Bluesound Node 2 vs. Node 2i

I started the weekend being perfectly happy with my digital setup

I read the specs when the 2i was released and it appeared that the only thing that had changes was the dual band wifi and the Incorporation of the "Apple ecosystem"

Since I did not need to make use of either of these features I didn't bother looking into it any further.

Then I saw some comments posted on Agon detailing some other differences and they got me thinking there may be more to the 2i than I originally thought...
- first the incorporation of the new Wifi chipset allowed the design team to reorganize the circuit board such that the Wifi chipset has less impact on the rest of the circuit
- the second thing I read was that the DAC chipset had been improved.

Both of these changes triggered my upgrade-itis and so I trolled down to my local Bluesound dealer and bought one.

Setting up the unit was basically - plug it in and let it do it's thing
- it upgrades the software immediately, which took about 15 minutes
- it kept all of my existing playlists and presets
- I use Ethernet, so there was no need for any Wifi setup

So what did I hear...
- IMAGE: noticeably larger with better separation between instruments and artists and more space around artists
- DYNAMICS: crisper and cleaner
- CLARITY: you'll hear vocal phrasings and instrument details that were not as apparent with the Node 2
- DETAILS: there is more detail to the top end and the bass lines convey more texture. The mid's are noticeably more realistic
- REALISM: pretty much every track I have listened to so far now appears more realistic. You really get to hear just how good the sound engineer is at his job in studio recorded tracks and tracks recorded on location convey the delicate nuances of the venue acoustics (i.e. echoes and reverberations)

Now I don't know what they put in their "Wheaties" at Bluesound, but one thing for sure - their crew knows how to upgrade!

This was in some ways a little unexpected and a surprisingly good upgrade experience. 

But given the impact using good cables had on the performance of the original Node 2, I suppose it gave me the confidence to try the Node 2i - and I'm really glad I did :-)

 Hope you find my observations useful :-)

Regards - Steve

Thanks for sharing your experience. Just wondering how old was your Node2 and if you use its analog output or use an external DAC?
Funny, when I asked Bluesound if I should upgrade, they said 'No'. They said the software upgrade did the trick, not the hardware.

Your description of the physical changes, and your description of the improvement in SQ, pretty much mirror exactly the findings from the initial What Hi-Fi review from back in Oct., 2018. Thanks for providing your findings.