Bluesound Pulse 2
Streaming music speaker with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® (Black)
Our take on the Bluesound Pulse 2 by Crutchfield's Ralph Graves
Wireless music for the audio enthusiast
If you're serious about your music and its sound quality, here's good news. With the Bluesound system you can play your high-resolution music and enjoy the convenience of wireless multi-room audio throughout your home. Bluesound was designed by the makers of NAD electronics and PSB speakers, both experts when it comes to delivering high-performance audio.
An all-in-one music player
The Pulse 2 makes a great all-purpose wireless music speaker. It features a dual-acoustic chamber with an advanced digital signal processor. The 4" full-range woofer is powered by 80 watts of total system power. Bottom line — the Pulse 2 delivers clean, distortion-free sound across the audio spectrum. And it can fill a room with it. Enjoy Internet radio stations, streaming music services, songs stored on a networked computer or hard drive and more — all with outstanding sound quality.
DirectDigital™ amplifier technology produces lifelike sound
Bluesound's DirectDigital Amplifier features remarkable 35-bit/844kHz digital-to-analog converter (DAC) circuitry for a sound that's detailed, immediate, and dynamic. Your high-resolution digital files will sound clear and richly textured.
A universe of music options
Bluesound is compatible with virtually all digital music formats — including high-resolution files up to 24-bit/192kHz. Access the music stored on your computer or a networked hard drive. Stream from Internet radio stations and online services like Spotify®, Rhapsody, and TIDAL. You can also enjoy downloads from high-res music sites such as HDtracks. The player is compatible with MQA, an up-and-coming high-resolution audio format.The Pulse 2 also features a USB input for playing files "locally" from a thumb drive or hard drive — ideal when friends come over with their own music.
The Pulse 2 features aptX® audio coding, an advanced form of Bluetooth that allows higher-fidelity sound with compatible Bluetooth devices. The system is backward-compatible with earlier forms of Bluetooth, too. Bluetooth is a convenient way to play the sound from any app you might be using on your mobile device, including Netflix® and YouTube™. You can even share that Bluetooth source with other Bluesound music players around your house that are connected to the same network.
Create a high-resolution multi-room music system
Combine multiple Bluesound players to enjoy high-end sound throughout your home.
- Pulse Flex: This ultra-compact can fit just about any place.
- Pulse Mini: This compact, all-in-one speaker system is ideal for a bookshelf, desk, or nightstand.
- Powernode 2: 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.
- Node 2: Connects to your home audio system and makes it part of the Bluesound network.
- Pulse Soundbar: Delivers powerful sound for movies and TV shows while giving you full access to music through your Bluesound network.
- Vault 2: 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.
- wireless music player with built-in amplifier and speakers
- communicates with other Bluesound players via your home network (wired or wireless)
- control the system with a free app for your smartphone, tablet, or computer (Android™, iOS®, Kindle Fire, Windows®, and Mac®)
- plays MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, MQA, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF files
- supported sample rates: 32kHz to 192kHz
- supported bit depths 16-24
- plays Internet radio stations from TuneIn Radio and iHeart Radio
- high-fidelity Bluetooth aptX® audio coding for greater sonic detail with compatible devices
- Spotify Connect lets you play Spotify's streaming music library through your Bluesound system via your smartphone or tablet (requires Spotify app and a premium subscription)
- plays streaming music from TIDAL, Rdio™, HighResAudio, HDtracks, Deezer, JUKE, Slacker Radio, Qobuz, and Murfie
- 80 watts total system power at 0.005% THD
- DirectDigital™ amplifier renders digital music sources with ultra-fine detail, even at extreme high and low volumes
- top controls for volume and muting
- USB port for connecting a thumb drive with music files
- combination mini-optical/stereo minijack audio input
- built-in Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only)
- Ethernet port
- compatible with Windows® (XP or higher operating system)
- compatible with Mac®
- requires AC power (AC adapter included)
- 16-1/2"W x 7-3/4"H x 8-7/8"D
- weight: 13.4 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
What's in the Box:
- Wireless speaker
- 6' AC power cord (120V)
- 6' AC power cord (240V)
- 6.5' Ethernet cable
- Optical-to-3.5mm adapter
- Quick Setup Guide
- Warranty Sheet
- "Important" booklet
- "Spotify Premium" note
- "HDtracks" offer
Great sound from a small package, and interfaces nicely with Spotify and my in home system. Setting up software to manage 2 BlueOS devices was not very easy. I eventually had to contact Customer Support, and they helped me to work it out.
Bob, Victor, NY
Bluesound Pulse 2 Reviews
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Bluesound Wireless High-Resolution Audio Eco-System: The Pulse 2 wireless speaker is part of Bluesound's wireless high-resolution audio eco-system. The Bluesound wireless high-resolution audio eco-system consists of music players, amplifiers, hard-drives, and wireless speakers to playback your high-res and low-res music files, along with your favorite online music services throughout your home using your home's WiFi network. With an advanced WiFi antenna design and blazing ARM Cortex9 Processors, Bluesound ensures a solid connection in every corner of your home. Play your music in perfect sync or play different music simultaneously to any Bluesound device in any room.
Note: Up to 16 Bluesound devices can be connected in a strictly wireless environment. If you want to connect more than 16 Bluesound devices, you will need to connect the Bluesound devices to your network using a wired connection. Bluesound can then control up to 64 devices in a strictly wired environment.
Direct Digital Technology: Bluesound's 32-bit architecture combined with 8x oversampling, paired with their own innovative Direct Digital Amp and DAC platforms, ensures that your lossless high-res music playback is flawless, with precision, power and clarity - at any volume level. The Direct Digital amplifier is rated at 80-watts total power with 0.005% THD. Direct Digital amplifier technology provides rich, clear, and distortion free sound.
Wired or Wireless Network Connection: The Bluesound Pulse 2 can be connected to your home network and Internet provider via a hardwired Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) jack connector or wireless WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) 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.
Note: Bluesound operates only on 2.4GHz WiFi (not 5GHz).
Bluesound Controller App: The free Bluesound Controller App turns your Apple iOS (7.0+) iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android (OS 4.0+) smartphone/tablet, Windows (Vista or higher) PC or Mac (OS X 10.7+) computer into a full-featured remote control for the Bluesound wireless music system. The Bluesound Controller App on your compatible device uses your home's WiFi network to connect with Bluesound devices, so you can play all the music you love anywhere in your home for a wireless multiroom music experience. Get on-demand access to your music libraries on your home network, stream live Internet radio from almost any place in the world, or listen to one of the many music services available on Bluesound, all from the palm of your hand with the easy-to-use Bluesound Controller App.
Supported Music Formats: The Bluesound wireless audio system supports both low-res and high-res audio files; including MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC, ALAC, WMA Lossless, MQA, WAV, and AIFF. Bluesound has been designed to work with today's larger music collections, and has indexed libraries up to 100,000 songs in demonstrated practice (this will depend on the music's metadata & artwork). Bluesound also offers gapless playback by default for all supported file music types.
|Compression||File Type||Sampling Frequency||Bit Rate or Bit Depth|
|Lossless||WMA-Lossless||up to 96 kHz||up to 24-bit|
|FLAC||192 kHz||up to 24-bit|
|Uncompressed||AIFF||up 192 kHz||up to 24-bit|
Notes: Bluesound cannot index or play AAC files with the extension ".m4p". These files were purchased in iTunes prior to 2009 and are subject to copy protection. Apple Consumers with an iTunes Match subscription can delete and re-download these files free of charge from their iTunes Cloud
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated): Bluesound is the first wireless multiroom audio system to support MQA (Master Quality Authenticated). MQA is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that captures and delivers master quality audio in a file that's small enough to stream or download. Bluesound worked closely with MQA to implement technology inside each Bluesound component to ensure the listener will hear MQA encoded music and streams exactly like the source and the way the artist intended you to hear it when it was approved in the studio.
Note: MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) support will require a firmware update.
Online Music Services: With a network and internet connection, the Pulse 2 lets you access select online music services & internet radio. The Bluesound Controller app on your Apple iOS or Android device will serve as the controller for these apps and provide song/artist information with Album Art.
- Amazon Prime: With a Prime Music subscription, you can access over 2 million songs ad-free and on-demand, as well as curated playlists and personalized stations. Upgrade to an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription to access tens of millions of songs.
- Spotify Connect: If you subscribe to Spotify Premium and have the Spotify App on your Apple iOS or Android smartphone, you can stream Spotify to the Bluesound system. Spotify is a digital music service that gives you on-demand access to one of the largest music libraries in the world (over 15 million tracks and counting). Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage, and share music with your friends. You can browse music by artist, album, track, or most popular; and create your own music library with customized playlists.
- TIDAL: TIDAL is a global streaming service that offers over 30 million songs in high-fidelity CD sound quality. TIDAL has two pricing tiers; either $9.99 or $19.99 a month. Both pricing levels allow you to access TIDAL's entire music library. The $19.99 tier has the added benefit of high-fidelity sound at CD-level quality
- TuneIn: The Bluesound system includes access to more than 70,000 free internet radio streams from all corners of the globe via the TuneIn radio service. Just select the TuneIn logo from the main Music menu and browse among the 70,000 stations neatly organized into popular categories and select a station that appeals to your mood.
- iHeart Radio: iHeartRadio is a free, all-in-one digital radio and music streaming service that lets you listen to thousands of live stations from across the country and allows you to create personalized custom stations featuring songs from the artist you select and similar music.
- Napster: Napster is a streaming music subscription service (starting a $10 per month) that allows you to play the full-length songs you choose on demand from a collection of over 10 million songs, without ads and without having to purchase or download the music.
- Slacker: Get the sound quality that you deserve with the new Slacker Radio® music library available in high-quality AAC audio on Bluesound. Listen to music streams at a bitrate of 320kbps and enjoy all your favorite Slacker stations in pristine MP3-quality.
Note: Availability of online music services may vary by region. Not all services may be available at time of purchase. Some services may be added or discontinued from time to time based on decisions of the music service providers or others.
Music Library From Your Mobile Device: From the Bluesound Controller App, you can stream music directly over WiFi from your Apple iOS or Android device to the Bluesound Pulse 2 and the rest of your Bluesound components around your home. The app gives you complete control of your compatible mobile device's music library with song/artist information and album art.
Computer Audio: The Bluesound wireless music system will pull music from an existing digital music library across the network on your Windows PC or Mac computer using Windows or SMB File Sharing (SAMBA) and the Bluesound Controller App for Windows & Mac.
- Windows: Music files stored on a Windows desktop or laptop can be accessed by Bluesound using Windows File Sharing. You will need to download the Bluesound Share Utility for Windows - Bluesound Share Utility Windows v1.6.zip. This utility will work on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.
- Mac: Music files stored on an Apple iMac or MacBook can be accessed by Bluesound using SMB File Sharing. You will need to download the Bluesound Share Utility for OS X - Bluesound Share Utility OSX v1.2.zip.This utility will work on any version of Apple OS X 10.8.x and higher.
Bluetooth w/ aptX: The Bluesound Pulse 2 features built-in Bluetooth 4.0 with support for wireless music streaming from your Bluetooth-enabled Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Windows PC/Phone, Mac computer/laptop, and more. You'll be able to stream stored music and music apps on your Bluetooth-enabled device to the Pulse 2. In addition, the Pulse 2 offers aptX for CD-quality sound from Android (OS 4.0+) devices. You can even distribute Bluetooth audio to the rest of your Bluesound wireless audio system throughout your home or office over WiFi.
USB Port: The Bluesound Pulse 2 features a USB (type-A) port to directly connect your USB mass storage class (MSC) device; such as a thumbdrive or external hard-drive. The unit's USB port supports music playback from these compatible USB devices formatted in FAT 32 or NTFS. Not only can USB audio be played back on the Pulse 2, but can also be wirelessly distributed to the rest of your Bluesound components throughout your home for multiroom playback.
- USB mass storage devices that require more than 0.5A of power will require a separate power supply.
- The USB port is not compatible with the direct connection of an Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad or Android devices.
Optical/Analog Input: The Pulse 2 is fitted with a 3.5mm Aux input which can be used as an analog or digital connection. As an analog input, simply connect a stereo minijack audio cable from your analog source to the Pulse 2's Aux input. As a digital input, use the included 3.5mm-to-Optical adapter along with an optical digital cable (sold separately) to connect your digital source to the Pulse 2's Aux input. As an analog or digital input, the unit's Aux input supports 2ch PCM audio (not Dolby Digital or DTS). Audio from the Optical/Analog Aux input can be played back at the Pulse 2 speaker and wirelessly distributed to other Bluesound components in your home for multiroom playback.
Headphone Output: A 3.5mm headphone jack is located on the front of the Pulse 2 for private listening with a set of headphones.
Soft-Touch Controls: The Pulse 2 offers soft-touch, top-panel controls to operate basic playback functions like Volume Up/Down, Play/Pause, and Previous/Next Track.
Integrated Handle: There is an integrated carry handle on top of the Bluetooth speaker to help you move it from one room to another. It is not battery powered and will require an AC outlet.
AC Power: The Bluesound Pulse 2 operates off of standard household current using it's internal power supply and the supplied 6.5' detachable AC power cord.
Our Product Research Team
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Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Jim Richardson
Bluesound Generation 2 wireless multi-room audio products reviewed by a veteran Crutchfield editor.
Why did you buy this?
Versatile companion to my Vault 2. [ BRIAN Jul 18, 2018 ]
Perfect to extend my Bluesound system into my bedroom [ KENNETH Dec 28, 2017 ]
Companion to Bluesound soundbar [ David Nov 28, 2017 ]
Because it can play 24 bit Hi Res files and have a similar user experience as the Sonos [ SUJINDER Feb 18, 2016 ]
The sweet $200 bundle discount [ JORDAN Jan 03, 2018 ]
I have the Bluesound Vault, and am very happy with it. I want to stream the ripped music to another room. [ GARY Jan 27, 2016 ]
Very good review and product [ Jason Jan 03, 2016 ]
I purchased the Duo and the Power Node 2 and they sound so amazing that I wanted to expand the system! [ BRYAN G Dec 18, 2015 ]
11 questions already asked
If you buy any two bluesound speakers you can configure them in the app to work like stereo Left and Right. If you are trying to get the best sound for the money i suggest getting two bluesound pulse mini and one bluesound pulse sub and configuring the pulse mini in stereo. The sub will give you the sound stage you want. If you are strapped for cash then the Pulse 2 by itself is an amazing performer. The sound has a lot of depth and clarity. [ Ryan Dec 14, 2017 ]
Yes of course, stereo channel separation is better. Having said this, the software allows you too pair two BlueSound speakers together for excellent sound seperation. [ Darel Dec 14, 2017 ]
We do not offer the Marshall model ourselves and have not had a chance to compare them as a result. While I'm sure the Marshall sounds great, the online specs I could find seem to indicate Bluetooth and Aux input only so, based on specs alone, I'd have to give the edge to the Bluesound Pulse 2 as it offers Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB and support for high-resolution files in addition to the aux input and Bluetooth (aptX). I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Feb 25, 2016 ] Staff
It really depends on the actual size and acoustics of the room. Two Minis will be more powerful than a single Pulse 2 but there's no need to spend the additional money if a single Pule 2 will do the job. I recommend starting with the Pulse 2 and see what you think. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Feb 25, 2016 ] Staff
If you would like to use more than one speakers to play the same source of audio, you'll need to use the Wi-Fi capability. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Feb 27, 2016 ] Staff
The Yamaha NX-N500 system uses a pair of bookshelf speakers that have more built-in amplification than the Bluesound Pulse speaker and thus can likely produce louder volume levels. That said, the built-in 32-bit architecture combined with 8x oversampling, paired with their own innovative Direct Digital Amp and DAC platforms allows the Bluesound Pulse to produce flawless music playback with precision, power and clarity - at any volume level. I hope that helps. My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=159 [ Larry Feb 10, 2016 ] Staff
The Pulse 2 does not support Airplay but you can control it with the Bluesound Controller App from your iPhone and/or iPad. The app does provide the ability to set alarms and awake to selected playlists. I hope that helps. My bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/bio/Ryan [ Ryan Mar 31, 2018 ] Staff
yes, when creating a stereo pair there is a procedure to indicate R and L [ John Jun 01, 2017 ]
Yes. There is a post from bluesound about setting up a fixed grouping of two speakers for left and right channels. Crutchfield won't let me post a link, but you can Google Fixed-Groups-Makes-Stereo-Pairing-Easier and find the article. [ Reeves Jun 01, 2017 ]
Yes, you can read them as separate left and right channels. [ Daniel May 31, 2017 ]
Add a bluesound pulse sub and you have the perfect setup. [ Ryan Dec 14, 2017 ]
I think having two of the Pulse Mini models would provide better separation and stereo imaging than a single Pulse 2 speaker. Two of the Pulse Mini's would also provide more total wattage than a single Pulse 2. I hope that helps. My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=159 [ Larry Feb 26, 2016 ] Staff
I am sorry but I do not own either of these speakers..the Bluesound Pulse 2 has plenty of volume however. [ William Feb 10, 2016 ]
No, once registered it will pick up the network automatically when you plug it back in... [ W. Bradstreet Jan 04, 2016 ]
Nope - it will remember unless you do a factory reset, which is a special process. [ BRYAN G Jan 04, 2016 ]
Yes, but it sounds best when you let it decide on its own - it has a great algorithm for this. [ BRYAN G Jan 04, 2016 ]
You can when using the JBL Connect App that you can download from Apple® iTunes® app store and Google Play. [ Paul Dec 14, 2015 ] Staff