Bluesound Node vs Node 2i And Alternative

Bluesound brought two new ultimate hi-fi music streamers Bluesound NODE and NODE 2i for a new generation music experience.

Bothoth NODE and NODE 2i are identical with little differences.

New NODE comes with additional eARC HDMI, ARM® Cortex™ -A53, Quad-Core Processor than NODE 2i; offers high-resolution audio for any genre.

Other hands, NODE 2i also offers great functionality and is a good value for the price.

To make your confusion clear about these two-music streamers we are going to compare every feature. So, you can differentiate between NODE VS NODE 2i and choose the perfect streamer for you.

In the end, we are also going to review some alternatives, in case you want something different.

Bluesound NODE vs NODE 2i: Main Difference At A Glance

Features
NODE (new 2021)
NODE 2i
Processor
ARM® Cortex™ -A53, Quad-Core, 1.8GHz per core
ARM® CORTEX™ A9, 1 GHz
DAC
32-Bit, 384kHz Differential Output design
32-Bit, 192kHz
Supported File Formats
MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA-L, OGG, ALAC, OPUS
MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, ALAC, OPUS Hi-Res formats - FLAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF
Supported OS
Microsoft Windows XP, Macintosh 7-10, Vista 7-10, Apple
Microsoft Windows XP, Macintosh 7-10, Vista 7-10, Apple
Supported Cloud Services
Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, Deezer, Qobuz, HighResAudio (VAULT Required), Napster, Taihe Music ZONE, SoundMachine,  OraStream
Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, Deezer, Qobuz, HighResAudio (VAULT Required), Napster, Taihe Music ZONE, SoundMachine,  OraStream
Voice Control
Google Assistant Skills, Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant Skills, Amazon Alexa
Input
Mini TOSLINK / 3.5mm Stereo combo HDMI eARC
Combo - TOSLINK / 3.5mm input
Dimensions
11.8 x 11.8 x 2.75 in
8.7 x 1.8 x 5.7 in
Features
NODE (new 2021)
Processor
ARM® Cortex™ -A53, Quad-Core, 1.8GHz per core
DAC
32-Bit, 384kHz Differential Output design
Supported File Formats
MP3, AAC, WMA, WMA-L, OGG, ALAC, OPUS
Supported OS
Microsoft Windows XP, Macintosh 7-10, Vista 7-10, Apple
Supported Cloud Services
Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, Deezer, Qobuz, HighResAudio (VAULT Required), Napster, Taihe Music ZONE, SoundMachine,  OraStream
Voice Control
Google Assistant Skills, Amazon Alexa
Input
Mini TOSLINK / 3.5mm Stereo combo HDMI eARC
Dimensions
11.8 x 11.8 x 2.75 in
Features
NODE 2i
Processor
ARM® CORTEX™ A9, 1 GHz
DAC
32-Bit, 192kHz
Supported File Formats
MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, ALAC, OPUS Hi-Res formats - FLAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF
Supported OS
Microsoft Windows XP, Macintosh 7-10, Vista 7-10, Apple
Supported Cloud Services
Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, Deezer, Qobuz, HighResAudio (VAULT Required), Napster, Taihe Music ZONE, SoundMachine,  OraStream
Voice Control
Google Assistant Skills, Amazon Alexa
Input
Combo - TOSLINK / 3.5mm input
Dimensions
8.7 x 1.8 x 5.7 in

Bluesound NODE VS NODE 2i: In-Depth Comparison

New Bluesound NODE comes with a couple of updated features. That’s why this streamer is capable of delivering high-resolution sound. But it does not have much difference with NODE 2i.

That’s why in this section we will be discussing in-depth their similarities and differences. This will help you to know about these devices easily.

Bluesound NODE VS NODE 2i: Elegant Design

Bluesound NODE new comes with a smart structure but the overall design is as simple as NODE 2i. This is a handy device you can place anywhere in your home. That classy look with a polished finish in black or white color can increase the room decor or work as a showpiece for some.

With round edges, this device comes with a dimension of 8.7 x 1.8 x 5.7 in. This is like a small box that won’t distract you.

On the top panel, there is a touch screen for controlling several options. Adjust the volume or skip the tracks. Or even you can select from the five preset options which one you want.

This whole touch sensor lights up with a single touch. Otherwise, within 10 seconds it disappears.

There are two colors available black and white. Both look amazing so you can choose according to your taste.

Bluesound NODE 2i feels so nice and delicate as if it has been made with much care. The whole body is made of soft plastic with round corners. There is not much design in the body which is the actual beauty of this streamer.

There is a logo on the front side with an output for a 3.5 mm jack for headphones. On the upper part, there are some controls.

The rest of the input-output ports have been placed in the back panel for a minimalistic look.

Containing a dimension of 8.7 x 1.8 x 5.7 in and weight only 2.45lbs; this streamer does not scream to snatch away attention. But ownself this is a compact size beautiful streamer to get a place anywhere in your home.

Both NODE and NODE 2i, however, can be a long-run companion for the durable structure. The body is made with good material. Not only with the outer beauty, but these streamers are also good in build quality.

NODE VS NODE 2i: More Than Enough Connectivity Options

When we say more than enough connectivity options, we mean it. Both NODE and NODE 2i offer many connections so they can work with any kind of audio device.

There are both wired and wireless options available. According to one need, they can connect with wires or wirelessly. This makes these two-streamer convenient to use.

Both of them come with the same connections but New NODE comes with extra HDMI eARC. This is why NODE is capable of delivering high-resolution audio without compromising a bit with the quality. This enables of delivering original content that brings real life to the audios.

Apart from this combined analog/optical digital 3.5mm input with a USB option. Along with several outputs such as subwoofer, optical, coaxial, and RCA. For connecting your headphones, you will get 3.5mm stereo output too.

These wired connections show great performance compared to wireless. Great clarity in the midrange, powerful bass, and hi-res audio signals. The functionality of both devices is quite impressive.

But if you are really not into wired connections then Bluetooth 5.0 aptx HD and dual-band Wi-Fi is for you. This ensures hassle-free and easy connectivity. The audio quality remains stable without any compromise.

You can connect a headphone or any other device of your choice. The highs, lows, midrange with bass stay clear and decent.

That’s all about these two streamers’ great connectivity. You can enjoy with a bunch of audio devices without worrying about the proper connections.

Stream Hi-Res Audio Wirelessly

Today most people are depending on wireless connections. This thing is not missing from streaming audios wirelessly, as audio devices now come with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility.

With Bluetooth® aptX® HD New NODE and NODE 2i can transmit audio without harming the quality. Stream 24-bit high-resolution audio from phone, tab, or with BluOs controller access iOS, Android or Mac.

Or even you can stream the music services such as Spotify, Tidal also other internet radio stations that you like.

Besides, if you have Bluetooth headphones or speakers then nothing to worry about the quality at all. Because this Bluetooth 5.0 version ensures high transmission of bits. You can enjoy distortion-free, clear audio. Just check the compatibility of your headphone or speaker with these streaming devices.

However, not every streaming offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi at the same time. But this time for NODE VS NODE 2i you are getting the benefit.

The dual-band Wi-Fi supports make it easier to stream music seamlessly. Get excited to access all your favorite music you have ever recorded on your phone or other devices.

Super thrilling and hassle-free streaming makes it more exciting to enjoy your favorite music.

NODE VS NODE 2i Control With Your Voice

NODE VS NODE 2i is called a control freak with voices and there are enough reasons for this. Bluesound provides several controlling options over voice so the users can use it easily.

First of all, connect Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri with the Bluesound app; a hand-free voice control for playback, pause, skip, stream many services or select the music from the library.

A quick control only with a couple of commands brings a new, comfortable music experience to listen to. You can even give commands to listen to audio from different rooms.

But for those who want to control with the latest features then own IR remote or Bluesound RC1 remote. BluOS controlling app is available which is called universal app for all Bluesound devices.

Stream music or do other stuff along with subwoofer crossover optimization, customize tones, adjust DAC settings for the desired performance.

This controlling feature is so skillful and updated that anyone would fall for it. Because very few devices come to the marketplace with numerous controlling options.

And controlling with voice is has always been too excited for lazy people.

However, in this case, both streamers work the same.

NODE VS NODE 2i: Features

For adding the spice into your existing audio system, Bluesound stuffed both NODE VS NODE 2i with numerous features. Enjoy a universal audio experience with your favorite streamer explore a new Hi-res audio world in your home.

BluOS

When it comes to Bluesound streamer then we cannot forget to talk about the award-winning, uniquely featured BluOS platform. This is most probably the only platform that serves 24-bit hi-resolution audio supporting devices universally.

Your NODE or NODE 2i will open a new world to you with a multi-room streaming opportunity. Connect up to 64 players or other devices within your network; which these devices detect automatically. Also, connects streaming devices easily so you can control them or choose your favorite music and much more.

BluOS itself increases the worth of NODE and NODE 2i. You won’t find any other devices with this clever technology ever.

A broad multi-room wireless streaming platform brings a whole new experience that everyone ever has wished for. Only you need is BluOS compatible devices and there you are to enjoy music, radios, or any audio.

Last, of all, the BluOS app controller can work with Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10, MacOS 10-11, iOS, Android. This is why BluOS is called a universal platform. It just doesn’t miss any single user-friendly option for a better experience.

But here again NODE new can make you more satisfied because you can stream original content which means hi-res audio. Though NODE 2i is also serving the same content when it comes to the quality NODE new is slightly better.

Uncountable Music Streaming Facilities

As we already mentioned about BluOS work functionality, you can stream your favorite music from your devices. You won’t believe how many music services you can avail yourself of within a minute with BluOS.

Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, SiriusXM, Qobuz, Custom Channels, Deezer, IDAGIO, iHeartRadio, KKBOX, LiveXLive, Napster, nugs.net, Radio Paradise, RADIO.COM, Internet Radio, Bugs, Calm Radio, SOUNDMACHINE, etc.

If you don’t have any subscribed channel or network then nothing to become stressed about at all because the NODE and NODE 2i wireless option got you. Now without subscribing you still can listen to thousands of music of your choice.

These devices are the most flexible ones. You will get tired of discovering and trying their newer features.

However, digital and analog input-output options connect devices of your choice and enjoy a seamless playback. Therefore, connect a CD or DVD player and play your collected music are some old ones maybe to go back to your old days.

NODE VS NODE 2i: Sound

This far we have unlocked every feature and specification about Bluesound NODE VS NODE 2i. Both perform amazingly, containing some impressive features in this. These have surprised the consumers every time.

Now it is time to highlight their sounding capability which is the most crucial point. For being the best streamer, it needs to deliver hi-res audio content.

Regarding this fact, a big comparison comes in front of us. Because NODE and NODE 2i have almost the same features and this is why it becomes too much difficult to choose one.

But this comes to an end with the sound quality. And we would say NODE new is, indeed, better than NODE 2i.

NODE new is the ultimate music streamer solution for this generation. It introduces a new world to use with the amazing performance thus proves it worth in every point.

With the help of BluOS connect multiple Bluesound speakers placed in separate rooms, still can enjoy the same quality audio. You can create a multi-room HiFi system with the BluOS controller app so easily.

And then comes the sound quality, which is undoubtedly incredible. All thanks to updated DAC supporting MQA files with 32-Bit/ 384kHz. DAC always improves the digital signals and that improves the overall sound quality. This is one of the big reasons to have a built-in DAC. Surprisingly you are getting that in your streamer.

Then coming to other criteria, SNR and THD+N are measured 113dB, 0.002% respectively. These two factors are decent for a good sounding system.

Overall, the powerful processor and new DAC provide a precise quality sound. Tones are warmer, have good rhythms, can play any genre of music like the original content.

Next coming to NODE 2i, this also provides a decent quality sound and the result when you hear in you speaker or in other devices you can hear the original distortion-free content.

Here, also a built-in DAC comes providing 24bit/192kHz, SNR – 110dBA, THD+N – 0.005%. These are the factors that work behind good audio.

So, you can expect a beautiful sound, with a nice tone, richness in the frequencies, clear lyrics. In a word, NODE 2i just doesn’t ruin the original music quality, in fact, it transforms the audio quality into a high level.

In its place, this is an excellent music streamer. But when it comes to the comparison then NODE is better. The magic words in the updated DAC mainly.

NODE VS NODE 2i Which Is Better?

The trickiest question is that NODE VS NODE 2i which is better? Actually, NODE new have inherited all functions from NODE 2i, except HDMI eARC and updated DAC.

This is why in the whole comparison you had seen the similarities mostly. That’s why the whole decision depends on you. If you don’t feel the need for an HDMI eARC port then NODE 2i will work for you.

Otherwise, NODE is definitely better. Therefore, if you were ignoring the DACs this far, then it was doing the biggest mistake ever. Because DAC has the biggest effect on the sound quality.

It is a digital to analog converter which needs to be good enough. Otherwise, all you can do with a music streamer is to stream music but we really cannot guarantee about the quality at all.

But this does not mean we are saying NODE 2i has poor quality DAC. Both streamers have the same DAC with very little difference that is NODE supports 32bit/384kHZ, NODE 2i supports 32bit/192kHz.

NODE is capable of delivering hi-resolution music and there won’t be any lossless project. All, we want to say is that NODE VS NODE 2i is a remarkable streamer, but NODE is slightly better.

Some Of The Best Alternative Music Streamer

Bluesound POWERNODE

Just connect a compatible speaker or device with Bluesound PowerNODE Hifi amp and enjoy a seamless, multi-room musicality. This is one of the best Bluesound’s music streamers with a high-quality DAC and excellent features. 32bit/384kHz supporting DAC ensures flawless, clear audio.

This works like the NODE or NODE 2i with some extraordinary ability. Adopt a technology of 80 Watts per channel of HybridDigital™ amplification, Quad-Core 1.8ghz ARM® Cortex™ A53 processor.

Moreover, control with voice or enjoy wireless streaming with dual-band WIFI, Bluetooth how you like.

As an alternative to Bluesound NODE or NODE 2i, this can be your ultimate choice.

Cambridge Audio CXN V2

With an incredible sound quality Cambridge Audio CXN V2 lets the user enjoy a new music world. You can access lots of music services effortlessly both wired or wirelessly.

All the content converts into high resolution so you can listen to beautiful content every time. ATF2 technology works behind this mesmerizing sound system.

To add more details, clarity in the sound there is the DAC integrated into it.

Besides all of these, music services like Spotify, Google Play, Pandora, Apple lets you listen to your favorite content every day.

Though the price is high and not everyone wants to spend this much on a streamer. But those who are music lovers must like this streamer.

Audiolab 6000N

Audiolab 6000N gives a tough competition to NODE because of its robust performance. This is a device with surprising features but in a decent price range. That’s why anyone would love to have this streamer.

Rather than talking about the basic features, let me tell you about the unique feature of these devices.

DTS Play-Fi favors this streamer to work with any kind of brand speakers, phones, tabs, etc. This means you now have a wider range of choices or you can say a huge benefit.

You don’t need to worry much about the compatible devices, instead, you can listen to beautiful audio.

That’s why we have chosen this streamer as an alternative to NODE.

Audioengine B-Fi

Among the variety collection of high-priced streaming devices, we select Audioengine B-Fi a super affordable device for around $200. This is for those who cannot afford Bluesound or other expensive streamers but at the same time a music lover.

Although the price is pretty low, it didn’t compromise with the performance. This works like the high-end streamers, can upgrade your stereo system precisely.

Stream music from various music services at the same time enjoy multi-room facilities.

Not only streaming music but also Audioengine keeps a great eye on the sound quality. That integrated DAC is great for a crisp, clear sound stage.

As an affordable streamer, this is one of the best.

Final Verdict

Bluesound NODE VS NODE 2i, are two remarkable third-generation remarkable music streamers. These two are rich in excellent features, support numerous platforms for anyone to enjoy music anywhere.

Some of the most praised features are the BluOS controller app, sufficient input/output connection with high-quality DAC. You can trust blindly on these devices.

But when the question is about choosing one between them, the main trouble starts from here. Both are identical, but as we previously mentioned NODE new is slightly better.

But one thing is for sure that any one of them can explore a new music world to your home stereo system.

Some related articles:

Budget Music Streamer

Deezer vs Tidal

Bluesound vs Sonos

FAQ

Do I need a DAC with Bluesound?

You don’t need an additional DAC for your Bluesound streamer, but most of them come with a built-in DAC. They can precisely decode high-resolution audio.

Do Bluesound NODE and NODE 2i decode MQA?

Both NODE and NODE 2i decode MQA playback with up to 32bit/192kHz. They are a perfect solution for MQA playback.

How does music streamer work?

Music streamers are nothing but a piece of hardware that provides a lot of streaming options via network or the internet. All the music services such as Tidal, Spotify, Amazon music, etc. you can stream only with a music streamer.

Also, connect the phone, speaker, laptop and listen to thousands of music.