Bluesound has pretty much been a stalwart in the budget music streamer market since it was established, and it’s still going strong today with its latest-generation Node. We awarded the entry-level streamer a five-star review and What Hi-Fi? Award last year and, while it just missed out on a second Award this year to the new Cambridge Audio MXN10, it remains a great starting point for anyone with a modest system to get into network streaming. Particularly now as it is discounted by 27 per cent in the early Black Friday sales.
Ask any of the What Hi-Fi? reviews team to name an intuitive and reliable streaming platform and it won't be long before 'BluOS' is uttered. That is at the heart of the Node and is a gateway to music streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal and Amazon Music, internet radio, Apple AirPlay 2 and aptX HD Bluetooth.
For anyone wishing to use the Node alongside audio sources or with a TV, there are mini optical/3.5mm combo and HDMI eARC inputs, plus RCA, coaxial, optical and subwoofer outputs. All you really need to get up and running with the Node, however, is an amplifier and speakers (or active speakers) and a music service subscription. Voila, you have the world's music at your fingertips.
Bluesound has adopted an entertaining sonic character since its outset, and to its credit hasn't wavered from it with this third-generation model. The aforementioned Cambridge streamer edges ahead in overall performance and is, we think, worth the extra £50 for that, but the Bluesound is still a hugely compelling option – especially if you care for HDMI connectivity and MQA audio support.
For just £399 for Black Friday, it offers an excellent introduction into streaming.
All you need to know about the Black Friday 2023 sale this month
Best early Black Friday hi-fi deals 2023 – fantastic prices on five-star gear