We’ve been using the Bluesound NODE with Sbooster modification for a while now. So it’s about time to put it next to the Volumio Primo…. with Sbooster power supply of course!
Power is everything. Both for top athletes and hifi! This is immediately evident when we start playing with power supplies on “affordable” streamers. The Bluesond NODE costs about 649 Euros. With Sbooster modification it adds – including power supply – about 500 Euro (135 for the modification and 350 Euro for the power supply). The total investment is than 1150 Euro. The Volumio Primo costs about 800 Euro. With power supply that’s… about 1150 Euro. In short: we are really comparing apples to apples!
Comprarable… and also not so much
It is interesting to see how these two “Titans” compete. Because while the price is the same, the device itself, of course, is not really equal. Bluesound is simply better in terms of software. It is more advanced and offers more features. The app is simply the best available right now. Except maybe for Roon… but that a different approach. The software is pretty expensive and you need a seperate server. So, it’s a different target audience.
Volumio offers ‘out of the box’ better playback quality than the NODE. One advantage is the balanced outputs that the Primo offers: that gives just a bit more calmness and control than the single ended outputs. The NODE has no balanced capability.
Furthermore, the two do not differ that much in terms of connectivity: both have everything needed to connect modern devices. Even hdmi.
Modifying the NODE requires opening the device. This is not a difficult job, but for those not handy with a screwdriver, it may not be so pleasant.
The Volumio does not need to be opened: you can just connect the new power supply and be done with it. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.