Bluesound recently announced the Bluesound Generation 2i (Gen 2i), building on the success of the brand’s previous platform. The Gen 2i comes with dual-band Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2 support, upgraded Bluetooth codecs, improved amplification and acoustics, and more, while maintaining a competitive price.
Bluesound’s Gen 2i Family of Products
Bluesound’s new models are: PULSE FLEX 2i ($499), PULSE MINI 2i ($799), PULSE 2i ($1,299), PULSE SOUNDBAR 2i ($1,299 in Black, $1,399 in White), NODE 2i ($799), POWERNODE 2i ($1,299) and VAULT 2i ($1,799). There are no changes being made to the PULSE SUB ($899). As before, all Gen 2i models will be offered in a choice of Black or White finishes. All models are available now.
New Features in all Bluesound Gen 2i Models
Apple AirPlay 2 Support
All Bluesound Gen 2i models are designed to support AirPlay 2, which will be delivered to Gen 2i owners via an upcoming software update. With AirPlay 2, Gen 2i owners can stream just about any sound from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to their Bluesound system — all in sync. Customers can stream music, books, and podcasts from their favorite Apps, or watch videos on their Apple device while streaming the audio through to their Gen 2i Player – imagine watching Netflix or YouTube on an iPad while filling the room with premium sound from a Bluesound system.
AirPlay 2 also gives users more options for control, including using Siri voice assistance. Once you add your Gen 2i Player to the Apple Home App on your iPhone or iPad, Apple Music subscribers can use their iOS device or HomePod to say things like: “Hey Siri, play smooth jazz in the Living Room” or “Hey Siri, turn it up in the Kitchen.”
AirPlay 2 will be available for Gen 2i Players in an upcoming software release.
Gen 2i contains Bluesound’s most advanced take on Bluetooth to date – two-way Bluetooth, featuring both Receive and Transmit functionality. Receive capability allows users to wirelessly stream from their device to a Bluesound Player just like they’re used to doing with Gen 2. The Transmit capability means the user can now use their Bluesound Gen 2i Player as a source, sending what they are listening to via Bluetooth to a pair of wireless headphones. One exception: Bluesound PULSE FLEX 2i only supports the Receive functionality via Bluetooth.
aptX HD Bluetooth
While Bluesound has improved the Bluetooth connectivity in Gen 2i, engineers also made sure that audio quality improvements are part of the Gen 2i Bluetooth story. The advanced Qualcomm CSR8675 chip used in these new products also supports aptX HD Bluetooth wireless audio. aptX HD is an enhanced codec that supports 24-bit audio over Bluetooth and has been engineered to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in lower background noise. With the ability to support streams up to 24bit/48kHz, a customer streaming from an aptX HD compatible device to a Gen 2i Player is actually able to listen to better-than-CD quality, wirelessly. It all fits into the Bluesound story – modern wireless convenience without sacrificing quality. Note that the PULSE FLEX 2i only supports aptX Bluetooth.
Bluesound has also upgraded the Wi-Fi chipset technology in its Bluesound Players to the latest and greatest Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band offering. Best-in-class products deserve best-in-class connection; with the new Wi-Fi chip onboard, Gen 2i owners can take advantage of the less noisy 5 GHz band if needed. This results in faster connection times and fewer interruptions from other network traffic.