The StarTech.com Bluetooth Audio Receiver with NFC has just one vital mission objective: to turn your home stereo, or indeed any of your other audio output devices into a slick media gateway with full Bluetooth compatibility!
Connecting your digital and analogue worlds is a simple but necessary task for the BT2A Bluetooth audio receiver, which it performs with consummate ease. Having achieved this, you and your friends can then effortlessly stream music audio from your phones to your domestic audio system.
Practical audio solutions
StarTech are an American technology company with an outpost in the UK. Launched in 1985, they operate worldwide with bases in 15 countries and specialise in delivering custom solutions to some of the more irksome and annoying tech problems. Their service covers both recent and legacy equipment, with hard-to-find products a speciality, and includes bridging products which serve as an interface between systems.
Functional and essential
Though it provides the crucial link which connects your home- and mobile audio systems, the BT2A Bluetooth audio receiver is quite happy to maintain a low profile. Measuring just 26 mm [H] x 77 mm [L] x 84mm [W], and weighing only 54 g, the BT2A takes up little space and its flat, rounded designed gives it the look of a tiny inter-galactic spacecraft.
Finished in shiny black plastic, this Bluetooth audio receiver offers an almost-plain front which features just a centred company logo on top, plus the LED status light. All functional connectors, including a power cable input, are neatly hidden from sight on a panel at the rear.
Free to focus on its interface role, the StarTech.com Bluetooth Audio Receiver with NFC is ably equipped to do this job well. Audio streaming is handled via the aptX audio codec, which the home-audio industry regards as the most efficient means of real-time streaming of high quality stereo audio without risking degradation of the audio signal.
This system operates wirelessly over the A2DP Bluetooth protocol which is, of course, also installed on the BT2A. In addition, the ‘engine room’ of the system is occupied by a high-quality Wolfson WM8524 DAC (digital-to-audio) converter which is solely responsible for the accurate transfer of data between the digital and analogue domains.
As a result of these features, owners can enjoy all the benefits of wireless connectivity whilst also taking advantage of the superior audio playback specifications which even a modest home-audio system can offer.
All Bluetooth-enabled digital equipment can access analogue audio devices connected via the BT2A gateway audio receiver. What is more, many of the latest smartphones and tablets can take advantage of the NFC support the BT2A offers and make fast ‘one-touch’ Bluetooth connections, or effect rapid switches between connected devices.
A broad range of options are also available on the ‘analogue’ side of the BT2A interface: audio equipment can be connected by 3.5mm ‘mini-jack’ cables, or else via the slightly larger standard ‘RCA’ jack connectors, and in addition, those with high-quality audio equipment can also take advantage of the superb quality of optical Toslink cabling to preserve and optimise a digital-audio link at the highest possible standard.
- NFC (near field communication) Support
- Wolfson WM8524 DAC (digital-to-audio converter)
- aptX Audio Codec
- 3.5mm stereo audio connectivity
- 2-Channel RCA audio connectivity
- Compatible with A2DP stereo Bluetooth devices
- digital audio output (Toslink)
My experience with the Startech Bluetooth audio receiver
The Strartech Bluetooth audio receiver is the ideal gadget for breathing new life into older music systems which do not allow wireless audio streaming. Thanks to this ingenious little device I was able to stream music to my JBL boombox using nothing but a 3.5mm cable and the audio receiver itself.
Pairing my S6 to the Startech audio receiver was a breeze, it took about 7 seconds for the Bluetooth receiver to become discoverable after plugging it in and once connected the signal remained strong with no drop outs or stuttering for about one and a half hours of continuous streaming.
As for audio quality, this is where the Startech audio receiver really shines. Thanks to the high end components (check the main features list above) and built-in aptX codec; you’re pretty much guaranteed the best listening experience possible without any form of audio degradation.
All in all, this Bluetooth audio receiver proved to be a top performer, so if you have an older music setup and want a simple way of adding Bluetooth and NFC functionality to it then the Strartech Bluetooth audio receiver is definitely the way to go.
Where to buy
At time of writing the BT2A Bluetooth audio receiver was available through Startech.com’s UK website for £69.59, it was also avilable for £45.14 at Amazon.co.uk. Check current price at Startech.com or click here for current Amazon.co.uk price.