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Bluesound HD wireless music streaming system takes on Sonos

Updated 04.08.14

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.

Bluesound

Bluesound

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:

Bluesound family

Bluesound family

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.

Bluesound Node

Bluesound Node

Powernode (£599) – a standalone, stereo streaming music player with built-in digital amp and speakers. Rear view shown below.

Bluesound Powernode

Bluesound Powernode

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.

Bluesound Vault

Bluesound Vault

Pulse (£599) – an all-in-one music streaming system but with a different aesthetic design to the other previously mentioned components.

Bluesound Pulse

Bluesound Pulse

Duo (£899) – a 2.1 stereo speaker system and subwoofer with built-in digital amp.

Bluesound Duo

Bluesound Duo

Bluesound tablet app

Bluesound tablet app

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

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.