Audioengine Introduces B-Fi Wi-Fi Multiroom Music Streamer

June 25 2020, 00:45
Audioengine was always recognized for its cool compact portable speakers with wireless audio features that brought a hi-fidelity feeling back to today's lifestyles, at reasonable prices. The company also sold a separate B-Fi Bluetooth transmitter so users could connect their existing sources wirelessly. Now Audioengine stepped up the design and launched the B-FI Wi-Fi, a multiroom music streamer device with AirPlay 2 that is just the upgrade needed to get any stereo high-fidelity music systems streaming into the whole home. 

Physically, the Audioengine B-Fi adapter is a very compact device powered by a simple Micro USB adapter, turning its presence hardly noticeable after setup. Selling for $189, the B-Fi connects any music system to the home Wi-Fi network (and to the Internet) allowing users to stream from their own favorite music services or on-demand Internet Radio, Podcasts, and audiobooks, or direct from their music library using a phone, tablet, or computer. It also allows playing different music/content in different rooms or have the same song in every room, if users have multiple speakers connected.

A strong advantage of the B-Fi Wi-Fi is the support for low-latency streaming with no audio lag between speakers, support for multiroom configurations, and support for 16- or 24-bit digital audio, and up to 192kHz sampling rate. Which means, streaming of high resolution audio sources like Tidal or Qobuz is fully supported. The B-Fi uses 802.11a/b (2.4GHz) Wi-Fi and supports AirPlay, DLNA, or UPnP interfaces. In the B-Fi device there are analog (RCA) and optical audio outputs. The digital output provides support for high-resolution audio. Internally, the Audioengine B-Fi features an ARM AP8064 processor and an ESS ES9023 Sabre stereo DAC with 2Vrms driver, offering excellent SNR and distortion specs.

After connecting the device, users can control their music, volume, and speaker selection from anywhere in the home using the free Audioengine Control app, available in the Google Play and Apple App stores. Adding multiple B-Fi streamers to other music systems or powered speakers allows having multiroom sound (up to 12 rooms) and stereo pairing, all controllable from the app. The B-Fi also supports multi-user capabilities, and more important, is simple to set up and control.

Compared to the existing B1 Bluetooth adapter, the new B-Fi Wi-Fi allows many features that are not supported via Bluetooth, including naming the devices in the home network. The main trade-off is that the B-Fi requires the Audioengine Control app for initial setup, while no product app is required for the B1. Streaming via Airplay (which uses Wi-Fi) is another big advantage, allowing direct connections to any Apple product and the many Airplay compatible devices, which is important to receive audio sources or streaming services that are not directly supported by the app. Audioengine in-app music services include Spotify, TIDAL, Qobuz, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Napster and more. To stream from any other music player or service users can use AirPlay.
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