iPhone iOS 4.2 Airplay with Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver

For a while now I’ve been looking at ways to get my spotify account to play over my B&W Zeppelin wirelessly, after discounting a Sonos system I looked at Apple’s Airport Express but found the setup not ultimately straightforward.

After Apple announced the inclusion of airplay with iOS 4.2 I discovered the Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver, but is it any good?

Well to be honest, yes.  Setup is very straightforward, plug the power adapter and audio output cable into the puck shaped unit and connect to your speaker dock or stereo system.  The iPhone finds the Belkin unit straight away and doesn’t even need pairing, contrary to the instruction manual which I found strange.  Once connected a small blue LED illuminates to show an active bluetooth connection with the iPhone.

Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver

Sound quality is very good and Belkin state that the unit is able to operate with a range of 30ft, although I’d qualify that by adding “line of sight”.  I have experienced very brief dropouts when moving the iPhone behind a wall into another room, although it recovers very quickly and continues playing.

The Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver can be picked up for around £17 delivered, add to that the fact it will work with almost any stereo system which accepts external inputs and stream any audio source (Spotify, iPod, Last.fm, Tunein Radio) from an iOS device.  It allows remote volume control from within Airplay so no looking round for another remote control.  Overall it’s a very capable product and does everything expected of it well.  9/10





Filed under Apple, Music, Technology

Costs of building a Sonos music system

Don’t get me wrong, I love the way Sonos music systems work, but what I don’t love is the price.  A Sonos S5 costs roughly £349 in the UK, which doesn’t sound much in comparison to most premium iPod docks.

It’s only when you begin to fully research the costs involved with setting up a Sonos system that it becomes very apparent that it isn’t cheap.  For starters you need a Sonos zonebridge currently retailing for between £70-90, a NAS drive of suitable capacity say another £90 minimum for 1TB.  Then you’ll need something to control the system with, you can go for the old Sonos CR100 which will cost you around £200, but realistically you’ll want the newest CR200 which is nearer £280.

Add that little lot together and you’re approaching £790, not forgetting this is only for single room audio, expensive isn’t it!

The bonus of course is that once you buy another S5 you then do have multi-room music but then for that privilege you’ve shelled out £1200.

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Filed under Music, Technology