A few years ago, we got a chance to check out Bluesound’s Pulse Soundbar which I thought was superb with its support for various audio codecs and its sheer dynamic sound. With that being said I wanted to go back and check out one of their wireless speakers called Pulse Flex 2i. It supports not only Wi-Fi but also Bluetooth and at HiFi frequencies. It does also boast some portable capabilities. Let’s see how this speaker holds up a couple years later.
Pulse Flex 2i gives you the feel of it being a bookshelf speaker. It is a bit boxy with its back sides shaved off each end and weighs close to 3lbs. It still looks clean though with its mesh speaker grill that has a LED indicator hidden within. On top of the speaker is play controls, volume controls, and presets. If you flip to the back again there is ports for microUSB, Ethernet, USB-A, Optical, and Headphone Jack. There is also a port for mounting and Battery Pack (not included) hiding behind the black circle.
Pulse Flex 2i just comes with an AC adapter plug.
Setup / Features
Getting the Flex 2i up and running did not take too long. Just required powering it up, giving it a few minutes to boot up and using the accompanying BluOS app on my OnePlus 9 Pro to set everything up. I am also using the BluOS desktop app as well. I synced the app up with a few of my music apps I have access to such as Amazon Music, Spotify and Tidal. While most of the music apps work within BluOS, Spotify has to be used within its own app. You can also get it working with Google Assistant. I tried it and it is a bit trivial as you have to always say a couple of commands to get it going. I rather deal w/ the apps.
One music app I like to use is YouTube Music (FKA Google Play Music) as I have a ton of old playlists on there. But luckily the Flex 2i supports Bluetooth 4.1 with AptX. So, a quick switch to BT via the app and syncing to my phone I was able to play the app right thru it. Switching back to the BluOS network just requires you to start a track normally in whatever music app you are using.
It works marvelously with Apple AirPlay 2 and sounds good too while playing movies as I tested with Baby Driver and scenes from The Dark Knight Rises via my iPhone 12 Pro and in sync without delay.
Do not be fooled by this speaker’s small size as it feels big enough to fill up a room with its sheer soundstage. Audio is rich, detailed and throws a nice amount of bass at you. It houses a 4in woofer and a 1in dome tweeter. It shines with its ability to play just about any audio format from MP3 all the way to FLAC is amazing. Of course, you must have the right apps to support such tunes. I been using Tidal as they have “Master” files aka MQA files. Sound quality is unparalleled. I could only imagine how it would feel to have two paired up in stereo.
Even though the Pulse Flex 2i has been out a few years it doesn’t show its age too much other than its app tweaking here and there and having an older BT frequency. But the fact it can be toggled to Bluetooth, can utilize Apple AirPlay 2 and various music apps with some giving capabilities of Hi-Fi make it a clutch speaker. It would have been nice if they included the battery pack ($89.99) with the speaker, but I gather some of these will never leave people’s homes. You are paying for quality though as the Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i goes for $299.99.