Bluesound NODE X: Consolidated Reviews and Info

Updated: 11/06/23

Celebrate a decade of wireless audio excellence with the limited edition, 10th-anniversary edition Bluesound Node X. This premium music streamer reimagines the best features of the NODE (N130). Packed with upgraded components and exciting features, the Node X delivers outstanding audio performance and flexibility for audiophiles seeking a top-tier streaming experience. In this article, we’ll consolidate professional reviews, provide a summary, briefly compare the NODE and the NODE X and explore the pros and cons.

Overview of the Bluesound NODE X

The NODE X is an industry-standard hi-res, multi-room music streamer designed to cater to audiophiles and music enthusiasts. It boasts an upgraded audiophile-grade ESS Sabre DAC, delivering incredible musicality and detail to all your digital sources. With a dedicated headphone amplifier featuring THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA™) technology and a 1/4″ headphone jack, the Node X ensures a no-compromise headphone audio experience.

Bluesound Node X between 2 speakers

Key Features

  • High-Resolution Audiophile DAC: The NODE X incorporates the premium ESS Sabre DAC, elevating audio performance with exceptional clarity and dynamics.
  • Dedicated Headphone Amplifier: Enjoy an immersive and detailed headphone listening experience through the THX AAA™ headphone amp.
  • Versatile Connectivity: Connect the NODE X to your existing stereo amplifier, AV receiver, or powered audio system using HDMI eARC, digital, optical, and analog input/output options.
  • Multi-Room Audio and BluOS Controller: Seamlessly create and control a multi-room audio system through the intuitive BluOS Controller app, compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and PC computers.
  • Wireless and Bluetooth Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, and aptX HD Bluetooth ensure uninterrupted music playback.
  • Voice Control and AirPlay 2: Control the NODE X with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands and enjoy music or podcasts throughout your home with AirPlay 2.

Pros

  • Exceptional Audio Detail: The ESS Sabre DAC and THX AAA™ headphone amp deliver outstanding audio performance.
  • User-Friendly Setup: Easy to set up and control through the BluOS Controller app or voice assistants.
  • Extensive Music Source Compatibility: Access hundreds of internet radio stations, various streaming services, and your personal music library.
  • Versatile Connectivity: A wide array of input/output options cater to various audio sources and setups.
  • BluOS Streaming Platform: Experience seamless multi-room audio control with the intuitive BluOS app.
  • Included Remote Control: The NODE X comes with the RC1 remote control for added convenience.

Cons

  • No Chromecast Support: The NODE X lacks Chromecast compatibility, which may be a consideration for some users.
  • Limited EQ Customization: Users have limited options for customizing the EQ settings.
  • BluOS App Resolution Display: The BluOS app does not display the resolution of streaming tracks, which may be a minor inconvenience for some users.

Bluesound Node X with Focal headphones

Comparison between Bluesound NODE X and Bluesound NODE 

Here are the key differences between the Bluesound NODE X and its predecessor, the NODE.

  • Upgraded DAC: The NODE X features an ESS Sabre DAC, while the NODE uses the Burr Brown PCM 5242 DAC.
  • Headphone Output: The NODE X boasts a dedicated headphone amp with THX AAA™ technology and a full-sized 1/4″ headphone jack, providing a no-compromise headphone experience. The NODE has a headphone output but lacks the dedicated amp.
  • Silver Finish: The NODE X comes in a special 10th-anniversary silver finish, distinguishing it from the NODE’S black and white options.
  • Remote Control Inclusion: The NODE X includes the RC1 remote control, a separate accessory for the NODE.

Bluesound’s support site provides an in-depth comparison between the 2 models.  Here is the extracted table of that detailed information.

FEATURENODE (N130)NODE X
DAC

PCM5242 with Differential

Output DAC implementation

SNR: -113dB

THD+N: 0.002%

ESS 9028Q2M Sabre DAC

SNR: -118dB

THD+N: 0.0003%

AUDIO INS/OUTS

IN:

Optical, Analog, HDMI eARC

OUT:

Optical, Analog, Coaxial, USB

3.5mm headphone jack

IN:

Optical, Analog, HDMI eARC

OUT:

Optical, Analog, Coaxial, USB

6.35mm headphone jack

CONTROLS

Full-size Glass Top Panel

Capacitive Touch LEDs

Volume Slider

Presets x 5

Proximity Sensing

RC1 Remote Control

Full-size Glass Top Panel

Capacitive Touch LEDs

Volume Slider

Presets x 5

Proximity Sensing

PROCESSOR/

PLATFORM

ARM® Cortex™ -A53

Quad-Core, 1.8GHz per core

ARM® Cortex™ -A53

Quad-Core, 1.8GHz per core

CABINET

FINISH

Matte Satin Paint

Black & White

Satin Paint

Silver

 

Bluesound Node X Review Roundup

This is the part where we’ve scoured the web to include as many reviews and product information as possible. 

Independent Video Reviewers

Stereotec: For our German Friends 🙂

Video Reviews from Audio Dealers

Written Reviews (Now with even more words)

  • Bluesound Node X: A Superior Music Streamer Gets Even Better – Techhive
    • “The Node X is a dynamite upgrade to a home audio system for anyone looking to integrate modern streaming music into a setup that’s been playing vinyl, CD, and tapes. If you have an open input on your preamp or receiver, you’ll have access to a world of digital music via the internet and from files stored on your home network.”
  • Bluesound Node X: Hands-On With the Upgraded Music Streamer – CNET
    • “Whether you have an existing Bluesound system or are looking for a higher-end way to stream to your existing hi-fi, then the Node X delivers pretty much everything you could need. If you’re trying to decide between the Node and the Node X, the latter is a significant upgrade and more than justifies the extra $150.”
  • Bluesound Node X Music Streamer Review & Comparison – Moon Audio
    • “The NODE X is for someone who may want slightly more detail retrieval and a more dynamic listening experience. It’s a limited edition and we expect supply to last through the 2023 holiday season at most. With that being said, the original NODE is still the best-selling entry-level streamer we carry at Moon Audio and a great choice for anyone looking for high fidelity from a small device.”
  • Bluesound Node X Review: How Much Better is it? – Steve Huff Photo & Video
    • “If you have a system up to $20k, the Node X (when used as a streamer and DAC) will be right at home with your system. Whether you have a $1000 system or a $20k system the Node will deliver the goods as well as the more pricey options, but easier. The Node X is up there with some of the finest streamers I have heard simply because of the design and ease of use as well as sound.”

Bluesound Node X Top View

Where to Buy & Price

As a full disclosure to you as a reader, the link to our partner Audio Advice provides us with a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you at all.  This helps support us in creating consistent, useful content for you in your audio and video journey.  We thank you in advance for your support.

Alternatives

Cambridge Audio CXN V2 ($999): Known for its audiophile-grade performance, it features a high-resolution digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and excellent connectivity options, making it a top choice for music enthusiasts seeking premium sound quality.

Eversolo DMP-A6 ($859): An all-in-one player with a quad-core processor and ample memory tailored for lossless music playback. It features rich digital input and output ports, HDMI DSD multi-channel output, dual ESS903802M professional DAC, fully balanced differential circuit, and professional audio tuning, resulting in superior performance. Music lovers can enjoy music streaming services, local music management, a mobile app, and an exclusive control system for an unparalleled music experience.

While this is quite a bit out of the price range, we did perform a comparison between the Node X and the Hifi Rose RS250a.

To Sum it All Up

Bluesound Node X Diagonal View

The Bluesound Node X 10th-Anniversary Edition offers outstanding audio performance and versatility for audiophiles and music enthusiasts. With its upgraded DAC, dedicated headphone amp, and multi-room audio capabilities, the Node X sets the ongoing standard for streaming in modern hi-fi systems without venturing into the realm of luxury-priced streamers (those over $1K). Its exceptional value proposition makes it a top choice among high-end streamers in the market.

Deciding whether to upgrade from its predecessor is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of your high-end audio research journey. We hope that this consolidated information provides all the necessary aspects to aid you in making the best decision (at least for now). Rest assured, the Bluesound Node X delivers an immersive and engaging music experience, making it a high-fidelity streaming solution worth exploring.

Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

The Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Speaker ($1499 per pair) is a stellar component of the groundbreaking 5000 series. As part of a lineage founded in 2006, Q Acoustics has rapidly become synonymous with crafting high-end and affordable audio solutions. The 5000 series...

Capital Audio Fest 2023: A First Time Attendee’s Musings Pt. 1

Capital Audio Fest 2023: A First Time Attendee’s Musings Pt. 1

This was not meant to be my virgin pilgrimage to the Mid-Atlantic's premier high-end audio festival (in the words of Capital Audio Fest or CAF's website), but last year the entire family contracted COVID. This year, the entire clan made the journey to Rockville,...

MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker Review Roundup

MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker Review Roundup

If you're in the market for a high-quality bookshelf speaker under $2000, MartinLogan's Motion XT B100 is certainly a name that should pique your interest. Its design and stand-out features as part of the 4th generation of the XT series necessitates your attention....

DIY Audiophile Power Cable: Step-by-Step Instructions

DIY Audiophile Power Cable: Step-by-Step Instructions

Audiophile and HiFi cables are a somewhat controversial topic in the high-end audio/video industry.  Regardless of how you personally feel about them, one of the great aspects of the hobby is the ability to tinker.  The "tinkering" process often involves changing or...

Perlisten R7t Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

Perlisten R7t Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

The Perlisten R7t floorstanding speaker is making waves in the world of high-fidelity audio and for good reason. Designed as a standalone 2-channel high-fidelity speaker, it boasts the versatility to be seamlessly integrated into multi-channel systems. Drawing...

The Vinyl Revivers AHH Experience Event Featuring Sonner Audio

The Vinyl Revivers AHH Experience Event Featuring Sonner Audio

The Vinyl Rivivers & The Audio Hunters hosted their first of two fall events.  The AHH Experience (The Audio Hunters High-End Experience) featured not only two breathtaking types of loudspeakers from Sonner Audio but also the visionary behind the company, Gunawan...

McIntosh’s Unveils House of Sound: A NYC Luxury Audiophile Experience

McIntosh’s Unveils House of Sound: A NYC Luxury Audiophile Experience

In 2021 it was incredibly disheartening to hear that the World of McIntosh Experience Center was closing.  As long as I've been obsessed with high-end audio and home theater, this was on my shortlist for visits, but sadly I never made the sojourn. The 5-story, 12,000...

HiFi Rose RS250A Network Streamer Review Roundup

HiFi Rose RS250A Network Streamer Review Roundup

Updated: 11/06/23 The HiFi Rose RS250a is a complete, high-performance network media playing solution that seamlessly combines high-resolution audio and video collections with music streaming services. Housed in a high-quality aluminum chassis, this sleek and modern...

Chord Hugo TT2 DAC, Preamplifier & Headphone Amplifier Review Roundup

Chord Hugo TT2 DAC, Preamplifier & Headphone Amplifier Review Roundup

The Chord Hugo TT 2 DAC, designed by Chief Designer John Franks, is a testament to the pursuit and journey of high-end audio. It not only showcases exquisite craftsmanship but also boasts five times the processing power of its predecessor, the original Hugo TT, and...

Klipsch The Nines McLaren Edition

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…