Bluetooth Receiver vs. Wireless Speakers
Customers occasionally write to ask questions about the differences between our B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver and our Wireless Powered Speakers. Usually the questions go something like…
“Do I really NEED your complete speaker system or just the B1 receiver?”
“Is one product easier to use than the other?”
“Are there differences in sound quality between the B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver and your Audioengine Wireless Speakers?”
…and there have been plenty more questions that come along with those — but have no fear, today we are here to hopefully clear this up!
First off, you should have some peace of mind knowing that no matter which solution you choose, we absolutely guarantee your satisfaction. Apart from that you might be wondering which option is going to best suit your needs — reasonable enough, so let’s talk about it…
Do I really NEED the entire system or can I get away with just the B1?
Audioengine wireless speakers are powered music systems that implement cutting edge Bluetooth aptX-HD to deliver high-fidelity long-range wireless from any device.
The B1 Bluetooth Receiver also offers the same aptX-HD technology; the only difference being that B1 does not have built-in speakers, so you will still need speakers to hear your music.
Now, customers sometimes say “I already have a different brand of powered speakers that I LOVE, I just want to make them wireless.” If this is the case, you can use B1 to turn your current non-wireless music system into some super-rockin’ wireless speakers. Or maybe you have an older pair of Audioengine speakers that you bought before we made our speakers wireless — here again, the B1 is a great solution! You just need to make sure, no matter what system you have, that you have the proper inputs — RCA-style inputs work the best, or even an optical audio input if your gear has one.
Is one solution more user-friendly than the other?
Hey, great question — glad you asked! This one is a bit subjective and depends on how many components you want in your setup.
The simple fact is if you have Audioengine wireless speakers you will have the easiest setup under the sun. All you have to do is connect your speakers to power, connect the left speaker to the right, find the speakers in your phone or tablet’s list of available Bluetooth devices and BOOM, you’re done! Think of it as if the B1 Bluetooth receiver is built into Audioengine speakers.
On the other hand, if you are using a pair of non-wireless speakers and you want to make them Bluetooth compatible by using our B1 Receiver, you will need to add B1 to your setup, but in all actuality the B1 itself is just as easy to use as the speakers. Long story long, if you love your current speakers and aren’t ready to make the switch, adding the B1 is still an extremely user-friendly option and you will be up and running with great-sounding wireless audio in no time flat.
Are there differences in sound quality between the B1 and the Wireless Speakers?
This is the only moment in this article where things might teeter on the brink of being controversial.
Audioengine’s Wireless speakers guarantee immaculate and highly satisfying sound quality, which is hard to beat. The B1 offers aptX-HD Bluetooth with 24-bit upsampling (which are the exact same Bluetooth specs as our wireless speakers), so the audio being SENT from your devices to the B1 is no different than the audio being SENT from your device to Audioengine’s Wireless Speakers; however, the B1 itself doesn’t have any speakers, so it has to rely on whatever speakers it is connected to. This is the only point at which your sound quality COULD suffer.
So let’s say you are sending the highest quality audio file from your laptop to the B1 Bluetooth Receiver. The B1 takes that super-high-quality file and handles it with such great care you may not be able to tell whether it was wireless or not…BUT, if you have your B1 connected to a crappy pair of speakers, guess what? No matter how pristine that audio file was, and no matter how skillfully the B1 handles that file, crappy speakers are going to make that audio sound crappy. BUT, if you are using the B1 to send audio to a pair of really great speakers that you love, the B1 will absolutely deliver the highest quality audio possible via Bluetooth, and it will do so with an extended range so you can bounce around the house and not worry about dropouts or inferior audio quality.
This was a ton of information so here’s a quick recap and summary…
The Bluetooth capability of Audioengine’s Wireless Speakers and the B1 is exactly the same. If you love your current speakers and aren’t ready to change brands, don’t sweat it, the B1 will give you beautiful wireless audio all the same. BUT, if you are looking to be truly reinvigorated by your music, you definitely need to try Audioengine’s Wireless speakers to take advantage of both our highly advanced Bluetooth technology and our unparalleled listening experience.