Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter
The Logitech Bluetooth audio adapter allows you to connect phones and tablets to audio devices that only have wired inputs. It uses the Bluetooth technology to provide a good quality and reliable audio link wirelessly. The device is very well priced and very well made.
The adapter has two audio output paths. There are twin phono sockets for stereo audio and a 3.5mm stereo jack socket.
In The Box
The supplied mains power adapter is rated at 5V and 1A.
A cable is supplied with a stereo 3.5mm jack plug on one end and phono connectors on the other.
In our household, music is primary stored on iOS devices (iPods and iPhones).
Pairing is done in the usual way on iOS devices. When a device pairs to the adapter the light on the front flashes green. Once a device is connected the light stays on green. It also emits a quiet beep over the audio output.
When this device (or any other) is available for use by an iPhone, the audio output selection icon turns orange.
Touching this orange icon presents the possible devices on which media can be played. On iOS devices it is not possible to rename the device to something more user friendly.
We really couldn't see how such a simple piece of technology would need such a high current supply, so we put it on our test equipment and measured how much current was really being used. In stand-by mode, this device is using just 15mA. When paired and connected to a phone or tablet, it uses approximately 30mA. When in use and playing music through it, the current consumption rises to approximately 40mA. This confirmed our suspicions and means that this device could be powered via a USB port, with a suitable cable. It would also work with a very simple voltage regulator circuit, to enable it to be run from a 12V dc power supply (e.g. in a car).
The quality of the audio output from this device is very good, when using either of the output connectors. We could not hear any real difference between the audio quality over wireless and that from a cable to an iPhone headphone socket.
Our initial tests show the range to be pretty good but, we did notice audio dropping out as we moved further away from the device. Typically it works well in a given room but can struggle once you leave that room. There will be many factors that affect the range, including the phone or tablet you are using and even the case it sits it. Interference from electrical items in your home may also affect the range.
The volume of the input to your amplifier can also be adjusted on device like iPhones, using the usual volume controls.
We have noticed some pairing problems with this device, when used with an iPhone 5. We are sure these are not iPhone related as this particular iPhone automatically reconnects to our car via Bluetooth without issues. We also have no issues in using a Sony MW600 Bluetooth headset. If the adapter is left for a while, then when an attempt is made to reconnect it works briefly, before being disconnected. The only way to resolve this appears to be to forget the device in the iPhone settings :-(
We have tested Nexus 7 tablet and it works very well.
Connection seemed easy and unlike iOS devices, Android will automatically reconnect the device when it sees it in range. The whole audio output selection is not as slick and easy as iOS though:
In the Bluetooth settings, it is also possible to rename the device, to give it a more meaningful name:
This device can also be used to play music from a computer but we have yet to try this. Reviews on the Internet suggest that this is very dependent on the operating system being used.
We are currently using two of these devices in our home. The first is in our kitchen and is connected to a Roberts MP53 music player. The second is being use on our patio. Overall, we have been quite impressed with the low cost, simplicity and audio quality.
This adapter is not perfect though. If you have several (as we do), then the lack of ability to change the name exposed via Bluetooth makes the user experience less than ideal. The need to reconnect via the Bluetooth settings on iOS devices is also not as slick as it should be. Our iPhones connect seamlessly with our cars via Bluetooth, so we don't know why this is the case with this device. The output selection on Android devices is not as slick as the AirPlay experience on iOS devices, where the destination for the audio just appears on the list of possible options.
We have also experienced connectivity issues with iOS devices. Having left the adapter overnight, when we returned in the morning, an iPhone would connect and then rapidly disconnect. The only solution we found to this, was to remove and then reapply power to the adapter. Unfortunately this means that we need to keep the device accessible in our patio application.
29th September 2013
Doh! We have now realised why the iPhone doesn't auto-connect to this device. It is because you really don't want it to. In a car, the audio comes through the car audio system (even when switched 'off'). In you home, you want audio notifications, calls, etc. to come out via your phone and not the kitchen, or wherever you happen to have placed this device. If it did auto-connect, then your phone would not really be usable whilst at home. If you also had more than one of these devices, things could get very confusing.
6th August 2013
We don't know what has changed but, the adapter has been working flawlessy for the last three weeks, with no disconnection issues at all.