Seven years ago, Bluesound presented the first streaming solutions based on BluOS. These systems are still fully usable today, of course also in combination with all current solutions based on BluOS.
BluOS is considered one of the leading streaming platforms on the market. This platform was originally developed by NAD Electronics for streaming systems of the NAD Masters series. In 2013, Lenbrook Group and thus the parent company of the Canadian hi-fi manufacturer decided to found a new company, Bluesound International, which would develop and market streaming systems based on BluOS.
The first generation of Bluesound – Seven years on the market
The first generation of these solutions, the Bluesound NODE, Bluesound POWERNODE, Bluesound VAULT and Bluesound PULSE systems, were presented in 2014 and have thus already been on the market for seven years. Considering that these are essentially IT-based consumer systems, this is an astonishingly long time, especially since – and this is the crucial point – these solutions can still perform flawlessly today, as they continue to receive full support from the manufacturer.
“Minimum shelf life” for Smart Home Audio
To emphasise it once again, especially if you decide on a streaming platform that is basically designed as a closed system, as is the case with BluOS, among others, it is of decisive importance that it is supported by the manufacturer for as long as possible.
In every respect, including devices that have been on the market for years, but also the control, which is primarily done via apps on smartphones and tablets.
Nothing is worse than having to constantly buy new tablets and smartphones to control a streaming system because the latest version of the app is no longer supported on devices of older generations.
The current update for BluOS, the firmware BluOS 3.14.2, is the occasion for Dali Deutschland GmbH to point out exactly this problem.
The company emphasises that the update can be installed on all Bluesound solutions, meaning that users are now up to date, be it in terms of functionality, but also various bug fixes and, last but not least, in terms of security. For network solutions in general, this is an aspect that should not be underestimated, this should be mentioned in passing. Even users with older mobile devices are not left out, because the BluOS update can even be installed on an Apple iPad Mini with Apple iOS 9.3.6.
Of course, not “everything” works
One thing is clear, however, and hardly anyone will expect this, of course a system continues to develop, and not all technical innovations can always be fully adopted for the entire product range.
For example, Bluesound International introduced Apple AirPlay 2 with the third generation Bluesound 2i, and with it the direct connection to Apple HomeKit including voice control via Apple Siri. Since this was a serious change in the hardware, this could of course not be implemented in the systems of the previous generations.
Nevertheless, all innovations that affect the software alone are available on all systems regardless of the product generation.
In addition, and this is equally important, a Multiroom audio streaming system can include devices of different generations. So you can upgrade at any time.
Expand instead of replace
This is a very important aspect from the manufacturer’s point of view, as Wolfgang Höhne, expert for custom installation at Dali Deutschland GmbH, puts it in a nutshell.
“Bluesound, a brand founded by Lenbrook in 2013, has close roots to the partner brand NAD. A quality-conscious group of buyers for high-quality hi-fi does not want to replace devices every one or two years. That’s why Bluesound devices should be allowed to function for as long as possible. Expanding instead of replacing – with the 2i devices and thus the third generation, Apple Airplay2 functionality was added and thus also HomeKit compatibility. Nevertheless, all generations, Node, Node2 and Node 2i still function together in multi-room operation with BluOS and, for example, connection to a smarthome control.”Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Wolfgang Höhne, CI Product and Sales Manager Dali GmbH
Getting to the point
The example of BluOS shows what is particularly important in modern multi-room audio streaming systems. Of course, further development is in demand; this is entirely in the interest of the customer, who wants new functions and thus possibilities just as much as he wants the solutions he has purchased to retain their value. The motto “expand instead of replace” is therefore a very welcome one, because this way the user can use solutions for tens of years, also in combination with newly added products.