Network amplifiers have become increasingly popular products with consumers in the era of digital streaming and it’s not hard to understand why. Simplicity of use and access to the major streaming services is a huge plus. The Bluesound POWERNODE takes that one step further with a robust power amplifier for your loudspeakers and you’re ready to listen.
With the impending launch of Spotify HiFi and Apple Music HiFi, and the growing popularity of Qobuz, Amazon Music HD and Tidal, music listeners who stream a lot of their music and care about better sound quality now have a really affordable high-end network amplifier that offers a lot of performance that is far more affordable than the completion.
We were very impressed with the previous Bluesound PowerNode 2i (see review) and we’re very happy to see that Bluesound have resisted the temptation to make the new POWERNODE a lot more expensive. The price is pretty much the same at $899 USD.
The affordability of ‘Future-Fi’ is a huge topic right now and with high-end network amplifiers like the Naim Uniti Atom and Cambridge Audio EVO Series surging past $2,300 — it’s easy to see why a lot of consumers will consider the Bluesound POWERNODE.
The Uniti Atom and EVO range offer touchscreen control panels; the POWERNODE has its touchscreen control panel located on the top of the unit without any album art being presented.
$899 versus $2,250 or $3,200 (Naim Uniti Atom).
Is a front panel screen really worth an additional $1,350? We think it’s a fair question considering that neither of the two more expensive units offer an internal phono preamp either.
The POWERNODE can stream Bluetooth aptX HD to your wireless headphones and also serve as a hub for an entire multi-room system powered by BluOS. We think that’s a pretty good deal for $899.
Just Add Speakers
The Bluesound POWERNODE is the hi-fi amp reinvented for the streaming age, combining audiophile-grade componentry and multi-room music capabilities to create an intuitive “just add speakers” hi-res sound system for modern music lovers. Source, control, and amplification come packed into the compact and minimalist POWERNODE.
Get the most out of your favorite speakers with an award-winning, audiophile-grade amplifier that features 80 watts per channel of zero-distortion power, tested in real-world listening conditions and not just in a lab.
A high-grade DAC delivers up to 24-bit/192kHz of hi-res, studio-quality music, including support for FLAC, MQA, and other popular file formats. Access all the music ever recorded through the BluOS Controller app, connecting you to popular streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, SiriusXM, and dozens of others, or from your own music library through Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD Bluetooth, or even a network-connected drive or USB hard drive.
In one or many rooms, the Bluesound POWERNODE is a versatile workhorse, placed either freestanding or in a custom installation rack, allowing you to toggle back and forth amongst a number of listening set-ups with a few taps in the BluOS Controller app. Looking for a traditional 2-channel audiophile listening experience? Just add a pair of your favorite speakers. Got a bass-heavy track you love? Add the PULSE SUB+ to your 2-channel set-up to create a capable and musical 2.1 wireless system.
Want to kick back with some movies or video games? Bring a pair of PULSE FLEX 2i to the party as rear channel additions to your 2.1 system for a wireless Dolby® surround sound home theater experience. Want to listen to your favorite music in other parts of your home? Sprinkle other Bluesound players around your home for a multi-room audio solution.
The POWERNODE is equipped with an array of digital and analog inputs and outputs to give you ultimate connection flexibility. It supports HDMI eARC, dual-band Wi-Fi and Gigabit ethernet, Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD Bluetooth receiver and transmitter, RCA, Toslink optical, 3.5mm jack, and USB Type A connectors.
Bring music into your POWERNODE from dozens of internet radio and streaming services, Bluetooth devices, TV and gaming consoles, network or local hard drives, nearby Apple devices, CD players, and many others. Then send your music into your favorite speakers, other Bluesound players or BluOS devices, Bluetooth headphones, wired headphones, Apple AirPlay devices, or other network-connected speakers.
With BluOS built-in, easily create a DIY multi-room hi-res audio system with a few taps of the BluOS Controller app. Additional hands-free controls are available through voice assistants like Siri, Google Voice, or Alexa. For professional smart home installers, full-feature drivers are available for Lutron, Crestron, RTI, Elan, and other popular control systems.
Key Features and Specifications
- HybridDigital™ amplifier platform powering 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms
- Quad-core 1.8GHz ARM® Cortex™ A53 processor
- 32-bit/384kHz premium DAC design
- HDMI eARC, optical & analog inputs
- BluOS™ wireless multi-room music capability
- Wireless Dolby® surround sound
- MQA music and hi-res audio streaming
- AirPlay 2 for integration into Apple ecosystem
- Voice control with Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Dual-band Wi-Fi + Gigabit ethernet
- Two-way aptX™ HD Bluetooth
- IR remote learning capability, IR input
- Wired & wireless headphone output
- Wired & wireless subwoofer output
- Touch controls with presets
- Black or white finish
Bluesound’s forward-thinking approach continues to push the performance envelope. The new NODE and POWERNODE feature a powerful ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core chipset that processes audio 8 times faster than previous generations of Bluesound architecture.
Not only does this processor boast all the power and speed required for the latest and greatest HiFi performance but these products are ready for whatever technologies the future may hold.
“Since the beginning, Bluesound has set out to provide a modern hi-res multi-room streaming experience for customers who care about audio quality,” says Matt Simmonds, Bluesound Product Manager. “We have seen the NODE and POWERNODE quickly become the go-to streaming components for discerning music lovers, because of our focus on high quality listening and on the software features that make the products – all the way back to our first generation – even better over time. This latest generation, once again, sets the bar for performance and value in their respective categories.”
Price & Availability
The Bluesound POWERNODE will be available June 7, 2021 in black or white for $899.00. Pre-orders are now being accepted.
For more information: Bluesound POWERNODE Network Amplifier
Continue reading: Bluesound NODE