If you’ve ever thought that Sonos isn’t sophisticated enough or advanced enough, may I introduce Bluesound to you. The Canadian audio company is on a mission to become the audiophile Sonos, and its latest movement? Well, this is the announcement of its latest product, the Pulse Soundbar +.
Before we get into this particular product, let’s talk about Bluesound. The company creates streaming material ready for audiophiles. This includes things like wireless speakers, stereo components, and, yes, soundbars. I am a huge fan of his equipment.
The company’s hardware is geared towards audio heads, which means it has features like a wide range of inputs (LOVE YOU) and support for streaming 24-bit music files ( more information on this here).
This is because Bluesound focuses on things that Sonos doesn’t have, but that nerds do care about.
It’s a smart strategy. I’m a fan of the Sonos hardware, but it works more like a stand-alone music system, rather than something that can put aside my pre-existing audio gear, a balance that Bluesound manages wonderfully.
Now that we have some background, let’s ask the question …
How does the release of the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar + contribute to its mission to be the Sonos audiophile?
First, let’s discuss the Pulse Soundbar +.
Basically, it supports Dolby Atmos, the aforementioned 24-bit audio, can pump 120 watts, and has eight drivers. On top of that, it has an ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core chipset and a ton of inputs (specifically, HDMI eARC, Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD two-way Bluetooth, TOSLINK, RCA, USB and its BluOS system. ). If you fancy more press release specs, you can find them here.
Either way, there’s a quote Bluesound uses about the Pulse Soundbar + that shows where its head is. Specifically, he says the hardware is to “listen to what the 8K TV is to video”.
I don’t think this makes much sense (it’s deeply doubtful if humans can even listen 24-bit audio), but it’s a nice turn of phrase and makes it clear that the company is after the high-end and tech obsessive market. I mean, who else really cares about 8K TVs right now?
Plugged eagle-eyed readers will be aware that this was not this It’s been a long time since Sonos released its own soundbar, the Arc. I’m not saying Bluesound copied Sonos (it’s been making soundbars longer), but it definitely looks like it’s trying to capitalize on the same trends.
It’s no surprise that people are now upgrading their home entertainment systems. What else are we supposed to do when we’re stuck inside? While I’m sure most people will be happy with Sonos, there will always be those who want something more or different. And Bluesound delivers that.
By positioning itself as an audiophile option from Sonos, the company can sweep away anyone who is unhappy with what its competitors have to offer. And, as a fan of Bluesound’s gear, I wish him well.
Of course, this approach does not come cheap.
The Pulse + soundbar costs around $ 900, which parcel money for a sound bar. Still, it is assumed that the people who are ready to splash so much on home entertainment are exactly who Bluesound is targeting. So maybe it will work for them? And the Bluesound Pulse Soundbar + will help the company on its mission to become the Sonos audiophile?
As soon as we get our hands on them (they will start shipping in April of this year), we’ll let you know.
Did you know that we have a newsletter dedicated to consumer technologies? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it here.
Published March 22, 2021 – 10:43 UTC