Streaming Setup - Replacing a Chromecast Audio and Rotels Amp internal DAC with a Bluesound Node ?


Well-known member
Sep 19, 2013
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Hey all,

I am slowly moving into a more smart home setup and the next thing on my list due for an upgrade is the streamer. I am currently using a Chromecast Audio (nice little cheap device that does the job for the last 4 years or so) which is connected via optical cable to a Rotel RA-12 Integrated Amp paired with a set of B&W floor standing speakers. Based on the specs of the Rotel, the RA-12 has a Wolfson premium 24-bit/192kHz Digital to Analog Converter, which is the one i use with the Chromecast. I dont have an external DAC.

Since my wife and I, we are on apples eco system we are using Apple Homekit which does not play well with Chromecast. Based on that, I am looking for a streamer that is fully compatible with Apples smart home platform (Homekit compatibility, Airplay 2 for multiroom playback with home pods, automations from homekit etc). Currently, I am using Apple Homekit, iOS shortcuts and Home Assistant on a Pi4 to do some automations and “smart home stuff” due to the limitations that i have with Chromecast but is not always an easy work around especially with the recent update of the iOS.

Taking into account some research that i did online a very good option are the products from Bluesound. The Node product line ticks all the boxes.

I am planning to use the Node for Spotify streaming (hopefyllly Hi-Fi version soon), Online radio and some Hi-Ress listening from my library (FLACs etc). The goal is to connect the RCA out of the Node to the AUX in of the Rotel and let the Node do the DAC work.

Now I am on the boat of which of the two models to choose.

  • First of all, am I gonna see any sound improvement from replacing my current streaming setup (mainly bypassing the internal DAC of the Rotel by taking advantage of the DAC that come with the Node)
  • Secondly, Is it worth it to pull the trigger and get the 2021 model, Node N130? The Node 2i is aprox. 400eur (open box) and Node N130 aprox. 540eur. There is a difference of 140euros.
Also i would like to add that an alternative in similar price range is the Denon DNP-800NE but cant find any revies and comparisons online for this product.

Thank you. Feel free to share any experience with these products.


Well-known member
If I were you I would get the cheapest Node 2i I could. Either the open box one or even a nice used one on eBay. I wouldn’t pay such a premium for the ‘latest model’. You can still take the Node optical out into your Rotel and compare DACs. Good luck!


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