In this article, I will offer some advice for setting up Bluetooth audio receivers. You can view this post as a tutorial. However, I will also offer some background information and highlight some of the features of different models of receivers.
I assume that you already are fairly familiar with the main purpose of Bluetooth audio receivers. There are a variety of Bluetooth receiver products on the market. These products differ in features and performance. Class I Bluetooth receivers offer a range of up to 30 feet. Class II receivers can offer a range of up to 300 feet. However, the wireless range depends a lot on your streaming device.
If you are Bluetooth streaming device such as your cell phone has poor transmission then even with a class to Bluetooth receiver you will not be able to achieve the full 300 feet. Also, any obstacles talking the direct line of sight between your device and the receiver will degrade performance.
Another feature in which these products differ is the audio performance. Bluetooth receivers have a built in digital-to-analog converter. Some manufacturers use inexpensive entry-level devices while others use higher-quality chips. However, even if you have a receiver with a higher-quality digital-to-analog converter, you are not guaranteed a good performance. The reason is that the source material which you are streaming has to offer sufficient dynamic range. If the source material is already noisy then there’s no point in employing high-great equipment.
Some receivers in addition to an analog audio output also have a digital output. A digital output is always preferable to an analog output if your equipment supports it. If you want to play music on some regular passive speakers then I recommend purchasing a Bluetooth receiver that has a built-an amplifier. Using such device, you don’t have to get a separate amplifier.
There different standards on the market. Almost all receivers support the Bluetooth 2.1 specification. Newer products support Bluetooth 4.0 and 4.1. In particular, I would recommend a receiver which also understands apt X. Apt X is a protocol which has become popular in the last three years. This protocol offers less compression and thereby enhances the fidelity of the audio which is being stream. Some people call this protocol near-CD quality audio.
However, keep in mind that you streaming device has to support these protocols if you want to take advantage of these advanced features. If you don’t have a device which supports apt X then you can still use older protocols.