Life Offline: Bluetake Hi-PHONO BT460EX Bluetooth Hi-Fi Audio Station Kit

The Pitch & Product

BLUETAKE Hi-PHONO Bluetooth Hi-Fi Audio Station Kit
SummaryBluetooth wireless stereo audio extension kit. Includes tranmitter, receiver, power amp and all cables.
Pros• Pretty much everything you need is included
• Easy setup
• Surprisingly good amplifier
Cons• Audio delay makes it unusable for rear-speaker applications
• Prone to interference from 2.4 GHz phones and wireless networks

Manufacturers keep hanging in with Bluetooth, trying to replace as many of those pesky cables as they can at prices that consumers will go for. Bluetake makes a line of Bluetooth-based cable-replacement products, some digital and some audio. They recently asked me to try their Hi-PHONO BT460EX Bluetooth Hi-Fi Audio Station Kit, which uses Bluetooth as the connection medium to (among other uses) eliminate the wires to a pair of rear-channel speakers in a home theatre setup.

The kit is very complete, with a transmitter (they call it a tranceiver), receiver, small power amp, three power warts and all the cables (yup, still plenty of cables!) you need to connect it all together. Figures 1 and 2 give you an idea of everything that comes neatly packed in the kit.

Figure 1: A chock-full box of stuff!

Figure 2: The contents

Setup is pretty intuitive, with the only time I needed the printed manual (in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian no less!) was to figure out the Pairing function, which gets the transmitter and receiver linked. There's no software involved in the Pairing process, just a button press on either unit and waiting until the requisite blue light stops blinking.

Fit and finish is ok, but not exceptional, with the worst looking component being the power amplifier. For some reason Bluetake chose to cover the sides of this component with a flocked black covering instead of the hard black plastic used in the receiver and transmitter. Not a big deal, however, since everything will probably be tucked out of sight in most uses anyway.