Connect vs Port vs Bluesound sound quality?

  • 24 January 2020
  • 11 replies
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Userlevel 2

Has anyone upgraded from Connect to Port and noticed any appreciable improvement in sound quality (with same source material and speakers, of course)?

How about any audible difference between these Sonos products and the Bluesound node 2.0i, preferably using same source?  (I would expect Bluesound with Hi-Res streaming to sound better than Sonos)


11 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

There are several topics here on the high resolution sound issue, well worth looking at before you spend money on it.

Userlevel 2

I was not asking about hi-res sources, I was asking about whether there is any noticeable difference in audio quality between these three devices with equivalent sound sources

I was not asking about hi-res sources, I was asking about whether there is any noticeable difference in audio quality between these three devices with equivalent sound sources

 

Theoretically, all three are bit perfect, so there would be no difference using a digital output into a DAC.  You will find those that swear there are massive “night and day” differences (usually favoring the more expensive, boutique brand Bluesound).  Whether you buy their story or not depends on where you stand on the objective vs. subjective audiophile debate.  

Using the internal DAC, well there could be differences, but personally I just want to hear the music.  Listening to the differences between gear gets tedious. Again, the audiophile vs music lover debate all over. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

I would expect Bluesound with Hi-Res streaming to sound better than Sonos.

Why?

Userlevel 2

I was not asking about hi-res sources, I was asking about whether there is any noticeable difference in audio quality between these three devices with equivalent sound sources

 

Theoretically, all three are bit perfect, so there would be no difference using a digital output into a DAC.  You will find those that swear there are massive “night and day” differences (usually favoring the more expensive, boutique brand Bluesound).  Whether you buy their story or not depends on where you stand on the objective vs. subjective audiophile debate.  

Using the internal DAC, well there could be differences, but personally I just want to hear the music.  Listening to the differences between gear gets tedious. Again, the audiophile vs music lover debate all over. 

Just using RCA outs into an NAD preamp/power amp, and then to (non-Sonos) speakers. 

Userlevel 2

I would expect Bluesound with Hi-Res streaming to sound better than Sonos.

Why?

Been shopping for moderately priced speakers at the only audio store near me, which has a lot of “audiophile” gear, and they are definitely pushing the Bluesound/Hi Res streaming kool-aid. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

I would expect Bluesound with Hi-Res streaming to sound better than Sonos.

Why?

Been shopping for moderately priced speakers at the only audio store near me, which has a lot of “audiophile” gear, and they are definitely pushing the Bluesound/Hi Res streaming kool-aid. 

Ah. as @Stanley_4 alluded above, it’s worth making sure you’re acquainted with the actual science behind HiRes.

While it seems self-evident that higher bit depth and sampling rates will result in higher fidelity music reproduction, this is not the case within the limits of any human’s hearing. CD quality is more than good enough.

Ah. as @Stanley_4 alluded above, it’s worth making sure you’re acquainted with the actual science behind HiRes.

While it seems self-evident that higher bit depth and sampling rates will result in higher fidelity music reproduction, this is not the case within the limits of any human’s hearing. CD quality is more than good enough.

 

Time for an oldie, but goodie (By Monty Montgomery, creator of the Orbis codec, and founder of Xiph, the makers of FLAC, the #1 codec for Hi-Res audio):

24/192 Music Downloads...and why they make no sense

Userlevel 2

Really want to hear about real life experience (subjective opinions!) more than technical articles…

  1. If I’m listening to Spotify streaming, will there be any noticeable improvement in sound quality upgrading from Connect/Bridge to Port?
  2. Again with Spotify, will there be any noticeable improvement in sound quality upgrading from Connect/Bridge to Bluesound Node 2.0i?
  3. How about Sonos Connect/Bridge + Spotify vs. Bluesound node 2.0i +Tidal/Quoboz etc.?

You can buy a Port and return it if you don't think it produces better sound than a Connect, and don't have any other reason to prefer it. 

I am not sure how many Port owners have compared it with Bluesound, but my guess would be none.

I hope I am proved wrong and you get some useful feedback. 

Userlevel 2

Just noticed this thread and wanted to quickly comment--I I just ran the Node 2i vs Connect test last night for a bit.  I stuck to redbook and used Qobuz and Tidal going into the same DAC.  Short answer is that they sound pretty different from each other, not really hard to distinguish at all.  

 

Trying to level match was difficult, for some reason the Bluesound seems to output a much louder signal then the Sonos but what was pretty immediate and obvious was that the Bluesound threw a wider soundstage and subjectively seemed to have a little more dynamic range, while the Sonos threw a smaller soundstage and seemed a little warmer--the midrange seemed more natural with the Sonos connect.  Not saying which was better, I think that would be completely subjective but they don’t sound the same (at all).  I currently have three connects (which are all now legacy components) so I’m sure I will swap one for a Port in the near future and compare all three.

For those that care, comparisons were done with Klipsch Forte III speakers, a Manley Stingray and Ayre Codex DAC.

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