Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver
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- Premium Bluetooth Music Receiver from Audioengine Now, any music system in your home can connect to your devices and stream music with the B1 Premium Bluetooth Music Receiver by Audioengine. Simply plug the B1 into your sound system and it will sync with nearby Bluetooth enabled devices like smartphones and tablets, and you'll get quick and easy pairing that lets you hear your favorite playlists or streaming internet radio.
- Easy setup The B1 is a simple way to get greatsounding wireless music from your device out to any music system. Pairing your device is simple, quick and no additional or complicated software is required. Here's how to connect B1 to your music system and pair with your tablet, computer, or smartphone. Connect the included audio cables from the B1 rear panel to your music system. Plug the included power cable from B1 into an AC outlet. B1 will automatically go into pair mode. On your device, turn on Bluetooth and select "Audioengine B1" to pair and connect. Play your music. Setup is really this easy!
- Versatile Most Bluetooth products do more harm to the audio and are not usually very inspiring with limited range adding to your frustration. The B1 eliminates these issues by utilizing the aptX codec, which is a highquality audio converter designed specifically for audio. The B1 also has special circuitry and a precisiontuned antenna to extend the wireless range, providing much more versatility than other Bluetooth receivers.
- Upgrade Existing Equipment Upgrade your Bluetooth and breathe new life into your audio system. You already have Bluetooth on your tablet, computer, or iDevice, so get more out of it and experience stunning audio with the Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver including aptX, 24bit upsampling DAC, and extended range.
- See and hear the difference The aluminum case of the B1 reflects traditional Audioengine design and the highquality components and audio fidelity are typical of Audioengine's commitment to great sound at affordable prices. The Audioengine B1 continues to close the gap between your computer music and home hifi and even if you're not an audio enthusiast we guarantee your music will sound better!
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A built-in 24-bit DAC and extended wireless range make the Audioengine B1 an exceptional Bluetooth adapter for your receiver, amp, or powered speaker.
The Audioengine B1 is a step above the average Bluetooth receiver or dongle — it boasts up to 100 feet of wireless range and includes aptX® audio coding for CD-quality streaming with compatible devices. Use it with your existing audio system to play music wirelessly from your Bluetooth-enabled phone, tablet, or computer. Connect it to any receiver, amp, or powered speaker with RCA or optical digital inputs. A built-in 24-bit digital-audio-converter (DAC) ensures your music will sound its best.
LED Indicator: The B1 Bluetooth receiver features a single LED to indicate operation status. If it's on and solid, this means the B1 is powered on and currently connected to a Bluetooth enabled device. If it's on and blinking, this means the B1 is powered on but not currently connected to a device. If it's off (and plugged into power), this means the B1 is powered off (standby) and not connected to a device.
Extended Range: The B1 also has special circuitry and a precision-tuned antenna to extend the wireless range (up to 100'), providing much more versatility than other Bluetooth receivers.
Power Requirements: The AudioEngine B1 add-on Bluetooth music receiver operates off of standard household current using the included external AC power supply or can be powered from a 5V USB port on back of your home receiver (cable included).
Top Customer Reviews
I bought both the Audioengine B1 Premium Bluetooth Music Receiver ("B1," $189) and the AmazonBasics Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver ("AB-B4," $25) to compare. The quality of the B1 is excellent, materials feel solid and expensive, and packaging is thoughtful. The AB-B4 feels like a cheap electronic box and was packaged with an equally cheap RCA to 3.5mm audio cable that did not work well for me. Also, even when I used a better quality cable, I had to unplug and reattach the cable a couple of times to get it seated properly--but after doing this, all was fine. Obviously, at more that seven times the cost, the Audioengine product should be of different quality. But what about the sound?
Both were easy to pair with 2 different iPhones (5s and 4) and an iPad*. For the first test, I connected each unit to Audioengine A5+ speakers using Kimber Kable - PBJ Interconnects ($96, overkill, but I wanted to isolate the difference in the 2 units). I initially used the 3.5mm to RCA cables supplied with each product and, even before playing music, there was significantly more noise with the AB-B4. When I used the cable supplied with the B1, the noise went away. I listened to rock, classical, and tracks from the Ultimate Demonstration Disc: Chesky Records' Guide to Critical Listening (well worth the $15 cost). There was no difference in sound between Spotify and Apple lossless ripped from the CD. There was also very minimal difference, if any, between the two Bluetooth devices--using the better quality 3.5mm cable for both.
The next system I tried was using an Emotiva Mini-x a-100 amplifier connected to Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed Bookshelf Loudspeakers (at the time, the best value possible at $79 a PAIR, still a great value at $109) using the PBJ cables. Again, no difference between the two devices (with the better 3.5mm cable).
Lastly, I connected each device to my best quality equipment, AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition headphones ($377), Valhalla Headphone Amplifier by Schiit Audio (on sale for $289; new version is the Valhalla 2 for $349). The AKG K702's are so accurate that they sometimes detract from poorly recorded music by making every error audible. There was a clear difference with this set-up between the two Bluetooth devices with the B1 providing a richer, more full-bodied and accurate sound with better imaging. The AB-B4, by comparison, took less advantage of the excellent headphones and sounded compressed and slightly tinny.
Given the differences in price, however, I decided to give both products 4 stars. For an inexpensive Bluetooth solution to get music from your portable device to your stereo (or powered speakers), the AmazonBasics Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver is a great value--though I recommend buying a better quality 3.5mm to RCA cable and discarding the one supplied (or maybe the one I received was defective). If you are looking for a more high end Bluetooth solution for a very good (audiophile) quality system, the Audioengine B1 Premium Bluetooth Music Receiver sounds as good as listening to a CD of the same music and is a pretty good value, too.
* I don't think any of the devices I used support the aptX codec, though my iPhone 5s sounded better than the other two devices for some reason. The B1 supports aptX so, in theory, the sound should be better from compatible devices as I don't think the AB-B4 supports this format (it's not mentioned on the product page).
CHECK YOUR BLUETOOTH VERSION! If your playback device uses an older Bluetooth standard (i.e. Bluetooth 2.1 or, God forbid, 1.0), the B1 will skip and stutter like an old CD player. While this has a certain nostalgic appeal, it soon becomes unbearable. Bluetooth 2.1 (which is what my aging computer has) can only transfer data at a theoretical maximum rate of 3.0 Mb/s (0.375 MB/s), which isn't enough bandwidth to stream high-quality audio—the files are simply too big. Newer versions of Bluetooth, meanwhile, can serve up 24 Mb/s (3 MB/s), which should be enough for even uncompressed audio (though why you'd send uncompressed audio over heavily compressed Bluetooth is a question worth asking). Fortunately, my phone supports Bluetooth 4.0, so I'm still keeping the B1.
This is the first and only Bluetooth receiver I've ever bought. I looked at cheaper options, but given that I'm streaming 320 kbps Spotify tracks to M&K Sound MPS1611P reference monitors, it seemed like a tragic bit of false economy to cheap out on the device that's actually getting the music to the speakers. I've had a pair of Audioengine A2 White speakers for nearly five happy years now, so I have a lot of respect for Audioengine's products. They make superb, no-nonsense audio gear at prices that can only be called "disruptive" in an industry famous for bombast and snake oil. By way of example, the Pangea Audio AC 9SE MKII Signature Power Cable - 1.5 Meter costs more than the B1 and it's just a damn power cord.
So when you consider just how much this little antenna box will improve your quality of life, especially compared to the comically diminishing returns to be had in the audiophile underworld of overpriced copper, $190 isn't just reasonable, it's CHEAP!
Fortunately, the B1 performs like anything but a cheap device. Pairing has been quick and hassle-free with both my Mac computer and Android phone (LG Nexus 5). The signal strength has been rock solid, even from rooms away. The connectivity is simply flawless (at least for me), and that's the highest praise I can give any wireless gadget—as a category, wireless networking devices tend to be finicky, failure-prone, and frustrating. The B1 is not.
Audioengine really doesn't make a big enough deal about the onboard DAC—it's the B1's secret sauce, and the reason it's worth the premium over much cheaper competing options. Poking around the "Tech Specs" sections of Audioengine's catalog, I discovered that the B1 contains the same DAC (AKM AK4396) used in their highly regarded D1 and D3 standalone DACs, as well as their new flagship HD6 powered speakers. This is a Very Good Thing, and makes the B1 a totally unique product (to my knowledge): perhaps the world's only 24-bit Bluetooth DAC.
But what about the sound? I did a quick A/B listening test of the same track played through the B1 and the HRT - Music Streamer II, which is my wired DAC. I'm sorry to say that compared to a good wired DAC, there's really no contest—the sound quality penalty for going wireless is noticeable and significant, but the experience of wireless music through good speakers is magical enough that I'll take the tradeoff. That's not to say that it doesn't sound good, but where the Music Streamer renders music crisp, detailed, and clean, the B1 produces a more Bose-like sound with aggressive highs and exaggerated, rumbling lows. Mids are the B1's saving grace, though, and vocals sound beautiful. I suspect, however, that this is attributable to the limitations of Bluetooth and not because the B1's onboard DAC is inherently inferior. That said, unless you're used to the orchestral precision of a wired DAC, you're unlikely to find anything to complain about—with decent source files and decent speakers, this will absolutely blow the doors off any dedicated Bluetooth speaker, most of which sound like someone jammed a car speaker into a perforated tin can upside down.
Most of them are overbuilt with great sound quality, remember they were not designed for our modern day lower quality compressed audio. no, these babies were built for full spectrum vinyl records. they sound as great today and the B1 allows you to play from your computer or mobile devices. you can get info here [...]
Sound quality: Great sounding, tried it with several different amplifier and speaker setup.
Size: small footprint
Looks: beautiful, unassuming, classy.
What I love: sleeps when not in use, connects very effortlessly. plug it in and forget it. you can hide it because you never need to touch it again.
What I hate: none yet
It's the little white dot on top of the tuner.
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