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First the good:
Sound quality is great; I am completely happy and have no desire to get something more expensive or to get an expensive external DAC. If that is your main concern, read no further.
Now the bad:
Software: This one is puzzling, because most people here and most reviewers seem fine with the Bluesound app. I guess this is an individual thing, because I find the app poor-confusing and counterintuitive. It varies significantly depending upon which streaming service you are trying to use. Qobuz and Tidal are fair, Spotify is downright bizarre. I often find myself leaving Bluesound, going to the native app to do something, then returning to Bluesound to play the track. The Qobuz implementation, in particular, has a bug which has been complained about in the forums and support groups literally for years, namely the inability to change how Favorites are sorted, which renders them largely useless. Bluesound seemingly has no inclination to fix this. This is just a minor example. When people complain about a software bug, Bluesound's typical response is (paraphrasing) "Send us a problem report and if we get the time we will look into it at some indeterminate future time."
At one point my system started emitting a loud high frequency screech. The sound disappeared when I took the Node out of the system, so I am sure it was the Node. First, I tried calling Bluesound (NAD). Would you believe the number included in the packaging was disconnected?(!) After finding an email address for support, it took multiple emails over a couple of weeks to respond (COVID?) When I asked for a return authorization to get it serviced under warranty, their response was "Send it back to Amazon." (!!) In other words, they assume Amazon will send a replacement and they will save the cost of actually honoring their warranty. This is a sleazy, if not illegal, business practice. Fortunately, the noise disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared.
To summarize: great sound, mediocre software (IMO), dreadful support.
Perhaps my case is the exception, so take this for what it is worth.
I've returned product with the simple explanation that it was broken when in fact the item was just buggy and not ready for prime time. In my view, it was broken because it didn't reliably work as advertised. [ Wish we could easily do that with cars! ]
The return policy will vary depending on who you actually bought it from, Amazon or a 3rd party using Amazon as a selling platform.
We're finishing the basement and I ordered a couple styles of fixtures and lighting. On the ones I returned, I simply chose "Ordered by Mistake". No hassles at all, they took them back and refunded my Amazon account.
I guess I'm less critical of BluOS because I don't stream hi-res from a music service and don't have as much need for searching or sorting. I use BluOS mainly to access my digital albums off a NAS. For that it works fairly well. But there's no denying that Roon provides a superior controller.
Proprietary software. ----
You're locked in and no where else to go.
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