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Bluesound Vault

Music player and 1TB storage drive (Black)

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  • Bluesound Vault

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  • Bluesound Vault

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  • Bluesound Vault

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  • Bluesound Vault

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  • Bluesound Vault

    Front-panel CD slot for transferring your music

Item# 813VAULT
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Bluesound Vault

by Tara W.
Bluesound

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 giving you the most from high-resolution audio files. The makers of NAD electronics and PSB speakers used their years of audio experience to create this 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.

Turn your CD collection into a bit-perfect digital music archive

If you've amassed a large collection of CDs, then the Vault was designed for you. This 1TB storage drive has a built-in CD slot, so you can copy your entire collection for easy access. It defaults to ripping bit-perfect digital copies of your CDs, so you'll hear every detail contained in the original versions. Plus, you can transfer other digital music files which you may have stored on various computers around the house, and keep them all on the Vault for easy access. Once you've loaded your collection, you'll be able to enjoy all of your music in any room with a Bluesound player. The Vault itself is also a Bluesound music player — connect it to your receiver, amplifier, or other audio system using its digital or analog outputs.


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 their 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.
  • Node: This small player connects to an amplified system, like a bookshelf audio system or a home theater system.

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:

  • music storage device with slot-loading CD drive and 1TB internal hard drive
  • 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 audio from Rdio™
  • play music in multiple rooms when you add other Bluesound players
  • top controls for volume and muting
  • USB port for connecting a thumb drive with music files
  • RCA stereo audio output
  • optical digital output
  • Ethernet port
  • compatible with Windows® (XP or higher operating system)
  • compatible with Mac®
  • AC adapter included
  • weight: 6.6 lbs.
  • 11-1/2"W x 8-1/4"H x 10"D
  • 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

  • Streaming music player/Hard disc drive
  • AC power supply (w/ attached 5' DC cord)
  • 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

Bluesound Vault (V500): The Bluesound Vault (V500) provides a convenient way to store and listen to your digital music collection. The Vault provides employs a CD-ripper and 1TB hard-drive to store you CD-Audio music files. It also offers a wired network connection and can act as a NAS drive for storage & playback of digital music files on your Windows or Mac computer. In addition, its network connection lets you access even more music from online music services, such as TuneIn and Rdio. There is even a direct USB input for connection of a USB mass storage class device that contains music files. All of this can be controlled from your Apple iOS or Android device using Bluesound's free control app.

Note: The Vault (V500) 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.

CD-Ripper w/ 1TB Hard-Drive: The Vault's slot-loading CD mechanism can rip an inserted Audio CD directly to its 1TB hard-drive. You can choose to rip your Audio CD music as MP3 or FLAC files.

  • FLAC (recommended format): High quality compression designed specifically for CD backup purposes. Files are ripped at FLAC level 5 balancing compression and rip speed at full CD lossless levels of 44.1kHz/16-bits. The Vault can store between 2,000 to 2,500 CDs in this format
  • MP3 (default format): Standard audio compression designed to keep bandwidth low with little degradation. Files are ripped at 320kbps, the highest level of sound quality available to MP3 format. The Vault can store between 8,000 to 10,000 CDs in this format.
  • Both: For Hi-fidelity quality playback with the ability to export or download to a personal MP3 Player.

Wired Network Connection: The Bluesound Vault is fitted with an Ethernet (RJ-45) jack for a wired connection to your home's network and Internet provider. This network/internet connection allows you to use the Vault as external NAS drive for music on your Windows or Mac computer; plus stream TuneIn and Rdio online music services.

  • Computer Audio: Thanks to its network connection and 1TB hard-drive, the Vault can act as a NAS drive for digital music stored on your network connected Microsoft Windows (XP/2000/Vista/7) PC or Apple Macintosh OS X computer. You are able to access, rip, and playback the digital audio files that are on your PC or computer via simple drag & drop commands. The device 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: The Vault (V500) lets you access select online music services from its wired network connection.
    • 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.

USB (Type-A) Input: The Bluesound Vault (V500) 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 rear-panel 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 your digital music files stored in the Vault. You can also search for and listen to online music from TuneIn and rdio. In addition, you are able to 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 Vault contains both an analog RCA stereo output and optical (toslink) digital output to connect the device to your home audio system's integrated amplifier or AV receiver.

External Power Supply: The Bluesound Vault (V500) operates off of standard household current using the supplied external AC power supply and AC power cord.

  • Input: 100-240V~50/60HZ, 1.5A
  • Output: 12.0V - 5.0A
 
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Bluesound Vault Reviews

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3 out of 5

Bluesound Vault

Written By Lew M., Setauket, NY on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I jumped at the opportunity to buy this product so that I could dump my 400 disc Sony changer. I must say that, after having this unit for about two months, I think I know its capabilities quite well. The three star rating is for all the aggravation it causes. Let me begin. The problem is that there is not included software to help you organize your CD's. For example, 5 CD's from say Beethoven may be indexed according to the composer or the orchestra of the conductor or other things. This makes finding a particular CD daunting if you've loaded in a few hundred. In popular music, some songs are cataloged by singer, band, first name last name, etc. The search feature in the Blusound software doesn't help either. I had to organize my entire collection and use a tag editor. I used MP3 tag editor which I taught myself how to use...another annoyance. Well, it's all good now. I can easily find recordings because I renamed nearly all my discs. This was a time consuming process, but worth it. Bluesound should provide its own proprietary management software. If you're patient and willing to reorganize your CD collection, playing them using the Blusound Vault will work well. And by the way, if you have a Sonus system, you can use their software to access the Vault's music and play it all through your Sonsus speakers or Bridge.
Pros:
Great way to store and play discs
Cons:
No organizing software for your ripped CD's.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

A Solid Solution

Written By Jason, CT on Monday, March 17, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The search for Bluesound was motivated by a need to find a high resolution streamer that could support full 24/192 FLAC files in GAPLESS playback with a user friendly interface...and I consider the vault a success in all three categories. The most challenging aspect was finding a streamer that supported gapless playback since I regularly listen to classical albums that require uninterrupted track-track transitions for faithful reproduction. Not all streamers can do this, so be sure to double check any possible solutions if that matters to you.

I have a few nitpicks that may or may not be a big deal for you (see cons below), but all-in-all, I believe the Bluesound platform as a whole to be a worthwhile investment. If you don't need the ripping and storage capacity, you could have full 24/192 gapless streaming capabilities with a Node.

For those interested, according to the Bluesound tech forum, these units use Cirrus Logic DACs. I have this hooked up to a Peachtree Decco with the ESS Sabre DAC, and both the analog and digital outs of the Vault sound great. These things are a matter of preference, of course, but I wouldn't say that you automatically need an outboard DAC with this "bargain" streamer.

There is limited support for streaming services (no Spotify, MOG, or other 320kb/s options), so I also run Sonos for my whole house audio, and I find the two coexist nicely. If pricing isn't a consideration, NAD masters series also run on the Bluesound OS.
Pros:
1. Clean Iphone / Ipad interface (Ipad has better functionality). 2. GAPLESS 24/192 high resolution playback. 3. Great value - 1TB drive, CD ripper, and streamer all in one. 4. Bluesound platform is a great foundation for high resolution streaming. 5. Found and played all music on my existing NAS.
Cons:
1. Limited streaming services support (no pandora, spotify, mog, etc.) 2. CD ripper wasn't perfect in picking artwork and track titles...this is true for all ripping software, BUT there is no good built in way to modify artwork and track titles...I had to use JRiver at times. 3. Sometime requires "re-indexing" and "reloading artwork" to find all albums - a bit buggy at times. 4. Integrated highresaudio downloads aren't truly "integrated" and many titles have region restrictions.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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3 questions already asked

Can I connect this to the receiver I have in my stereo system and use the Bluesound as a CD player after I've loaded my CDs into it? Thanks [ Joe  Apr 10, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • Yes. The Bluesound Vault rips the full CD as a .flac file which gives you the full sound quality of the CD. You connect the Vault to your receiver with a pair of RCA cables. To view and play the ripped CDs, you will need to set up/sync an iPad or other similar device. The details of each ripped CD will be visible as shared files on your computer (PC or Mac). Note: If you have CDs that you have compiled they may show up on the Vault as Unknown. I haven't figured out yet how to add information to the computer file and have it transferred to the iPad display. [ JOSEPH   Apr 11, 2014 ]
Can music files on the internal storage drive be transferred to an external drive for back up purposes or to free up more space ? [ Rob  Apr 17, 2014 ]
Will this product play my apple lossless music files? If not, will it convert them to another format ? Will it convert to FLAC? [ Bob  Jan 05, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • Computer Audio: Thanks to its network connection and 1TB hard-drive, the Vault can act as a NAS drive for digital music stored on your network connected Microsoft Windows (XP/2000/Vista/7) PC or Apple Macintosh OS X computer. You are able to access, rip, and playback the digital audio files that are on your PC or computer via simple drag & drop commands. The device 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. [ Jeff Staff  Jan 08, 2014 ]

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Bluesound Vault, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_813VAULT/Bluesound-Vault-Black.html ).

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