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Experiences of Bluetooth aptX please ...

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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I'd like to hear from anyone playing music (especially radio) using Bluetooth aptX between a smartphone / tablet and a good BT aptX receiver plugged into their hi-fi.

Thanks.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Extremely positive, the sound quality with Apt-X playing FLAC files at 16/44 is really nice. I currently use a bluetooth 4.0 dongle from my laptop streaming to my Roksan Kandy K2 BT and sound is really decent. Only issue I have is there is a few seconds delay with youtube videos because of the buffer. For music files and radio it is not an issue.

Same positive experience with HTC One and Iphone 4s playing flac files, even the old Nokia N9 surprised me with how good it sounded without Apt-X.

When I got the receiver I was expecting for the BT feature to be a novelty addon but it is a decent streaming option that is fun to use, especially with friends over when we can play music each from our phones.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Thanks.

Thinking of Arcam miniBlink (£90) at just over half the price of their rBlink (and both far more attractive and ergonomic too).

I am sure there are plenty of similar devices, but they don't all look like little polished pebbles :) (Gotta live with and look at these things every day.)
 

unsleepable

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Dec 25, 2013
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Every now and then I use bluetooth to play music from my iPhone into a pair of Q Acoustics BT3, and I'm happy with it. This is without AptX as the iPhone does not implement it. I haven't done a close comparison, but haven't noticed an issue with sound—although the BT3 are not the most revealing type of speakers either.

chebby said:
Thinking of Arcam miniBlink (£90) at just over half the price of their rBlink (and both far more attractive and ergonomic too).
The miniBlink support AAC natively, which is quite cool. If you play compressed MP4 audio, it gets sent as it is, without needing recompression.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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I am going to need 320k AAC at most. (BBC Radio 3 HD) as this will be - primarily - for radio.

The DAC on board the Bluetooth receiver - and the 3.5mm -> RCA phono analogue connection to the amp - will be utilised despite the amp / DAC having an optical input. (That will be kept for TV/Blu-ray/PVR duties as it is now with my Marantz.)

Right now I am entirely happy with AirPlay / iPhone / iPad Mini because my Marantz has integrated AirPlay. However, I am exploring alternatives for the future. (The Marantz M-CR603 may not last forever and I don't like it's 'buggy', slow, plastic, ugly M-CR610 replacement!)

Hopefully Marantz will oblige with a 'premium quality' version of the M-CR6nn concept one day, but I am not going to hold my breath whilst waiting.

Ideas like the Peachtree Decco65 amp/DAC are interesting me for instance. However, it has restricted digital connectivity for my requirements. This might mean converting my radio usage (at least) from iThing -> AirPlay to Bluetooth aptX -> Android thing instead. (Using an ATV3 to get AirPlay would sacrifice the Decco65's only optical input and leave my TV / BDP / PVR stranded.)

I might end up opting for the Naim all-in-one thing when it gets launched in the Autumn. (It will have Bluetooth and AirPlay.) However, that might turn out to be a complete 'dog' so it can't yet be counted as a proper option yet.

The UnitiQute 2 with its abundance of digital connectivity (used with an ATV3) would do the job nicely. But, by the time I can afford it's present price, it will have probably gone up to £2000 :) Naim equipment has two price rises every year so it will probably always remain just beyond what I am prepared to pay.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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Naim UnitiQute 2 is a very nice unit, the only problem for me is only has one analogue input (1 for the TT and the other for the bypass on the AV)

the UQ2 costs £1150 the first version were £1300 (I think).

I find it dificult that will ever cost more that the price of the first model...
 

unsleepable

New member
Dec 25, 2013
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I'd recommend my irDac. Superb, uncoloured sound, with 2 optical, 2 coaxial and 1 USB inputs. Though yet another remote control is needed to select the input—although in my case, the amplifier responds to the volume keys of the DAC remote control, so I use only that.

You may want to take a look at the airDAC. Less inputs and no USB, but Airplay and streaming capabilities. According to reviews, the sound is not as good as that of the irDac—but I wouldn't believe these reviews much.
 

Peter Kudelstaart

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Feb 25, 2012
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I have 2 of such devices. In my bedroom I use a Focal aptX bluetooth receiver. In my lounge I use a Advance Acoustics WTX500. Both ar of the type that you stick in the back of your amp/receiver. The former has recently been tested by WhatHifi. Both are quite cheap and might be a bit low fi in comparison with more expensive offerings. My source for streaming is Spotify (on 320 kbps). I have installed Spotify on my Ipad and my Nokia Lumia 920. Both support aptX. My experience is quite favourable. The sound is rich and full. Only a side by side comparison would show the difference with an original cd. Occasionally hich ups occur. They might be caused by the internet reception or a break in the streaming signal. Overall I am quite content with these small devices.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Hi-FiOutlaw said:
Naim UnitiQute 2 is a very nice unit, the only problem for me is only has one analogue input (1 for the TT and the other for the bypass on the AV)
That's not a problem for me,

More importantly, it has two optical digital rear connections (and another mini-Toslink on the front) as well as USB and coa-ax.

It also has a pretty respectable FM/DAB tuner with connection for roof aerials :)

It has plenty of power for my needs (I am not a head-banger) and it would - with the ATV3 - form the centre of an excellent radio system that also has provision for good stereo sound from the TV/BDP/PVR using it's second optical connection.

I almost bought one last year - until I found they took 2 months to order - but ended up sticking with my system as it is. It was to be an impulse buy. I had money on the hip and wanted to walk off with one right then and there. Naim don't do that. You order it and wait in your place in the line until they get around to making it. If it's their summer hols you add another few weeks.

Maybe next time I have a 'mad moment' there will be one in stock.
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
119
12
18,595
I use the Harman kardon bta10. Costs £50. No reviews by whf sadly yet,but it sounds great to me.I can hear a difference between spotify and Google with it, so it must be OK in terms of sound quality. Its not aptx , but HK say they use the latest technology in it to produce best sound. I have no complaints with it at all, but would always be interested to hear others to compare.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
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18,790
chebby said:
Hi-FiOutlaw said:
Naim UnitiQute 2 is a very nice unit, the only problem for me is only has one analogue input (1 for the TT and the other for the bypass on the AV)
That's not a problem for me,

More importantly, it has two optical digital rear connections (and another mini-Toslink on the front) as well as USB and coa-ax.

It also has a pretty respectable FM/DAB tuner with connection for roof aerials :)

It has plenty of power for my needs (I am not a head-banger) and it would - with the ATV3 - form the centre of an excellent radio system that also has provision for good stereo sound from the TV/BDP/PVR using it's second optical connection.

I almost bought one last year - until I found they took 2 months to order - but ended up sticking with my system as it is. It was to be an impulse buy. I had money on the hip and wanted to walk off with one right then and there. Naim don't do that. You order it and wait in your place in the line until they get around to making it. If it's their summer hols you add another few weeks.

Maybe next time I have a 'mad moment' there will be one in stock.
The UQ2 is a swiss army knife, you wont regret if you get one! It drove my Dyns X12 very well, the DAC quality is the same that you find in Rega DAC and all those goodies in one box! :grin:
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
135
10
18,595
I've been using Bluetooth apt-x for a couple of years and can recommend it. The sound quality is good but I have found that the quality of the DAC in the receiver can make a difference. I have a Chordette Gem and this was very good quality when used with analogue RCA outputs, much better than a QED uPlay I tried. I stream from my PC using a Creative dongle, and also from a cheap Android tablet and a BlackBerry phone both of which support apt-x natively. You might want to consider a standalone Bluetooth speaker for listening to radio streamed from your phone ... sometimes this is much more convenient than powering up a whole hifi system. There are many good examples that support apt-x.
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
135
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18,595
Chebby... have you looked at the Cyrus Lyric as a potential replacement for your Marantz? It has apt-x built in as well as DAB, Streamer, DAC and a CD Player.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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tino said:
Chebby... have you looked at the Cyrus Lyric as a potential replacement for your Marantz? It has apt-x built in as well as DAB, Streamer, DAC and a CD Player.
I would struggle right now to get a UnitiQute 2 (£1195) so, given that the cheapest Lyric is £2295 (5 version), I'm afraid that your suggestion is not practical.

I don't mind about losing the CD player part. The one on my Marantz has barely been used in three & a half years. (Except to test it stil works a couple of times a year.)

Ideally someone would be making exactly what I need for about £750 - £900 all-in, but it hasn't happened yet.

TBH, it probably will end up being a UnitiQute 2. (There seems to be some kind of inevitability about it!) If I get lucky I might find one ex-demo at my local Naim dealer. (Then I won't need to bother about Bluetooth.)
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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chebby said:
tino said:
Chebby... have you looked at the Cyrus Lyric as a potential replacement for your Marantz? It has apt-x built in as well as DAB, Streamer, DAC and a CD Player.
I would struggle right now to get a UnitiQute 2 (£1195) so, given that the cheapest Lyric is £2295 (5 version), I'm afraid that your suggestion is not practical.

I don't mind about losing the CD player part. The one on my Marantz has barely been used in three & a half years. (Except to test it stil works a couple of times a year.)

Ideally someone would be making exactly what I need for about £750 - £900 all-in, but it hasn't happened yet.

TBH, it probably will end up being a UnitiQute 2. (There seems to be some kind of inevitability about it!) If I get lucky I might find one ex-demo at my local Naim dealer. (Then I won't need to bother about Bluetooth.)
I agree, find a way to spread the cost and get one.

Given my own equally bizare and unusual requirements it would be perfect for me, only the lack of full Spotify (or other comparable streaming service) support would rule it out.

I was actually quite exited a month or two back when Naim announced such support, only for it to be withdrawn almost immediately....... :doh:

BTW. Anyone shed any further light on this issue......?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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davedotco said:
...only the lack of full Spotify (or other comparable streaming service) support would rule it out.
I would prefer a Spotify app's GUI to any 'native'/built-in version. Then you are not peering down the length of the room trying to see a small LED display and having to operate via a remote control.

In the same way, I have never used the built-in internet tuner on my Marantz. I far prefer something like TuneIn Radio Pro and/or BBC iPayer Radio on a smartphone or tablet. (And the apps allow the highest bit rate available - like 320K AAC - whereas the built-in internet tuner only goes up to 192K.)
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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chebby said:
davedotco said:
...only the lack of full Spotify (or other comparable streaming service) support would rule it out.
I would prefer a Spotify app's GUI to any 'native'/built-in version. Then you are not peering down the length of the room trying to see a small LED display and having to operate via a remote control.

In the same way, I have never used the built-in internet tuner on my Marantz. I far prefer something like TuneIn Radio Pro and/or BBC iPayer Radio on a smartphone or tablet. (And the apps allow the highest bit rate available - like 320K AAC - whereas the built-in internet tuner only goes up to 192K.)
i was about to say the same regarding Spotify, i prefer to use it in my ipad and stream it to ATV3.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Hi-FiOutlaw said:
chebby said:
davedotco said:
...only the lack of full Spotify (or other comparable streaming service) support would rule it out.
I would prefer a Spotify app's GUI to any 'native'/built-in version. Then you are not peering down the length of the room trying to see a small LED display and having to operate via a remote control.

In the same way, I have never used the built-in internet tuner on my Marantz. I far prefer something like TuneIn Radio Pro and/or BBC iPayer Radio on a smartphone or tablet. (And the apps allow the highest bit rate available - like 320K AAC - whereas the built-in internet tuner only goes up to 192K.)
i was about to say the same regarding Spotify, i prefer to use it in my ipad and stream it to ATV3.
That is exactly what I do at the present.

I had kind of anticipated that such functionality would be incorporated into the n-Stream app, giving a Spotify style interace. Again not having such an interface would be a deal breaker for me.

For reasons that I can't really explain, I would prefer a wired rather than an Airplay system, using an iPad/Macbook as a remote. I am looking for a more flexible, better sounding Sonos Connect, but taking all things into account, that is not easy!
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
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18,790
I've Spotify built in the Yamaha RX V775 and WD Live TV and the interface is too pour, i rather have ipad app any day, and stream through airplay or Bluetooth.
 

Longjohn

New member
Aug 27, 2011
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Dear all,

Is AptX really any good? What about the Kleer system. Nobody talks about it any more, but in many ways it's better. I use it on my Arcam rDAC. See this:

http://www.dipecomm.eu/Kleer-Vs-Bluetooth

I know this article does not refer to AptX, but many of the points are valid.

KInd regards,

John
 

MaxD

New member
Jun 15, 2014
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chebby said:
I'd like to hear from anyone playing music (especially radio) using Bluetooth aptX between a smartphone / tablet and a good BT aptX receiver plugged into their hi-fi.
I do stream some flac and 320K files from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (the only AptX enable device I own) to my NAD D 3020 AptX blueotooth server and sound quality is definitely pretty much close to when I play files directly from the DAC.

I've been very surprised to see the sound is pretty much ok even when I play it from my iPad Air (it doesn't have AptX) and from other bluetooth not AptX enable sources.

So if you need Bluetooth, definitely go AptX.
 

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