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Bluesound Pulse review

Bluesound Pulse front angle
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £600
inc VAT

The Bluesound Pulse is a great choice for audiophiles with high-resolution audio support but its app isn’t the most elegant


Speakers: 5, RMS power output: 80W, Dock connector: None, Networking: 802.11n Wi-Fi, 1x 10/100 Ethernet, optional Bluetooth (SBC), Dimensions: 420x190x197mm, Weight: 6.1kg, Streaming formats: Proprietary (BluOS)

Sevenoaks Sound and Vision

The Bluesound app is utilitarian and functional and isn’t the most attractive, certainly when compared with some of the more elegant options, such as Sonos’ Controller app. It does the basics, giving you an overview of all the Bluesound devices on your network and what they’re playing. It’s through the app that you can add in new music services.

For accessing files on your local network, you need to point Bluesound at a network file share, which can be on a Mac, PC or a NAS drive. If you want to stream from the internet, you can add a music services, with the aforementioned Tidal joining Spotify, Qobuz, Rdio and more. As with most other multiroom audio systems, requires you to install and use the separate Spotify app’s Connect feature to send music to the speaker so you’ll need a Spotify Premium subscription. This also limits you to streaming a single Spotify track to a single room at a time; Sonos lets you stream as many tracks as you like to as many rooms as you have. Once you’ve added all of your music sources, you can queue it up and create playlists, which you can save and access later.

If you’ve got external devices that you want to hook up, such as a CD player, the Pulse as an optical S/PDIF input on the rear. It’s a shame that there’s no 3.5mm audio input, too, as this would have made the system compatible with a far wider range of devices. A full-size USB port is included for connecting external storage containing your music, although this has to be formatted in FAT32 to be recognised. You can add Bluetooth support with an optional Bluetooth USB adaptor (IOGEAR GBU521W6, £15, There’s also a Micro USB port but this is purely used for firmware updates.

There’s no getting away form the fact that the Bluesound Pulse is expensive, but its sound quality justifies its high price. It’s not the most attractive multiroom speaker, and its app could be more refined. However, if you value sound quality, want a CD-quality streaming service and aren’t dissuaded by its price, the Bluesound Pulse is a great choice. If you’re after the best multiroom experience, Sonos is the winner, with the Play:5 (or two in a stereo pair) a good alternative.

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RMS power output80W
Audio inputsS/PDIF
Audio outputsNone
Dock connectorNone
Memory card supportNone
Networking802.11n Wi-Fi, 1x 10/100 Ethernet, optional Bluetooth (SBC)
App supportiOS, Android, Windows, OS X
Battery capacityN/A
Streaming formatsProprietary (BluOS)
Supported serversSMB
Audio formatsMP3, Flac, Ogg, Wav, AIFF, AAC, WMA
Internet streaming servicesSpotify, Tidal, Qobuz, HDTracks, Rdio
Buying information
Price including VAT£599
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Part codeBluesound PULSE