Any “value” competitor streamers vs Bluesound Node 2i?

I’m looking to upgrade from the Apple TV.   I am looking to run into a Benchmark 2 HGC.  Is the Node 2i the only game in town for under $500- 1k?  Open to used. 
Bluesound interface is second to Roon, it's really really good.  Shunyata makes an upgraded power cord for the bluesound that's affordable.  Yeah sadly you have to go $1500+ for the next level
Has the $1500 to $2000 class of streamers from (say 5 years ago) fallen behind  less expensive streamers of today with regards to advancements  & improvements in technology and sound quality? Or has it been a relatively stable environment? 
Darko has a youtube review comparing bluesound, Auralic Aeries, Innous and bunch others.  He updates this list
I went to the same route you are going. I am using the Allo Digione Signature with Volumio with very good results.
Darko also reviewed and compared both.

Ok so if you don’t want to program and use a noisy little mini computer ( like a raspberry pi ) -based thingamajig, here are some options to consider:


Sonos speakers and dacs are absolute crap but I’ve heard their streamer with your exact dac and it sounded really good. So, good software and digital out if you’re not too embarrassed to have a Sonos app on your phone and their gizmo in your house ...

2. Volumio:
Software is questionable. Playback NOT lossless. But you may not care. Good if you want to network or attach a hard drive for indexation.
3. Primare:
This isn’t out quite yet (it’s overdue) but looks promising. Gapless. Hook up a hard drive. Haven’t ever used their really complicated software but reviewers say it’s good.

4. Other. Used auralic(won’t work amazonmusicHD if you care), Amazon Echo Link (cheap but sq is said by reviewers to be lacking), Arcam (discontinued). There are others.
In addition to wifi circuit quality, software is key: I do not agree that BlueOS is acceptable. I think it’s crap, like their cheap BlueSound hardware, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Moreover, it won’t index a hard drive. Talk about engineering to a price - There are any number of sub $100 or even sub-$50 more reliable wireless gizmos out there with better dacs in them than the node 2i.

Hard drive connectivity and indexing may or not be important to you. Ethernet connectivity may or may not be either. But you might bear these things in mind.