Bluesound has this week announced the Powernode Edge (US$649 / €699 / £599), a baby brother to the Powernode (US$949). This new slice of Future-Fi is a less expensive take on the marriage of the company’s BluOS streaming platform to an amplifier for an all-in-one unit that invites the end user to ‘just add loudspeakers’ (and allows them to sidestep the possible madness of separates, cables and a hi-fi rack).
Like the Powernode, the Edge gets the BluOS streaming module with software control apps for iOS, Android, Windows and MacOS. It also supports (2-way) aptX Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Roon Ready and on the back panel puts hard-wired digital inputs for HDMI eARC, TOSLINK and analogue and a subwoofer output.
Where the Edge version steps away from its bigger brother is on amplification. Bluesound has dispensed with the Powernode’s 80wpc UcD Class D module to go with 40wpc (into 8 Ohms) of DirectDigital™️. The latter features none of the former’s interstitial analogue conversion and instead uses a digital signal to drive the output stage. Sometimes this is called a ‘Power DAC’. Figuring these two types of amplification might be tricky for the average consumer to separate, I got Bluesound’s Matt Simmonds on the horn to discuss the differences between the Powernode and the Powernode Edge in greater detail.
Additional product highlights:
- Quad-Core 1.8GHz ARM® Cortex™ A53 Processor
- MQA and hi-res audio streaming
- Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri
- Dual-Band Wi-Fi + Gigabit Ethernet
- IR remote learning capability
- Front panel touch controls
- Compact 1U form factor
- Easy four-way mounting system
- Black or white finish
Further information: Bluesound