The BT-Pro is a Bluetooth direct box designed to capture the wireless transmission from a Bluetooth enabled device and convert the signal to a balanced line for use in a PA system.
Part of a modern range of solutions from the Canadian company, designed to help musicians and audio engineers to deal with the need of connecting wireless and networked digital devices in the studio, events and live shows (http://audioxpress.com/article/Radial-Gets-Wired-or-Wireless-Audio-From-A-to-B), the BT-Pro is the first shipping solution from the new range, introduced by the company originally at the 139th AES Convention in NY.
According to Radial’s President Peter Janis: “It seems that today, Bluetooth wireless technology is everywhere. You can connect your phone to your car, your laptop to your house and tablet to your TV. It only makes sense that Bluetooth wireless technology would hit the stage. In recent months, we have had a number of requests to bring Radial’s legendary build quality to this endeavor and we are pleased to announce the BT-Pro as a solution. I think it is most impressive how our engineering team managed to solve the problem of durability with the need for wireless transmission. The BT-Pro employs a T-shaped access cavity behind which we located the antenna. This is protected by a milled Sintra insert made from a rugged closed-cell PVC that allows the wireless transmission signal to pass. This innovation allows reception distances of 12 meters (40’) or more.”
As with all Radial products, the BT-Pro is made from 14-gauge steel with an I-beam frame that makes it impossible to torque the sensitive PC board, eliminating outside stress and the chance of solder joints going cold. A unique book-end cover creates protective zones at each end that keep the volume knob, switches and connectors out of harm’s way. Connecting to the BT-Pro is easy. The BT-Pro is powered by an external power supply, either with a USB power adapter or a USB port from a laptop. Two top-mounted LEDs will toggle as it awaits paring. Turning on any Bluetooth device, it will identify the BT-Pro as ‘Radial Eng’ in the Bluetooth devices menu. A connection pass code is then used to initialize the connection. This important safety feature ensures other nearby Bluetooth devices cannot “pollute or hijack” the system. Once paired, the BT-Pro’s blue LED will flash every three seconds to let you know the two Bluetooth devices are talking to each other.
The BT-Pro audio signal path takes advantage of the latest Bluetooth wireless A2DP interface over 2.0 EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for higher speed transmission and best audio quality. This employs a 16-bit wireless compressed format with the actual bit rate determined by the source material. Inside, the BT-Pro converts the data to a stereo analog signal, producing up to +4dB at the output. The signal level is controlled by a front panel potentiometer that is shared with the built-in headphone amp. This features a standard 3.5mm mini TRS and is used for trouble shooting. For greater flexibility, a stereo-to-mono switch is provided that sums the input for dual-mono operation to reduce input requirements on the mixer or split the signal to the PA and monitors. Should noise be encountered, two side-mounted switches insert isolation transformers into the signal path. This is supplemented by a ground lift switch for the XLRs to further help eliminate ground loops.
Dante enabled direct boxes
Meanwhile, Radial Engineering also introduced the new DiNET DAN-TX and DiNET DAN-RX, the world’s first Dante enabled stereo direct boxes. Equipped with 1/4”, RCA and stereo 3.5mm input jacks, the DAN-TX allows the user to connect instruments or line level sources directly to networked audio systems using the Dante protocol. The DAN-TX features 24bit/96kHz analog to digital conversion to provide the highest audio quality, and a local 3.5mm headphone output provides the means to quickly test audio.
The DiNET DAN-RX is a 24bit/96kHZ digital to analog endpoint that allows the user to output audio from a Dante network to stereo systems. The DAN-RX is equipped with left and right balanced XLR outputs with a level control that allows for connection to microphone inputs up to +4dBu line level systems. A local 3.5 mm headphone output is provided to test or monitor audio before connection to the PA System.
Both the DiNET DAN-TX and DiNET DAN-RX will begin shipping Spring 2016.