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post #1 of 22 Old 11-14-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking of getting into this system - instead of Sonos - and was wondering whether anyone here has experience with Bluesound. Their website is http://www.bluesound.com/ and I recently saw the units demoed in Toronto. They seem pretty good but the software/apps still seemed a little "beta". I did hear that there were recent updates that will likely help.

I like the looks of the units as well as the high quality playback abilities.
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post #2 of 22 Old 11-14-2013, 11:00 AM
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You might want to find out where they are sold in your neck of the woods. I put my zip code in, and the site came back with 7 high end custom shops. Makes me wonder what the price of the devices are compared to SONOS.
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post #3 of 22 Old 11-14-2013, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response, Dharel.

They actually sell them at a great place called Audio One in Toronto where I saw them demoed.

I was also thinking of getting the Sonos but the specs show that these Bluesound units can handle higher quality audio.
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post #4 of 22 Old 11-20-2013, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by vpersaud View Post

Thanks for your response, Dharel.

They actually sell them at a great place called Audio One in Toronto where I saw them demoed.

I was also thinking of getting the Sonos but the specs show that these Bluesound units can handle higher quality audio.

I may be picking one up in the next week or so...will keep you posted if interested. I am in the states. Looking at the "Vault", just for the convenience of popping in a CD...listed at $995 US at www.crutchfield.com (very reputable site, but mostly sell at MSRP), and a "Node", listed at $449 US. Or, just do (2) nodes, and add my own SSD for the reliability over a traditional hard drive.

They have them setup in a local high end store near me, I just can't remember if the units use a high-end DAC. I may not sweat having to research a separate DAC as well since it will mostly "not" be used for critical listening, but it would be nice to know that it sounds "at least as good" as my CAL CD player.
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-20-2013, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by colnago View Post

I may be picking one up in the next week or so...will keep you posted if interested. I am in the states. Looking at the "Vault", just for the convenience of popping in a CD...listed at $995 US at www.crutchfield.com (very reputable site, but mostly sell at MSRP), and a "Node", listed at $449 US. Or, just do (2) nodes, and add my own SSD for the reliability over a traditional hard drive.

They have them setup in a local high end store near me, I just can't remember if the units use a high-end DAC. I may not sweat having to research a separate DAC as well since it will mostly "not" be used for critical listening, but it would be nice to know that it sounds "at least as good" as my CAL CD player.

I actually bought a Power Node this past weekend and love it. It's basically the Node with an Amp. I got rid of my Peachtree Nova (which had a great DAC) for a more wife-friendly solution and we think it's great. The sound is fantastic with my Totem Model 1 speakers and still have to hook up my REL subwoofer (unit has RCA sub output).

The only thing I don't like is that it doesn't seem to go into "standby" mode properly with the unit feeling warm but I understand from the BlueSound forum that they are working on a firmware update to fix this. When I plugged my unit in it did an update from an early October update but I guess they are still working on a new update.

Unit looks great too and I have it hooked up via Ethernet to my server housing all my ripped music. Works very well and the app is very fast even on my iPad One.
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-21-2013, 12:33 PM
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Roger that. I think I may be picking up a Node tonight.
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post #7 of 22 Old 11-24-2013, 11:21 PM
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Got the Node today...works, sounds pretty good, playing CD files ripped to .flac, but I've not been able to get it to recognize any files on my 120GB SSD. I tried in a passive, and powered external enclosures,and I tried formatting the drive in xFAT, and NTFS, to no joy. 16GB thumb drive was no issue though, formatted in FAT. Same 120GB drive connected via USB to a PC and shared, is visible via the Node's "Network shares"...again formatted in xFAT, but hoping to get it connected locally. I'll be ordering some 24bit/192kHz High Def albums to try as well.


***Update - FWIW, it looks like the Nodes will support "hard drives/SSDs" but they need to be formatted in FAT32...of to find a 3rd party app, that can format larger partitions.
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-27-2013, 07:52 AM
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***Update 2 - Got my 120GB SSD working with the Node finally. Used "MiniAide FAT32 Formatter" app (downloaded free from CNET.com), and also had to use a "powered' drive enclosure, since the stock passive version that came with the drive wasn't working. Winds up being a bit cheaper than the Vault, and has the added benefit of "no moving parts".
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-01-2014, 10:12 AM
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While these units have been out for a while I'm just finding out about them. Seems as though no one has posted anything recently. Does that mean they are functioning as advertised? I talking about the vault. Demoed one at a local dealer and loved the ease of use and setup. I'd like to get one for Christmas and would love to here opinions from those that currently use the vault. The reviews in Sound&Vision,Stereophile and audio-stream were all positive,but I would like to hear from the users in this forum. Any opinions are welcomed.
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-11-2014, 12:34 PM
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FWIW, I picked up 2nd Node for my basement system, and both have been working fine, even when playing the same music simultaneously. I also have a Node processing thru my CD players DAC, which was an added bonus. Control had mostly been through my Android phone, but they recently released a PC app., though I doubt I'd use it given the convenience of my phone or tablet. I originally wanted the Vault, but I figured it would be easier/cheaper to replace CD/storage drives on a PC than the Bluesound unit.
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-13-2014, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for the update. I am interested for use in the house we're slowly building. No Sonos since that is limited to 16/48. Anyone using it with Mac?

Building a HT with 7.2.4 layout and ◤SEOS-24◥ LCR.
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-18-2014, 05:51 PM
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Has anyone tested one of the vaults to see if different Toslink cables make a big difference? I have already invested a lot in a digital coaxial MIT cable for my current setup and really didn't want to invest in yet another expensive cable, but if it makes a huge difference, I guess there is no way to avoid it.

D.

Integrated Amp: NAD 390DD; Speakers: Totem Forest; Speaker Cable: MIT T2 Bi-Wire
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-18-2014, 06:59 PM
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I'm running optical to a coax converter, that connects to my CD's DAC...happy with the sound. I can't imagine different "data" cables would make much of a difference, if at all.
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post #14 of 22 Old 11-16-2014, 03:32 PM
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For any of the AVS’ers who were thinking about purchasinga Bluesound piece I thought I would give a brief account of my setting one up:

I just received a Node--$450—two days ago. It’s just a passive hi-res music streamer withanalog and digital outputs running BluOS 1.12.3 that connects via wi-fi or ishardwired to your network.

My audio system consists of distributed audio (existing) to8 zones and two dedicated surround systems. NAS holds all my music—FLAC files that are 16/44 as well as 24/88,24/96, 24/192 and even some 24/176.

Unpacking: Unitscome in black or white. I took out thepower cord and Ethernet cable. There isalso an RCA, RCA to mini and 230V cord. The Node isn’t huge, but is odd-shaped and required some re-arrangementin my rack to get it to fit. The PowerNode is even larger, making me wonder how people who are planning to getmultiple units are positioning them? TheNode looks attractive enough but the odd shape throws me off. Perhaps an updated model will have a moreconventional shape and smaller size—it seems that is a lot of empty space inthe box given the way it feels.

Connection: I grabbed the Quick Setup Guide (only 4steps) out of the box. First step is toplug in for sound. The idea to recessthe connections might have made sense to make them less visible, but it alsomakes it harder to plug and unplug cables. Unfortunately there is only 1 analog and 1 digital output. I have a “loop-through” capability on mydistribution amp, so I was able to get analog audio to my 2ndsurround system. It would have been niceto have a coaxial digital output option on the unit—I know some people wouldprefer this anyway.

Step 3 explains how to connect to the wi-fi, but I wantedto hardwire it. This is confusing. Is it necessary to use wi-fi for setup? I hardwired instead and trudged on. The included Ethernet cable is 6’ and thatwas enough.

Setup: I downloaded the desktop app from the Bluesoundwebsite and started it up. NO PLAYERFOUND. Okay, so I went back to step 3 totry and get this working with my tablet instead. This requires going into Settings andselecting the wi-fi tab. Unfortunately,by this time, the light on the top of the node had turned blue (and not greenlike it should be), so I could not see it as a wi-fi network. First step, unplug the Ethernet and see ifthat gets it to go green. Thisworked. I went through the rest of step3 in the guide and noticed at the bottom it says you can directly connect it instead. Okay, well that didn’t work.

At this point I ran the desktop controller software (withit still running in wi-fi mode). Nothing. I installed the softwareon my tablet and after installation (<1 min) it recognized the unitimmediately and I had it do a software update.

After the update I re-inserted the Ethernet cable andafter re-starting the desktop software I saw the player show up in the display.

So, follow the instructions and do everything wirelessFIRST. Then, as a last step, connect theunit to the Ethernet (if you are planning to use the unit hardwired) andeverything should work the first time.

Player configure: Name, set output to Fixed under AudioSettings and Replay Gain settings. So,now it was time to add music shares. TheBluesound did find the drives on my NAS, but I wanted to only activate specificfolders under those drives, so I needed to set up shares manually. This meant I had to search for shares, thenselect manual shares and then enter an address like \\TOWER\Music1\Hi-Res. It would be nice if you could just addmultiple shares in the desktop controller without re-searching every time. I think you can do this in the tablet app.

Bluesound will automatically start to index the musiccollection the first time. If you wantto start fresh you can always delete the Index from the Player config menu andthen re-index. The initial indexing process took ~ 10 minutes per 10,000 songs. Under the left panel under settings you cansee how many songs have been indexed. Once my count hit 46,762 songs it just stopped there for quite awhile. I hit “library” under the LocalSources tab on the top left and my view populated.

Unlike most people I have no interest in the musicservices. As of this writing the choicesare: Deezer, Juke, Murfie, Qobuz, Rdio, Slacker, Spotify, Tidal, Tunein andWimp. You just go in and set up yourcredentials and they will be added to the choices of music to listen to.

You can toggle between an album cover view and a listwith small cover (like the old Sonos interface) as you prefer. You “slide” the display left/right to switchbetween artist, album, song, new, folder and playlist views.

On some albums I got the message that “Artwork Too Large.” I checked on the folder.jpg file size andthey were indeed over 1MB, so I just found an image on the web and replacedthem with smaller images.

You can sort by genre by clicking on the Library text andthen selecting a genre from the drop-down menu or ALL.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to separate compilationsfrom standard albums aside from tagging them like “VA- Album Name.” It isn’t sufficient to just have the foldernamed that way. Also, single tracks thatare not associated with an album will show up separately as “Unknown.” So, if you want to group these together you’llneed to tag something under Album Title like “Single Tracks” or “Non-albumTracks” etc.

I believe when you’ve fixed all these tagging issues thenyou’ll have to re-index the collection.

Anyway, hope this helps some who are trying to set up theunit for the first time or are considering whether a purchase makes sense.

B.
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post #15 of 22 Old 11-17-2014, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian B View Post
For any of the AVS’ers who were thinking about purchasinga Bluesound piece I thought I would give a brief account of my setting one up:

I just received a Node--$450—two days ago. It’s just a passive hi-res music streamer withanalog and digital outputs running BluOS 1.12.3 that connects via wi-fi or ishardwired to your network.

My audio system consists of distributed audio (existing) to8 zones and two dedicated surround systems. NAS holds all my music—FLAC files that are 16/44 as well as 24/88,24/96, 24/192 and even some 24/176.

Unpacking: Unitscome in black or white. I took out thepower cord and Ethernet cable. There isalso an RCA, RCA to mini and 230V cord. The Node isn’t huge, but is odd-shaped and required some re-arrangementin my rack to get it to fit. The PowerNode is even larger, making me wonder how people who are planning to getmultiple units are positioning them? TheNode looks attractive enough but the odd shape throws me off. Perhaps an updated model will have a moreconventional shape and smaller size—it seems that is a lot of empty space inthe box given the way it feels.

Connection: I grabbed the Quick Setup Guide (only 4steps) out of the box. First step is toplug in for sound. The idea to recessthe connections might have made sense to make them less visible, but it alsomakes it harder to plug and unplug cables. Unfortunately there is only 1 analog and 1 digital output. I have a “loop-through” capability on mydistribution amp, so I was able to get analog audio to my 2ndsurround system. It would have been niceto have a coaxial digital output option on the unit—I know some people wouldprefer this anyway.

Step 3 explains how to connect to the wi-fi, but I wantedto hardwire it. This is confusing. Is it necessary to use wi-fi for setup? I hardwired instead and trudged on. The included Ethernet cable is 6’ and thatwas enough.

Setup: I downloaded the desktop app from the Bluesoundwebsite and started it up. NO PLAYERFOUND. Okay, so I went back to step 3 totry and get this working with my tablet instead. This requires going into Settings andselecting the wi-fi tab. Unfortunately,by this time, the light on the top of the node had turned blue (and not greenlike it should be), so I could not see it as a wi-fi network. First step, unplug the Ethernet and see ifthat gets it to go green. Thisworked. I went through the rest of step3 in the guide and noticed at the bottom it says you can directly connect it instead. Okay, well that didn’t work.

At this point I ran the desktop controller software (withit still running in wi-fi mode). Nothing. I installed the softwareon my tablet and after installation (<1 min) it recognized the unitimmediately and I had it do a software update.

After the update I re-inserted the Ethernet cable andafter re-starting the desktop software I saw the player show up in the display.

So, follow the instructions and do everything wirelessFIRST. Then, as a last step, connect theunit to the Ethernet (if you are planning to use the unit hardwired) andeverything should work the first time.

Player configure: Name, set output to Fixed under AudioSettings and Replay Gain settings. So,now it was time to add music shares. TheBluesound did find the drives on my NAS, but I wanted to only activate specificfolders under those drives, so I needed to set up shares manually. This meant I had to search for shares, thenselect manual shares and then enter an address like \\TOWER\Music1\Hi-Res. It would be nice if you could just addmultiple shares in the desktop controller without re-searching every time. I think you can do this in the tablet app.

Bluesound will automatically start to index the musiccollection the first time. If you wantto start fresh you can always delete the Index from the Player config menu andthen re-index. The initial indexing process took ~ 10 minutes per 10,000 songs. Under the left panel under settings you cansee how many songs have been indexed. Once my count hit 46,762 songs it just stopped there for quite awhile. I hit “library” under the LocalSources tab on the top left and my view populated.

Unlike most people I have no interest in the musicservices. As of this writing the choicesare: Deezer, Juke, Murfie, Qobuz, Rdio, Slacker, Spotify, Tidal, Tunein andWimp. You just go in and set up yourcredentials and they will be added to the choices of music to listen to.

You can toggle between an album cover view and a listwith small cover (like the old Sonos interface) as you prefer. You “slide” the display left/right to switchbetween artist, album, song, new, folder and playlist views.

On some albums I got the message that “Artwork Too Large.” I checked on the folder.jpg file size andthey were indeed over 1MB, so I just found an image on the web and replacedthem with smaller images.

You can sort by genre by clicking on the Library text andthen selecting a genre from the drop-down menu or ALL.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to separate compilationsfrom standard albums aside from tagging them like “VA- Album Name.” It isn’t sufficient to just have the foldernamed that way. Also, single tracks thatare not associated with an album will show up separately as “Unknown.” So, if you want to group these together you’llneed to tag something under Album Title like “Single Tracks” or “Non-albumTracks” etc.

I believe when you’ve fixed all these tagging issues thenyou’ll have to re-index the collection.

Anyway, hope this helps some who are trying to set up theunit for the first time or are considering whether a purchase makes sense.

B.

I got mine on Saturday and my setting it up went just like yours.
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post #16 of 22 Old 11-17-2014, 04:03 PM
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I got mine on Saturday and my setting it up went just like yours.
How's the app been working for you? I'm using an Android and have been getting occasional crashes. (The unit continues to play fine--just the remote control capability drops.)


B.
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post #17 of 22 Old 11-17-2014, 04:10 PM
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How's the app been working for you? I'm using an Android and have been getting occasional crashes. (The unit continues to play fine--just the remote control capability drops.)


B.

I'm using my laptop to control it and it crashes every once in awhile. Mostly when I try to navigate too fast.
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post #18 of 22 Old 11-17-2014, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evan1 View Post
I'm using my laptop to control it and it crashes every once in awhile. Mostly when I try to navigate too fast.
Just turning the tablet seemed to cause crashing in my case.


B.
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post #19 of 22 Old 11-19-2014, 04:50 PM
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I've had no problems with the app crashing over the past year however I'm using "phones"for the most part. Try reporting the issue to customer support...they're pretty responsive. When I first got my Nodes, I had an issue with "tunein", where my favorite stations kept getting replaced with someone else's, and it seemed like someone else's account kept showing up on my device. After a chat session with a Bluesound tech, update came out about 2 weeks later, and the problem was gone.
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post #20 of 22 Old 11-20-2014, 09:02 AM
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I just purchased a Node as a possible replacement for my Sonos Connect. I have a trial period of 30 days to try the unit with the dealer I bought it from, and will be giving it a couple of weeks before making my decision, but I do quite like the piece. It does sound quite nice and has been working well on a wired Ethernet connection. The setup was a bit quirky, as someone brought up, in that it directs you to connect by wifi first - although there is a small print bit stating that you can optionally just hardwire it. I had to go through the wifi setup a second time to connect properly but it has been rock solid since then. The app on my iPhone has not crashed and works smoothly, but I would say it is "ok" rather than great, being a bit lacking in some respects. It is perhaps overly simplified with minimal options - though this can be a good thing. My personal pet peeve - and I'm probably being a bit neurotic on how much this bothers me - is the lack of scrolling titles - or some way of viewing long album/song titles. It renders large portions of my library hard/impossible to interact with. When Sonos updated their app, they lost this ability and it progressively irritated me to the point that it is literally the tipping point that motivated me to consider bailing on Sonos. That being said, it sounds like they are actively working on updating/modifying the app so I would expect to see some changes. As mentioned, they also have an ID tagging issue in which all the artists on compilation records show up in the artist list. IMHO, they really need to reference JUST 'album artist' in the artist list. I think Sonos has an option to choose whether compilation album artists are listed, and Bluenote needs to do this. I have hundreds of compilation records, and this makes using the artist list massively cumbersome. They claim to be modifying this in future updates. One thing I do really like is the addition of a "Newly Added" page, something which I always wished Sonos had.


I have not heard the speaker yet, though it receives rave reviews. I do wish they had an equivalent of the Play:1 or Play:3 even, but I would expect to see additions to their product line down the road.
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post #21 of 22 Old 11-20-2014, 01:10 PM
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I just purchased a Node as a possible replacement for my Sonos Connect. I have a trial period of 30 days to try the unit with the dealer I bought it from, and will be giving it a couple of weeks before making my decision, but I do quite like the piece. It does sound quite nice and has been working well on a wired Ethernet connection. The setup was a bit quirky, as someone brought up, in that it directs you to connect by wifi first - although there is a small print bit stating that you can optionally just hardwire it. I had to go through the wifi setup a second time to connect properly but it has been rock solid since then. The app on my iPhone has not crashed and works smoothly, but I would say it is "ok" rather than great, being a bit lacking in some respects. It is perhaps overly simplified with minimal options - though this can be a good thing. My personal pet peeve - and I'm probably being a bit neurotic on how much this bothers me - is the lack of scrolling titles - or some way of viewing long album/song titles. It renders large portions of my library hard/impossible to interact with. When Sonos updated their app, they lost this ability and it progressively irritated me to the point that it is literally the tipping point that motivated me to consider bailing on Sonos. That being said, it sounds like they are actively working on updating/modifying the app so I would expect to see some changes. As mentioned, they also have an ID tagging issue in which all the artists on compilation records show up in the artist list. IMHO, they really need to reference JUST 'album artist' in the artist list. I think Sonos has an option to choose whether compilation album artists are listed, and Bluenote needs to do this. I have hundreds of compilation records, and this makes using the artist list massively cumbersome. They claim to be modifying this in future updates. One thing I do really like is the addition of a "Newly Added" page, something which I always wished Sonos had.


I have not heard the speaker yet, though it receives rave reviews. I do wish they had an equivalent of the Play:1 or Play:3 even, but I would expect to see additions to their product line down the road.
Perhaps it is an Android issue with the crashing. As it seems that people using an i-device are not having these issues.


Yes, it should be made clear that you need to set up first with Wi-Fi to save everyone a little time.


You might try the desktop controller and see if you can see your song titles better--or a ipad mini or regular ipad. I bought the tablet specifically to use with the music system (as a remote). If I figure how much I've spent on music and other gear it is a small expense if it works really well.


(Originally bought the Android as it connects directly to the Sonos components and works faster and better than through Wi-Fi like the i-devices do.)


B.
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post #22 of 22 Old 11-26-2014, 05:00 PM
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Anyone heard the Pulse?
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