Powerful tiny Bluetooth amp

Originally published at: Powerful tiny Bluetooth amp | Boing Boing

I, too, have a nobsound amp that lives in the kitchen. It’s amazing, cost less than a generous round of drinks and means I can listen to Gabber whilst making pizzas. I love it.

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Hi everyone. Mark and BB might think I’m picking on them, but a really just want to offer another perspective to BB readers. As I enter the age of curmudgeonhood, I am less and less interested in hassling with fiddly products to save a few bucks. It seem that the global corporatocracy has found many ways to shift the burden of quality control, diagnosing, and returns onto the customer. I am pretty fed up with it.

Anyway, most I already wrote in this post:
https://bbs.boingboing.net/t/this-bt-5-0-amplifier-drives-my-100w-outdoor-speakers-and-sounds-great/179008/7?u=extrema

To the post I would add

  • The Sony is still working perfectly and has a written 2 year warranty that is actually usable.
  • The remote has turned out to be very useful! It adjusts volume from the listening location. It also controls Spotify, VLC, etc., skipping time and songs. I guess the remote talks to the amp and the amp talks to the phone.
  • The UL Listing means that the thing is less likely to burn down your house due to cheap design and low build quality.
  • The sound quality of BT interface with analog amplifier is measurably better that that of a Class D (or T) unit.

I am not shilling for Sony, which of course has its own quality problems. The Class D design deeply appeals fo my inner geek and ecologist. But there are other factors to consider besides the initial cost and elegance. Like your own time and freedom from hassle, usability, home safety, and sound quality.

HTH someone. :slightly_smiling_face:

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this picture is not making sense

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It’s still Bluetooth and thus will still sound like crap no matter how great the signal processing is. If you really want great sound you need a good high quality DAC and wired headphones.

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If you’re doing critical listening in a quiet environment, then yes. But the vast majority of listening situations, for me at least, don’t require hundreds of dollars worth of equipment. The minor degradation of the sound signal through BT doesn’t bother me while I’m cooking or playing board games.

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These are cheap and work. They make similar amps with tubes. BT is not DJ grade audio, but who cares? You can get much better sound from one of these than folks who rely on a cheap BT speaker or an Amazon Ecco or what have you.

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You don’t even need to pay hundreds of dollars worth of equipment.

A reasonably powerful, capable, and tiny high bandwidth DAC can be purchased for well under $100 (although the really good ones will be in the $150 range – you get what you pay for). Any decent pair of wired headphones is likely to sound better than Bluetooth headphones. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money on headphones – good pair of wired headphones can be bought for well under $100. Most Bluetooth (cans at least) can also be hardwired so you wouldn’t even need to replace existing headphones.

But that’s cool – if you’re in a situation where you don’t need great audio fidelity, or you just don’t really care in general then by all means go with Bluetooth. I use Bluetooth earbuds all the time when on the go. They are fine for their purpose.

It doesn’t change the simple fact that existing Bluetooth codecs will have inferior audio quality over wired solutions because they simply cannot overcome the limitations of bandwidth and physics.

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I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna get away with paying less than $100 for quality wired headphones. So not hundreds, just…somewhere between $100-200. Still more than I need to pay. And I’m now tethered to my audio source. No thanks.

In any case, my main objection was characterizing Bluetooth audio as sounding like crap, which it doesn’t. The aptX codec does a fantastic job of preserving spectral content. Unless I sit down and focus, I can’t hear the difference. The small difference in sound quality is well worth the convenience. Which is what Bluetooth was created for.

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The Big Lebowski Film GIF by The Good Films

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This amp is a D amp, but not class T.

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First off the bat, I’m surprised that a snarky eating popcorn gif hasn’t been posted yet.

One thing that gets lost in the compression audio quality discussion is the loss of stereo imaging integrity. Not just center, left and right but up and down, near and far.

Buying reasonably good headphones, for me, is the best entry option for good audio when you care about what you listen to and have a limited budget.

I don’t think it is an issue of audiophile snobbery to respect the craft and discipline of the mix engineers, producers and mastering engineers… Oh, and the musicians, when wanting good sound reproduction.

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An opinion informed by data. The reduction in audio quality is just not that high. It used to be, sure, but aptX is worlds better.

how good is bluetooth audio at its best? (sereneaudio.com)

I’m arguing semantics, sure, but if someone tells me something sounds like crap, I’m expecting blasted-from-a-cell-phone-speaker bad.

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