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The Avantree DG80 USB Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

The Avantree DG80 USB Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

Hi everyone,

Today, I’ll show you the Avantree DG80 Bluetooth USB Audio Transmitter:

Avantree DG80 - 1

This is a Bluetooth adapter that works as a PC audio card. It transmits audio via Bluetooth using the SBC, FastStream, aptX, or aptX Low Latency codec, depending on which codecc your headphone or adapter supports. Having the aptX codec provides us with a better audio experience.

The aptX Low Latency codec allows us to watch movies and videos without any audio delay. Most Bluetooth receivers today support this codec and having a transmitter with it makes us take advantage of this.

Avantree DG80 - 2

Unboxing

The DG80 packaging is small and simple.

Avantree DG80 - 3

We can see the adapter along with its manual and documentation behind.

We can see the transmitter is really small.

Finally, we have the included documentation.

Avantree DG80 - 9

Package content:

Avantree DG80 - 10

Using the transmitter

Using this transmitter is as simple as plugging it into a USB port and going into pairing mode.

Avantree DG80 - 11

We can see Windows detects it as Avantree DG80.

Avantree DG80 Settings 2

The transmitter has a bit depth and sample rate of 16bit/48khz, which is common with these adapters.

Avantree DG80 Settings 3

I paired it with my Fiio BTR5 and we can see it is using the aptX Low Latency codec.

Avantree DG80 - 12

Here’s a video of the pairing process of the adapter:

Audio Quality

Becuase this transmitter uses a Qualcomm chipset, the sound quality is realy great, thanks to its support of the aptX and aptX Low Latency codecs.

Signal strength

Avantree claims the adapter will work up to 30 meters or 100 feet. This may be true unless there are some obstacles in the way. In my tests with the Whooshi adapter, known to have signal issues, I was able to listen to music while I was in the same room. However, going away I could hear the audio getting cut. If you’re looking for the best signal range, the Avantree DG60 is a better choice.

Conclusion

If you still do not have a USB Bluetooth audio transmitter, the Avantree DG80 is a good start. It’s small, portable, and cheap. It also supports the aptX and aptX Low Latency codecs to provide excellent audio quality.

Using the KZ aptX HD Bluetooth Cable and the TRN BT20 with the Hidizs Mermaid MS1/MS4

Using the KZ aptX HD Bluetooth Cable and the TRN BT20 with the Hidizs Mermaid MS1/MS4

Hi everyone,

Today, I recorded a video showing the new KZ aptX HD Bluetooth Cable and the TRN BT20 Bluetooth adapter with the Hidizs Mermaid MS1/MS4.

The reason of doing this video is to show how the KZ cable fits the Hidizs MS1/MS4 as the KZ cables comes in different pin flavors. And as for the TRN BT20, I just wanted to show how they look with it attached.

It’s nice to have a variety of Bluetooth adapters to use with these new IEMs which have an incredible sound.

You can watch the video below:

You can get these Bluetooth items as well as the IEMs using the following links:

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:

The Hidizs AP80 just got support for Sony’s LDAC bluetooth audio codec!

The Hidizs AP80 just got support for Sony’s LDAC bluetooth audio codec!

UPDATE 12/29/2018: Video here: https://moisescardona.me/hidizs-ap80-ldac-video

Hi everyone,

Today morning, it came to my attention that there was a new firmware update for the Hidizs AP80 Digital Audio player. I downloaded and installed it, and surprise! We have LDAC support now! This means that it can be used as an LDAC bluetooth receiver and should also work as a transmitted, altough I haven’t tested this mode yet.

To test the Hidizs AP80 LDAC functionality, I tried using my phone but for some reason it doesn’t work on either the HiBy R3 nor on the AP80. This may be a bug on the Samsung Android Pie beta software, or some sort of incompatibility in HiBy OS. Since this didn’t worked, I then proceeded to use my HiBy R3 as a transmitter and the Hidizs AP80 as as receiver. I logged in into Tidal in the R3 and tested the LDAC codec. It worked! Not only it worked, but the Sample Rate was also adjusted accordingly, meaning that standard 44.1Khz Tidal tracks will be transmitted and received at that very same sample rate. I also tested playing back one of a few Tidal albums that the R3 seems to decode in MQA and the sample rate again was adjusted to 88.2Khz

Here, you can see the HiBy R3 streaming a standard album and transmitting it via LDAC to the Hidizs AP80:

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Moises Cardona (@moisesmcardona) on

For my next test, I decided to plug in my R3 to my laptop and use Foobar2000 and Tidal in WASAPI mode. This makes the Hiby R3 a USB DAC -> Bluetooth transmitter. This also worked nicely:

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Moises Cardona (@moisesmcardona) on

Conclusion

I now have the perfect LDAC transmitter and receiver. There’s little delay, but the sound quality is better than using the standard SBC codec. Also it’s worth noting that when I used the HiBy R3 as a USB DAC and LDAC bluetooth transmitter in WASAPI mode, the sample rate was adjusted not only in the R3 but also in the Hidizs AP80, meaning if I’m using a sample rate of 44.1Khz in the PC, the same sample rate will be used in the Hiby R3 and Hidizs AP80. This is very convenient because there will be no downsampling performed. Also, the fact that the Hidizs AP80 also supports bidirectional USB, I could attach another DAC or Amp like the Hidizs DH1000 and enjoy high quality bluetooth sound.

The Genki Bluetooth Adapter for Nintendo Switch

The Genki Bluetooth Adapter for Nintendo Switch

Today, I’d like to show you the Genki Bluetooth Adapter specifically made for the Nintendo Switch. This was a Kickstarter Project that ran successfully. The Genki Bluetooth adapter is basically a USB-C Audio Device that converts the audio signal into Bluetooth and transmits it to your favorite headphones or Bluetooth receivers. Given that this is basically a USB-C adapter, this means that it is also compatible with PC’s and certain Android devices supporting USB-C audio devices.

Since the Nintendo Switch doesn’t currently allow the connection of Bluetooth audio devices, this comes very handy, as the latest Switch firmware adds support for USB Audio Devices. This adapter does its magic because it has a chip that converts the audio that the Switch transmits to this device into Bluetooth and therefore enables you to use your Bluetooth devices with your switch. It also has the benefit of using Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX Low Latency codecs, the latter which is a most to play without any noticeable audio lag. It also supports the AAC codec and of course, the standard SBC codec.

As to why you’d like to use this device on your Android phone or PC, there are several reasons. The first is that all of the pairings is done on the device, which means you don’t have to play with your phone or PC bluetooth settings, and the second reason is the inclusion of the aptX Low Latency codec, which, if you have an aptX Low Latency receiving device, you’ll be able to game or watch a video without any lip-sync or gaming audio issues.

I, as a backer of interesting products, backed this device and I’ll be showing this to you. Let’s start!

The first thing you’ll notice is how it comes packaged. It looks like if it’s a Nintendo Switch game:

Genki 1

You can see more details of the Genki on the back of the case:

Genki 2

Opening it has a familiar look to a real game case, but of course, the right side is adapted to hold the adapter along with the accessories:

Genki 3

On the left, you see the instructions of how to use this little device:

Genki 4

On the right, it’s the adapter and the accessories, similar to how you’ll find a Nintendo Switch game cart on this side:

Genki 5

The Genki adapter is very small, as you can see here:

Genki 6

It also comes with this Microphone to use it on compatible games:

Genki 7

And of course, you’re most interested in seeing this connected to the Nintendo Switch, so here it is!

Genki 8

And if you want to use the adapter in a PC, you’ll need a USB-A to USB-C adapter, and it would look like this:

Genki 9

Finally, Windows will recognize this as an Audio device, as you can see:

Genki 10

Now you can enjoy wireless audio with your USB-C devices, especially on your Switch!

Hope you enjoyed the photos!

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!

Unboxing and Overview of the Symphonized Hybrid Wireless/Wired High-Performance Headphones

Unboxing and Overview of the Symphonized Hybrid Wireless/Wired High-Performance Headphones

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’ll unbox the Symphonized Hybrid Wireless/Wired High-

Performance Headphones and give you an overview of the product.

Symphonized Hybrid - 1

As the name says, these headphones are hybrid, meaning they work either by Bluetooth connection or wired by connecting them with supplied AUX to MicroUSB cable.

Usually, you’ll find the ability to use the headphones either by Bluetooth or Wired in Over-The-Ear headphones, but not on In-Ear headphones. These ones do just that, so if the battery dies, or you prefer to listen to your music wired, then these headphones are perfect for you.

Symphonized Hybrid - 2
The cable that does the Wired-mode magic
Symphonized Hybrid - 3
Charging cable
Symphonized Hybrid - 4
The Headphones with no cables attached

These headphones were part of a Kickstarter campaign, and the shipping of it was pretty fast. Delivery was done in just 3 days!

The battery is stated to last 5 to 6 hours when continuously listening to music. I’m still testing them, as yesterday I started using them before charging them and then I started listening to music via the wired cable. Today, I started the day listening via Bluetooth.

Some things I’ve noticed of the headphones so far:

  1. The headphones MUST be turned off in order to use Wired-Mode. Otherwise, they make some noises.
  2. When charging, it also makes some noises if you turn them on.
  3. I believe this is because Symphonized decided to use the USB Data Lines as AUX Left/Right channel connections, so when you plug this into a computer to charge, it makes some noises, maybe due to “data transmission”.
  4. The AUX to Micro USB cable is only for listening to audio/music. The mic and control buttons will not work when using the headphones in wired mode.
  5. However, the concept is really good, and the sound is pretty awesome as well.

About the sound quality…

The box says the frequency response is 200Hz-8Khz. I’m assuming this is a typo, because the sound is very good, actually. You can hear everything from bass to mids to treble.

Symphonized Hybrid - 5

The headphones also make use of the APTX Audio Codec. I tested this by using my Avantree Leaf USB adapter, which, depending on the Audio Codec used, the adapter’s light either is blue, or orange, and flashes either one or two times. When it flashes orange one time, it means it is using APTX codec. If it’s orange and flashes two times, it is using APTX Low Latency codec. Thanks to that, I can prove it is using the plain APTX codec, so there’s no support for APT Low Latency, but the latency is not very noticeable, however.

These headphones make use of a CSR chipset. Specifically, the CSR8645 chip. CSR was acquired by Qualcomm in 2015, and they make quality Bluetooth chipsets. Because these headphones use a CSR chipset, you can expect spectacular audio quality, especially when paired with an APTX-enabled device.

Showing the sides of the box:

Overall, I’m enjoying these headphones a lot.

Symphonized Hybrid - 8
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.