A fine presentation of a fine product at a fine venue. There was no mention of the “S” word at the “W” Hotel and so the newly launched “Bluesound” brand had all the space it deserved. Bluesound is from the NAD audio electronics and PSB speakers stable and the pedigree, on first listen, was clear enough to hear.
The “S” word is of course Sonos and it is their market these Bluesound products are firmly marching towards, with intent and a high resolution sound proposition not suggested by Sonos.
John Banks, Chief Brand Officer, showing no signs of Canadian jet-lag, talked to the assembled media of a new brand, launched to stand alongside its stable partners. The brand is articulated as one of passion, feeling, and emotion. One idea I particularly liked was the idea of music being a memory of a place or time, something any music lover will understand.
The Bluesound products launched are a series of high resolution wireless streamers and CD rippers for the thoroughly modern family unit where the father of the house is listening to high quality music streamed to his existing Hifi equipment in the lounge, the kids are mucking around upstairs in the bedroom or den with a Bluesound wireless speaker and the partner is as far away from all of the above listening to the same high resolution music collection.
The product line up consists of the ‘Node’ which is wireless streamer that can be connected to an existing Hifi system, a ‘Powernode’, which is the same but has a built in 90W power output amplifier, capable of driving many speaker combinations. The star of the lineup appears to the ‘Vault’, which is the ‘Node’ with a CD ripper with 1TB of storage built in. The Vault is your chance to consolidate your cd collection into what appears to be an almost future proof storage centre that is not an Apple device.
Central to the range is the ‘Pulse’, an all-in-one compact streaming system that will sit in any room, simply plug in and fill the room with high resolution music.
The final links in the product range are a rather neat sub-woofer, satellite speaker combination called the ‘Duo’, that had a very deep sound and then the ace in the pack. The Bluesound control App is the cleanest interface I have seen and can give a whole new meaning to effective multi room music management. Capable of controlling multiple products in multiple rooms and linking iMac libraries, NAS drives and the Vault as well a myriad of streaming music services, including the lossless Qobuz and the forthcoming Tidal launch. The App is available on Android and iOS.
Bluesound has developed a Linux-based in-house BluOS operating system that gives it the flexibility to adapt their product interfaces to suit their customers’ needs, and it will certainly be able to deliver just what you want as the streaming audio market rattles on towards the lossless solution that all good music deserves.
Music, opined Mr Banks, you can’t touch it, see it or taste it, but you must listen to it at the best quality that you can, only in that way you will feel it. There was passion there and these products demand a listen.
Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, who were on hand with a high degree of expertise at the Brand launch, are one of the main retailers of Bluesound in the UK.
The products are priced as follows; the PULSE (£599), VAULT (1TB £799, 2TB £999), NODE (£399), POWERNODE (£599) and DUO(£899)
Product reviews to follow.