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Today’s Show:

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver

Both iOS and Android device users have easy ways to wirelessly transmit audio. For Apple users, Airplay sends music to the AppleTV and various Airplay speakers. Android users have Chromecast which has similar functionality. But what if you want to OS agnostic solution? Fortunately for you there is the Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver (Buy Now $189).

The B1 streams high-quality audio from your Bluetooth enabled smartphone, computer, or tablet to any music system or powered speakers. Audioengine used the aptX codec which enables your mobile device to transmit 24 bit audio to the B1. The aptX® audio codec algorithm originated in the late 1980s at Queen’s University Belfast. The research was focused on bit rate reduction and achieved significant bit rate efficiencies while preserving audio quality.

Features:

  • Fast Setup
  • Plug-n-play, no software to install
  • Superior sound and extended range
  • Streams audio from any media player (iTunes, Amarra, Youtube, etc.)
  • Connects to any music system with an audio input

Setup:

The physical part of the setup is pretty straight forward. Connect power via USB and connect the audio, either RCA or Optical. Then pair your source device through its Bluetooth settings. That’s it! The entire process is less than 5 minutes. Then on your device you select the B1 in your bluetooth settings and anything you listen to will be routed to the device. That means all apps work with the B1. If you have a player that makes use of 24bit audio you are good to go! If your app is only 16 bits, the B1 will pad out the bits to 24 which will get you a better signal to noise ratio.

Audio:

We tested the B1 with four songs played on an iPhone, Macbook, and Samsung S5. We tried to find music that had a lot dynamic range, (Diana Krall – Fly Me to the Moon, Eagles – Hotel California) as well as some Rock from our youth (Van Halen – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love) and finally some current stuff (Imagine Dragons – Its Time).

The sound was quite good. Highs on the first two songs were crisp and airy. You could swear the piano was in the room with you. The mid-range was smoother than a fresh jar of skippy. Bass was tight and felt full. In all you could close your eyes image the soundstage in front of you. The music was easy to listen to and didn’t sound cluttered or muddy.

Summary:

Now we’re not saying that the B1 made the music better or clearer but we are saying that it didn’t add any artifacts that would distract from listening to it. If you are looking for a cross platform cross device product that allows you to share your music in crystal clear quality, the Audioengine B1 is made for you.

Download Episode #692


Posted by The HT Guys, June 18, 2015 10:54 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.