How to listen to your music in Bluetooth

How to listen to your music in Bluetooth (with a Hi-Fi system or home-cinema)

To listen to wireless music, the easiest solution is to use the Bluetooth transmitter found in most smartphones, tablets and laptops, in combination with a Bluetooth receiver, which can be external or built-in to an amplifier or a wireless speaker, for example. And this for at least two reasons.

Bluetooth: the simplest wireless connection

The first is the ease of connection between the transmitter and the Bluetooth receiver . Indeed, the digital audio data does not pass through the WiFi home network and it is not necessary to know or enter a complex password. Just search for the Bluetooth receiver with your computer, tablet or smartphone, then associate them with a gesture. When both devices are compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication), it is enough to put them in contact: it is even simpler.

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The other strong point of the Bluetooth audio link is the transmission quality, potentially of very high quality, thanks to Bluetooth apt-X and Bluetooth LDAC technology (specific to Sony devices ). If you have a computer with a legacy Bluetooth controller, be aware that an apt-X Bluetooth transmitter  significantly improves listening performance, compared to first-generation SBC audio compression receivers.

Important: If the transmitter and receiver are not both apt-X compatible, the SBC compression technology (lower quality) will be used.

Owners of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad will enjoy the AAC codec, intermediate quality, provided that the Bluetooth receiver supports this technology.

Bluetooth receiver: analog or digital output?

If your hi-fi system does not include a  Bluetooth receiver and its manufacturer does not offer an optional module, be aware that there are many receivers compatible with absolutely all amplifiers and channels equipped with analog stereo or digital inputs. / PDIF. Adding a wireless music listening function to an existing installation is therefore very simple.

The least expensive Bluetooth receivers are only equipped with a stereo analog output (RCA or mini-jack format) and their output stage is of modest quality. Philips AEA2000  or  Marmitek BoomBoom 75 Bluetooth receivers,   for example, should preferably be considered with an entry-level Hi-Fi system, or a small active speaker equipped with an analogue input.

Which Bluetooth receiver for hi-fi quality?

For a more dynamic and aerial reproduction of digital music, it is necessary to turn to brands specialized in Hi-Fi. Thus, QED offers the QED uPlay , equipped with RCA stereo modulation cables of very good quality. Advance Acoustic markets the Advance Acoustic WTX-500 , to connect directly to the RCA inputs of any integrated amplifier.

But if you’re looking for the best quality, Bluetooth apt-X receivers with digital output are the ultimate solution.

Bluetooth receiver and hi-fi amp: the interest of the external DAC

A Bluetooth receiver with digital output allows the use of an external DAC, ie to entrust the digital-to-analog audio conversion to a specialized device (and no longer to the modest DAC integrated in the Bluetooth receiver). In this configuration, the sound transmitted to an integrated hi-fi amplifier is of high quality.

If you use a home theater amplifier, the easiest way is to use one of its digital inputs, the use in this case of an external DAC bringing in this case no significant benefit .

Bluetooth receiver: wireless … but watch out for cables

Toslink Audioquest Forest optical cable incorporates high quality fiber

It can never be said enough, it is a pity to invest in quality electronics and implement them with poor quality cables. This is the best way to be disappointed! So take care of the quality of your RCA cables to enjoy a dynamic and balanced sound. As for digital cables, even if you are listening to music in MP3 format, be aware that the digital signal transmitted by the Bluetooth receiver to the external DAC or home theater amplifier is converted into PCM signals with a bitrate equivalent to that of the CD. -Audio. An RCA optical or coaxial cable of decent quality is therefore highly recommended.

 Note: this post was published in 2013 but we make sure that its content remains relevant.

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