Digital front end upgrade options


Hey everyone,

want to get some opinions and advice as to what may be the best upgrade path for my system.

my digital front end is currently lacking quite a bit. It’s my primary playback out of pure convenience. I currently stream tidal and qobuz through a MacBook Pro into a dragonfly cobalt. I would like to invest into a dedicated streamer. I have been looking at two units that are in different leagues. The first option would be the bluesound node 2i (more budget option) and the second would be a lumin u2 mini. So with that being said if I went with the cheaper option of the bluesound node 2i would I see any real sonic improvements over my current setup? Or would I be better suited to just pony up for the more expensive lumin u2 mini? And if I went with the u2 mini would the sonic improvements be significant over my dragonfly cobalt? I would like to think either option would be a significant upgrade but unfortunately I don’t have the option to test gear to find out for myself. Hoping to get a little insight here. Thank you all!

james1911

Innuos has a HD with Roon end point ,

budget for dac ?  A decent Ethernet hub  the SW8;is very good for under $600

i out a synergistic purple fuse  for sure helps ,and a decent aftermarket power cord.

There is a power supply upgrade available for the node that helps improve the performance. I have one in my second system and I’m quite pleased with it. I can’t say how it compares to the Lumin but for the price it’s pretty amazing.

James 1911,

I would not buy a Node 2i, it is several years old technology. If you are considering Bluesound (the interface is amazingly easy to use), look for the Node 130 at $599 (3rd gen) or the Node X at $799 (4th gen). You can improve the Node 130 with a linear power supply (LHY LPS kit $279), and it is a very good combo.

I have no experience with the Lumin, but will certainly be looking at their options when I upgrade my streaming setup. I do have a friend who is testing an Eversolo DMP-A6 which is getting good reviews, and a great price at $899

Agreed on the above, Node 130 with better power supply and external DAC is a major improvement. That said, Lumin was a major step up as it should be for the price delta.