Bluesound is a brand that wants to compete with Sonos and, in general, it does so with great success. Like that company, Bluesound’s product line consists of a range of wireless speakers, soundbars and subwoofers, along with amplifiers that can be used to bring wireless streaming to any old speaker.
The latest wireless speaker to come from Bluesound is the Pulse M ($449 / £449 / €549 / around AU$700), which at first glance looks like a slightly beefier Sonos One. Similar to that model, the Pulse M is a compact standalone speaker with Hi-Res streaming capability that can be paired wirelessly with a second Pulse M for stereo listening. It can also be paired with a wireless subwoofer for extended bass, or used as a surround speaker in a full 5.1 system with one of the company’s soundbars.
When it comes to specs, the Pulse M seems to have more stuff than the Sonos One, which currently sits at the top of our list of the best. best wireless speakers. In addition to being slightly larger at 6.7 x 8 x 5.9 inches (W x H x D), Bluesound’s new somewhat cylindrical speaker has a more intricate “Omni-Hybrid” design that combines a 5″ woofer .25-inch with a pair of 0.75-inch tweeters. they are offset from each other at an angle of 45 degrees.
The Pulse M design also incorporates an acoustic reflector that serves to radiate high-frequency sound in a 360-degree pattern. The goal here is to deliver a wide, immersive presentation from a single speaker, with an 80-watt “smart” DSP amplifier working to monitor performance in real time to improve dynamic range and reduce distortion.
Beyond all that, the Pulse M, which is available in a satin white or black finish with a matching fabric grille, is controlled by the company’s excellent BluOS app and can stream music from a wide range of services via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or AirPlay 2. MQA decoding is built in to handle Tidal’s Hi-Res Audio, and there’s also two-way Bluetooth aptX HD support.
Wired inputs are ample for a compact wireless speaker: Along with USB Type-A Ethernet ports, the Pulse M has a mix of optical digital and analog audio input, and there’s also a 3.5mm output for connecting wired headphones. to enjoy Hi-Res Audio. goodness.
Analysis: more than one
With its innovative 360-degree sound diffusion design, the Pulse M seems less interested in competing with the Sonos One than the Sonos One. we are five, another high-ranking model on our list of the best wireless speakers. As with the Pulse M, that Sonos model is designed to deliver a wide soundstage and fill the room with as much high-quality audio as possible from a reasonably compact package.
Another thing the Pulse M and the Sonos Five have in common is the lack of built-in microphones for voice control: you can use Siri, Google or Alexa commands to operate the Pulse M, but you’ll need to use external hardware, an El Amazon Echo Dot speaker, for example, to make that happen.
The Pulse M is priced slightly lower than the Sonos Five ($549 / £499 / AU$799), making it a more attractive option for an all-in-one speaker, at least from a performance standpoint. cost. But the big question remains whether or not it provides a robust enough performance boost over the more affordable Sonos One ($219 / £199 / AU$319) to justify the price increase.
There’s only one way to find out, and that’s with a hands-on review of the Pulse M, which we hope to offer in the near future. Until that happens, check out our the best wireless speaker guide to read about other options, and also our black friday 2022 guide, featuring many other great audio and video product offerings.
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