Bluesound is a brand we have only recently been getting to know with the last review from bluesound that we did being the bluesound pulse soundbar 2i (Add Link). This time around we are reviewing its little brother the Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i.
The Pulse Flex 2i costs £299 and is a high-performance multiroom speaker that supports Alexa voice control and Apple Airplay2 among some of the features this speaker has.
Design-wise this speaker looks good but is a little on the heavy side and just over 1kg. However, this is not the type of speaker that you will be taking out on the road all though it is possible with the BP100 battery pack that will cost you an extra £69 making it a portable speaker. You can also buy wall bracket if you wanted to link these speakers with the Pulse soundbar and create that home cinema experience.
The Flex 2i comes in two colours black and white but they have recently introduced flex skin which provides the user with the ability to change the colour of the speaker. The skins come in black, white, blue and grey.
Coming back to the speaker its self and it comes with a metallic mesh grille that covers a 102 woofer. On top of the speaker is your control panel that holds the playback controls and 5 buttons numbered 1-5 that are there for you to assign music presets or radio stations that can set via the Bluesound App that I will mention later in this review. There is also an LED notification light integrated into the play/pause button.
On the back of this speaker is where all the connections are such as Ethernet LAN if you did not want to use WIFI. Also on the back is the micro-USB, 3.5mm aux input that supports both analogue and optical digital sources. You also get a headphone port to use your headphones in a wired connection.
I previously mentioned getting the best out of this speaker you need the BluOS app which is the management system for your music streaming services such as Spotify or Tidal. The app also allows you to control the functionality of the speaker.
In terms of set-up its quite easy plug the speaker in or make sure you download the BluOS app otherwise you won’t be able to use the speaker. Once downloaded you can pair the speaker to the app and make sure you have your Wi-Fi details to hand as you will need to link that to this speaker for the smart assistant to work and then your ready. The overall time taken to do this is about 5 minutes tops unless your one of the lucky souls who get a firmware update. Lucky for me I was already updated.
Once set up you will be able to use Airplay2 for steaming or watching Netflix from your other connected Airplay speakers which is what I mentioned about creating that home cinema experience if you wish to do that. What I did like with this speaker when using with multiple speakers it can steam up to 192 kHz that gives you no lag at all when watching a film and using the speakers to pump out that audio.
Now you can also use your smart assistant like Alexa however as everything you do with this speaker in terms of commands has to go via the voice control interface which can be a little annoying as it can take a bit longer for certain commands as Alexa has to seek to action your command via BlueVoice which is Bluesound’s smart assistant. If you ask me it seems a little pointless.
Sound-wise the Flex 2i sounds really just fantastic but that is expected considering the cost. The sound is never out of proportion and you get some big sound which is surprising considering the size of this speaker. This is created with the 25w direct digital amplifier that gives you very strong bass. You also get an outstanding sound quality when listening to something like “Alice Murton – No Roots”. The Flex 2i offers crisp detail along with mid-range that will please any audio fan. This speaker also gives you very good vocals they are as clear as crystal providing a full-bodied audio experience.
Overall, as I was with the Soundbar 2i the pulse flex 2i has also impressed me and if you wanted to buy this for creating that home cinema experience its a must. If you’re looking to take this speaker on the move you can buy the battery pack for an extra £69 which is handy if that what you want to do maybe you’re having a garden party its nice to have but it will be a heavy with the battery pack attached.
The one negative with this speaker is the confusion it has when using the smart assistant. I also don’t like the fact you have to use the BluOS app to control the speaker and it won’t work without it but these are only me being picky and trying to find holes in what is a very good speaker.
It’s the price that might put some people off at £299 and an extra £69 for you to make this portable some people might feel it’s out of there price range. What I am saying is save up as this is a speaker you need in your life and buy two and link it to your Soundbar 2i for the ultimate sound experience.