The short answer is yes ... by either 75 ohm Coax digital cable or by Toslink. 1st generation Node N100 only supports Toslink. Node 2 and Node 2i support both Coax and Toslink. So as long as your stand alone DAC supports either Coax or Toslink you are good to go.
That’s basically the Node’s only function. Experiment with your connections, I prefer coax over optical. If you go with coax make sure you’re using a true 75 ohm coax cable, not a standard rca cable.
If you can, run an ethernet cable from your network. It will sound better than wifi.
I do exactly what you're proposing. It sounds really great. I've been investigating other streamers to upgrade to but the Node 2i seems really good.
The coaxial digital output sounded better than the optical in my system.
The Node 2i does the first unfold of MQA files on Tidal, if you set it to do that. Your DAC can do the final stage of rendering if it's MQA compatible, or just decode what the Bluesound sends it.
I did a lot of cable demos to see if the sound could improve and succeeded with rather inexpensive options, even after demoing a number of high priced and well reviewed digital coax and power cables.
Also, I found the difference between wifi and ethernet negligible or non-existent in terms of quality of sound. That said, I did hear modest differences when demoing different ethernet cables. Perhaps my network setup minimizes differences with regard to wifi/ethernet and the effects on sound quality. I'm currently using ethernet because I have easy access to do so and the wifi connection of my Node 2i isn't great, even though it should be 100% - for whatever reason, it doesn't receive a strong signal. It seems like a fault of the Node 2i. But don't write off wifi until you try it in your system.
Thanks all who gave advice, I believe I will get one on the way.
Yes, you need a good coax cable to output to your dac. Also the bluesound node 2i really gets better by replacing the stock power cord and upgrading it.
I have a decent coax cable from Wyred4sound. I bought it when I bought my DAC 2v2SE. I will likely get a power cord from signal cable. Their Magic Power cord. Good cord doesn't cost a fortune. I'm done fighting with OPPO over Tidal I'm ordering the Bluesound Node 2i from my local dealer Monday. I will also sign up for a trial run with Qobuz and compare the two services.
I have a node 2i that i stream Qobuz and Tidal to a Benchmark DAC2 HGC via the coaxial connection (audioquest cinnamon). The Benchmark is connected to my Arcam SR250 via RCA cables and it all sounds pretty fantastic.
@mizike Your proposed solution should work. I'm doing something similar from a Roon server to a stand-alone DAC. Much improvement over my receiver's built in DAC.
The Node is more than a streamer. It is a player of local files via NAS and USB. In my experience ethernet (via a nodel) is much more stable than wifi. They might sound similar unless you go Cat 8 or better but WiFi is a stinking hassle ttcomparitively. BluSound is also a hassle making you clear queue anytime you want to play something. Qobuz playlist creation nowhere near Spotify ease but the SQ is great.
Skip tidal. Turn off MQA in roon. Use Qobuz, as it is truly uncompressed. MQA is just another form of compression, and the bluesound cannot output mqa to another DAC. I have a noDe2i going coax to my DAC. I use roon. I use Qobuz. It’s perfect.
You guys using Node2i, are use using the app on ipad/android or is there another way to search and chose what to play?
What made a big difference for the positive with my 2i was using a very reasonably priced Supra Cat 8+ ethernet cable (vs the one supplied) purchased from seller zendada on eBay. He calls it a Cat 8+ but it is really a Cat 8. Delivery is free and in like 2 days or so.
One thing, if you decide to buy one only buy from him. The other seller is in England and you get hit with a $20 mailing charge and it takes a month to get to you.
You certainly can.
I purchased an external DAC with digital coax and lost the complete unfold of MQA. I think people are crazy if they can't hear the difference when listening to MQA. I listened to the Node 2i at the dealer and they added an external DAC. They told me the sound difference was incredible. They did 5 blind tests and I picked the Node 2i played by itself every time. All the dealer was trying to do was to make more money. Hooked up everything on my system. It sounded thin when I add the DAC. So, I ended up selling the DAC and coax for half of what I paid for it through Audiogon. I think I have learned my lesson. If you blind test before you buy and trust you gut you will be better off. The Node 2i sounds incredible by itself. If other streams cost $3,000 or more sound better, how much better? Dealers can be snake oils sales people so be ware.
I access Blu OS app via IPAD, PC and Android phone.
I also access Bluesound devices via Roon, also using all three of the above devices, but for Roon prefer IPAD and PC to Android phone, mostly because Roon seems to demand more screen real estate.
For Blu OS, my Android phone is all I really need.
Thanks, Jazzman. Just wanted to be sure people were satisfied with he app.
I use my Node 2i only as a streamer,connected to a Benchmark DAC3b. Sounds great. Does an upgrade power cord to theNode 2i seem beneficial in this configuration,or only if being used as a DAC as well…