Davy's techno bedhead

Bluetooth audio receiver success

I own three tablets, they are pictured below:

A stack of tablets

From top to bottom there is my Surface Pro 4 i7, Xperia Z4 Tablet and Big iPad… sorry, iPad Pro. Now all of these are quite swish tablets, but being tablets they are never going to have brilliant speakers that reproduce sound with complete clarity

I planned on getting a set of Bluetooth Speakers, but was vexed that there were none in my price-range that claimed to be able to connect to multiple sources. Then I remembered I had a pair of reasonably good Microlab monitor speakers in a cupboard. I stuck them in the head of my bed so I had the possibility for good music reproduction and thumping beats when playing games. This is how they look:

Davy's techno bedhead

However, I did not want an extra cable being plugged into each tablet when I wanted to use it with the speakers. Time to head to Amazon to look for a Bluetooth audio receiver that could remember connections with multiple devices.

I knew that I wanted a Bluetooth 4 device and I wanted it to connect to multiple sources. The Bluetooth audio receiver that I went for was the LAYEN Bluetooth 4.1 Stereo Receiver Plug (pictured below). For some reason the plug is called ‘Chilliplug’ on the device itself and that is also how it identifies when connecting via Bluetooth.

Shitti/Chilliplug

Having Bluetooth 4.1 encouraged me, as did its claim to remember Bluetooth connections with up to eight devices.

How cruelly my hopes were dashed! It had worse Bluetooth latency than any other Bluetooth device I had ever used. When I pressed a key on the iPad Pro onscreen keyboard there would be total silence for 2-3 seconds then my meaty monitors would let out a click.

When I typed in a large string of text the Chilliplug Bluetooth audio receiver would get ever further behind with key clicks until it reached a point when you finished typing and key clicks would continue for up to five seconds afterward.

Watching a video was impossible, the soundtrack and video were totally out of sync. I had been sold a dummy.

So I went back to Amazon and I included the phrase “Low latency” in all of my searches for Bluetooth audio receivers. Once again I found that transmitters outnumbered receivers and most Bluetooth audio receiver were designed to fit onto iPhones.

Then I hit gold! The Fospower NFC-Enabled Bluetooth audio receiver promised low latency, Bluetooth 4, the aptX audio codec (that improves the quality of sound send over Bluetooth) and the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously. I could live with only devices connected as long as it did not suffer from the appalling latency issues that the Chilliplug Bluetooth audio receiver displayed. Here is the device itself:

Fospower Bluetooth audio receiver

It comes with a power adapter, but will plug into any USB socket. I was pleasantly surprised that mine remembers Bluetooth connections from all my three tablets, and it has a microphone on it so you can make hands-free audio calls (if you are hard of hearing, for instance, and you want your conversations blasted out a pair of sizable speakers.) The NFC bonding seemed to work fine, but as it remembers connections I imagine I will only use that again when I move home.

And the audio latency? Unnoticeable to my ears! Key clicks were seemingly instant and video looks perfectly in sync with the sound. The quality of the sound is the best I have heard through any Bluetooth setup (but then my old speakers are still pretty good). And this cost £19.99, three quid less than the Shittiplug!

Consequently, I can highly recommend the Fospower NFC-Enabled Bluetooth audio receiver to anyone who wants to broadcast Bluetooth audio to speakers or an amplifier. It works quite the dream for me!


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