So what’s the fuss about?
The Bluesound Node has become ubiquitous with good quality audio at affordable prices. First we had the rather boxy ‘cuboid’ style design which was rather unwieldy, then we went to the ‘burger bun’ shape we now recognize from the Node 2, then the Node 2i, and most recently the Node 2021, also referred to as N130, presumably a nod to its design concept.
But whilst streaming transports can be beset with high prices and big diminishing returns, the Node 2021 is an abject lesson that relative cheapness doesn’t always mean inferiority, which is tackled in this Bluesound Node 2021 Review. I have heard the Node 2021 cope with transports many more times expensive and it is the type of product where consumer style audio meets (and can take the mick out of) some more expensive alternates.
The New Node 2021 also offers a consumer orientated DAC too and whilst not being at what most would consider ‘audiophile’ level and a mismatch to systems maybe over £$2-3000, it is ALL its features which is to raise excitement levels. The ability to stream MQA, a new USB output that will enable you to use it with a compatible DAC (coming in an update), the tremendous BluOS app and features like Radio Paradise – an MQA streaming radio platform that can be accessed via BluOS.
Before you even consider pricier alternates, the new Node 2021 should be on anyone’s demo list, with most of the gear audiophiles own. It fits into the party well and is the type of device which (as a transport) will be end game for many people, especially as an online streaming service streamer. With the pre-ponderance of artist frustrations, including ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus, about not being paid the going rate with streaming services, the purchase of devices like the Node 2021 en-masse to more of the mass market, would play fiddle to a bigger need for streaming to satisfy artists, who ultimately are why we do this! An extremely recommended product.
Watch my video Review here of the Bluesound Node 2021 :
Features – Node 2021 (from Bluesound Website)
- Connect to any existing stereo amplifier, AV receiver, or powered audio system.
- Powered by state of the art Quad-Core 1.8ghz ARM® Cortex™ A53 processor and a 32-bit/384khz premium DAC design.
- HDMI eARC connectivity, digital, optical and analog input/output options, with wired and wireless headphone and subwoofer outputs.
- Hi-res audio streaming with access to Internet radio stations, cloud music services, and your own local music library.
- Dual band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet and support for 2-way Bluetooth aptX HD Bluetooth ensures music playback without interruption.
- Create and control a seamless multi-room system with the intuitive BluOS Controller app.
- Top panel touch controls with presets.
- IR input and remote learning capability – Control it with the optional Bluesound RC1 Remote Controller.
- Connect with the BluVoice skill in the Alexa app and use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to control Players around the home.
- AirPlay 2 lets you play music or podcasts from wireless stereo components throughout your house — all in sync