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My experience leaving Spotify/Chromecast Audio and Moving to Deezer/Bluesound Node 2i

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by TooMany45s, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. TooMany45s

    TooMany45s AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    So a bit ago I posted a thread asking for some advice to fix a couple issues I was having with Spotify/Chromecast Audio, and I didn't get any responses, so I decided to make some adjustments and share my experience in the event anyone else might be in the same boat.

    My previous streaming setup included a Chromecast Audio running through a Topping D50 DAC and out to my SX-950. While the sound quality was fine for me, I was having lots of weird issues with the Spotify app running through the Chromecast, namely lots of dropouts. The Topping would get confused when the dropouts occurred and it would end up terminating my listening session, and I would need to re-pair the Chromecast with my phone. Aside from this issue, there were some other weird quirks, like the volume slider would disappear from my phone and I would have to force stop the app and reopen, and even then there was no guarantee that it would function as intended. Spotify also doesn't support gapless playback via Chromecast, which I thought wouldn't be a big deal, but it ended up being quite annoying.

    My first attempt at fixing the issues was to try another streaming service(Google Play Music) with the Chromecast to see if things would resolve themselves. I also added an ethernet adapter to the mix to see if there were any weird wifi issues going on. I have Google Fiber gig, so speed isn't an issue. Google Play music had a difficult time staying connected to the Chromecast as well and I was getting frequent 'Your google play music service is being used on another device' error and I would need to reconnect.

    I decided to scrap the Chromecast Audio and Google Play music and start fresh. I went with a Bluesound Node 2i and a trial of Deezer. Immediately I noticed a substantial uptick in audio quality. Things started to sound a lot more open and rich. The app for the Bluesound is really really nice and easy to use. The integration of Deezer into the app is smooth and seamless. I also like being able to go directly to TuneIn to listen to local radio. I put the BlueOS app on an old Amazon Fire tablet and it makes things easy when guests want to pick out some tunes. I've found the selection on Deezer to be adequate, and I was surprised to find a couple of records on Deezer that weren't available on Spotify. Easily enough content to stream when I don't feel like putting on a record or a reel. Don't get me wrong, I still prefer the Spotify app for discovering music and making playlists, but it's not enough for me to go back. I may end up trying it again with the Node, but for now I'm pretty happy with this combo.

    I have had zero tech issues since making the change, and worth every penny for getting rid of my headaches. I have enough to deal with on my vintage gear, the last thing I needed was to have issues with the one thing in my setup that's supposed to be easy and hassle-free.

    My Chromecast Audio now lives in the bedroom, and it has no issues with Deezer. Go figure.

    If anyone is considering moving to a Bluesound Node, I can't recommend it enough. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'm happy to help!
     
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  2. ramzilla

    ramzilla Active Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Heart of the Blue Ridge
    Why did you not try the Spotify with Bluesound Node 2i?
    Just curious as to just that combo would sound like when just One variable is changed.
     
  3. TooMany45s

    TooMany45s AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That's a really good question. I think I had made my mind up about switching to Deezer because of the way it's integrated into the Bluesound OS, and I didn't really want to mess around with Spotify Connect. I'll give it a shot after work tonight and report back with the results.
     
  4. TooMany45s

    TooMany45s AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    When I got home from work tonight, I pulled the Chromecast out of the bedroom so I could A/B it with the Bluesound on Spotify. Right off the bat, Spotify connect works much better with the Node. Response to song selections is snappy and even though Spotify isn't controlled within the BlueOS, things work smoothly, and the BlueOS app transitions you to Spotify without having to physically open the Spotify app. No glitches when switching to other services like TuneIn from Spotify on the BlueOS(unlike Chromecast Audio). As far as sound quality, I noticed a bigger jump in quality from the chromecast to the bluesound vs. Spotify to Deezer. I'm not 100% sure that the slight quality jump between Spotify and Deezer is worth the extra 10 bucks a month. I have my trial with Deezer to make that decision, but things are sounding pretty good with the SX-950, Dynaco A25s, Bluesound Node and Spotify.

    Thanks @ramzilla for stating the obvious. I think I was just so disenchanted with my previous setup that I wanted to try something completely different! That being said, I couldn't be happier about the switch to the Bluesound Node.
     
  5. ramzilla

    ramzilla Active Member

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Heart of the Blue Ridge
    Thanks for digging into that scenario. Please keep us informed as you explore more of the variations.
    So did you try the CCA + Topping + Spotify, compared to the internal Dac of the Bluesound + Spotify.
    Sorry, don't mean for you to be jumping through any hoops. Just curious if the Price difference between
    the two set-ups with Spotify being the constant is worth the additional cost.:biggrin:
     
  6. TooMany45s

    TooMany45s AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Sorry, forgot to mention that I did re-introduce the Topping back into the chain when doing the a/b. While the Topping sounds great, I much prefer the Node, both in sound and features. One of the annoying things about the topping is that when it loses signal or changes sources, it will power down, and then click, and power back up. The Node is seamless in these exchanges. I still plan on keeping the Topping D50 for bedroom duty as I find it's a really nice DAC.

    To answer your question, I feel like the Node is a great sounding, flexible piece of gear, but At half the price, the Topping D50 is a very capable DAC. If I hadn't been having issues with the chromecast, I probably wouldn't have upgraded. If I would have auditioned both devices prior to purchasing(issues aside), I would have probably went with the Node for it's ease of control, great sounding DAC and speedy response.
     

     

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  7. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    Bournemouth UK
    I have had a Bluesound node original for a number of years or from the first time it was introduced. Had loads of issues Tek support are brilliant they come to your house via the internet to fix it. Thing I want to say is. When i first installed it I hard wired it. With Earthnet connection. I did not Use the Wi-Fi option. now for the last year its been wireless. The reason being Virgin Media gave us a new router and with the new router no matter what i try The BT Wi-Fi extenders will not work. they worked like a dream with the old router. What changed is beyond me. I get buffering now some days not all Which you never get when (Least I never experienced it) the device is hard wired

    Router Arris GT249 -2LG -85

    My Dac Arcam IR dac 2
     
  8. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,519
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've been eyeing the Bluesound 2 for a couple of years now. The idea of a unit built specifically to stream is theoretically of interest to me. The entry level Laptop that I'm using is a "utility"(multi function) type device.

    Currently I'm using an external DAC .. Schiit Audio Modi 2 Uber/2 Audioquest Jitterbugs on usb ports/Wireworld Starlight 7 usb cable/Morrow Audio MA1.1 RCA cable … for my entry level HP Laptop streaming rig and am quite satisfied with the results of my Tidal Lossy AAC streaming and others. Hard to imagine it sounding better .. but I may go the Bluesound route at some point .. eventually sending my upstairs rig to my proposed 2nd system which will resided in my basement.
     
  9. TooMany45s

    TooMany45s AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I spend most of my time listening to reels and vinyl, and streaming is more for an easy session, or when I have guests. At the end of the day, it boils down to convenience and speed. If I wanted to fiddle when listening to music I'd thread a reel or put on a record. The Node satisfies my need for a quick and easy way to stream decent quality audio without having to dick around with hardwiring another device to my system. It's nice to have an old tablet sitting on the coffee table that anyone can pick up and select some music to play. Since you already have a nice DAC, you might want to give a Chromecast Audio a try. At 35 bucks it's low risk, and may give you some added convenience.
     
  10. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,519
    Location:
    Ohio
    Fiddling does seem to bother me like others .. I like the rituals of Vinyl playback. Currently I'm using my front room streaming rig like a virtual reality turntable .. I play a single album all the way through (no skipping) and do not use playlist all that often. I have to get up from my chair and select another album .. just like a record. Currently doing this by intent (that's just me .. Album guy till the end). I'm aware that's probably not how most people are using their streaming playback.

    I have tablet (not used much) … that I could used in conjunction with the Bluesound Node 2. The remote convenience would be nice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  11. TooMany45s

    TooMany45s AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I will say that I do enjoy how seamless the BlueOS app is. It's nice to switch between streaming services. Through TuneIn, I can play my local public radio stations and switch to Spotify or Deezer without skipping a beat. It's also nice to have a volume control being that my gear is vintage and there are no remotes associated with my system.
     

     

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  12. PAYUPSKI

    PAYUPSKI AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    492
    Just picked up the Bluesound Node 2i, listening to Tidal Hifi, Sounds AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. audiobliss

    audiobliss Member

    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Miramar Florida
    Can the Bluesound stream video also, like Netflix ?
     
  14. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    No, it's audio only.
     

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