Audioengine B1 Bluetooth - Really Surprised


For those of you who enjoy casual listening, and minimizing either financial outlay or the number of components it takes to get great sound, this post is for you.

I picked up the Audioengine B1 Bluetooth receiver to plug into our living room system, just sort of out of curiosity to see how simple I could make it for when my wife wants to use the system, or when we just want to listen to Spotify without wires across the living room. What a great little device - it never drops signal, and it sounds fantastic. And this post isn't specifically an endorsement of the B1 (or of Spotify specifically) as much as an endorsement of the idea of the B1 - from what I've read many of the Bluetooth devices from $100-250 all sound nice, with just differences in connections, signal range, etc. so you can pick your favorite brand and do the same thing.

The cool part is the simplicity it allows - with only three components...

- Speakers
- Integrated Amp
- Bluetooth Receiver/Dac (analog out into the integrated)

...not including the iPhone/Android/iPad which most people have anyway, you can listen to millions of songs without wires, without leaving the couch, and with sound quality that will probably surprise many others like it surprised me.

We'll play Scrabble and make it a game of musical-torture - whoever wins the round gets to pick the song and "torture" the other (I'll pick '70s AM-Gold love songs, she'll pick Nine Inch Nails) - but that would be tedious with CDs. With Spotify on the iPad, we can pick songs in seconds, no wires, the signal never drops, and it sounds much better than I expected.

I went into it with an "I'll just return this when I discover how limited it is" mentality, so this was a cool discovery for us, and definitely a keeper. Not that changing CDs (or LPs) is all that difficult, but being able to pick from 20 million songs using my iPad while planted comfortably on the couch, and without any wires, is really fun and I wish I'd tried it sooner.
Bae07185 77e2 4002 80d8 1cd5774ecefdbcgator
@Eddaytona, that's a fantastic setup you have - congrats on some really sweet equipment. Let me ask you, since you've taken your system much farther than I've taken mine, so your experience interests me...has it been more a case of overlooking the sound quality difference in exchange for convenient and quick access to music, OR have you found that having really great front-end equipment around the B1 has compensated for the lack of resolution of streaming sources and you don't find yourself missing full-resolution? (I'm thinking along the lines of lossy streaming through great speakers sounding better than lossless through mediocre speakers, that sort of question)

(side note - looks like Mattmiller's posts have all been deleted, I'm guessing for prohibited language. He seemed truly offended that people were so quickly and easily enjoying a $189 device given the time and money he'd spent on his own system. I hope he sees Eddaytona's post)
Hi
To answer you question. Each format
has it's place. Sometimes I want to
get really deep into the music so I
go to my vinyl. Sometimes I want to
be there with the music but not be
so involved so I go cd. I love the
ease of my iPod and think it sounds
great in lossless through it's dac
so I'm down for that. Also the Apple
store is so tempting
With streaming over the Audio
engine; it sounds really good and
for chilling out and finding music
you didn't know was out there. For
example I'm waiting for dinner right
now and streaming a band called
Pretty Lights that my niece likes. I
wouldn't have considered or known or
ever heard them if not for
streaming.
I hope that kinda answers your
question
All the best on this July 4th.
..haven't been around here in a good while..listening to music I guess..

Anyway..I thought I'd toss in my 2 cents on the Audioengine B1.  I searched A-gon for a smartphone-bluetooth-Pandora input to my system solution and arrived at this thread.  I've since picked up a B1 and having it running through my Paradisea + DAC via an optical cable.  Install and hookup was a no-brainer..2 minutes. 

Very Nice!  I'm really surprised just how good it sounds.  Bluetooth, and the nearly free world it opens up in identifying new music to take a harder listen to..best investment I've made in a while!

An Alison Krauss I hadn't heard is playing now...lovin it. 

Thanks to bcgator for starting this thread/review. 
Thanks for posting fishboat, glad to hear the B1 worked out for you and that my original post was helpful.   Sounds like you're enjoying the same thing I am - it is so cool being able to instantly queue up millions of songs, right from the smartphone, and discovering new genres, bands, songs.   Thanks to the B1 and Spotify I've had more fun with music this year than any other time in my life.  There's so much great music out there that I hadn't discovered, especially the lesser-known independent artists.   There are times when I want to listen critically, but most of the time I just want to explore the world of music and have fun.
Just curious if anyone tried upgrading the interconnects that came with the unit to something more robust (for lack of a better term) and what were the results.  Heavy interconnects obviously won't work due to the size / weight of the unit.