Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Nice unit but expensive and with issues!
on 14 January 2013
This is a nice, compact, clever little piece of Bluetooth electronics. It has a longer battery life (9 to 10 hours) than most other devices you will find, and has dual transmitter and receiver functions, this is selected by a simple slide switch, so the unit can either send or receive data. So you need two to form a local link for your stereo or headset, by way of example.
I have used this on a powered speaker with an older Avontalk transmitter (BTAD-01). Initially the units paired up and worked as expected, the quality being excellent, but then I came across issues: First, if you try to pair another two Bluetooth sound units they seem to affect one another, including the link that is stable already. They both turn on and off and sometimes settle down to work correctly, but often not. Secondly, I got different delays once two sets had stably connected, and this makes a nonsense of any surround sound or separate speaker setup (For example, here I used two identical transmitters, to two identical receivers from the same audio source, split with a 3.5mm splitter jack). If you just want to remote to one speaker, and take the second channel by WIRE to the second speaker of a pair, this works nicely, although not 100% reliably, dropping out now and again. Thirdly I seem unable to get to grips with what happens when you disconnect a device. Typically this happens when you power down your laptop, switch of the transmitter, and receiver and go to bed. Starting the system later, it should automatically connect to the last set channels and all start up as it was, but it doesn't, you end up going through the whole set up and pairing process all over again, and sometimes, for no obvious reason, they just will not pair.
I have a dual aerial Wi-Fi unit, and so does my neighbour, and no doubt these interfere and limit the bandwidth available to the Bluetooth system. I have no home phones using the same technology. So it may be that the wireless environment is not as clean as I would like, with many houses using Wi-Fi, it is also not as congested as it could be, and yet still these units are NOT reliable.
The setup I had hoped to use was two sets of links to the two active stereo speaker pair in a DJ setup, with a third unit connecting to the Bluetooth transmitter embedded in the laptop. Then I could DJ using the Bluetooth headphones (Avantalk again, and very nice). Frankly, this setup just seems to be unstable and not stay reliable. The really irritating thing is that it is close...I have had it work for 30 minutes, absolutely flawlessly, but then it starts breaking up again.
I think Bluetooth may be an interesting idea, not quite there for most of us. In fairness to Avantalk I have not tried two pairs of these particular units to see if they work better in this setup...partly because of their price, I cannot afford to buy £47 x 4 worth of gear and than throw it away because it is unreliable. If Avantalk would lend me 3 more units to test, I would be happy to report honestly what I find. They are a second generation design, so they may be better.
Meanwhile, if all you want is a single stereo link, these units seem to work, with they occasional dropout, for no obvious reason. The quality, when working is CD level and very good, they also drive the low input impedance of my JBL active speakers properly and overall sound superb. Beyond that for a fast set up DJ system or more than one link in the same room (as you would need for 4 speaker surround, because the link delays the sound slightly, and you need the delay to be identical for a good surround effect) I think the technology is not quite there, sadly.