For its 10th anniversary, Canadian manufacturer Bluesound has released the legendary Bluesound Node (2021) network player in a limited and improved edition: the Bluesound Node X. This model revisits the brand’s best-seller by integrating audiophile quality components and a new headphone amp with THX AAA modules.
Bluesound Node X: a reinvented classic
An international success, the Bluesound Node (2021) network player is one of the most popular in its category, with countless awards including 5 What Hi-Fi stars, an Eisa award and nearly 60 reviews on Son-Vidéo.com, for an average rating of 4.5/5. In fact, we rated this model as the best network player in our Bluesound Node (2021) review. Revisiting this iconic and ultra-complete device is therefore an ambitious challenge for the manufacturer.
To give it a facelift, the limited edition Bluesound Node X has a new ESS Sabre 9028Q2 DAC offering an ultra-low noise level, a wide dynamic range and near-zero jitter. It takes advantage of the same Quad-Core 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex A53 processor to ensure playback of the majority of Hi-Res audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as the MQA format. These tracks can be played in DLNA or via a USB device.
Bluesound Node X : THX AAA headphone amp
The Bluesound Node X network player also adopts a new headphone amplifier, now based on THX AAA modules. This technology has already been proven on FiiO’s DAPs and headphone amplifiers, including the FiiO M17, FiiO Q7, FiiO K7, FiiO K9 Pro ESS and FiiO R7. It has the advantage of offering a high amplification power and a sound similar to that of a class A amp, while consuming less and heating less. Noise levels are virtually non-existent, especially since the Bluesound Node X incorporates a new patented error correction system that limits distortion and ensures highly accurate sound. Finally, the 3.5mm mini-jack output on the front panel is replaced by a 6.35mm jack output.
Bluesound Node X: streaming in the spotlight
Apart from these new features, the Bluesound Node X network player is identical to its predecessor in many ways. In addition to DLNA playback, it can access web radios as well as the majority of streaming services, including Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Tidal. Streaming is possible with AirPlay 2 or Bluetooth aptX HD. The latter is bi-directional, allowing the Bluesound Node X to receive music wirelessly, but also to stream it to Bluetooth headphones, True Wireless earphones or a connected speaker.
Bluesound Node X: wide range of connectors
The connectivity of the new Bluesound Node X network player also remains unchanged. There is a USB port for the connection of a USB key or an external hard drive, as well as a mini-jack input that can also be used as an optical input. The HDMI eARC port remains in place to facilitate the connection of a TV. Finally, three outputs are available: one RCA, one optical and one coaxial. It can therefore be associated with any hi-fi amplifier, external DAC or amplified speaker.
Bluesound Node X: price and availability
The Bluesound Node X network player is now available for pre-order on Son-Vidéo.com, and will be in stock by mid-May. Designed to celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary, this limited edition will only be sold until the end of 2023.