Audioengine Introduces Hi-Fi Bluetooth Music Receiver

August 6 2014, 10:00
Since 2008, Audioengine, from Austin, Texas, invested in premium wireless audio solutions to complement its range of affordable  desktop speakers, long before Bluetooth speakers were fashionable. Always aiming for uncompressed, CD-quality sound, Audioengine updated its wireless technology in 2012, but never recommended Bluetooth and instead focused on other key aspects of the whole wireless audio chain, starting with the A/D and D/A converters, sampling rate and high resolution digital audio (24 bit).

As Audioengine explains, “The audio quality of most Bluetooth products isn’t usually very inspiring and their limited range can be frustrating. The B1 solves these problems by implementing the aptX codec, which is a high-quality audio converter designed specifically for audio. The B1 also has special circuitry and a precision-tuned antenna to extend the wireless range, providing much more versatility than other Bluetooth receivers.”

“No longer is Bluetooth a one-room wireless solution with mediocre audio quality. The simplified setup of the B1, longer-range wireless and incredible sound all make B1 a game-changer,” says Audioengine Director, Dave Evans. “Our goal was to take Bluetooth to the next level and we feel the B1 exceeds our expectations - and we hope our customers agree."

“The B1 is a simple way to get great-sounding wireless music from your device out to any music system. We’ve made Bluetooth device pairing extremely easy and no special setup or software is required.” Designed as a high-fidelity audio component, the B1 easily integrates into any music system and plays music directly from a library or streams from any app and from any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, computer, or tablet to any music system or powered speakers.

Audioengine implemented a Bluetooth 4.0 receiver with aptX, A2DP, and AVRCP profiles, in this case combined with a 24-bit upsampling DAC, and extended range. The DAC used is the AKM AK4396A, which the company says was chosen “for its low noise and high fidelity”. 

“B1 is essentially an upsampling 24-bit Bluetooth DAC and will pad all bit depths internally to 24-bits, thus achieving a higher signal-to-noise ratio. Due to the AK4396A’s high signal-to-noise specs, the fact that digital signal is converted (upsampled) to 24-bits and the added benefit of triple redundancy power source conversion and filtering, the B1 presents impressive low noise and low distortion characteristics with a noticeable improvement over other Bluetooth devices.”

The B1 receiver is built with an aluminum case and high-quality components and has a retail price of US$189.
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