Bluesound Gen 2!

Bluesound Gen 2 family portrait (models starting at $299). All photo credit: Bluesound

I missed yesterday's Bluesound press event which I was very much looking forward to (remnants of food poisoning made the trip to NYC daunting). If you remember back to when we were first introduced to Bluesound (see Intro), the company sits under the Lenbrook Industries Limited umbrella along with NAD and PSB whose knowledge and technology helped build the Bluesound line. I was very impressed with every Bluesound piece of kit I reviewed back in 2014, so I was very excited to hear about Gen 2. Here's the scoop from Bluesound:

New York, NY, August 25, 2015 – Bluesound, the first wireless digital multi-room music system to fully support high-resolution audio, today unveiled Gen 2, an all-new platform that represents a reinvention of virtually every aspect of the product’s design and performance. Bluesound’s new line-up of multi-room wireless streaming digital music players, along with two entirely new models, features a fresh, compact industrial design, enhanced features and reengineered performance across the board.

New feature enhancements and technologies of Bluesound Gen 2:

  • Powerful ARM® Cortex™-A9 CPU running at 1GHz
  • Improved connectivity with both Analog and Optical Inputs
  • IR Sensor with TV Connect learning function
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX® high-fidelity codec support
  • Headphone Output with Dedicated Amplifier
  • Coax Digital Out (NODE 2, VAULT 2)
  • Gigabit Ethernet speed
  • New advanced Wi-Fi design
  • Best-in–class audio performance
  • Industrial design by renowned designer David Farrage of DF-ID.
Bluesound Vault 2 ($1199). photo credit: Bluesound

The new Vault 2 doubles down on the Gen 1's (see review) internal storage offering 2TBs while keeping all of the functionality of the original including its internal DAC.

Bluesound Node2 ($499). photo credit: Bluesound

The intriguing Node (see review) also gets a new "2" designation which adds the ARM® Cortex™-A9 CPU running at 1GHz, a digital coax output, and headphone out.

Bluesound PowerNode 2 ($799)
The PowerNode 2 adds a 60wpc amp to the Node.

Bluesound Pulse 2 ($699)

Bluesound Flex ($299)

Bluesound Pulse Mini ($499)

Bluesound Duo ($999)

I very much like the new looks and datasheets for the Gen 2 lineup and look forward to getting my ears on the lot!

COMMENTS
CraigS's picture

I have a BS node. Its connected to DAC, so I dont care to much about its internal DAC, and I bought it solely because it could play hi-res FLAC files (unlike SONOS). I've been bugging them for about a year about the fact that the node SUCKS for large music collection because (1) there is no way to easily play an entire folder of songs, which is the typical way an album is stored, and (2) there is no browsing by "album artist." Browsing by “artist” is very difficult in large music collections because 100s of single-song artists from compilation albums and soundtrack albums are mixed into the list. This can be avoided by folder browsing, but the Node software requires you to click each song in the folder to create a playlist for the album. I hope that they've fixed this.

2_channel_ears's picture

...the new looks. I considered the Vault for my streaming but ultimately gave up on the unconventional form factor. Couldn't access the control on my equipment shelf. Still looking for a second/portable system so will be interested if they've improved the sound quality any. The Pulse mini looks interesting...

Venere 2's picture

Anything by NAD or related to NAD should go straight to the repairman. Even better, straight to the garbage!

sfjain's picture

Mike,

Could you please do a real word comparison between the Bluesound Vault, Auralic Aries Mini, and the Bluesound Vault 2 when available, via their digital and analogue outputs. I realize there are commercial interest involved but Needless to say it would be of TREMENDOUS benefit to your readers.

Thx
Sam

Michael Lavorgna's picture
I don't have the original Vault and the Auralic Aries Mini won't available until October. That said, I'll see if I can work out a comparison.
"I realize there are commercial interest involved..."
I'm not sure what you mean by this?
streamerbill's picture

Your previous report said September. When did they change the release date? Is that available for sale or available to review?

Also, re Bluesound, do you know if they will continue upgrading the firmware of the original? Any word on DSD support for either generation?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...Australia, Germany, Norway, and U.K. Worldwide in October.
streamerbill's picture

DSD support for Gen 1 or Gen 2?

Reed's picture

I listened to a Naim MU-SO at a local audio store a couple days ago. It is miraculous. I was befuddled by the crazy performance of that product. It's truly astonishing. You need to get your hands on one of those for a review. It's next on my audio list. For a digital only music lover with limited space...you may never want for more.

SmokeytheBear's picture

Bluesound made me lazy. with the vault, I stopped touching everything else, I was to lazy to stand up just to change a song. my friends still believes that physical disc would sound better but that's what they believe, I'm sold with the this Bluesound idea. I have been looking for a product that fits my needs in terms of streaming my collection (I even sold my turntable just because of Bluesound) and Bluesound just made it happen and sounds good too. I did quite search for quite sometime. Luckily, there was one shop here that had Bluesound and the Astell&Kern AK500N (which costs 10x), and I find the Bluesound a more natural take on most tracks I have tested, the latter projects more brighter tones and tends to be screechy. with this price there is no competition. Software is great and the best customer support I have experience.

X