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Bluesound Node

Streaming music player for stereo or home theater system (Black)

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  • Bluesound Node

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Item# 813NODEB
 

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Our take on the Bluesound Node

by Tara W.
Bluesound
Bluesound Node

A streaming music system for the audio enthusiast

Enjoy high-end audio in more rooms of your home. While there are many streaming speakers in today's audio landscape, Bluesound's multi-room music system focuses on helping you enjoy the most from high-resolution audio files. The makers of NAD electronics and PSB speakers relied on their decades of audio experience to create this new line of multi-room audio gear for the discerning listener. And you can control the Bluesound system using a free app for smartphone or tablet.

Play more music from your high-performance audio system

The Node turns your audiophile-grade audio system into a network-capable Bluesound player. Connect the Node's analog or digital outputs to your existing system and you'll be able to play all the music stored on your home network, as well as Internet radio stations and more.


High-res audio

A wide variety of music options

Bluesound was designed to play just about any digital music you might have in your collection, including high-resolution files up to 24-bit/192kHz. Access the music stored on your computer or a networked hard drive, or tap into Internet radio stations and online streaming services like Rdio™. Each Bluesound player also features a USB input for playing files "locally" from a thumb drive or hard drive, so if a friend brings over a favorite album or playlist, you can listen to it through your system.

Create a high-resolution multi-room music system

Combine multiple Bluesound players to enjoy high-end sound throughout your home.

  • Powernode: This amplified player connects to a pair of speakers. It may be small, but it's powerful enough to drive a pair of floor-standing speakers.
  • Pulse: This all-in-one player is perfect for almost any room. It has built-in PSB speakers for great sound in a compact package.
  • Vault: If you've amassed a large collection of CDs, then the Vault was designed for you. It's a storage drive designed with the audio enthusiast in mind. This drive defaults to bit-perfect recording of your CDs, letting you experience every detail without switching discs every time you want to hear a new track or album.

Place a Pulse in your kitchen, attach a Node to your home audio system, and use the PowerNode to drive your high-end speakers.

Bluesound app

Control the system with a free app for smartphone or tablet

Control in the palm of your hand

In addition to creating high-end music players, Bluesound also developed free apps for Apple® and Android™ so you can control the system easily with your portable device. Pull up the app on your smartphone or tablet and you can select songs and adjust volume. Play music in one room, all rooms, or different tracks in different spaces around your home.

Highlights:

  • communicates with other Bluesound players via your home network (wired or wireless)
  • control the system with a free app for Android™ and Apple® smartphones and tablets
  • plays MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF files
    • supported sample rates: 32kHz to 192kHz
  • plays Internet radio stations from TuneIn Radio
  • plays streaming music from Rdio™
  • play music in multiple rooms when you add other Bluesound players
  • top-mounted controls for volume and muting
  • USB port for connecting a thumb drive with music files
  • RCA stereo audio output
  • optical digital audio output
  • Ethernet port for a wired connection to a home network
  • compatible with Windows® (XP or higher operating system)
  • compatible with Mac®
  • operates on AC power (detachable cord included)
  • 8-1/16"W x 5-3/4"H x 7-1/16"D
  • weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • requires smartphone or tablet with free Bluesound app for control of system playback
  • requires high-speed Internet connection
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Network music player
  • 6' AC power cord (120V)
  • 6" AC power cord (240V)
  • 6.5' Stereo RCA cable
  • 6' Stereo minijack-to-RCA cable
  • 6.5' Ethernet cable
  • 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Safety Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Network Music Player: The Bluesound Node (N100) is a network music player which lets you stream digital music files on your network connected Windows or Mac computer, plus stream select online music services to your existing home audio system. The Bluesound Node offers a wired or wireless network connection, plus a USB (type-A) input. The Node connects to your home stereo system via analog RCA or optical digital. A free remote app for your Apple iOS or Android device lets you control the Node and your streamed digital music from your mobile device.

Wired or Wireless Network Connection: The Bluesound Node (N100) can be connected to your home network and Internet provider via a hardwired Ethernet (RJ-45) jack connector or wireless WiFi (802.11n) connection. Either network/internet connection allows you to stream music from your Windows or Mac computer and NAS drive (such as the Bluesound Vault, sold separately); as well as stream select online music services.

  • Computer Audio: Thanks to its network connection, the Node can access your digital music stored on your network connected Microsoft Windows (XP/2000/Vista/7) PC or Apple Macintosh OS X computer. You are able to select and playback the digital audio files that are on your PC or computer via the free downloadable app on your iOS or android device. The Node supports MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF music files with bit-rates of 16/24-bit and native sampling rates of 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192kHz.
  • Online Music Services: With a network and internet connection, the Node lets you access select online music services.
    • TuneIn: TuneIn is a free online music service that offers over 70,000 Internet radio stations; including music, sports, news, and entertainment. You can listen to local stations or discover new stations from around the world. You are able to search for music by genre (Adult Contemporary, Classical, Country, Reggae, etc.), location (continent and country), and language (English, French, Spanish, etc). You also get access to talk radio and podcasts. In addition, you can save your favorite Internet radio stations as "My Favorites".
  • Rdio: Rdio is an online digital music with a catalog of 20 million songs and interruptions or advertisements. Rdio makes it easy to find what you're looking for, whether it's an artist, album, song, or a custom playlist. A $10.00 per-month Rdio subscription is required.

Note: This device needs to be connected to your home's network and the internet in order to access music on your computer, Internet radio stations, and online streaming music services. A paid subscription may be required to access some streaming music or internet radio services. An internet connection is also required for software/hardware updates. This unit can be connected to the internet using a LAN-based, DSL, Wi-Fi or cable modem connection.

USB (Type-A) Input: The Bluesound Node (N100) features a USB (type-A) port to directly connect your USB mass storage class (MSC) device; such as your Android smartphone, digital music player, thumbdrive, or external hard-drive. The unit's USB port supports music playback from these compatible USB devices formatted in FAT 32. The USB port is not compatible with the direct connection of an Apple iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

Note: There is also a mini-USB (type-B) port that is used for service purposes only (not for consumer use). Only authorized service personnel can access this USB port.

Free Control App for iOS & Android: You can download the free Bluesound Remote App from iTunes or GooglePlay in order to use your Apple iOS (5.0+) or Android (2.1+) device to control the Node. You are able to browse your local music library from a NAS or Windows/Mac computer on your network. You can also search for and listen to online music from TuneIn and rdio. In addition, you can create, edit, and retrieve your favorite music playlists. The Bluesound Remote App even provides artist/song/album information and Album Art. The remote app can be used in portrait or landscape mode. There are three main screens; the Center Screen which has the playback controls and source information, the Menu Screen which is swiped in from the left side, and the Players Screen which is swiped in from the right side. Simply pinch, swipe, and tap the screen of your iOS or Android device to make selections. 

Note: If you have multiple Bluesound devices on the same network, you can use the Bluesound Remote App to control each of them separately. You are able to play the same music track or different music tracks at the same volume or different volume level.

Analog & Digital Outputs: The Bluesound Node (N100) contains both an analog RCA stereo output and optical (toslink) digital output to connect the player to your home audio system's integrated amplifier or AV receiver.

5V Trigger Output: The 5V trigger output (3.5mm) can be used to control or activate other external device equipped with a corresponding 5V trigger input.

Detachable Power Cord: The Bluesound Node (N100) operates off of standard household current using the supplied 6' detachable AC power cord.

 
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Bluesound Node Reviews

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5 out of 5

Audiophile quality sound - beyond CD

Written By Brian, Ohio on Friday, March 07, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased a BlueSound node as a Sonos owner. My thought was to compare the two head to head and decide which to roll out to the rest of the house. The 24-bit / 96 khz FLAC files sound noticeably better than CD (16-bit / 46 Khz) I've ever heard from a system I owned. As for the journey to the maximum 24-bit / 192 khz FLAC. Well, I learned you need to have very high quality TOSlink cables for your receiver to be able to receive that kind of resolution. And I also learned your receiver needs to be able to handle resolution. Apparently my 2008 Bose lifestyle system cannot. Ultimately I've decided to roll-out with bluesounds throughout the house. I believe the difference between bluesound and Sonos sound will be even greater with the AMP version.
Pros:
Better sound quality than Sonos using hi res audio files. What's more important to you in an audio appliance? Ease of use? Or the sound? I can learn to get around in the clunky interface so that I can enjoy the higher quality sound. The interface is easier to improve. With Sonos - the sound quality can't get any better than it is.
Cons:
SONOS has the more intuitive android/apple interface and better music service offerings (Spotify, Pandora and others). Sure you can stream Spotify and Pandora over bluetooth to a $15 bluetooth adapter in the BlueSound. But I'd rather have the services built into the blue sound interface.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

great sound quality

Written By steve, Staten Island, NY on Monday, January 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound quality, this is a fantastic device. I bought it to replace the Logitech Squeezebox touch as that is being phased out of my system. I have it hooked up with a wired connection and use the digital toslink output into my Bel Canto DAC3 DAC. Sound is world class, I am very happy with my purchase. It plays high resolution files flawlessly and I control it with my Android Tablet as well as my Android phone. I love it!

There are not too many apps for music services on it yet, but they are adding more. Also I found out you can get a specific bluetooth 4.0 connector (around $20) that Bluesound recommends to get on their web site (buy from a pc hardware store), and you can stream whatever you want from a Bluetooth device. I was sitting about 20 feet away from the Node in my kitchen, playing Google Music Unlimited on it through bluetooth, worked great.

The sound quality is very refined and the sound is pretty much similar to a high end transport. I haven't tested the analog outputs yet so I can't comment on that as I have a DAC that I use with it. As a transport it is very very good. I am impressed. I play all my ripped CDs that are ripped to FLAC and I just share the drive or folder on the network like I would in Windows, on my Ubuntu linux system. The node connects to the shared drive / folder(s) and it works great. It is also bit perfect, it plays the source file the exact bit rate as the original source, which is definitely a plus or me. Nice product.
Pros:
sound quality, cool design
Cons:
not too many apps for music services yet, although they are working on adding more.
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great System

Written By Tom, Rochester NY on Friday, September 27, 2013
 
As I indicated in my Powernode review, the Bluesound system (along with my NAD components M51, M52, M50) brings fantastic sound quality to a whole house streaming environment. The Nodes are extremely easy to install, and the apps are very good and getting better all the time with frequent updates. I have one Powernode for the patio, and two Nodes for basement and bedroom presently, and likely to get one more in the near future. I have all components Ethernet-wired, as I have a growing collection of 24/96 thru 24/192 files.

I had previously tried a variety of alternatives, from Airplay to JRiver/NAS, ALAC to FLAC files, and countless phone & ipad apps -- but when I added the Bluesound pieces to my NAD main system, everything came together, simpler and far better -- undoubtedly one of the best purchases I've made to-date for my systems.

Note: the NAD M50 app and Bluesound app are virtually identical, can use either one to control both NAD and Bluesound units.
Pros:
Great quality, flexibility, network reliability, and seamless integration with the NAD digital M-series
Cons:
wish there was a coax output on the nodes -- otherwise, no cons whatsoever
16 out of 16 people found this helpful
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2 questions already asked

Can you also send the output to an external DAC? [ David  Jan 24, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • Analog & Digital Outputs: The Bluesound Node (N100) contains both an analog RCA stereo output and optical (toslink) digital output to connect the player to your home audio system's integrated amplifier or AV receiver. The digital output would allow you to connect to an external DAC. [ Jeff Staff  Jan 26, 2014 ]
Does it have a built-in DAC? [ Mark  Dec 12, 2013 ]
1 answer
  • Yes. This unit will convert y our digital music directly for the speaker to play. [ Jeff Staff  Dec 12, 2013 ]

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