Before I go into any detail let me just say streaming music via Bluetooth is excellent. It’s simple, convenient and with the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth superbly reliable.
I know I’m not the only culprit in having an often neglected (and expensive!) Hi-Fi separates setup sat on the opposite side of the room to where all the entertainment action happens. On some weekends I will dust it off, warm it up and play a couple of CDs but it’s just not the relationship we had just a few years back. Downloading songs from iTunes to my phone and laptop, the convenience of hitting play, playlists and changing albums with the click of the mouse just made the process of getting up to change a CD seem, well, old fashioned.
Logitech Wireless Music Adaptor for Bluetooth Front Status Light
The problem with connecting your modern gadgets to any older Hi-Fi setup has been the necessity of using a cable to make a physical connection. This is problematic if you want to use your laptop on the sofa or if you use your phone and a call came in, it would spark a mad dash across the room to just miss the caller by the time you had unplugged the audio cable. Not ideal.
However the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth sets to change all that in one quick upgrade. Priced at under £25 from CCL I just couldn’t resist grabbing one of these and seeing if it lived up to the billing.
Logitech claim that the product “turns your favourite speakers into a wireless sound system. Logitech® Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth® audio devices uses Bluetooth wireless to stream music or other audio from your PC, smart phone or tablet.” I have to say it does just that.
The packaging is suitably understated just outlining the main product features. It is in a blister pack but thankfully Logitech made the back easy to open; which is always hugely appreciated by anyone who wants to get at their shiny new toy.
Upon opening the packaging you are presented by the small Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter, a power lead, 3.5mm to RCA interconnect cable and a set of instructions.
The actual device is small and rather stylish, with only one button and one status light, it’s as basic as you can get. The four feet on the underside of the device ensure a good footing on any flat surface and are able to support the weight of a modest cable quite nicely; eliminating the problem of your new toy shooting off behind your Hi-Fi due to the weight of a cable.
I promptly threw away the instructions, plugged the power cable into the device, plugged the RCA cable into the back of my amp, turned the device on and was prompted by a red light. Pressing the sole button labelled “Connect” made the speakers beep and got the device ready for connecting. Firing up my laptop I searched, promptly found the device and hit connect.
Loading up iTunes it automatically started playing through my speakers; with quality no worse than an iTunes download running directly through a cable! After several hours of trouble free listening I decided to dig a little deeper into the performance of the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth.
Firstly I chose my CD of the moment and ripped it “lossless” to my laptop; placing the CD when I was done into my CD player connected to my amp. The CD player I am using originally had a price well over 20x that of the Logitech Wireless Media Streamer for Bluetooth so I already know the outcome of the testing, the question is how close can the £25 box really come to a mid-range Hi-Fi separates CD player?
Bluetooth is a high bandwidth connection easily up to the demands of high bit-rate audio playback so should not cause an audible difference in the quality of the music; however there can be other factors involved than just theoretical bit-rates.
Hitting play on both at the same time, then switching input on the AMP it was possible to discern differences to the sound quality.
The sound from the CD player is full of weighty deep bass, with low frequencies maintaining a fine sense of rhythm while focused, expressive vocals just come alive.
The sound produced from the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth by comparison is noticeably muddy. In particular the bass lacking the crisp precision that the CD player delivers and the highs from the vocals seemingly blurred into the background when the sound is at its fullest.
Rear of the Logitech Bluetooth Adapter with 3.5mm and RCA Jacks
Being no audio expert, just a very enthusiastic listener, I can only conclude that somewhere between the conversion from a digital to an analogue signal the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter is falling far short of the CD player. No surprises there.
Next I hooked a MacBook Pro up to the amp using an RCA to 3.5mm cable with the intentions of playing a song downloaded from iTunes over the cable then Bluetooth to try to see how the Logitech compares to the most common way I listen to my music.
This is the part where I am utterly blown away by the performance of the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter.
Running a playlist including metal, classic rock, pop and a dance track that were all encoded at 128Kbit/s there were no differences to my ear between using the cable and via Bluetooth, far from what I was expecting.
Running the same test using my iPhone I was able to make exactly the same conclusion, the quality of the audio file was the limiting factor to the quality of the sound being produced. Incredibly impressive from a simple device costing just £25.
The range of the device over Bluetooth wasn’t quite the 10m suggested by Logitech however at ranges up to 6-7m away from the receiver the audio playback was as good as being sat on top of it.
The major limitation I would like to see Logitech address in a future revision is how many devices can be connected at once. While you can have three or four devices paired at once (Laptop, PC and Smartphone for example) only one can be streaming audio at any one time. To change playback devices you need to disconnect one, hit connect on the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter and then pair through the alternative device. It’s far from seamless if you want to change from your laptop to phone but not a show stopping issue.
The point with the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth is given how cheap it is, this device is a good choice for anyone who wants to get better-quality sound from a mobile device. Sound quality may not be quite top-notch but will easily outclass most PC speakers you can buy today. The convenience the device offers in bridging my music listening habits from the past decade into this one has to be highly commended, it has given a second life to my Hi-Fi!
CCL Tech Silver Award
Because of this and the super price I cannot do anything but highly recommend the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth. It could quite easily be my best purchase of 2011 and because of this it highly deserves our CCL-Tech Silver Award for offering reliable performance and exceptional value for money.