Bluesound Vault 2
Streaming music player with 2TB storage drive, CD ripper, and Bluetooth® (Black)
Our take on the Bluesound Vault 2 by Crutchfield's Ralph Graves
Streaming music for the audio enthusiast
If you're serious about your music and its sound quality, here's good news. With the Bluesound system, you can play your high-resolution music files and enjoy easy access to your whole music collection throughout your home. Bluesound was designed by the makers of NAD electronics and PSB speakers, both experts when it comes to delivering high-performance audio.
Turn your CD collection into a bit-perfect digital music archive
The Vault 2 features a 2TB storage drive, so it can easily accommodate the larger file sizes of high-resolution digital audio. And it makes it easy to bring your CD collection into the Bluesound ecosystem. Just slip a CD into the slot. The Vault 2 defaults to ripping bit-perfect digital copies of your discs, so you'll hear every detail contained in the original versions. Plus, you can transfer other digital music files which you may have stored on various computers around the house, consolidating all your digital libraries into the Vault 2 for easy access.
Once you've loaded your collection, you'll be able to enjoy all of your music in any room with a Bluesound player. And the Vault 2 is also a Bluesound music player — connect it to your receiver, amplifier, or other audio system using its digital or analog outputs. (Just keep in mind, you'll need to make a wired Ethernet connection between the Vault 2 and your network router.)
High-res audio puts you inside the music
This equipment plays high-resolution audio files that can re-create more lifelike sound than CDs, bringing subtle details to life. High-res online music stores offer a variety of formats including 24-bit/96kHz, 24-bit/192kHz, and DSD.
A universe of music options
Bluesound is compatible with virtually all digital music formats — including high-resolution files up to 24-bit/192kHz. Access the music stored on your computer or a networked hard drive. Stream from Internet radio stations and online services like Spotify®, Rhapsody, and TIDAL. You can also enjoy downloads from high-res music sites such as HDtracks. The player is compatible with MQA, a high-resolution audio format. The Vault 2 also features a USB input for playing files "locally" from a thumb drive or hard drive — ideal when friends come over with their own music.
The Vault 2 features aptX® audio coding, an advanced form of Bluetooth that allows higher-fidelity sound with compatible Bluetooth devices. The system is backward-compatible with earlier forms of Bluetooth, too. Bluetooth is a convenient way to play the sound from any app you might be using on your mobile device, including Netflix® and YouTube™. You can even share that Bluetooth source with other Bluesound music players around your house that are connected to the same network.
Control the system through Bluesound's free app for your smartphone or tablet.
Create a high-resolution multi-room music system
Combine multiple Bluesound players to enjoy high-end sound throughout your home.
- Powernode 2: This amplified player connects to a pair of speakers. It may be small, but it's powerful enough to drive a pair of floor-standing speakers.
- Pulse 2: This all-in-one player is perfect for almost any room. It has built-in PSB speakers for great sound in a compact package.
- Duo: This 2.1 audio system features two speakers and subwoofer, ideal for TV or computer sound.
- Pulse Mini: This compact, all-in-one speaker system is ideal for a bookshelf, desk, or nightstand.
Control in the palm of your hand
The Bluesound system is easily controlled from your smartphone or tablet. Just download the free app from the Apple® App Store, or Google Play. The app lets you select songs and adjust volume. Choose to play music in one room, all rooms, or different tracks in different spaces around your home.
- music storage device with slot-loading CD drive and 2TB internal hard drive
- communicates with other Bluesound players via your home network (wired or wireless)
- requires a wired Ethernet connection to your network router
- control the system with a free app for your smartphone, tablet, or computer (Android™, iOS®, Kindle Fire, Windows®, and Mac®)
- plays MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, MQA, WAV, and AIFF files
- supported sample rates: 32kHz to 192kHz
- supported bit depths 16-24
- high-fidelity Bluetooth aptX® audio coding for greater sonic detail with compatible devices
- plays Internet radio stations from TuneIn Radio and iHeart Radio
- Spotify Connect lets you play Spotify's streaming music library through your Bluesound system via your smartphone or tablet (requires Spotify app and a premium subscription; firmware and app version 1.10.0 or higher)
- plays streaming music from TIDAL, Rdio™, HighResAudio, Deezer, JUKE, Slacker Radio, Qobuz, and Murfie
- play music in multiple rooms when you add other Bluesound players
- top-mounted controls for volume and muting
- USB port for connecting a thumb drive with music files
- combination mini-optical/stereo minijack audio input
- audio output:
- RCA stereo audio (stereo RCA-to-RCA cable included)
- coaxial digital audio (RCA)
- optical digital audio (Toslink optical digital-to-stereo mini jack adapter included)
- headphone stereo minijack
- subwoofer RCA mono
- compatible with Windows® (XP or higher operating system)
- compatible with Mac®
- requires AC power (AC adapter included)
- 8-5/8"W x 3-1/2"H x 9-1/4"D
- weight: 4.05 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- requires smartphone or tablet with free Bluesound app for control of system playback
- requires high-speed Internet connection
What's in the Box:
- Network music player/Hard disc drive
- 6' AC power cord (120V)
- 6" AC power cord (240V)
- 6.5' Ethernet cable
- 6.5' Stereo RCA cable
- 6' Stereo minijack-to-RCA cable
- Quick Setup Guide
- Warranty Sheet
- "Important" booklet
- "Spotify Premium" note
so far, wonderful. Holds all my cds plus much more. Also copied my hi res music from my computer. Replays at hi res. What more could one want? But there is more: there is no really organized, helpful documentation. By the way, the tech support is terrific.
Howard, Los Angeles, CA
Bluesound Wireless High-Resolution Audio Eco-System: The Vault 2 network music player & hard-drive is part of Bluesound's wireless high-resolution audio eco-system. The Bluesound wireless high-resolution audio eco-system consists of music players, amplifiers, hard-drives, and wireless speakers to playback your high-res and low-res music files, along with your favorite online music services throughout your home using your home's WiFi network. With an advanced WiFi antenna design and blazing ARM Cortex9 Processors, Bluesound ensures a solid connection in every corner of your home. Play your music in perfect sync or play different music simultaneously to any Bluesound device in any room.
Note: Up to 16 Bluesound devices can be connected in a strictly wireless environment. If you want to connect more than 16 Bluesound devices, you will need to connect the Bluesound devices to your network using a wired connection. Bluesound can then control up to 64 devices in a strictly wired environment.
Vault 2: The Bluesound Vault 2 provides a convenient way to store and listen to your digital music collection. The Vault 2 features a CD-ripper and 2TB hard-drive to store you CD-Audio music files. It also offers a wired network connection and can act as a NAS drive for storage & playback of digital music files on your Windows or Mac computer. In addition, its network connection lets you access even more music from online music services and internet radio. There is even a direct USB input for connection of a USB mass storage class device that contains music files. All of this can be controlled from your Apple iOS or Android device using Bluesound's free controller app.
CD-Ripper w/ 2TB Hard-Drive: The Vault 2's slot-loading CD mechanism can rip an inserted Audio CD directly to its 2TB hard-drive. Rip all your CDs rapidly in lossless high-resolution FLAC or WAV formats, space-saving MP3, or both simultaneously. You can also purchase, download, and store high-res tracks from HDTracks on this dedicated ultra-quiet 2TB hard-drive; with no computer needed. Now, you'll be able to access and share your entire digital music collection and stream it in studio-quality to multiple rooms all over the home via the Bluesound wireless eco-system.
Note: The Vault 2 can store up to18,000 songs in 24-bit/96kHz FLAC format. If you need more space, there is the option to add an extra USB hard drive via one of the USB (type-A) ports located on back of the Vault 2.
Wired Network Connection: The Bluesound Vault 2 is fitted with a Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) jack for a wired connection to your home's network and Internet provider. This network/internet connection allows you to listen to music on the Vault 2's hard-drive on other Bluesound devices through out your home, plus lets you stream digital music files on your network connected Windows or Mac computer, as well as stream select online music services and internet radio to your existing home audio system and the rest of your Bluesound components throughout your home.
Note: The Bluesound Vault 2 can only be connected to your network by a wired Ethernet connection. The Vault 2 does not have a wireless network card.
Bluesound Controller App: The free Bluesound Controller App turns your Apple iOS (7.0+) iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android (OS 4.0+) smartphone/tablet, Windows (Vista or higher) PC or Mac (OS X 10.7+) computer into a full-featured remote control for the Bluesound wireless music system. The Bluesound Controller App on your compatible device uses your home's WiFi network to connect with Bluesound devices, so you can play all the music you love anywhere in your home for a wireless multiroom music experience. Get on-demand access to your music libraries on your home network, stream live Internet radio from almost any place in the world, or listen to one of the many music services available on Bluesound, all from the palm of your hand with the easy-to-use Bluesound Controller App.
Supported Music Formats: The Bluesound wireless audio system supports both low-res and high-res audio files; including MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC, ALAC, WMA Lossless, MQA, WAV, and AIFF. Bluesound has been designed to work with today's larger music collections, and has indexed libraries up to 100,000 songs in demonstrated practice (this will depend on the music's metadata & artwork). Bluesound also offers gapless playback by default for all supported file music types.
|Compression||File Type||Sampling Frequency||Bit Rate or Bit Depth|
|Lossless||WMA-Lossless||up to 96 kHz||up to 24-bit|
|FLAC||192 kHz||up to 24-bit|
|Uncompressed||AIFF||up 192 kHz||up to 24-bit|
Notes: Bluesound cannot index or play AAC files with the extension ".m4p". These files were purchased in iTunes prior to 2009 and are subject to copy protection. Apple Consumers with an iTunes Match subscription can delete and re-download these files free of charge from their iTunes Cloud
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated): Bluesound is the first wireless multiroom audio system to support MQA (Master Quality Authenticated). MQA is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that captures and delivers master quality audio in a file that's small enough to stream or download. Bluesound worked closely with MQA to implement technology inside each Bluesound component to ensure the listener will hear MQA encoded music and streams exactly like the source and the way the artist intended you to hear it when it was approved in the studio.
Note: MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) support will require a firmware update.
Online Music Services: With a network and internet connection, the Vault 2 lets you access select online music services & internet radio. The Bluesound Controller app on your Apple iOS or Android device will serve as the controller for these apps and provide song/artist information with Album Art.
- HDtracks: HDtracks is a premiere online music store for audiophiles who demand the best sounding music. It is their purpose to provide the largest online library of studio-quality high-resolution music downloads complete with liner notes. Download fees will apply.
- Amazon Prime: With a Prime Music subscription, you can access over 2 million songs ad-free and on-demand, as well as curated playlists and personalized stations. Upgrade to an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription to access tens of millions of songs.
- Spotify Connect: If you subscribe to Spotify Premium and have the Spotify App on your Apple iOS or Android smartphone, you can stream Spotify to the Bluesound system. Spotify is a digital music service that gives you on-demand access to one of the largest music libraries in the world (over 15 million tracks and counting). Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage, and share music with your friends. You can browse music by artist, album, track, or most popular; and create your own music library with customized playlists.
- TIDAL: TIDAL is a global streaming service that offers over 30 million songs in high-fidelity CD sound quality. TIDAL has two pricing tiers; either $9.99 or $19.99 a month. Both pricing levels allow you to access TIDAL's entire music library. The $19.99 tier has the added benefit of high-fidelity sound at CD-level quality
- TuneIn: The Bluesound system includes access to more than 70,000 free internet radio streams from all corners of the globe via the TuneIn radio service. Just select the TuneIn logo from the main Music menu and browse among the 70,000 stations neatly organized into popular categories and select a station that appeals to your mood.
- iHeart Radio: iHeartRadio is a free, all-in-one digital radio and music streaming service that lets you listen to thousands of live stations from across the country and allows you to create personalized custom stations featuring songs from the artist you select and similar music.
- Napster: Napster is a streaming music subscription service (starting a $10 per month) that allows you to play the full-length songs you choose on demand from a collection of over 10 million songs, without ads and without having to purchase or download the music.
- Slacker: Get the sound quality that you deserve with the new Slacker Radio® music library available in high-quality AAC audio on Bluesound. Listen to music streams at a bitrate of 320kbps and enjoy all your favorite Slacker stations in pristine MP3-quality.
Note: Availability of online music services may vary by region. Not all services may be available at time of purchase. Some services may be added or discontinued from time to time based on decisions of the music service providers or others.
Music Library From Your Mobile Device: From the Bluesound Controller App, you can stream music directly over WiFi from your Apple iOS or Android device to the Bluesound Vault 2 and the rest of your Bluesound components around your home. The app gives you complete control of your compatible mobile device's music library with song/artist information and album art.
Computer Audio: The Bluesound wireless music system will pull music from an existing digital music library across the network on your Windows PC or Mac computer using Windows or SMB File Sharing (SAMBA) and the Bluesound Controller App for Windows & Mac.
- Windows: Music files stored on a Windows desktop or laptop can be accessed by Bluesound using Windows File Sharing. You will need to download the Bluesound Share Utility for Windows - Bluesound Share Utility Windows v1.6.zip. This utility will work on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.
- Mac: Music files stored on an Apple iMac or MacBook can be accessed by Bluesound using SMB File Sharing. You will need to download the Bluesound Share Utility for OS X - Bluesound Share Utility OSX v1.2.zip.This utility will work on any version of Apple OS X 10.8.x and higher.
Bluetooth w/ aptX: The Bluesound Vault 2 features built-in Bluetooth 4.0 with support for wireless music streaming from your Bluetooth-enabled Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Windows PC/Phone, Mac computer/laptop, and more. You'll be able to stream stored music and music apps on your Bluetooth-enabled device to the Vault 2. In addition, the Vault 2 offers aptX for CD-quality sound from Android (OS 4.0+) devices. You can even distribute Bluetooth audio to the rest of your Bluesound wireless audio system throughout your home or office over WiFi.
Inputs: The Bluesound Vault 2 is fitted with two USB (type-A) ports for playback of music files stored on a mass storage class (MSC) device, as well as a 3.5mm Aux input that serves as an analog or digital input.
- Dual USB Ports: The Bluesound Vault 2 features two USB (type-A) ports to directly connect your USB mass storage class (MSC) device; such as a thumbdrive or external hard-drive. The unit's USB port supports music playback from these compatible USB devices formatted in FAT 32 or NTFS. Not only can USB audio be played back on the Vault 2, but can also be wirelessly distributed to the rest of your Bluesound components throughout your home for multiroom playback. USB mass storage devices that require more than 0.5A of power will require a separate power supply. The USB port is not compatible with the direct connection of an Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad or Android devices.
- Optical/Analog Input: The Vault 2 is fitted with a 3.5mm Aux input which can be used as an analog or digital connection. As an analog input, simply connect a stereo minijack audio cable from your analog source to the Vault 2's Aux input. As a digital input, use the included 3.5mm-to-Optical adapter along with an optical digital cable (sold separately) to connect your digital source to the Vault 2's Aux input. As an analog or digital input, the unit's Aux input supports 2ch PCM audio (not Dolby Digital or DTS). Audio from the Optical/Analog Aux input can be played back at the Vault 2 and wirelessly distributed to other Bluesound components in your home for multiroom playback.
Outputs: The Bluesound Vault 2 provides analog & digital outputs to connect to your existing home entertainment system, plus a sub out for adding a powered sub, and a headphone jack for private listening.
- Analog & Digital Outputs: The Vault 2 contains both analog and digital outputs. There is an analog RCA stereo output, plus one optical (toslink) digital output and one coax (RCA) digital output to connect the player to your home's existing audio system.
- Sub Output: The Vault 2 also features a mono-RCA subwoofer output for adding a powered sub. The sub output is full-range; you will need to use the low-pass crossover in your powered sub.
- Headphone Output: A 3.5mm headphone jack is located on the front of the Vault 2 for private listening with a set of headphones. The Vault 2's output will be muted when headphones are connected.
Remote Connections: The Bluesound Vault 2 is fitted with an IR input and 12V trigger output.
- IR Input: An infrared extender (sold separately) can be connected the Vault 2's IR input (3.5mm) to allow for programmable learning remotes to control volume and source selection when the Vault 2 is stored in a way that the front-panel IR sensor is not visible.
- 12V Trigger Output: The 12V trigger output (3.5mm) can be used to control or activate other external device equipped with a corresponding 12V trigger input.
AC Power: The Bluesound Vault 2 operates off of standard household current using its internal power supply and the included 6' detachable AC power cord.
Our Product Research Team
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Jim Richardson
Bluesound Generation 2 wireless multi-room audio products reviewed by a veteran Crutchfield editor.