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Bluesound Node 2 marked down

NJB

New member
Nov 28, 2008
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My Bluesound Node 2 has been my primary source for 2 years. The app is good and it sounds great through my Chord Mojo. The latest review on here has dropped it from 5 to 3 stars. That appears to be based on value for money, but I am hoping that I am not missing out. Given that I am using an external DAC, then I am not using all of the unit and we are into the audiophile discussions of clocking, jitter and earthing that could affect the purity of the digital output.

Is the Node 2 up to par when used as a digital source, or has it become overtaken?
 

Nelis87

Well-known member
Nov 24, 2014
24
2
10,520
I believe it is a value for money thing, but why it comes with the cost of 2 stars does not make sense in my opinion. There are worse products out there that dont justify their pricetag.

On the other hand I own both Pioneer N50A and a Yamaha wxad-10. The Yamaha does not sound any worse than the Pioneer and adds MusicCast to my home. It is more than 3 times as cheap as the Node 2. It only lacks a digital connection. I think streamers are heavily overpriced in the first place, but that is just my opinion.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Nelis87 said:
I believe it is a value for money thing, but why it comes with the cost of 2 stars does not make sense in my opinion. There are worse products out there that dont justify their pricetag.

On the other hand I own both Pioneer N50A and a Yamaha wxad-10. The Yamaha does not sound any worse than the Pioneer and adds MusicCast to my home. It is more than 3 times as cheap as the Node 2. It only lacks a digital connection. I think streamers are heavily overpriced in the first place, but that is just my opinion.
Nope. Very happy with my CCA's for a tenner each.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
739
298
5,270
Maybe it was unfair towards CXN and Poly...

Then again is it that much better than Yamaha WXC-50 that sells at half the price of BSN 2?
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
They were right to give it a spanking, IMO. Of course it's no worse a product now than it was in October 2015, but it's now 17% dearer than it was then, and all that's happened in over two years is it's got old.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
739
298
5,270
What about Chord Poly streamer? Tested at £500 - 5 stars and it doesn't have its own software and requires to be used with Chord Mojo £399 DAC. That's £900 which is nearly twice the price of BSN 2. Still 5 stars.

You can buy a basic streamer and Chord 2 Qute for as much. Surely Poly should no longer be a 5 star product too.

Don't really care if they downgraded Node but WHF should at least have an appearance of being unbiased.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
163
9
4,595
They should have a 2 step star system. First set for the star rating in the review at launch. And second set for present standing.

A lot of people without access to dealers buy blind like me. Best leave the value proposition to the buyer, and only rate stars on the sonic performance.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
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HiFi mags and reviews are about promoting new products, I would not take too much notice, they may have you believe that every new product is so much better than the old one but it's generally not the case and there is little difference. 2 star drop seems very harsh, seems more to do with the price increase, so does not apply as you bought it before that. Enjoy it, reviews can be bad for your wealth.
 
BigH said:
2 star drop seems very harsh, seems more to do with the price increase, so does not apply as you bought it before that. Enjoy it, reviews can be bad for your wealth.
But the original 5 star WHF review states it was reviewed at £500, and it still is £500, so no price increase in 2016, 2017, or so far in 2018.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
163
49
18,620
newlash09 said:
They should have a 2 step star system. First set for the star rating in the review at launch. And second set for present standing.

A lot of people without access to dealers buy blind like me. Best leave the value proposition to the buyer, and only rate stars on the sonic performance.
...or better still have one rating for sound quality and another for value for money. But then five stars wouldn’t be enough, it’d need to be out of a hundred or something. (Personally I’d use a relative scale with no maximum, so over time ratings would increase if they really sounded better. But as others have said, it’s focus is “new improved” etc!)
 

spiny norman

New member
Jan 14, 2009
293
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0
davidf said:
But the original 5 star WHF review states it was reviewed at £500, and it still is £500, so no price increase in 2016, 2017, or so far in 2018.
See, there you go with your logic again ;-)
 
spiny norman said:
davidf said:
But the original 5 star WHF review states it was reviewed at £500, and it still is £500, so no price increase in 2016, 2017, or so far in 2018.
See, there you go with your logic again ;-)
I’ve only been dealing with them for just over a year, so I had no idea that the Node II was anything other than £500 - I just looked at the facts sitting in front of me via that link and stated them.

And I was replying to the statement, “2 star drop seems very harsh, seems more to do with the price increase”, making the point that the 2 star drop has nothing to do with the price rise, as the price was 3 years ago.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
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0
davidf said:
BigH said:
2 star drop seems very harsh, seems more to do with the price increase, so does not apply as you bought it before that. Enjoy it, reviews can be bad for your wealth.
But the original 5 star WHF review states it was reviewed at £500, and it still is £500, so no price increase in 2016, 2017, or so far in 2018.
Well the review does say:

"When a product has been on the market for nearly three years, and has gone up in price quite a bit in that time (£430 to £500), it must have seriously good sound to remain competitive.

Ultimately, with a price increase and over two year's-worth of rival products that have arrived to take it on, does this streamer still manage top-notch performance?"

So it seems the price was one reason why it has been knocked down.
 

spiny norman

New member
Jan 14, 2009
293
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davidf said:
I’ve only been dealing with them for just over a year, so I had no idea that the Node II was anything other than £500 - I just looked at the facts sitting in front of me via that link and stated them.

And I was replying to the statement, “2 star drop seems very harsh, seems more to do with the price increase”, making the point that the 2 star drop has nothing to do with the price rise, as the price was 3 years ago.
Yes, hence my positive, if slightly flippantly-worded, response.
 
BigH said:
davidf said:
BigH said:
2 star drop seems very harsh, seems more to do with the price increase, so does not apply as you bought it before that. Enjoy it, reviews can be bad for your wealth.
But the original 5 star WHF review states it was reviewed at £500, and it still is £500, so no price increase in 2016, 2017, or so far in 2018.
Well the review does say:

"When a product has been on the market for nearly three years, and has gone up in price quite a bit in that time (£430 to £500), it must have seriously good sound to remain competitive.

Ultimately, with a price increase and over two year's-worth of rival products that have arrived to take it on, does this streamer still manage top-notch performance?"

So it seems the price was one reason why it has been knocked down.
My point still stands, but harder for it to be understood now that the link has mysteriously been removed. It said “originally reviewed at £500”.

What hasn’t had a price increase over the last 5/6 years though? Some stuff has gone up by 30%, and I dare say there’s stuff out there that’s gone up by 40% during that time. Hell, Naim’s new Uniti stuff has gone up by about 25% (mostly between it being announced and it being available) but no one seems to be batting an eyelid at that.
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
53
0
0
davidf said:
BigH said:
davidf said:
BigH said:
2 star drop seems very harsh, seems more to do with the price increase, so does not apply as you bought it before that. Enjoy it, reviews can be bad for your wealth.
But the original 5 star WHF review states it was reviewed at £500, and it still is £500, so no price increase in 2016, 2017, or so far in 2018.
Well the review does say:

"When a product has been on the market for nearly three years, and has gone up in price quite a bit in that time (£430 to £500), it must have seriously good sound to remain competitive.

Ultimately, with a price increase and over two year's-worth of rival products that have arrived to take it on, does this streamer still manage top-notch performance?"

So it seems the price was one reason why it has been knocked down.
My point still stands, but harder for it to be understood now that the link has mysteriously been removed. It said “originally reviewed at £500”.

What hasn’t had a price increase over the last 5/6 years though? Some stuff has gone up by 30%, and I dare say there’s stuff out there that’s gone up by 40% during that time. Hell, Naim’s new Uniti stuff has gone up by about 25% (mostly between it being announced and it being available) but no one seems to be batting an eyelid at that.
+1.

In 2014, you had about 1.8 dollar for a pound; that’s less than 1.4 now. So import is more expensive now. Click here for the chart.
 

ivavcr

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2013
8
0
10,520
When I first read the Arcam rPlay vs Bluesound Node 2...article, my initial reaction was a combination of disblief and disgust. What Hi-Fi was never an epitome of journalistic excellence but from time to time they would have some articles that were informative if nothing else. This article is probably one of the best examples of total ignorance and heavy bias. I was ready to point to the number of the errors and omissions appearing in the article but after a while I lost interest in wasting my time explaining what was wrong with the article.

Recently two things happened that provoked me to make this post. They did it again in their newest review of the Bluesound Generation 2. They decided to ding a star from the rating no matter what. They clearly stated that they did not have a chance to listen to their favourite component, the Powernode 2 again. Anyway, since it was a dinging season, they decided to take action! Again, the main reason being the price increase. They again conveniently missed the fact that all Bluesound components come with 6 year warranty (extended warranty tend to be costly) and they missed that Bluesound plays MQA. Both features differentiate Bluesound from most of their competitors.

The second reason for making this posting is the fact that I read their statement about "The Trust Project" they are part of, and you can find it here:

https://www.whathifi.com/about-trust-project

I will not bother you by quoting the rules stated in the document they decided to disregard or overlook in their Arcam rPlay vs Bluesound Node 2...article. You can find it yourself if you follow the link.

In the initial paragraph the review is trying to make believe that both units are more or less the same:
"There’s no clear specification, beyond file compatibility, to draw comparisons between different models." If they bothered to read and understand the specifications, they would find out that there are a big differences both in connecivity and files played. The Bluesond supports MQA files while the rPlay does not. There is a note that the Node can stream MQA files from the likes of Tidal. Actually, it can play MQA files regardless of the source. No matter what, we are lead to believe that both units "Play all popular file types".The rPlay does not support bluetooth but if one could be added thath would probably be their own miniBlink and that would bring the price of the rPlay to GBP 485. Unfortunately, due to a very limited connectivity of the rPlay, bluetooth can not be added. Anyway having a bluetooth connectivity may be very important, especially for younger generations where the phone is a center of your life. Otherwise miniBlink would not cost as much as it costs.Reading and understanding the specs and maual would also reveal that the Node 2 is a perfect base for a full system based on active speakers and active sub if needed. You can even add a turntable because there is an analogue/optical input (dual purpose). If you do not feel like using your computer to store your music collection, you can connect any USB HD to the USB port on a back of the unit with enough power for the HD. The control app is available for Android, iOs, Windows and Amazon Kindle. You can "teach" the Node to listen to any IR remote and control the basic functions. Blusound also supports Roon integration.If you added additional four years of extended warranty to the rPlay (2years vs 6 yearas free for Node) and hypothetical bluetooth, the rPlay is probably more expensive. I would not bother to compare computing and processing power of the two.I am finding the following statement to be the most pathetic in the whole review: "The rPlay has a pair of volume control buttons on the top of each streamer, while the Node 2 opts for touch-sensitive controls to skip and pause your audio. We prefer the latter, as it has greater usefulness in day-to-day operation." Any person having a basic interest in controls on top of the Node would understand that you do not need five buttons to skip and pause your audio.I will noth even bother to comment " the most important aspect of any streamer – sound quality". By their own admission in the original rPlay review it has "Rather confined presentation". Since there was some doctoring on top of the reduced rating from five to three stars of the original Node 2 review, it is hard to determine how the sound was rated originally. Anyway, since they own the stars, they can give them or take them any way they like it. The whole review has so many flaws that the outcome of it is totally irrelevant.
 

ivavcr

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2013
8
0
10,520
Sorry, I was not aware that the official warranty is two years. All NAD and Bluesound products at Sevenoaks Sound and Vision are advertised as having a six year warranty and I was under the impression that was a manufacturers warranty.
 

JamesMellor

New member
Jul 19, 2013
40
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0
SevenOaks are the agents for that company so they can cut thier stores a better deal. If you wanted to buy KEF for example David has exactly the same deal as SevenOaks.
 

ivavcr

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2013
8
0
10,520
I am in Canada, so the UK pricing is not affecting me.

The main reason for my posting was to point to the lack of fairness in the review. With very limited connectivity the rPlay is much closer to the Chromecast Audio than to the Node 2. Add to that the extenal antenna and power supply and control application that is inferior to the Bluesound app and tt would be really surprising that they come at the similar price. The sound quality is highly subjective but given the stellar intial report of the sound of Node 2, I would be surprised that it sounds any worse because of the price increase.

If you want cheap and cheerful, go for the Chromecast Audio!
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
163
9
4,595
ivavcr said:
I am in Canada, so the UK pricing is not affecting me.

The main reason for my posting was to point to the lack of fairness in the review. With very limited connectivity the rPlay is much closer to the Chromecast Audio than to the Node 2. Add to that the extenal antenna and power supply and control application that is inferior to the Bluesound app and tt would be really surprising that they come at the similar price. The sound quality is highly subjective but given the stellar intial report of the sound of Node 2, I would be surprised that it sounds any worse because of the price increase. 

If you want cheap and cheerful, go for the Chromecast Audio!
That whathifi post was skewed in favour of the irdac from the outset. Reminds me of the running race from the film 'dictator '.

They have conviniently excluded the powernode which is their 2nd most potent system after the node. And being mqa and room compatible alone is enough to alleviate it to an other level. I've still held on to my powernode just for the MQA. And it still sounds good to me paired with the concept 40 speakers. And that is a lot of good sound, functionality and ease of use for the price.
 

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