rob4diy

bluetooth - good enough..?

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Posted (edited)

Hi - i have quite a revealing hifi system NC400+Ellam flex 3W(diy).

CD is my main source and will remain so for serious listening.

Q; for A/V, convienence, and occasional exploratory listening from spotify; is the addition of bluetooth a disaster as far as sound quality is concerned, or given the source (chromebook utube spotify at el) will the gains made by connecting more directly be minimal?

Q; regarding direct connection to dac from a chromebook or computer; my dac only has optical or coax spdif options. is there much quaility loss using a usb to optical convertor? i note there are also hdmi to audio coax devices readiliy available - does anyone have experience of the quality vs these two, or any other thoughts regarding a possible later more serious connection of computer to dac?

( am thinking of a chinese audioengine copy)

Edited by rob4diy
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It shouldn't be expensive to try both for yourself but I suspect you would hear a difference, yes.

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Posted (edited)

Bluetooth is junk.

Apple Airplay is considerably better, but still not perfect.

No idea about converters, never been a fan of them, so built my setup to not need it, but I am sure they will be MUCH better than relying on Bluetooth.

Edited by The Chronicals

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Bluetooth with APT-X HD or LDAC codec support on both ends is pretty good.

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Arcam Bluetooth dacs in my experience are decent and you can get really listenable results from them in particular if you use Tidal which is miles better sq than Spotify. A Miniblink for around £100 is a real bargain. 

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Much as I hate to agree with Chronic Al, he is correct: bluetooth is junk.

I recently bought a USB DAC for my office system, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Topping-Amplifier-Decoder-ES9018K2M-OPA2134/dp/B07PBW66XS/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=topping+usb+dac&qid=1560110989&s=gateway&sr=8-3

and as a USB to S/PDIF converter it's MUCH better than a Musical Fidelity V-Link.,

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4 hours ago, The Chronicals said:

Bluetooth is junk.

2 hours ago, meninblack said:

bluetooth is junk.

+1

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, knaithrover said:

Arcam Bluetooth dacs in my experience are decent and you can get really listenable results from them in particular if you use Tidal which is miles better sq than Spotify. A Miniblink for around £100 is a real bargain. 

An Arcam Miniblink is okay, an rBlink (which is what I have previously owned) is better. However, both are comfortably outclassed by a Google Chromecast Audio, which can be picked up on eBay for circa £20. 

I have previously owned one of these as well and it hands down beats the rBlink on a side by side comparison. 

You can also stream Spotify using it, so for a cheap effective and decent sounding solution, particularly if you’re feeding it into a DAC - this is all you need. 

Edited by Amormusic
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I recently compared the sound from an Arcam miniBlink and a NAD disc player (I don’t know which model but it was primarily for DVDs).  This was through a Rotel RA03 amp and Monitor Audio Bronze B2 speakers, so not a high end system.  

Playing the same track using both sources revealed to me that the comments above are correct.  Bluetooth is junk.

Sound via Bluetooth was thinner and less weighty, with far less instrument separation and detail, and a slightly harsh high end.  

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For an uncritical casual listen, Bluetooth is just about adequate, it's not high fidelity though. If anyone with a half decent hifi set up can't tell the difference, I'd be surprised.

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Oh, yes it is :P

Just to add a bit of contrast here, personally, I would say it is good enough. But, I have had a few Bluetooth receivers that I did think were junk (but still didn't sound terrible I will add). After trying numerous models I eventually found one that I didn't think was so much of a compromise. The one I'm currently using is stable, sounds excellent and with no noise, even if the amplifier was turned to max (without something playing of course).

I've fed it into a few different DACs here at home and the quality is as good, certainly without saying its seriously compromised in comparison to a wired connection. In fact, I would be very surprised if anyone could pick out which was which in a blind test when it's feeding my DAC(s). It is only a receiver and not a DAC or converter though, the D to A is all done by my DACs, and it is coax out only.

I still use wired and Bluetooth regularly and either sounds as good. OK, Bluetooth it may not have the Nth amount of detail that may be a wired connection would have but even then as I said in a blind test I suspect even the best of ears would be hard pressed to pick out which was which. I get all the levels of hi-fi'ness as I did when there was a big wire attached, so as far as I'm concerned it is 'as good'.

Unfortunately, though the receiver I'm using at the moment doesn't seem to be made anymore either.  And disregard this high price here as well, as I paid under 50 quid for mine.

https://www.bonanzamarket.co.uk/listings/-Yamaha-Wireless-Audio-Receiver-YBA-11-Bluetooth-corresponding-black-YBA-11-B/724076465?goog_pla=1&gpid=340094839571&keyword=&goog_pla=1&pos=1o2&ad_type=pla&gclid=CjwKEAjw__fnBRCNpvH8iqy4xl4SJAC4XERPeBEAhv3W-DUy0BySeK4Pt5-2v8ahmFQzAkvAAGkz6hoCyw_w_wcB

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Super Wammer

No.

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I have Acram Miniblinks connected to both of my systems. Fine for backgrond music and showing the superiority of lossless over compressed. Not for serious listening.

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I can't see what the issue is with Bluetooth, people are happy to stream hi-res which travels down thousands of miles of cable then wirelessly to a pc then DAC (usually) in the home. And people in another thread close to here can't decide which cable for a digital connection was the best for certain with a price gap of many hundreds of pounds either. Bluetooth is no different from any other means of digital transfer, you get it to your best DAC intact, as best as you can and the DAC does the business not how it got there. A lot of bluetooth transmitters are rubbish, and a lot of the time theyre attached to rubbish DACs/converters, or at least mediocre DACs at best such as in the miniblink, and I have one of those as well. I'm not knocking miniblinks I think it's a great device for what they cost.

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