Radial Engineering Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, is now shipping the BT-Pro ($229.99 MAP), a Bluetooth direct box designed to capture the wireless transmission from a Bluetooth enabled device and convert the signal to a balanced line for use in a P.A. system.
The BT-Pro is made from 14-gauge steel with an I-beam frame that the company says makes it impossible to torque the sensitive PC board, eliminating outside stress and the chance of solder joints going cold. A book-end cover creates protective zones at each end that keep the volume knob, switches and connectors out of harm's way.
The BT-Pro is powered by an external power supply, either with a USB power adapter or a USB port from a laptop. Two top-mounted LEDs will toggle as it awaits paring. Turn on a Bluetooth device and it will identify the BT-Pro as 'Radial Eng' in the Bluetooth devices menu. A connection pass code is then used to initialize the connection. This important safety feature ensures other nearby Bluetooth devices cannot "pollute or hijack" the system, according to Radial Engineering. Once paired, the BT-Pro's blue LED will flash every three seconds to let users know the two Bluetooth devices are talking to each other.
The BT-Pro audio signal path takes advantage of the latest Bluetooth wireless A2DP interface over 2.0 EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for higher speed transmission and best audio quality. This employs a 16-bit wireless compressed format with the actual bit rate determined by the source material. Inside, the BT-Pro converts the data to a stereo analog signal, producing up to +4dB at the output. The signal level is controlled by a front panel potentiometer that is shared with the built-in headphone amp. This features a standard 3.5mm mini TRS and is used for trouble shooting. For greater flexibility, a stereo-to-mono switch is provided that sums the input for dual-mono operation to reduce input requirements on the mixer or split the signal to the P.A. and monitors.
Should noise be encountered, two side-mounted switches insert isolation transformers into the signal path. This is supplemented by a ground lift switch for the XLRs to further help eliminate ground loops.
Find more information at www.radialeng.com/btpro.php.