Belkin has quietly slipped the tiny Bluetooth Music Receiver into stores around Australia. It lets you play music from any Bluetooth device onto any of your current speakers so long as they have a 3.5mm or RCA plug.
This review is going to be short because the device is pretty basic. Which is a great thing – win already for Belkin. It’s something that people without wireless networks or people with existing speaker systems that can’t be networked will enjoy. The tiny Bluetooth Music Receiver lets you stream music via Bluetooth from virtually any source with the technology. Your computer, smartphone, iPad and so on.
Set up could not be more simple. Plug the receiver into a power point as well as into your speaker with either the RCA or 3.5mm plug and you’re set. You will automatically find a Belkin device in your list of devices to connect to. Then just play.
In terms of sound quality, we could say it’s pretty flat and nothing inspirational, but you knew that because this, after all, is music via Bluetooth. On an average speaker system it will sound fine, on a really good system, you will pick up the flaws, which is flat sound without the accentuation of highs or lows. But again, the Bluetooth Music System isn’t about music quality as such, it’s about convenience.
This is something you use when you’re entertaining. Anyone can jump on and get their playlists rolling or you can carry your music device outside and be able to control the music from the garden, for example. In those type of situations, music quality isn’t your number one priority.
During our testing we were able to move through a two bedroom apartment with thick walls without any interference and without the signal dropping out. Music quality remained acceptable and the system player faultlessly. Even when we hid the system in a draw and tried to control music from two rooms away through thick walls and closed doors, it still functioned fine. But again, small apartment, so real estate advantage there for the Bluetooth Music Receiver.
At $69.95, it’s a pretty affordable device for what it is. But it has very limited uses. If you have an existing stereo system you love and want to open it up to wireless music, this is for you. If you’re after great sounding wireless music, that would be a Sonos you need. And it won’t cost you $69.95…
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.