Bluesound Pulse Soundbar
Streaming sound bar with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® (Black)
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Crutchfield: Bluesound Pulse Soundbar
Our take on the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar by Crutchfield's Ralph Graves
The Pulse Soundbar offers connection options for your TV, audio player, or USB drive. (Top view of the bar's connection panel.)
A sound bar for the audio enthusiast
Is it possible to play high-resolution audio from a sound bar — and stream it throughout your home? Bluesound emphatically says “yes!” with their Pulse Soundbar. This compact sound bar fits easily under most TVs and delivers spacious, fully detailed sound from your movies and shows. And, as part of Bluesound's "ecosystem" of whole house streaming music players, it delivers top-notch sound from all your wireless music sources, including high-res files from a network-attached storage drive, internet music services, or even Bluetooth from your phone.
Wireless Dolby® Digital surround sound
You can build an impressive wireless surround sound system with the Pulse Soundbar. Just add a Bluesound Pulse Sub and two Pulse Flex speakers. The sound bar has Dolby Digital decoding built in. It wirelessly sends true Dolby rear-channel sound to the Pulse Flex speakers and low bass to the subwoofer. That puts you right in the middle of an enveloping home theater soundstage.
Selectable listening modes
The Pulse Soundbar comes with a variety of listening modes for tailoring its sound. Two dialogue enhancing modes make it easier to understand what's going on. A wide cinema mode opens up the soundstage — great for epic blockbusters. There's also a wide music mode, so you can play a live concert Blu-ray and feel like you're in the audience.
From our article Bluesound Pulse Soundbar review
"The sound seemed to open up and breathe a little more with the higher-resolution MQA files (streaming on TIDAL MASTERS). Roberta Flack's 'Killing me Softly' was a highlight. The strong thump of the bass and percussion took over my rapidly nodding head at first. Then my movement was forced to slow down by Flack's beautiful "can't-be-rushed" vocals as the song went on. Her voice was crystal clear, and there was an extra spaciousness to the song."
— Jeff Miller, A/V writer
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®, TIDAL, and Deezer. 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 Soundbar 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 Soundbar 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 2: 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 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.
Control in the palm of your hand
The Bluesound system is easily controlled from your smartphone or tablet. Just download the free app from the Apple® App Store or Google Play. The app lets you select songs and adjust volume. Choose to play music in one room, all rooms, or different tracks in different spaces around your home.
Wireless Music Features:
- 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 (available from Apple® App Store and Google Play)
- plays MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, MQA, HRA, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF files
- supported sample rates: 32kHz to 192kHz
- supported bit depths 16-24
- high-fidelity Bluetooth aptX® audio coding for greater sonic detail with compatible devices
- plays internet radio stations from TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, and Calm Radio
- 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, HighResAudio, Deezer, JUKE, Slacker Radio, Qobuz, and Murfie
- play music in multiple rooms when you add other Bluesound players
Wireless Surround Sound Options:
- add two Pulse Flex speakers as wireless surrounds
- add the wireless Pulse Sub for high-impact bass with your movies
- true Dolby Digital decoding with 4.1-channel downmixing delivers wraparound sound
- selectable wide cinema, dialogue enhancement, and late night listening modes
- total system power: 120 watts
- DirectDigital™ amplifier technology and high-performance 35-bit/844kHz digital-to-analog converter
- two 1" soft dome tweeters, two 2" midrange drivers, two 4" woofers
- frequency response: 70-25,000 Hz (-3dB)
- bass and treble controls
- USB port for connecting a thumb drive with music files
- audio inputs:
- analog stereo RCA
- optical digital audio
- RCA mono subwoofer output
- built-in Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only)
- Ethernet port for a wired connection to a home network (cable included)
- 2 kickstand feet with extenders for flat surface placement
- included wall mount bracket allows for easy placement near a wall-mounted TV
- compatible with Windows® (XP or higher operating system)
- compatible with Mac®
- 42-1/4"W x 5-1/2"H x 2-3/4"D
- weight: 15 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:
- Active soundbar speaker
- 69" AC power cord
- 59" Ethernet cable
- 51" RCA stereo cable
- 2 Kickstand feet
- 2 Kickstand feet extenders
- Wall-mount bracket
- Quick Setup Guide
- Wall-mount template
- Warranty Information
- Information booklet
Bluesound Pulse Soundbar Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Pieces in System||1|
|Tweeter||1" Dome (2)|
|Midrange||2" Cone (2)|
|Woofer||4" Cone (2)|
|Surround Sound Decoding||5.1-channel|
|Auto Volume||Night Mode|
|4K Video Compatible||No|
|HDR Video Compatible||No|
|Audio Return Channel||No|
|Remote IR Passthrough||No|
|Works with TV Remote (IR)||Yes|
|Control by App||iOS,Android,PC,Mac|
|Mounting Bracket Included||Yes|
|Surface Mount Stand Included||Yes|
|Speaker Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Speaker Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|Amplifier Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Amplifier Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|System Frequency Response||70-20k Hz|
|Sound Bar RMS Power||120|
|Subwoofer RMS Power||N/A|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Mini Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|RCA Stereo Audio Inputs||1|
|Optical Digital Audio Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Sound Bar (inches)||5-5/8H x42-1/4W x 2-3/4D|
|Sound Bar Weight||15 lbs|
|Subwoofer (inches)||No Subwoofer|
True 3-Way Speaker Configuration: The Bluesound Pulse Soundbar uses many high-end hi-fi techniques to achieve its unparalleled performance, including true 3-way speaker configuration with direct digital tri-amplification. This means that each driver has its own dedicated amplifier channel with a powerful DSP for the crossover filters. Each driver is custom developed for this application and includes individually optimized chambers for ideal speaker operation and isolation.
Dual Passive Radiators: The Bluesound Pulse Soundbar speaker utilizes dual passive radiators for extended bass response that is rich, detailed, and full sounding.
Extruded Aluminum Enclosure: The Pulse Soundbar's stylish black cabinet is constructed from extruded aluminum which is known for its unyielding rigidity and strength, while allowing the largest possible interior volume due to thin wall construction.
Analog & Digital Audio Inputs (Dolby Digital Compatible): The Pulse Soundbar is outfitted with both analog and digital audio inputs. There is one optical (toslink) digital input to connect to your TV's optical output. The unit supports 2ch PCM & 5.1ch Dolby Digital audio (Dolby Digital will be down-mixed to 2ch). There is also a stereo RCA analog input for connecting an analog audio source.
Note: The digital optical output terminals of many flat-panel TVs only send an audio signal in 5.1ch when receiving Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound from the TV's built-in tuner, network connection, or connected USB device; and will output only 2ch stereo from sources connected to the TV via HDMI, or RCA (like your Blue-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).
Audio Settings: The Pulse Soundbar offers a Dialogue Enhancement mode for clear movie dialogue, a Late Night Listening Mode for compressing the soundbar's dynamic range while watching movies late at night, plus Bass & Treble adjustment to fine tune the soundbar speaker's sound.
USB Port: The Bluesound Pulse Soundbar features a USB (type-A) port to directly connect a 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 Soundbar, 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.
Optional Powered Subwoofer: The Pulse Soundbar can be paired wirelessly to up to two optional powered subwoofers for greater bass extension. Thanks to the Pulse Soundbar's built-in wireless transmitter, you can wirelessly connect the Bluesound Pulse Sub (813BPSUB, sold separately) for bigger bass performance. In addition, Bluesound's RT100 Wireless Speaker Link (813RT100, sold separately) can be used to wirelessly connect almost any powered subwoofer with a line-level input to the Pulse Soundbar. The Pulse Soundbar also features a mono-RCA subwoofer output for adding practically any powered sub (sold separately) with a line-level input and built-in low-pass crossover.
Optional Wireless Rear Speakers: Along with an optional powered subwoofer, you can use the Bluesound Pulse Flex, Pulse Mini, or Pulse 2 (all sold separately) as wireless surround speakers to create a 4.1ch home theater system. While the Pulse Soundbar will support Dolby Digital 5.1ch decoding, the audio is dowmixed to 4.1ch with the center channel information fed into both the front left and right channels.
IR Sensor: The Bluesound Pulse does not come with a remote, but does offer a built-in IR sensor, so you can program your TV's remote control to operate volume up/down of the soundbar speaker. Many newer TVs are coming with RF remotes and don't offer IR functionality. In this case, you would not be able to program the speaker and TV remote to work together.
Mounting Options: Intended for use with flat-panel TV's 42" or greater, the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar can be simply placed on a shelf that is below or above your television. It can also be wall-mount below or above your TV using the included wall-mount bracket. Also available is the Bluesound TS100 tabletop stand (813TS100, sold separately) that lets you mount up to a 65" TV along with the Bluesound Pulse soundbar on top of your piece of AV furniture.
Bluesound Wireless High-Resolution Audio Eco-System: The Pulse Soundbar 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.
Wired or Wireless Network Connection: The Bluesound Pulse Soundbar 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 (O 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 Soundbar 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.
Mobile Device Music Library: From the Bluesound Controller App, you can stream music directly over WiFi from your Apple iOS or Android device to the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar 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 Soundbar 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 Soundbar. In addition, the Pulse Soundbar 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.
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 verify what’s in the box, 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.
Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Jeff Miller
Bluesound is known for multi-room music gear that sounds top-class. Does their first TV speaker make the grade? Our expert took it home to find out.
Why did you buy this?
Reviewers of the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar were raving about the sound quality for both home theater use and music listening. Also, Bluesound Pulse soundbar is one of the few soundbars that support both WIFI and Bluetooth connection. [ menatwork Aug 08, 2018 ]
Great sound quality. Ability to integrate with NAD receivers. [ Naga Apr 24, 2018 ]
Research suggests Bluesound soundbar offers a superior sound quality over sonos and other wireless multi room audio systems. I wanted a soundbar that would improve the sound of my television and also play music with outstanding sound quality. [ David Nov 28, 2017 ]
It was mentioned in the Absolute Sound of one of the reviewers & saw an Ad [ George Sep 06, 2017 ]
Ryan helped. [ Andy Jun 11, 2017 ]
Quality Available wireless sub [ alan Nov 10, 2016 ]
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