Bluesound Powernode Edge review: Wireless streaming power for all of us

When a product stands out and does something remarkable, I’m usually one to trumpet the news loud and clear. For the last 22 years, writing reviews since the dawn of time it seems, I’ve never been one to hold back my enthusiasm for something that actually works.

That’s the case with the Bluesound Powernode Edge. A compact media streaming device and amplifier all in one, the device has all the hallmarks of a truly groundbreaking experience. Scratch that, actually. Let’s call it room-breaking, because this media streamer has some serious power.

Let’s start with the basics. Media streaming devices save a ton of time because you can queue up a playlist from your phone or tablet, then use the streamer without any mobile device present. In my case, that meant queuing up a playlist of my favorite songs using the Tidal app (which can stream in high-def) using the Tidal Connect service.

On the Powernode Edge, there’s some simple controls to play and pause, move forward and back in the track list, and change the volume. I queued up my playlist and even days later was able to control the playback easily enough, even though my phone was out in the car.

The real power of this device comes into play because it has a built-in amplifier, providing 40-watts of power per channel. That means there’s no need for an AV receiver, since you can connect speaker wire right to the device for your own speakers. Bluesound sent me some PSB bookshelf speakers and I was blown away by the quality and clarity.

I have a few examples to share. I’m a music buff and like a lot of eclectic bands. I played the new M83 album called Fantasy and was impressed by how the synth sounds so distinct from the drums. On a lesser system, without the power and streaming quality from the Powernode Edge and the high-end bookshelf speakers, bands like M83 sound muddy.

I also played quite a few tracks by U2 including a few off their brand new album. When there are strings, or light percussion touches, you can hear them like they are in the room. 

Baking up just a little before giving my final view on the product, I really need to comment on the setup process. It was ultra-smooth. I like the app that searches for the device and syncs quickly, without a lot of fuss or complexity. It looked like it would be easy to add additional Bluesound media streamers or speakers with just a quick tap.

The compact size is a major plus. I noticed in some photos that the product can be mounted to a wall or even a stand, which is really due to the overall size — about the width of two hands. The Powernode Edge could fit nicely in a small studio or on your desk. 

It’s the overall impression that impressed me the most — that the small size, easy setup, raw power, and extreme clarity and quality all combined into a product that costs $649. For anyone who loves music, you’ll love the simplicity of the controls and the precision streaming ability.

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