listening.
Welcome aboard. I had a Pulse Mini die on me just past the warranty date a couple of years ago. It died trying to do an update. It cost about the same as the Node. Bluesound said I was SOL but my dealer, whom I had been buying gear from for decades, prevailed upon them ,after several months of kvetching, to fix it. We used it in the kitchen primarily to listen to Internet radio. I also have a Vault2 and two Node2, so perhaps they factored that into their decision. Meanwhile I had given up on them and purchased the Apple Home Pod to use in the kitchen, which interfaces with an Apple TV in another room in the house. The repaired Pulse has been sitting on a storage shelf since it’s return. I am assuming that you tried the Factory reset option? That will wipe out your playlists for sure but if you haven’t give it a go.
Mahler, I will definitely give my dealer a call -great advice and worth a try. Far as I can tell, there is no way to do a factory reset if it won't connect to the network. Ianrmack, also good advice, I'll try to be less wordy next time. I'm really upset but was trying to sound calm and rational. My budget would be $500 to $1500. My system : Outlaw Audio RR2160, Snell Type Ds, DefTech sub, Oppo BDP93, Samsung plasma.
Big Greg, one of the Bluesound CSRs I spoke to suggested it was a power regulation issue, another said it was locked in 'update' mode. The Bluesound forum will be my next stop.
Wish me luck. Thanks everybody.
I had an issue with mine recently where it kept trying to update, but wouldn't and then I couldn't get it to do anything. A factory reset fixed that issue. You don't need to be connected to the network to do it.
Steps to Factory Reset:
Disconnect the player from electrical power.
If you have a PULSE FLEX with a BP100 Battery Pack, disconnect the battery pack as well.
Wait 10 seconds.
Reconnect the power.
Once the LED turns Red, touch and hold the Play/Pause LED on the touch panel (It will immediately turn Green and then back to Red) - do not let go of the LED.
Once the LED turns back to Red, continue to hold the button for 30 seconds.
After 30 seconds, the LED will begin to blink red – then release the button.
I realize it is frustrating to have a component die an early death, but those thing do happen. One marginal component (out of hundreds) in the middle of a circuit board that may have been good enough to pass QC at the factory can fail down the road. Every product made has that potential issue. Even a Rolls Royce will sometimes break.
Can't say that I've heard anything before about Bluesounds having a bad reputation (but I don't own one). I think you may be overreacting in turning down their offer to sell you another unit at a discount.
You obviously liked the unit until it broke. So, unless you just have an itch for something new and different, you might want to reconsider Bluesound's offer.
I have to chime in here as someone who has had a Rolls Royce. If my Rolls had an issue, the dealer and everyone would bend over backwards to get it fixed, give me a loaner, apologize all the time and never, ever told me I was out of luck. So, to compare the service of the Bluesounds to that of the Rolls (BMW actually) is not all that accurate. The better anlogy or story to tell is this: things are built to a price point. Ask any engineer. The Bluesound was built to that price point and once that is reached, it is either going to be good, or it will have a life determined by parts; less cost, lower quality parts, less life expectancy. There is a reason why high end products cost what they do. And another reason why I do not do digital / streaming. Just my two cents...
@OP, I own 2 Nodes that I bought 2nd hand on Ebay. Both are working properly, to this day. Thankfully😌. Bluesound customer service has a bit to be desired, but being persistant helps. I know. I had an issue with software that took months to resolve. Bluesound eventually fixed the issue. I would think Bluesound customer service would have suggested the reset 'Big-Greg' provided, but if not, I would do that, first. And, if the Node is indeed 'bricked', I think the offer of a discounted unit is fair. The original warranty is one year, I believe. After 3 years, even I wouldn't push for a complete replacement. Now, had it been 1 year and 1 or 2 months, I would feel they should be a bit more flexible. Just my 2 cents... Bob
zkidd -- you missed my point. The only reason I used Rolls as an example is they do break in spite of their initial build quality and stringent standards. I was not extending the analogy to post-sale service and repair. It doesn't surprise me that many lower price-point electronics are simply discarded if they break. In such cases, if under warranty, the unit is just replaced. That's simply the nature of computer based electronics these days -- things simply aren't repaired at a component level. At best, you might get a whole new circuit board, but even that isn't as common as it used to be.
I am surprised that the Bluesound support didn’t mention factory reset, and Big Greg has shown the OP how to do this. If the OP were to investigate posts from about 2 years ago he would see that I and others had problems with the units where they get hung up trying to do updates. In fact, I now refuse to do Updates
corelli - our world runs on computer databases these days -- your money in the bank, investments, medical records, and so on. The key for any of these data collections, whether yours, a big comany's or the government's, is backup. This even has an advantage over a CD collection. A fire, tornado, thieves or other casualty could easily decimate your CD collection. It is very easy to keep an off-premises backup of your ripped music, but very impractical to do the same with physical CDs. While I don't use a Bluesound, a fire could take down my entire house but my personal music collection would still be safe.
I'll stand by my comments. I like the shiny disc. I like the jewel case. I've never lost data. Yes, a CDP can break. It can also be repaired much more easily then the above members gear. (Heck, I can do most repairs myself. Pretty easy to install a new transport.) And yes, I could lose my CD's--but the odds are far less of that than losing your collection on a computer based system. The thought of ripping all my CD's once, let alone twice has no appeal for some of us. So I'm a happy dinosaur.
I work with computers all day long, non-stop. I am all too familiar with what happens when they go down. I've been a victim of cyber crime. I've been the victim of multiple date breaches. Do you think your medical records, investments are secure. Hardly. And then there were all those hundreds of pics of a European vacation that were all lost due to an errant click.
There are some things I love computers for. So I have no grudge here. I just have no desire to jump on board a technology that I doesn't serve my needs.
I am behind on replying so my apologies. When I was referring to the Rolls and the service, I was not responding to the possibility of anything breaking but rather to the service provided by them if something does go wrong. I was under the impression that this thread was rather a two part piece; the part about fixing the Bluesound and another about the poor customer service of Bluesound. I was addressing the poor customer service the OP received. My apologies for getting things confused...
@correlli - I hear you, man...but let me just say...when I discovered "HR" tracks on Qobuz and could integrate that with the Bluesound app on my iPad to the Node 2i to a Chord Qutest DAC. I just about pissed myself with glee.
One "touch of a button" and I pick from 25+ Dead and Co. live shows in HR. Then swap over in 5 seconds to a Wilco album. Then fickley just surf s--- to find and suddenly cue up a live Pink Floyd album I never knew existed...in HR and sounding SO SO good....
It’s a real toy that makes incredible music happen at your fingertips. Plus, it s a fraction the cost of CDs.
I believe your playlist are not lost as they remain with the streaming service. Anything hooked up to the internet with a cable has the risk of being zapped by lightning. Only thing equal or better in price would be raspberry pi with a dac.
Corelli I agree with you, I prefer silver discs to streaming for a multitude of reasons, one of which is ease of use. Yes, CDPs can break, but I have had very few of them develop an issue, and when they did it was after years of heavy use. Streaming resembles my IT system at work, where I might have to reboot my computer several times a day. Actually, compared to that, my home streaming audio equipment seems remarkably reliable... so why did I get involved in streaming? First, using a service such as Qobuz is a great way to sample new recordings. I read many Classical Music review magazines and my shelves are jammed with CDs that were impulse purchases that I have listened to perhaps twice and now gather dust. Now if a disc strikes my fancy I stream it first, and if I really like it I buy it. Secondly, I live in a 3 story house with a system on each floor, and instead of having to run upstairs to fetch a CD I pull out my phone and stream it, if I have burned it to my NAS. I have had two surgeries in the past 4 years, and will have knee surgery after the Holidays. In each case I am confined to one level of my home for a few days and it’s nice to be able to access my music from anywhere. And finally, one day I might have to abandon the home as to difficult to manage and I won’t be moving to a space that can accommodate 10,000 CDs
I would suggest buying a Belcanto. I can point you towards a dealer who could sell it to you for about $1,300 and save you $300. He told me sound quality is much better than the Blue Sound. I purchased the Blue Sound Node 2i to save money and added a Project DAC, but preferred the sound of the Blue Sound played by itself. I liked the sound of MQA despite what others in this group think. The Belcanto cannot play completely unfolded MQA. However, the dealer I talked to told me the Belcanto sounds considerably better.
Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful responses. Here are a few more points: First, the factory reset did not work. Bluesound was unwilling to be specific about the failure, but did say that it was a component failure that caused my unit to lock itself into Update Mode and so no, it can't be rescued and no they won't reconsider their offer to me. Thank you very much. Still trying to get in touch with my dealer.
Second, to the CDs are dead crowd, when my Bluesound Node decided to commit suicide, it was the ancient technological dinosaur silver discs and reliable Oppo player that saved the day when guests were here a few times over the recent holidays. So yeah, HR files sound great through the Node, but if it ain't workin'... As to my Qobuz playlists, lists created with the Node do not appear in my Qobuz app on my iPhone. My only hope is if I choose to replace the Node, that the 40 or 50 playlists backed-up to a flash-drive will then actually repopulate when I plug in that USB drive. A leap of faith that frankly, if I knew for sure, would go a long way towards encouraging me to get another Node.
Even if I do, I'm likely to pick up a used one and not another new one. Once bitten, twice shy and all that.
The Bluesound Node was supposed to be my easy entry into computer audio and streaming and only ended up reaffirming my fears. Still not sure what I'm gonna do. Definitely want to check out some alternatives. Once you have touchpad access to your 3,000 CD collection, it's tough to go back to one-at-a-timin'.
Maybe I'll pull out that old 5-disc changer packed away in the basement... ?
Like I said, I bought my Nodes (the original square box) on Ebay. They were cheap and are still working. The only thing different with the latest model is that it supports the 5ghz wireless band. Everything else gets updated with firmware. B
Had the same thing happen to me. Bought a used Node 2 several months ago, worked wonderfully after getting my phone to connect to it, which took some back and forth-ing. Then just stopped working. Red Light comes on and nothing changes. Hard reset didn’t work, usb firmware upgrade didn’t work, Bluetooth connection won’t work. I tried customer service and so far that’s getting me nowhere as well. Frustrating that BS won’t service their own device. Considering bringing it to a local electrician to see if they can poke around and figure out what died inside the box.
@mahler123 I agree with you on the streaming for exposure to stuff you really like. While there are incredible buys on CD box sets (avg cost $1-2 per disc) it is not often that all these discs are frequently played. Remember when CD's went for $16-18 almost 40 years ago. What a screaming bargain!
So what was the cost of entry for you/monthly fees? I could see myself doing exactly what you have done. And by the way, if you ever move, I would be happy to move all those CD's for you to yo know where!
Hey Mahler, I think my Qobuz subscription is about 14 bucks / month, that includes hi-rez and I want to say 2 devices (phone and Node). And it IS a terrific way to discover new music or sample artists that you think you might like or revisit some older artists that never actually made it into your collection (Amazing Rhythm Aces recently). I let my SiriusXM subscription lapse (hardly in the car much anymore) and put the money towards Qobuz. Bluesound lets you intermingle your files and theirs. Their interface is not that good if you don't know exactly what your looking for, but a straight search usually leads you where you're going. Also, not all artists have their entire repertoire available. But I was continually surprised by what they did have.
Mr Coburnerskine, you need a shorter handle! Sorry you experienced the same issue as I did. The Node 2 is such a neat little device. I had plenty of software-glitchy type issues early on, but things eventually seemed to settle down (I am now down to only 5 or 6 albums that somehow have the exact same artwork as a Booker T Jones album). However, since Bluesound is unwilling to help (us), I have a repair shop that is going to take a look at mine and presumably if it really is an issue with the power supply or power regulation, they may be able to effect repairs. At this stage my lowest cost replacement would be $250 for a refurb Node 2 from Bluesound, so anything less than that would be a net gain -not sure what kind of warranty that comes with. I plan to update this thread if that proves to work out and you're welcome to sit tight to find out what happens, but I'm not likely to have a definitive answer till mid Jan at the earliest.
@Larry5729 I'm assuming you are suggesting the Belcanto e one? And if there is a $300 discount, that's a pretty fair price. I've been seriously considering it as my streamer. But just recently I've come across the Audiolab 6000N that has a lot of options to download hi rez music such as Spotify Connect, Tidal, HDtracks, Deezer, Qobuz, Amazon Music, Napster, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and SiriusXM and can stream files up to 24-bit/192kHz from networked servers, with DLNA and UPnP compliance. It can also connect wirelessly with up to 32 other Play-Fi-equipped devices for a multi-room set-up including your smart phone, and I really like that option. It also has a high quality internal DAC. The units are made in GB and the company has been around for fifty years!
I bought a BS Node about 14 months ago. Worst product of any type that I have ever had the misfortune to own. It never worked as it should have, even after updating the firmware and performing multiple factory resets. Customer service was nonexistent. As I wanted access to more than Internet radio, I returned the dud of a device. It was only then that I discovered that my experience was not at all unique. Major disappointment.
I have to respond to this. OP - sorry for your loss. Yes I think node2 is an excellent entry level player. I myself bought one 4 months ago. But I think it’s not the best and you can do better. Their interface with music services like Amazon etc leaves a lot to be desired. Personally if I were to do this all over again on a budget (obviously If you can spend $$$ for PS Audio, Antipodes, NAD etc that’s great) - I would build a computer solution using Mac Mini or Raspberry Pi. The reason is - the streaming industry is not mature yet. Both on music services like Amazon, Qobuz, Tidal etc. and streamers. No one solution is fully baked yet. To buy yourself time build a Raspberry Pi and the sound you’ll enjoy more than node2. A little bit of work - but it can be a fun project and there is tons of write ups online. At least you will enjoy the music interface better than what node2 provided and the sound. Once the streaming industry matures you’ll be in better position to spend your hard earned money. Unless you are one of the audiophiles who has a $25,000 power amp and $5000 SPDIF cable where money ain’t a thing. Check the link https://darko.audio/2017/08/allos-digione-pulls-five-star-sound-quality-from-the-raspberry-pi/
I agree with the above poster that the streaming industry isn’t mature yet. Yes, it’s been around for 20 years, give or take, but it isn’t plug and play. I listen to Classical Music and I haven’t encountered a classification system yet that makes sense. I have better luck walking to my crowded CD shelves and finding a disc than finding it on the Bluesound App or the app of my other streamer, the Bryston BDP3. Even when I edit the metadata to try to accommodate my own system, the apps tend to ignore all the input and revert to their own system (score one for itunes, at least that worked). I have had streamers fail (Bluesound); thousands of files uploaded to the cloud without my consent and corrupted (iTunes); and the Bryston, while it sounds amazing, has a music management system that is virtually unusable (more than half the time that I use it, I wind up listening to something else than what I am looking for, because I can’t find what I want). Do any disc spinners issues compare to this? A laser or transport that goes bad after several thousand hours of use is pretty forgivable in comparison. So perhaps as IT advances, in the next decades all this will be solved. However, as I review all of the issues that I have had with attempting to master streaming, even Vinyl, with all of it’s rituals, starts to look easy by comparison.
My sympathies to the OP. I have a Node2 that I've been enjoying with the annoying exception of my control device (iPhone/iPad) losing connection with it periodically. Evidently the range is rather limited. However, what I find truly distressing is that Bluesound refuses to take the OP's for repair? Am I understanding that correctly? Are they even quoting you a price, as it's out of warranty? Or are they simply refusing out of hand? If the later then for my next streaming device I'll be sure to choose a product from a different company, one which stands by their product and is willing perform repairs. The concept of a disposable audio component a simply unacceptable.
@woofman74 said: "Second, to
the CDs are dead crowd, when my Bluesound Node decided to commit
suicide, it was the ancient technological dinosaur silver discs and
reliable Oppo player that saved the day when guests were here..."
First, I don't think anyone said CDs are dead. I just like the advantages of convenience and greatly improved access that my ripped collection gives me. I still have most of my CD collection.
Second, I have had three CD players die on me over the years. One I fixed and the other two were discarded. I don't have a CD player in my main system anymore. Yes, it is sad that they broke, but I didn't question the worth of the CD format and go back to cassette, Edison rolls or player pianos. Things do break and need repair or replacement -- just a fact of life.
@OP, I just realized I forgot to mention Sam Laufer of Laufer Teknik. He makes The Memory Player- which is very expensive, and also The Mini- a much less expensive, but very capable piece of equipment.
His system has some very interesting software that upgrades sound quality of either CD playback or Streaming Music. I would contact him- I think he has an account here of via his website. Bob
Ghulamr, while I did use the Node 2 to stream music from the internet sometimes, I primarily used it to access my 3,000 CD's worth of music files. If I bought a mac mini or raspberry pi, would it be able to handle 33,000 16/44.1 music files and maintain a couple dozen playlists? Maybe something to consider.
I agree with you Mahler re metadata on classical music files; it is an all too common complaint, such that it's surprising no one has come up with a better way to deal with it. I've heard Roon has a good system/user interface but don't really know. Unfortunately, I have a relatively small number of classical discs. It's just (meta)data right? What we're talking about is a way to format that data to make it more readily accessible. There has to be a a code-writing, classical music aficionado out there somewhere willing to take this issue on, no?
EdwardJ I have had some issues like yours too, however no problems with my iPhone, just with my aging Android tablet. Enough so that I have thought about upgrading my router/wi-fi. You did however manage to capture exactly my frustration with the folks at Bluesound. Yes, so far, my options are a new or refurbished unit at a reduced price, they are not able or willing to service this 3-1/2 year old component. That reduced price might sound appealing, if I hadn't already spent 500 dollars.
MissTL I don't really disagree with you either, however my experience has been much different from yours. My first CDP was a Sony ES 5-disc changer that took 10 years to die (needed a new laser) and that unit got a daily work-out. All disc players since then have been Oppo units costing no more than $500. 2 DVD players and 2 BD players. One went back to Oppo for service a few years ago (BDP-93 I think). It cost me 50 bucks plus shipping one way and it is still in service. One is packed up in the basement (the oldest unit of the 4, purchased near the turn of the century), but it still works, and the other three are ALL still in service. My luck with disc players has been pretty good (5 for 5 knock on wood ;-). My luck with Bluesound, not so much, 0 for 1. : ( I'm not trying to be argumentative, but from my perspective this proven technology still sounds good (I listen to vinyl too by the way), and it has proven it's worth. Oh, and your in the same camp with my wife who also thinks I should consider getting another unit from Bluesound.
Mlsstl My apologies for getting your name wrong. My eyes just ain’t what they used to be. Sorry, no disrespect intended.
Since my last post I remembered one other disc player I had that is also still in service. My first DVD player was a Denon that featured a digital output, ca. 1998, I think. Currently, it’s in my mom’s system playing CDs.
There’s no getting around the convenience of streaming your music collection, especially with as many files as I have. Creating playlists for different occasions has brought me endless entertainment and fun. And streaming music from Qobuz has been a revelation. I knew ’computer audio’ was problematic in a variety of ways so I resisted it for a long while.
In my original post I asked if my expectations were too high? Except for the guy who said "...stuff breaks. Get over it" nobody’s really addressed that question. I really hope the answer is No, my expectations were not too high. Thanks for listening and thanks for your input.
woofman74,You never actually described the condition/symptoms of your Node 2. What specifically is happening (or not happening)? Never lights up? Lights up but shuts down? No output?
Reason I ask is that I have a Node 2 that I thought was malfunctioning but it was just a setting in the indicator light display. It had changed to OFF and the Node 2 would power up but then "shut down" in a few seconds. My troubleshooting process was misdirected because the Node 2 had lost connection with the controller so I thought it was completely dead. Bluesound came through and suggested that I check the light display. Sure enough, rebooted the controller, it found the Node 2, I changed the setting to DIM and the Node 2 works fine. Just a WAG. Tom PS: If your Node 2 is completely toast then, yes, I agree with you; it should have lasted longer than that. But if they're offering a reasonable discount price on another unit you can't complain too much. :-)
Hi Friends, My PSU floor is completely ruined and impossible to fix. If I design a PSU myself, it will be very cheap for me. border tax rules in Turkey and is very solid. Ready-made kits equipped with quality will exceed my cost. Can anyone measure the voltages on the pins coming out of the PSU for me. Accordingly, if I know the voltages, I hope to give life to this device again by making a design myself. Thank you in advance for your answer. Best Regards
My Node 2 stays Red but keeps working... no longer switches to Blue upon restart. A couple times switched to Blue after firmware upgrades (which took several attempts to complete), but no more. But it is still working. Bluesound acknowledged the issue but did not offer real help. Have been using for Spotify only. I am now looking for a more versatile and higher performance (and more reliable) streamer which can also stream Pandora as well as Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz.
So many happy Node2 afficionados here on A-Gon...
So I eventually decided to accept BlueSound's offer on a refurbished unit at a reduced cost. If I had to pay for service for an out of warranty piece of gear it likely would have set me back $100-$150, so $250 was like a Very Expensive repair.
It's hard to make it through the day without at least one good juicy rationalization.
It's been in my system for a year or so now and has worked fine so far (knock on wood). I have had some connectivity issues but I think they will be resolved when I upgrade my WiFi.
Now that I'm a Tidal subscriber, I am even considering purchasing a second one for use with my primary set-up. I'm hopeful they have their quality issues ironed out by now.