Radial Engineering has developed the BT-Pro, 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.
- "It seems that today, Bluetooth wireless technology is everywhere," said Peter Janis, president at Radial. "You can connect your phone to your car, your laptop to your house, and tablet to your TV. It only makes sense that that Bluetooth wireless technology would hit the stage."
The BT-Pro is made from 14-gauge steel with an I-beam frame that eliminates 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 supply, either with a USB power adapter or a USB port from a laptop. Once powered, two top-mounted LEDs will toggle as it awaits paring. Turn on a Bluetooth device and its transceiver sends an initial pairing message to identify the BT-Pro. This will show up as Radial. A connection pass code is then used to initialize the connection. This safety feature ensures other nearby Bluetooth devices cannot "hijack" the system.
The BT-Pro audio signal path itself takes advantage of the latest Bluetooth wireless A2DP interface over 2.0 EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for higher speed transmission and 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 troubleshooting.