In August 2019 we made the decision to invest in a number of Bluesound speakers to create a new whole home audio system. Two years on, how is it doing?
Since our initial purchase, we’ve added a few more speakers so that in some rooms we now have true stereo. We also added a Bluesound Node which streams in the same way as the speakers do, but then outputs the sound to external speakers. We connect this to the KEF LSX speakers using an optical cable so that we can stream using the fantastic BlueOS app rather than using the in-built UPNP service which is a bit basic.
The sound quality is very good indeed. For most rooms the speakers are great and, in our main listening room, the Node streaming to the KEFs is exceptional. Regarding the multi-room music, it (usually) works flawlessly. We now have a total of 7 devices: 4 single, mono speakers; one stereo pair of speakers; and the Node streamer. Most of the time, they are all synchronised to stream the same music.
Synchronising is perfect. All speakers play the same music, without delays. There are no echoes around the house. This is multi-room music as it should be.
The Bluesound app is good, but not quite perfect. When speakers are grouped together for whole house music, one of them will occasionally disappear. A message comes up but there’s nothing to be done, no recovery process. Usually it rights itself but occasionally the only solution is a system reset.
But most of all the app is attractive, intuitive to use, and quick. I can’t think of how it could be improved. It also gets updated fairly often, presumably with efficiency improvements, which shows that Bluesound is still investing in the product line.
Most of all, the sound is great and the speakers synchronise perfectly. There are apps for every platform: iPad and Android as well as Windows and Mac. Annoyingly, they all have a slightly different interface but you can’t have everything perfect.
Did we do the right thing two years ago? Absolutely. Can we think of a system that would have done a better job? Absolutely not.