Sonos could have a serious rival in the form of a new high-definition wireless music system from Bluesound, now available in the UK through Sevenoaks Sound and Vision stores. The system is already being rolled out in the US through Lenbrook, parent company of NAD and PSB speakers.
Unlike Sonos, Bluesound can handle high-res 24-bit music files – Sonos can only manage CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz as a maximum. Other technical highlights include a Direct Digital 35-bit, 844kHz amplifier and ARM Cortex A8 processor.
Earlier this week, Sonos confirmed there would be no new products and no support for high-res audio this year.
There are five components in the Bluesound range, available in black or white, which can be controlled using iOS or Android apps on a smartphone or tablet:
Node (£399) – a hi-res wireless music streamer that connects to your wireless network and an amplifier to bring wireless streaming to your existing hi-fi or home cinema set-up.
Powernode (£599) – a standalone, stereo streaming music player with built-in digital amp and speakers. Rear view shown below.
Vault (£899) – a high-res music server and CD ripper with a 1TB hard drive and a proprietary BluOS file management system, which is Mac and PC compatible.
Pulse (£599) – an all-in-one music streaming system but with a different aesthetic design to the other previously mentioned components.
Duo (£899) – a 2.1 stereo speaker system and subwoofer with built-in digital amp.
We're testing the Bluesound Powernode and Vault right now, and the results will be published in our October 2014 issue, on sale from August 27th. In the meantime you can find out more on the Bluesound website.
By Andy Clough