Nursing a cold and pounding DayQuil like Robutussin, today I’m kicking back in the MajorHiFi review office with the Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i. At $499, this wireless Bluetooth speaker isn’t the cheapest option on the market right now. But thanks to a host of cool features – plus a world-class sound – it’s my new favorite wireless speaker.
Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i Review
The Pulse Mini 2i comes with all the accessories necessary to enjoy this baby right out of the box. In the box, you’ll find the speaker unit, power cables, an ethernet cable, and a 3.5mm to Toslink adapter plug.
Appearance-wise the Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i comes in pristine white or deep black; my review sample is of the deep black variety. Styling strikes me as minimalist, but functional. On the top plate of the speaker, a control panel allows the user to adjust playback and volume.
Inside the speaker, the Pulse Mini 2i uses two 19 mm tweeters and two 102 mm woofers.
The rear panel of the Pulse Mini 2i sports ports for USB, LAN, optical, and 3.5 mm audio inputs. There’s also a power input port and a headphone jack. This last feature seems a bit odd, but it’s still not a bad feature to have on a wireless streaming speaker.
In terms of wireless technology, this Bluesound speaker offers dual-band Wifi 5 connectivity, along with two-way Bluetooth 5.0 functionality via aptX HD.
Connecting to the speaker seems quick and pain-free; simply download the Bluesound App and follow the on-screen instructions to wireless connect to the speaker. Admittedly, the app might take a day or two to get used to. However, once you figure out the little quirks, it becomes quite easy to live with.
Once connected to the app, users can wireless stream from services like Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify, or Amazon Music. They can also access free radio stations via the “Tune In” option.
Numerous and boring, if you want the full specs, go to the Bluesound webpage and scroll down. Normally I would include certain specs for power consumption and volume here. However, all you really need to know is this: plug it in, and be warned – it gets LOUD.
The Pulse Mini 2i offers impressive detail for a wireless speaker; notes retain contrast and depth in all of my test tracks. At the bottom of the frequency range, this speaker exhibits rich lows characterized by a driving, energetic sound. This is complimented by a relaxed but decent bass response that adds some weight to the lows.
The mids are good and meaty, but still offer some contrast against the lows. With a wealth of detail and good tonal accuracy, the mids stand out as resolving and immaculate, providing a stunning listening experience.
In contrast, the highs sound slightly smooth at lower volume, but really open up as that volume climbs. Overall, this is a strong high end with great resolution and sparkling detail. Sure, you won’t get the best performance at lower volumes, but you’ll probably want to play this thing loud, anyway – it really does sound that good.
I’ve experimented and played around with smart speakers from JBL, Sony, BOSE, BeoPlay, and other companies. The Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i kicks beats ’em all. Even at its $499 price tag, the Pulse Mini 2 is worth every penny, sporting a truly fantastic sound that hits well above it’s competition.
Of course, if you need to splash some cheddar on over-hyped and expensive gear, my recommendation goes to Sonos. For the same price, you can get one of their hack speakers with about half the sound quality you’ll hear with the Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i.
At a fair price of $499, the Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i offers an audacious listening experience that envelops you in a world of detail and space. With connectivity to high-res streaming services, as well as Bluetooth aptX HD, there are few limits to sound quality. The result is a surprisingly capable speaker that looks good and sounds even better.
Get it for the best price here: