Questions about Node 2i

I'm trying to work out a fairly low cost streaming solution.

Current set up is Apple TV to Schiit Modi 2 Uber and the SQ is just okay. I don't think the weak link is the Modi.

I'm trying to do this on a limited budget so looking at a BlueSound Node 2i. But I have some questions.

1) How much SQ advantage is there with the 2i over the 2. The Node 2 can be purchased used for less than $400. What! HiFi gave the 2i glorious reviews over and above the 2 but couldn't really explain why there was a difference as the DAC was not upgraded.

2) The features list says that the 2i and the 2 will play music from my own external HD but only mentions it once and does not elaborate. If I have ripped CDs in an iTunes library on a HD will it play it through the Node 2?

3) The idea of a multiroom player appeals to my wife....which is always a good thing when spending money on hi-fi stuff. But, they're basic speakers are $300 each. I'm assuming you'd need at least 2 for a room to sound decent at all. The SQ does not have to be great for this application but spending an additional $600 to get okay SQ in another room is more than I'd like to spend. Can anyone speak to the actual quality of such a set up?

4) Do powered speakers from other makers than BlueSound work with the Node 2i or 2?

5) If I have a Node 2i or 2, is there any further role for the Modi 2 Uber or any other low price DAC?

Thanks for any assistance or experience you may have to share.

You have to be careful with iTunes. for the best sound quality the EQ has to be off, the volume adjust should be at the center point (none), and the volume control at the upper left should always be at maximum. Otherwise the SQ will be affected. Any volume adjustments should only be with your preamp. 

Also, a lot of low end DACs sound pretty good. Everybody hears things differently so there is never a consensus on anything in the Audio world.
I always doubt my ears that's why I ask my wife who has better hearing and sees everything I put in the system as another little black box. If you like the sound that's all that matters. I do some things , like adding  new DAC , I "think" improves the sound and other things for convenience like the node2i   and putting my CD's on a NAS. 

I am surprised that you are able to run the Node 2i on the 5G.
Tech support states only 2.4Ghz will be

614 posts12-10-2018 1:27amIf you get frequent drop outs using wireless I would use a wire. I run the node 2i on the 5ghz band and everything else in my house on the 2.4 ghz. I also set the channels in my router so I am the only one within my area using them and will periodically check it. So far it works fine.

Bobpaule The only thing I  can  tell  you  is when I  look in settings on my 2i it shows I am connected to my 5ghz network.