First announced at the end of last year and on show at NAMM 2016, Radial’s Bluetooth Direct Box is now shipping. Bluetooth technology isn’t normally associated with pro applications, but if anyone was going to offer a solution to ‘go-pro’, then Radial would be top of the list.
There’s probably more demand for this unit in a live sound scenario, where we’ve already seen some manufacturers offering complete solutions via active PA speakers with Bluetooth connectivity. In the studio however, this could also prove to be the ideal solution for those wanting to record the ever-growing synths and music apps available for iPads and mobile devices.
I’m not entirely sure if I’d recommend using a Bluetooth device for any mission critical applications, but wherever we can cut down on the amount of cables we use has got to be a good thing. However, as expected Radial have done everything they can to ensure this systems reliability. With a line of sight between the paired devices, Radial state that the connection will hold for up to 12 meters. They’ve also employed a connection code that’s required when pairing to minimise other nearby Bluetooth devices from ‘polluting or hijacking’ the system.
Being a Radial product, we can be sure the audio quality is top notch. Along with Radial’s tried and tested electronics for supplying +4db balanced outputs, the BT-Pro also sports the latest Bluetooth wireless A2DP interface over 2.0 EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). This offers a high-speed connection to retain the best audio quality. Power is supplied to the unit via a mini USB port. Although this is probably fine for most scenarios, and in many situations an ideal way to power the device, I can’t help but think it isn’t the most secure. Wouldn’t an XLR input for supplying phantom power only (no signal), have been a far more secure and reliable connection? USB connections come with such a variety of power ratings as it is.
The recommended retail price of 229.99 USD is certainly in-line with the Radial product line, and I don’t dispute the quality this device is likely to offer. However, is this too much for a ‘quick’ plug and play Bluetooth connection, which in most situations won’t play a vital role in any project?
More Information: http://www.radialeng.com/btpro.php