I readily admit that the technology I am about to describe is nothing new, or anything complicated, but I just wanted to explain how easy this was to set up and how it solved my problem for playing music.
So first, what was the problem? Well, I digitized all my vinyl and CDs some time ago and I have all of the music on my laptop. I have set up the music system in the new house with the amplifier attached to a DVD player, which will play CDs, the TV via the Sky box and a record deck (more about that later), but I do not play CDs very often and what I really wanted to do was play music off my laptop through the HiFi amplifier. Of course, I could buy a new computer dedicated to this job (an a small format system such at the Apple mini would be ideal, but that seemed a waste of money when I already have a laptop with the music on it! I did originally connect the laptop directly to the amplifier through a docking station, which was OK, but meant when music was playing I couldn’t work on the laptop – too inconvenient for me – so I needed a way to connect to the amplifier remotely. A quick search of eBay and Amazon led me to a Bluetooth solution available from Logitech.
This small device has both phone and mini-jack connectors and a simple Bluetooth connection system. It comes supplied with a small power supply and was very easy to set up. Connecting to the laptop was simply a matter of setting the laptop off to search for a new Bluetooth device, pressing the button on the Logitech Audio link and waiting for them to pair. Once paired I was able to connect the device to the spare Aux input of my amplifier and listen to music from the laptop on the HiFi speakers while working on the laptop (such as now while I write this Blog). Pairing each time I bring the laptop to the lounge is easy; although, sometimes needs two goes! In addition, I have paired it with my phone and I can listen to music from that! It should also work with iPad and iPhone etc. One advantage is that I no longer needed the choke filter I had been forced to use when connecting though the docking station and the sound quality is very good while I am in the same room – it falls off as I leave the lounge with the source. The Bluetooth receiver sits nicely on top of the HiFi amplifier and is very unobtrusive.
So, all-in-all a very good buy, which solved my simple audio problem!
Update – January 2016:
The passage of time always leads to greater demands on equipment and I have recently realised that I would like to routinely play music from more than one source (phone, PC or tablet) through my HiFi system. This has led me to an “upgrade” of the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receiver Adapter to the latest version, which pairs with two devices and remembers them. This makes life a lot easier as I can now play music from my phone or my PC depending which I have with me. The new version of the adapter is much smaller than the original and could be easily hidden away if you don’t want it on show, but you do need access to the tip button for pairing with new devices. The charger was also much smaller, but I actually just plugged it onto the lead from the old charger (mercifully the same type of plug is used) and also just plugged in the same audio jack to the HiFi. All is working well and the sound level is slightly better from this adapter (or at least it appears to be so to me), however, I did find I had to reboot the tablet to get it to connect to the Bluetooth, but after that no problems.
So far so good, I will come back with more information shortly.