Bluetooth: The Right Choice for Wireless Audio

Melissa Davis Blog

wireless audio for home

There are a ton of different options and solutions for wireless audio. So much so that it can be a daunting task finding the perfect solution. If you’re wanting a simple and versatile setup that sounds great, look no further than Bluetooth.

Works with everything
Over the years, we’ve evaluated and considered every wireless audio technology available, but Bluetooth really is the only one that’s instantly compatible with everything. It works with every smartphone, tablet, and computer as well as with every music streaming service and audio-capable app on your devices; it’s available in more products from more brands than anyone could possibly count. Unlike Bluetooth, other wireless audio technologies are proprietary and often aren’t compatible with certain computers or portable devices.
It’s important to note that all Audioengine powered speakers include analog inputs that makes them compatible with most wireless solutions. You can use them with any Sonos, AirPlay, or Play-Fi product that has an audio output. With our Bluetooth-equipped powered speakers (such as th HD3, HD6, and B1 and B2) you still have built-in Bluetooth that can be used simultaneously with these analog inputs.

Simple setup, simple operation

Setup for Bluetooth is quick and simple: Just pair your source (phone, tablet or computer) with the Bluetooth speaker or receiver. It takes less than 10 seconds!
Once pairing is accomplished, the Bluetooth connection stays active and you always have instant control of music playback and streaming services. Compared to other wireless solutions, many WiFi-based wireless audio products require a setup procedure (which in almost all cases requires downloading an app for your phone or tablet) and then configuring each device to work with your existing network or within their own network. Not to mention, in most cases the device controlling the playback has to re-establish communication with the other audio devices on the network if you haven’t made any adjustments for a couple of minutes; often times there’s also a lag, making you wait several seconds for the connection to “wake up” before you can make adjustments.
To put it simply but accurately, Bluetooth just works, while WiFi-based audio systems frequently present hurdles to the end user.

Why is Audioengine’s Bluetooth better?
Bluetooth is sometimes criticized by audiophiles for low sound quality and we can understand where they’re coming from; when most manufacturers implement Bluetooth, it sounds OK at best. With that said, if care is taken Bluetooth can achieve audiophile-grade sound.
Advanced software: Audioengine’s implementation of Bluetooth includes the aptX HD and AAC codecs, both of which we’ve found deliver sound superior to the default SBC codec used in most Bluetooth applications. Most of today’s major-brand Android phones and tablets default to aptX (or aptX HD if your device features it) when they’re streaming to an aptX-equipped product, while Apple iOS phones and tablets default to AAC.
Best-in-class hardware: Our Bluetooth products use an AKM AK4396 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chip. The AK4396 was designed specifically for reproduction of high-resolution PCM and DSD audio, and resamples all incoming Bluetooth signals to 24-bit resolution while delivering an extremely clean sound with a noise floor that’s virtually inaudible and dynamics that truly match those of a wired connection.
True multi-room range: The typical wireless range of a Bluetooth product is about 15 feet; that’s not inherent to the technology, it’s just what most manufacturers settle for. Our products do much better. Through careful signal management and antenna tuning our Bluetooth products have a typical range of up to 100 feet. Of course, this will vary depending on your phone or tablet and on how many walls the signal has to pass through, but in general, with Audioengine products you can carry your phone or tablet all around your house without losing the connection or without impacting sound quality in any way.
The surest future: Considering the proprietary nature of most WiFi-based audio technologies, we can’t say for sure what upgrades the future holds. We *can* confidently say that because Bluetooth is a solid industry standard, it just keeps on improving with better performance and new capabilities. We think it’s today’s most robust, reliable, convenient and future-proof solution for wireless audio.