Canadian company Bluesound has redesigned the Node streamer and Powernode streamer amplifier with a 2i version. Both devices received new ARM Cortex A53 processors clocked at 1.8 GHz. Each onboard DAC can handle digital audio resolutions up to 32-bit/384 kHz. They decode streaming audio up to 24-bit / 192 kHz and process MQA files.
For network access, both models use the onboard Gigabit Ethernet port, duplicated by dual-band Wi-Fi. Both devices are also ready to accept a digital signal on coaxial, optical, USB Type-A and HDMI inputs with eARC.
This set is complemented by a two-way Bluetooth with aptX HD support. That is, audio can not only be streamed from a smartphone or other compatible mobile gadget to Bluesound, but also transmitted from a Bluesound device to Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
The coaxial digital inputs (the Node 2i has one, while the Powernode 2i has two) uses a 3.5mm minijack and can optionally act as analog stereo inputs. This saves space on compact rear panels. In addition to the analog outputs (and the speaker cable terminals for the Powernode 2i, which has increased from 60 to 80 W for 8 Ohm speakers), both devices also received subwoofer outputs.
The modified Node 2i and Powernode 2i work with Apple AirPlay 2, are ready to connect with a variety of streaming services and Internet radio, support multi-room in the proprietary BluOS environment, and are also Roon Ready.
In addition to the BluOS app and RC1 remote, both models are equipped with a control panel, which has been updated with five pre-installed shortcuts. In addition, both devices understand commands from Apple’s voice assistants Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
In June, both modified devices will go on sale in black and white.
The cost of new products in the UK: £ 549 for the Node 2i and £ 849 for the Powernode 2i.