My previous experiences can be summarized in one sentence: something was always wrong. My expectations were correspondingly low when the call came to me to put my impressions about the Bluesound Vault 2i on paper.
Well then, what I noticed right from the start: there is no noble aluminum housing, no display and a rather simple packaging.
Connecting is possible without having to enter the access code of the router, in my case a Fritzbox. Connect the LAN cable, plug in the connection cable, download the app – if both are availabel, once to your mobile phone and once to your iPad. Select your prefered music service and register there. For me it‘s Qobuz, and with just a few more clicks you can hear music. However, at first only via Bluetooth, as I forgot to select Qobuz as music supplier in the BluOs app, which can be found there in a row with various other music services, the hard disk, which is also integrated in the Vault, or radio. Now I can hear in full quality, which corresponds to at least CD standard. I‘ve limited the maximum resolution to 24/96, as I didn‘t want to put my bandwidth provided by the local telecommunications service to the extreme test. „That was easy“ shoots through my head when I listen to the new record „Fremde Feddere“ by Cologne‘s local heroes Köster & Hocker for the first time. And at the same time I think: „hey, no dropouts, it works“. And I didn‘t have to navigate through endless submenus like in many other cases, where I was also promised simple operation.
And the small box in its rubberized housing has not even reached the end of its capabilities yet. At the front there is a barely visible slot, where CDs can disappear for about 10-15 minutes. During this time, the Vault rips the entire CD and stores it in FLAC or WAV format, with a copy in MP3 if desired. We focused on the FLAC format, because here the metadata, i.e. the additional information of the respective CD, was displayed flawlessly. The Vault performs the ripping procedure very quietly, only a small noise can be heard very close to it in the last moments before storage on the two terabyte hard disk. It‘s also nice that you can still listen to streamed music of Qobuz, Tidal or HighResAudio while ripping. It is, however, not possible to use the Bluesound as a CD player – the built-in CD drive starts reading the data immediately after inserting the CD.