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GadgeTell Review: Amped Wireless BTSA1 Bluetooth Adapter

Sections: Accessories, Accessories, Audio, Communications, Computers, Home Audio, Mobile, Reviews, Smartphones, Speakers, Wireless

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Although the number of Bluetooth speakers grows each month, there are so many more non-wireless speakers on the market. Many of these, arguably, present better and more detailed sound quality than some of the newer generations. It’s a shame to think that an excellent speaker could be considered obsolete simply due to the lack of wireless to complement the surge of mobile trends.

Instead of replacing a speaker, you might consider upgrading it with Bluetooth wireless like I have. My old Kicker IK500 speaker sits upstairs, and when cranked all the way up fills the entire house with music. Solution? A Bluetooth wireless adapter, but one that is powerful enough to maintain a strong signal through a wall and a floor.

Design

The Amped Wireless BTSA1 Long Range Bluetooth Speaker Adapter looks like a miniature version of a wireless router. One can even qualify it as cute, like if a pair of routers made a baby one that sits in your palm, rubberized feet and all.

Amped Wireless BTSA1 Bluetooth Adapter front

So mini!

Not only does the compact size make it easy to hide, it’s very portable too. With the power and audio cables wrapped up, I can fit in one of my backpack’s internal pockets. It’ll also cram in a cargo pants pocket, if I really needed it to.

Plug in the power, attach the antenna, and connect the cables to the desired output speaker and you’re pretty much set to go. I’ve had no problem pairing it with my Android devices and Windows 8 laptop. The device is built well overall, and doesn’t have loose or wiggly parts (except the antenna).

Wireless Connectivity

Despite the diminutive size, the Amped Wireless BTSA1 packs some serious wireless power. I’ve had the signal punch through floors, interior walls, exterior walls, and even people without a single flutter. It seems to easy to forget it exists, because it just works, and smoothly at that.

Amped Wireless BTSA1 Bluetooth Adapter cables

Comes with great cables

Most Bluetooth-enabled speakers are typically good for 10 to 15 feet of range before the connection starts to break. Yet even within this area, many devices tend to skip or have intermittent blips in the music playback.

It’s a common thing with weaker Bluetooth components. Through the entire time I’ve had the Amped Wireless BTSA1 actively running, I don’t think I can remember it skipping even once.

But lets just say it did skip a few times, total, and I missed them. It’s still totally acceptable.

Of course, the big selling feature of this Bluetooth adapter is the range. I’m used to devices claiming range of up to 30 feet, yet effective for only a half or a third that amount at best. As soon as my music starts to cut out, that distance is what I consider as “max range”. The range of the Amped Wireless BTSA1? No joke!

Amped Wireless BTSA1 Bluetooth Adapter ports

Back side connections

The BTSA1 can maintain a faithful connection, no matter where I wander in my 2-story 1600 square foot home. The adapter handles multiple walls and floors like a champ. I can even venture into the garage, which is an abattoir for wireless signals due to all the concrete and brick.

I’ve been able to walk my smartphone about 46 feet away from the BTSA1 and speaker before the connection starts to break. This signal is also passing through one exterior wall as well; it’s very impressive, to say the least. If the wireless adapter and speaker sit on my back patio, I can almost reach all the edges of my quarter-acre lot without losing the signal.

When the connection breaks, it’s a sharp drop too. One step extra can make the difference between streaming music to nothing at all. There’s no lingering trail of partial connection to deal with.

Amped Wireless BTSA1 Bluetooth Adapter angle

Looks great, works better

What I really like about the Amped Wireless BTSA1 is how quickly it responds and comes out of standby mode.

It stays on while plugged in, and takes me no more than six seconds to wake up and play. Once the adapter is no longer in use, it reverts back to standby.

I’ve streamed music from my personal libraries as well as through Pandora, and everything sounds great connected to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This is due to the aptX compatibility between my smartphone and the BTSA1, which helps to maintain the audio quality through Bluetooth.

The adapter can only be attached to one device at a time, but it’s not a big deal to switch back and forth between multiple ones if necessary.

Verdict

Although the Amped Wireless BTSA1 Long Range Bluetooth Speaker Adapter may be intended to provide Bluetooth connectivity to speakers without, it works just as well for those with. There are a lot of great speakers out there, but sometimes their Bluetooth range just doesn’t cut it.

The BTSA1 adapter is compact, easy to use, and performs solidly. Whether it’s for home or office purposes, this device goes the distance (pun intended) through walls, floors, and fleshy bodies with determination. The audio playback quality is great, with rare (if ever) interruptions. What more could one ask for?

When it comes to the Amped Wireless BTSA1’s performance versus price, I feel it’s worth it. Although it may cost a little more than some of the competition, you won’t have to worry about connectivity issues or inferiority. If you want peace of mind and long range Bluetooth power, the BTSA1 does the trick.

 

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