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Category: Bluetooth receivers

The TRN BT20 2-pin 0.78mm IEM Bluetooth Adapter

The TRN BT20 2-pin 0.78mm IEM Bluetooth Adapter

Hi everyone,

Today, I’ll be reviewing the TRN BT20 Bluetooth adapter for 2-pin In-Ear Monitors (IEM):

TRN BT20 1
TRN BT20 1

The TRN BT20 is a Bluetooth 5.0 adapter that is available in 3 different versions:

  • 2-pin 0.75mm
  • 2-pin 0.78mm
  • MMCX

The version I purchased is the 2-pin 0.78mm for my KZ ZS7 IEM’s.

The adapter syncs together to bring you stereo sound. It uses a Realtek Bluetooth 5.0 SoC that while it is not specified which specific chipset it’s being used, I suspect it may be using the Realtek RTL8763B.

Because of it using a Realtek chipset, it doesn’t support the aptX audio codec, but it does support AAC along with SBC. This means that when paired with an iPhone or Android device, it should use AAC instead of SBC, and for backward compatibility, the SBC codec will be chosen if a device lacks the AAC codec.

Packaging

The packaging is very simple, as can be seen in the following images:

Here, you can see the sides:

And here you can see the back:

TRN BT20 3
TRN BT20 3

To open it, you have to slide the box outside:

TRN BT20 5
TRN BT20 5

Opening the box, both pieces of the TRN BT20 are revealed:

TRN BT20 6
TRN BT20 6

As you can see, they are very well protected and can be easily taken out:

TRN BT20 11
TRN BT20 11

Continuing unboxing the box, we need to take out the cable and manuals which are after taking out the following:

TRN BT20 7
TRN BT20 7

There’s a Micro USB Y-Cable that allows us to charge both Bluetooth pieces at the same time:

TRN BT20 8
TRN BT20 8
TRN BT20 18
TRN BT20 18
TRN BT20 19
TRN BT20 19

Finally, we have the manual, warranty card, and the card that says it passed quality checks:

TRN BT20 9
TRN BT20 9
TRN BT20 10
TRN BT20 10

Using the TRN BT20 with the KZ ZS7

I was using my KZ ZS7 IEMs with a Revonext 3.5mm 3-button cable before using this TRN BT20 Bluetooth adapter.

TRN BT20 12
TRN BT20 12

I removed the IEM from the cable so that I can plug them in the adapters:

TRN BT20 13
TRN BT20 13

Plugging them was straightforward and they are tightly attached:

TRN BT20 14
TRN BT20 14

Fitting

This is a part where these don’t work well with my ears and the KZ ZS7.

This adapter is supposed to be hanged behind the ears:

TRN BT20 15
TRN BT20 15

Unfortunately, My KZ ZS7 doesn’t get sealed in my ear and the TRN BT20 pushes them out, so I’m using them without hanging them behind my ears:

They are not heavy and now my KZ ZS7 seals fine in my ears. I think if TRN releases a version of the BT20 with a larger ear hook, then they may fit better. Otherwise, I don’t have a problem using them this way.

Pairing

Pairing the TRN BT20 with my phone was extremely easy. You just turn it on and it will enter in pairing mode automatically. From there, you can choose it in your phone and it will pair:

TRN BT20 Pairing
TRN BT20 Pairing

Charging

I haven’t yet discharged the TRN BT20 battery entirely, as I don’t listen to music at loud volumes. My Android phone reports 50% of battery left after about 3 hours of continuous usage. The volume is set around 1/4 of the slider and that produces a comfortable audio level to my liking. Past it, and it’s too loud. As mentioned above, the TRN BT20 supports the AAC audio codec which my phone is using. Because of this, charging normally takes around 45 minutes (Remember I have not discharged this completely). I’m not using the supplied cable to charge them. Rather, I’m using the UGREEN Micro USB Y cable:

TRN BT20 20
TRN BT20 20

There’s one side that will always charge faster because one side acts as a receiver while the other is receiving and transmitting the audio to the other BT20 side. I have paired the left adapter to my phone so that one takes a couple of more minutes to finish charging.

Audio Quality

I’m actually surprised by the quality of these. I think, personally, that the TRN BT20 has an advantage given that it uses a Realtek SoC on both sides. This means each side is decoding its own audio channel. This is similar to how balanced DACs work, in that each DAC decodes a specific channel. This has the advantage of improving the sound stage and channel separation. That’s exactly what I’m experiencing with the TRN BT20. The tonality is just awesome.

Because each side is decoding their own corresponding audio channel, I feel this improves the sound separation much like how balanced DACs work, except that there are no cables around.

It’s true that the TRN BT20 doesn’t support aptX nor LDAC, but given its ability to decode AAC, the audio quality is of very good quality. Even using the SBC codec, I find the quality to be amazing.

TRN BT20 AAC codec
TRN BT20 AAC codec with my Samsung Galaxy S9+

There’s a bit of a hiss when used with sensitive IEM’s, but it’s way less than other Bluetooth adapters, especially those that are not using dedicated audio DAC’s in their implementations. The sound quality is not degraded because of this, but I’m sure some may not like the hissing.

Overall, I’m pleased with the sound quality, and I’m using this Bluetooth adapter rather than my USB DACs with their cables.

Compatibility

I’ve been using the TRN BT20 with my Samsung Galaxy S9+, where it uses the AAC audio codec. The sound quality is excellent.

I also tested this with my HiBy R3 and Hidizs AP80 which I use as a DAC and Bluetooth transmitter to transmit my PC audio to the BT20. In this case, the SBC codec is used, as Hiby OS does not support transmitting AAC audio yet, although HiBy replied to a comment saying they may add this in a future firmware.

TRN BT20 21
Hidizs AP80 using in DAC mode and transmitting audio via Bluetooth

I normally set the volume between 7 to 13. Going up, it is too loud.

The only problem I found is that when using some Qualcomm transmitters with Windows, the volume will be extremely loud.

Conclusion

At around $33-34 on Amazon, you can’t go wrong with the TRN BT20. They do not have aptX, but their ability to decode AAC means the audio quality is not compromised.

The use of Realtek on both sides means each side decodes their own channel audio, which can improve the sound separation and sound stage.

There’s a bit of hissing which could be distracting for some, but it’s not very noticeable compared to other adapters.

The battery life is great and will last some hours. Charging should take at maximum 2 hours, but it charges in way less than that, having a 70mAh battery on each side, and charging at about 50mAh, it should take about an hour and a few minutes.

Unfortunately, it’s the fitting that didn’t work for me, but this part is one that depends on the IEM’s being used and your ears.

I’d rate this 4 out of 5, that last star being because of it not playing nice with my ears.

You can get the TRN BT20 on Amazon. Select the version that is compatible with your IEMs:

Unboxing and overview of PLUB: Bluetooth Headphone Adapter

Unboxing and overview of PLUB: Bluetooth Headphone Adapter

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’ll show you a video of me unboxing the PLUB, which is a Bluetooth Headphone Adapter.

The Bluetooth adapter features Qualcomm aptX audio codec, so the audio quality is really good compared to the plain old SBC. The way you use this is simply by connecting a headphone/earphone to it.

The adapter also features no buttons except for the Reset one and that’s it. No power up, volume, or multi-function buttons are there. So you may wonder, how does it turn on?

The PLUB works entirely by using your headphone buttons. Just plug it in, and it will power on. Once it’s powered on, you use the headphone buttons to control your device. For example, to change the volume, you just press the headphone volume buttons as you normally would do. To play music, you just press the function button of the headphones. The PLUB effectively recognizes these signals and sends the commands to your devices.

There’s also no USB connection. Then, how do you charge it? Using the same 3.5mm jack! Yup, the PLUB comes with a USB to 3.5mm similar to how the iPod Shuffle would charge. Just plug the 3.5mm into the PLUB and connect the USB cable and let it charge. You can track the progress by checking the LED color.

Yesterday, I received the PLUB in the mail, and you guess what I first did: The Unboxing video.

You can watch it here:

Overall, I’m very satisfied with this device.

I’ll see if I make another video demonstrating how it works because it’s really a simple device and I really like it due to its simplicity.

Hope you enjoyed this video!

The new and improved Avantree Clipper Pro (Batch 17F1)

The new and improved Avantree Clipper Pro (Batch 17F1)

Hi everyone,

Today, I’ll talk about the new batch of the Avantree Clipper Pro:

Avantree Clipper Pro 3rd revision - 1

The Avantree Clipper Pro is an aptX Low Latency-enabled Bluetooth adapter that turns wired headphones into wireless bluetooth.

As a tester of Avantree, I get products from the company to evaluate and give feedback, and this time, they kindly sent me this revision, 17F1.

New to this batch is new voice notifications, replacing the power on, pairing, and power off beeps and the volume buttons no longer have any delay (the previous revisions had a 1-second delay when pressing the buttons). Yay!

The general functionality of this adapter remains the same as it can be read in my initial review of this item.

Here are some of the previous revisions with the left one being the new one:

Avantree Clipper Pro 3rd revision - 2

Yes, this is my 3rd revision, but I’m glad being part of the Avantree testers program to give them feedback and help them improve their products.

Do I recommend this item? DEFINITELY

You can buy one on Amazon here.

Avantree Clipper Pro Wireless Receiver/Adapter for Headphones Review

Avantree Clipper Pro Wireless Receiver/Adapter for Headphones Review

The Avantree Clipper Pro is a Bluetooth adapter where you connect your headphones to it to turn them into Bluetooth. It is an amazing adapter because there are still some really good headphones that are only available wired, or they also have Bluetooth connectivity but lacks the aptX audio codec which this Bluetooth adapter has. It has aptX and aptX Low Latency codecs, so when watching videos, as long as the device you’re using also supports the aptX Low Latency codec, you will not notice lip-syncing issues. Otherwise, the adapter will work only in aptX mode or in SBC mode. This adapter is also Bluetooth v4.2!

I use this adapter with my JBL Synchros S200, which are by far my favorite in-ear headphones, having tried other headphone brands and me not satisfied with the sound, I decided to get this Bluetooth adapter to turn the S200 into Bluetooth.

Avantree Clipper Pro connected to the JBL Synchros S200
Avantree Clipper Pro connected to the JBL Synchros S200

Before I got the Avantree Clipper Pro, I previously owned the Jabees IS901 both the v3.0 and the v4.1 versions. Of those 2, the v3.0 sounded a little better than the v4.1. Unfortunately, I lost it at the airport. I think I left it in the airplane while I was picking up my carry-on baggage, so I decided to buy the newest model, the Jabees IS901 v4.1. It has to be noted that the v3.0 model was accidentally dropped into a cup filled with Sprite/7up and it survived XD. I really liked that model, but it was replaced with the v4.1 version… So the Jabees v4.1 arrived and it was an “improvement” from the v3.0. Now the Jabees IS901 v4.1 talks, saying “Power On”, “Pairing”, “Maximum Volume” and lots of more messages, but unfortunately, it didn’t last long. First, the 3.5mm headphone jack became bad, so I dismounted the adapter attempting to fix it, and I did! The audio was fixed, but a few days later, the battery suddenly died. It would only work when the Jabees IS901 v4.1 was connected to the micro-USB cable, so I got rid of the now non-functional Jabees IS901. (Jabees, if you’re reading this, I still like your products 🙂 Don’t take it personally)

After looking up on Amazon for other Bluetooth Adapters, that’s where I noticed the Avantree Clipper Pro, and the aptX Low Latency codec, along with the Usable when Charging feature were the factors that made me get this, as the Jabees IS901 would disconnect and turn off when I plugged in the charger. The Avantree Clipper Pro doesn’t have this issue. Yay! The battery should last up to 6 hours but I’ve still haven’t got the low battery warning after continuously listening to music.

Pairing the adapter was as simple as pressing the MFB button for a few seconds, and I paired it with my 2 phones, a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which should have the aptX codec, and the Blu R1 HD, which doesn’t mention the aptX codec anywhere and is unlikely that it has the codec. In both cases, the sound came beautifully, almost like if I were listening to the music completely wired, with no noticeable quality loss. I then paired this with my Windows 10 computer (which, according to Microsoft, has the aptX codec) and started listening to Music CD (yes, I still buy Music CD and have a beautiful Music CD collection 🙂 ). Wow!!! I must say, I’m really impressed with this adapter! The sound was also excellent with no noticeable quality loss.

My Music CD collection
My Music CD collection

Oh, and did I mention that when you plug this adapter into your PC by using a Micro USB cable that passes data (the Micro USB cable that comes with this Bluetooth Adapter is just a charging cable) you can use this as a wired USB audio device? Yes! You read that well! Basically this is a 2-in-1 product. It works as a Bluetooth adapter or you can plug this in your PC and it will work as a USB Audio Output device. Nice bonus!

Avantree Clipper Pro in USB-DAC mode
Avantree Clipper Pro in USB-DAC mode

Here you can see the Avantree Clipper Pro when connected in Bluetooth and with USB. When you connect the Clipper Pro with a Micro USB cable, it will show as CSRA64215 USB Headset and you can disable the Bluetooth in your PC and continue to listen to music or watching movies just using a USB cable.

So, my thoughts on this adapter in a few words: Get it! This is a very simple adapter that delivers CD-like quality thanks to its aptX and aptX Low Latency codec, is usable while charging, and works as a USB Audio Adapter as well. If you have a pair of headphones you like so much and you haven’t found a Bluetooth equivalent for them, give this adapter a try and you’ll not be disappointed.

You can get this adapter on the following link:

Here is my Unboxing video of this adapter. Hope you like it!

NOTE: This is my honest review and I wasn’t paid nor was sent this adapter for free to write this review. I usually buy new stuff on Amazon to make unboxing videos and write reviews.