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CCA vs Arcam rBlink

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
198
101
10,770
Hi folks.

So review of CCA vs Arcam rBlink Bluetooth. Both connected to Arcam A29.

rBlink:

Ive has this about 2 years. Always running 320kbs extreme Spotify mode. Sound quality is exceptional (for a Bluetooth) and it hands down spanked a cheaper Bluetooth when I upgraded to this. It’s not a million miles from cd quality and is close in SQ when flick back forth inputs when playing same tune to cd.

Rinses phone batt as using Bluetooth which is not good.

rBlink connects into A29 via power socket which appears neat in that it auto turns on/off when turn on amp BUT this leads to rBlink often thinking it’s connected when it’s not. This is not an issue when have it plugged in by own power supply .

CCA:

Just wow. £30. Beats the rBlink (but not by much) prob about 5% crisper. The bass notes are just slightly crisper.

No real negatives for this I’ve found.

Sumup: despite being over 5x the cost the rBlink is beaten by the little hockey puck.

Bye bye rBlink!
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
198
101
10,770
Is a tiny hockey puck looking device. A streamer rather than Bluetooth receiver. So it uses WiFi to receive its music source and connects to amp.

I’ve used it with Spotify and tunein radio. You just hit ‘cast’ and your phone/tablet becomes a remote rather than source.

Has a headphone socket (which I’ve connected a 3.5ml jack to double RCA into amp) and a power plug and that’s it.

Set it up in about 5mins. A doddle.

Not sure if can cast amazon music though, sure someone else on here will know.

I bought it (honestly not really expecting much as it’s only £30). But it’s great. Very happy indeed.
 

gel

Moderator
amormusic said:
Is a tiny hockey puck looking device. A streamer rather than Bluetooth receiver. So it uses WiFi to receive its music source and connects to amp.

I’ve used it with Spotify and tunein radio. You just hit ‘cast’ and your phone/tablet becomes a remote rather than source.

Has a headphone socket (which I’ve connected a 3.5ml jack to double RCA into amp) and a power plug and that’s it.

Set it up in about 5mins. A doddle.

Not sure if can cast amazon music though, sure someone else on here will know.

I bought it (honestly not really expecting much as it’s only £30). But it’s great. Very happy indeed.
Nice one - thanks! I might have to look into getting one.
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
116
11
18,595
Nice review. I think I'm going to be getting one. How easy it is to use? If I want to stream from the BBC radio player app, do you know if you just use the BBC app, or do you have to use a Google CCA one? Same goes for Spotify etc, can you just open the seperate apps and away you go?
Cheers.
Edit: soz, just read the last few comments semi explaining this.
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
595
29
18,920
gel said:
amormusic said:
Is a tiny hockey puck looking device. A streamer rather than Bluetooth receiver. So it uses WiFi to receive its music source and connects to amp.

I’ve used it with Spotify and tunein radio. You just hit ‘cast’ and your phone/tablet becomes a remote rather than source.

Has a headphone socket (which I’ve connected a 3.5ml jack to double RCA into amp) and a power plug and that’s it.

Set it up in about 5mins. A doddle.

Not sure if can cast amazon music though, sure someone else on here will know.

I bought it (honestly not really expecting much as it’s only £30). But it’s great. Very happy indeed.
Nice one - thanks! I might have to look into getting one.
Amazon Music quietly added Chromecast support to their Android app in the run upto Christmas, though whether they also updated their iOS app I've no idea

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/11/amazon-music-app-for-android-quietly-gets-chromecast-support/
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
595
29
18,920
radiorog said:
Nice review. I think I'm going to be getting one. How easy it is to use? If I want to stream from the BBC radio player app, do you know if you just use the BBC app, or do you have to use a Google CCA one? Same goes for Spotify etc, can you just open the seperate apps and away you go? Cheers. Edit: soz, just read the last few comments semi explaining this.
A Cast button will be present in the individual apps.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
These are two completely different devices designed to perform completely different tasks.

The rBlink (and cheaper miniBlink) is a high performance Bluetooth receiver and DAC, it is primarily designed to play media that exists as a data file on your hand held device. The file is sent over Bluetooth which is a lossy system and therefore inferior to any decent lossless setup.

The CCA on the other hand is primarily designed to play media that exists on your network or on internet streaming services, your hand held acting as a remote control. Properly set up, this is a lossless system and should sound better than any lossy system such as Bluetooth.

For example, the CCA connects directly to Spotify and brings the music directly to your system, it is not transfered from your hand held so there is no Bluetooth link to degrade quality, no storage needed and minimal battery drain. Once the stream is playing the hand held can be swithced off or used for other purposes.
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
116
11
18,595
daveh75 said:
radiorog said:
Nice review. I think I'm going to be getting one. How easy it is to use? If I want to stream from the BBC radio player app, do you know if you just use the BBC app, or do you have to use a Google CCA one? Same goes for Spotify etc, can you just open the seperate apps and away you go? Cheers. Edit: soz, just read the last few comments semi explaining this.
A Cast button will be present in the individual apps.
Cool cheers. And most music streaming/radio apps will have the cast button? Anybody know of any glaring omissions?
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
116
11
18,595
davedotco said:
These are two completely different devices designed to perform completely different tasks.

The rBlink (and cheaper miniBlink) is a high performance Bluetooth receiver and DAC, it is primarily designed to play media that exists as a data file on your hand held device. The file is sent over Bluetooth which is a lossy system and therefore inferior to any decent lossless setup.

The CCA on the other hand is primarily designed to play media that exists on your network or on internet streaming services, your hand held acting as a remote control. Properly set up, this is a lossless system and should sound better than any lossy system such as Bluetooth.

For example, the CCA connects directly to Spotify and brings the music directly to your system, it is not transfered from your hand held so there is no Bluetooth link to degrade quality, no storage needed and minimal battery drain. Once the stream is playing the hand held can be swithced off or used for other purposes.
Don't be puzzled Dave, I think that this is a new concept to a lot of people including myself. I would never have really thought there would a noticeable difference in sound quality from a quality bt device and a cheap as chips streamer, but it seems to be the case. I wouldn't have looked into getting one had I not had the audition before Christmas where I was able to compare Bluetooth with streaming into the same amp, and noticed a clear amount of detail brought up streaming as oposed to the Bluetooth.
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
595
29
18,920
amormusic said:
Just downloaded bbc radio app - yep it has the ‘cast’ little square so this would work.
There's a list of supported apps on the Chromecast site, though it's not totally up to date

https://www.google.com/chromecast/audio/apps/
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
595
29
18,920
radiorog said:
daveh75 said:
radiorog said:
Nice review. I think I'm going to be getting one. How easy it is to use? If I want to stream from the BBC radio player app, do you know if you just use the BBC app, or do you have to use a Google CCA one? Same goes for Spotify etc, can you just open the seperate apps and away you go? Cheers. Edit: soz, just read the last few comments semi explaining this.
A Cast button will be present in the individual apps.
Cool cheers. And most music streaming/radio apps will have the cast button? Anybody know of any glaring omissions?
As far as streaming services go Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz and now Amazon Music (at least on Android) are all supported. Totally unsurprisingly Apple Music doesn't.

As for Radio then iPlayer, Tunein and for me personally DI.FM are all supported + see the link I posted above
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
radiorog said:
davedotco said:
These are two completely different devices designed to perform completely different tasks.

The rBlink (and cheaper miniBlink) is a high performance Bluetooth receiver and DAC, it is primarily designed to play media that exists as a data file on your hand held device. The file is sent over Bluetooth which is a lossy system and therefore inferior to any decent lossless setup.

The CCA on the other hand is primarily designed to play media that exists on your network or on internet streaming services, your hand held acting as a remote control. Properly set up, this is a lossless system and should sound better than any lossy system such as Bluetooth.

For example, the CCA connects directly to Spotify and brings the music directly to your system, it is not transfered from your hand held so there is no Bluetooth link to degrade quality, no storage needed and minimal battery drain. Once the stream is playing the hand held can be swithced off or used for other purposes.
Don't be puzzled Dave, I think that this is a new concept to a lot of people including myself. I would never have really thought there would a noticeable difference in sound quality from a quality bt device and a cheap as chips streamer, but it seems to be the case. I wouldn't have looked into getting one had I not had the audition before Christmas where I was able to compare Bluetooth with streaming into the same amp, and noticed a clear amount of detail brought up streaming as oposed to the Bluetooth.
I'm not puzzled by the difference in performance, I would have expected the results achieved.

It is just that the devices are so different in purpose that comparing them seems odd. For example, if you have a music file actually stored on a hand held, how do you get it to play on the CCA? If you have a Bluetooth capable but non network amp, you can still use Bluetooth without a network connection.
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
198
101
10,770
+1 RadioRog.

I thought the review would be useful for others that may, like me, have been using BT for listening to Spotify etc. As despite its giveaway cost, this is better imo.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
That’s the point davedotco it’s a very good value streaming device for what it does, so one might think the arcam is better because of price, but obviously not.

i used mine over Xmas away on my iPod speaker dock thingey and it’s very good for its price. In some places i think you can get it for £20 so even more a bargain.

but I hate to be unbalanced, for its good on budget systems, but try and use it on good premium hi Fi worth thousands and it’s shortcomings come through. Invisibly I bet it’s got more jitter than a pneumatic drill giving someone vibration white finger, hence probably why it sounds terrible into my dac xp signature pre amp.

So far it’s actually not quite as bad as a cheap as chips 1992 Sony CD player I own, but it’s up there in my system. This isn’t a sleight on it, because for its price into a good portable speaker it surpassed my expectation. I’m going to try my ps3 as a source (it lives on another room) as I’ve never done that, but suspect it will be quite good.

but when you come around, if you want to hear my cca on my system amormusic, happy to do that test against my streamer.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
QuestForThe13thNote said:
That’s the point davedotco it’s a very good value streaming device for what it does, so one might think the arcam is better because of price, but obviously not.

i used mine over Xmas away on my iPod speaker dock thingey and it’s very good for its price. In some places i think you can get it for £20 so even more a bargain.

but I hate to be unbalanced, for its good on budget systems, but try and use it on good premium hi Fi worth thousands and it’s shortcomings come through. Invisibly I bet it’s got more jitter than a pneumatic drill giving someone vibration white finger, hence probably why it sounds terrible into my dac xp signature pre amp.

So far it’s actually not quite as bad as a cheap as chips 1992 Sony CD player I own, but it’s up there in my system. This isn’t a sleight on it, because for its price into a good portable speaker it surpassed my expectation. I’m going to try my ps3 as a source (it lives on another room) as I’ve never done that, but suspect it will be quite good.

but when you come around, if you want to hear my cca on my system amormusic, happy to do that test against my streamer.
Do you actually read posts before replying to them? I'm serious.

My 'puzzlement' has nothing to do with sound quality, it is comparing devices that fundamentally do different things. The arcam Bluetooth devices accept files transmitted from your hand held, the CCA connects directly to files that exist on your network or on the internet.

Different functionality, different technology, chalk and cheese you might say.
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
595
29
18,920
davedotco said:
if you have a music file actually stored on a hand held, how do you get it to play on the CCA?
Plenty of options on Android, including, but not limited to BubbleUPnP, AllCast, AnyCast, Solid Explorer, and Kodi

There'll be options for iOS too, I just don't know or care what they are. Though AllCast is also available for iOS thinking about it
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
116
11
18,595
davedotco said:
radiorog said:
davedotco said:
These are two completely different devices designed to perform completely different tasks.

The rBlink (and cheaper miniBlink) is a high performance Bluetooth receiver and DAC, it is primarily designed to play media that exists as a data file on your hand held device. The file is sent over Bluetooth which is a lossy system and therefore inferior to any decent lossless setup.

The CCA on the other hand is primarily designed to play media that exists on your network or on internet streaming services, your hand held acting as a remote control. Properly set up, this is a lossless system and should sound better than any lossy system such as Bluetooth.

For example, the CCA connects directly to Spotify and brings the music directly to your system, it is not transfered from your hand held so there is no Bluetooth link to degrade quality, no storage needed and minimal battery drain. Once the stream is playing the hand held can be swithced off or used for other purposes.
Don't be puzzled Dave, I think that this is a new concept to a lot of people including myself. I would never have really thought there would a noticeable difference in sound quality from a quality bt device and a cheap as chips streamer, but it seems to be the case. I wouldn't have looked into getting one had I not had the audition before Christmas where I was able to compare Bluetooth with streaming into the same amp, and noticed a clear amount of detail brought up streaming as oposed to the Bluetooth.
I'm not puzzled by the difference in performance, I would have expected the results achieved.

It is just that the devices are so different in purpose that comparing them seems odd. For example, if you have a music file actually stored on a hand held, how do you get it to play on the CCA? If you have a Bluetooth capable but non network amp, you can still use Bluetooth without a network connection.
Ah, I see what you mean, I hadn't thought of that. Personally I don't have any music stored. I stream everything other than cd or FM radio. So I have been using the bt in my Roksan amp to do the streaming. Having a £30 device that by all accounts should improve the detail a bit on everything I stream is a bit of a revelation. :)
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
davedotco said:
QuestForThe13thNote said:
That’s the point davedotco it’s a very good value streaming device for what it does, so one might think the arcam is better because of price, but obviously not.

i used mine over Xmas away on my iPod speaker dock thingey and it’s very good for its price. In some places i think you can get it for £20 so even more a bargain.

but I hate to be unbalanced, for its good on budget systems, but try and use it on good premium hi Fi worth thousands and it’s shortcomings come through. Invisibly I bet it’s got more jitter than a pneumatic drill giving someone vibration white finger, hence probably why it sounds terrible into my dac xp signature pre amp.

So far it’s actually not quite as bad as a cheap as chips 1992 Sony CD player I own, but it’s up there in my system. This isn’t a sleight on it, because for its price into a good portable speaker it surpassed my expectation. I’m going to try my ps3 as a source (it lives on another room) as I’ve never done that, but suspect it will be quite good.

but when you come around, if you want to hear my cca on my system amormusic, happy to do that test against my streamer.
Do you actually read posts before replying to them? I'm serious.

My 'puzzlement' has nothing to do with sound quality, it is comparing devices that fundamentally do different things. The arcam Bluetooth devices accept files transmitted from your hand held, the CCA connects directly to files that exist on your network or on the internet.

Different functionality, different technology, chalk and cheese you might say.
I like it when you get all serious and stern on me. Lol... I think what you are saying is moot, as it wasn’t the point amormusic was making.
 

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