"That's the hard part"

In their review of the Bluesound Pulse 2 and Pulse Flex, Wired concludes with their Rating:
6/10—Strong audio and design, but the speakers are remarkably challenging to get going.
The author, Michael McCole, had problems connecting the speakers to his WiFi network, to each other, and connecting to his NAS-based music some of which he blames on mistakes in the Bluesound manual. Hmm, I thought—I don't recall any issues, ever, setting up the Bluesound stuff. Gen 1 or 2. I didn't even have to look at the manual (I never do).

So what's the deal?

Perhaps the deal is doing this for a living, this being digital audio/file-based playback, makes you comfortable poking around a new app and getting it to work. While some are better than others, Bluesound's app falling into the former category, I no longer have difficulty.

It's the setting up of the system, however, that's the hard part.
But. . . the author did get everything set up but it took some time and Bluesound tech support, who he found, "helpful, persistent and responsive", to get the job done.

Ah Ha! We apparently no longer like things that take time, like setting up multiple speakers around our home that can be 'grouped' or not, and we really don't like to ask for help. Ever.

As things get more complex, we expect them to remain simple. Funny, no? To be fair, I assume most people will not have difficulty when I don't, and Wired assumes that most people will if they do. Funny, no?

Timcognito's picture

than others. I think this one belongs to the guy that filled up the blackboard.


stevebythebay's picture

Also, note that he's starting with a name or two that has led the way in simplicity: Sonos. His explanation is legit. Sending you to a web site is the first problem. Product should always ship with READ ME FIRST instruction!!! I'm guessing this is an epic failure of "ease of use" planning and execution for the intended audience. The folks at Bluesound may consider themselves audiophiles, but they must also be technophiles, rather than the average joe, seeking to ease into home wireless networking. And those last two words are fraught with devilish problems for the uninitiated. But, hey, it ain't the first firm (nor the last) who might excel in one area, but fail in others.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
If so, did you find them difficult to set up?
stevebythebay's picture

Both in my environment and others I've installed various Sonos products. The Sonos lineup is a "piece of cake" compared to much else in network-based home audio setup.

However, I'm a poor judge. 40+ years in tech, incl. quality control, tech. writing, support, help desk, human factors lab, etc.

I was merely commenting on the real need to ensure a product's full implementation - from design, implementation, and testing (incl. field). To ensure it's "child's play" please give it to a child first. However, I think children are often more adept and willing to "give it a go" in tech, than most of those older folk, who actually fork over the bucks for home audio.

bmac78758's picture

...and neither were hard to set up. I did have a little trouble with the optical port on the Soundbar which turned out to be a bad cable. Certainly not their fault. I will say that the BlueOS app is not the greatest, but they are all Roon endpoints now so who cares? I never use it any more.

merge03's picture

I own multiple Sonos players and multiple BlueSound products. The setup complexity is virtually identical. In each case just follow the directions. Of course the sound quality of the BlueSound products is vastly superior.

Eric L's picture

I can confirm Michael's experience. I own bluesound Vault Gen 1, Powernode Gen 2 and Pulse Flex. Setup was very easy and the instructions werde clear and easy to follow. The only "Complication" that I noticed was that the procedure starts with a software update that may take a few moments which may be hard for the impatient digital native. The system works great with TIDAL HiFi and I really enjoy the ease of use, ease of access to music and the sound (Powernode 2 driving KEF R300, Vault feedind Cyrus 6 Dac driving old Monitor 7 gold ob my desk, Pulse Flex in the kitchen). Strongly recommendet.