The Hi-Fi + Hi-Res Audiophiles' Bluetooth Headphone Adapter Thread - [17.Oct.21] iFi GO Blu impression added
Jun 21, 2019 at 10:59 PM Post #31 of 1,195

ClieOS

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Tempotec Blue impression added to 2nd post.
 
Jun 26, 2019 at 9:09 PM Post #32 of 1,195

pstickne

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My W5 thoughts:

- Pleasing sounds when paired with K10U and Spiral Dot tips; ‘gentle yet full mids’; may be too laid back with some IEMs; does not go for reference. Subjectively, SQ preference: W5 > iPhone 6 SE line out >= ES100. (I am really not a fan of the ES100 mids in my setup.)

- Touch input ‘less user
friendly’ than even the awful ES100 controls. Very hard to even clip on without at least stop/pausing. Can’t really be kept in pocket as movement will trigger the touch controls. Can lock touch in (iOS) app, but not from the device itself, mostly defeating the purpose - maybe an auto-lock feature?

- Can’t control volume directly from device. Volume level steps from iPhone rather large, even with volume sensitivity setting on max.

- Clip stays on belt, when upright, even though it seems like it shouldn’t. 2 extra clips in box: these things are probably easy to lose.

- ‘20 hour battery’ only with mothership pod. Doesn’t official support playback while charging due to design. The device doesn’t “stop” such usages though and one can angle in the receiver while charging. Case mods? Impact on battery life?

- Medicore app compared to ES100. Even discounting feature differences, the ES100 app feels more ‘grown up’ and polished.

- Stuttering (very infrequent, maybe once every 4 hours) on opposite-side-of-body although has about 20ft line-of-site range (15ft with a corner wall) before appearing to lose signal. I don’t recall the ES100 ever stuttering when really close to paired device.

- “Find W5” feature in app should be more common..
 
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Jun 26, 2019 at 9:30 PM Post #33 of 1,195

pstickne

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Car do act somewhat like a Faraday cage and actually help to reduce outside interference.



As said on the first post, it has to support minimum 24bit (aptX-HD, LDAC, LHDC, UAT) otherwise it can't be considered hi-res / HD. Also the ability to take call otherwise it is more of a Bluetooth DAC/amp and not a headphone adapter.

Standalone, battery size / life + runtime is less than useful information since it has to be interpreted with actual usage / load / output power and testing condition. Power output is troublesome as testing with THD+N @ 1% (*a common international practice) or @ 10% (*Japanese standard) will give dramatical different result. Testing with different codec also plays major role in runtime as SBC vs. LDAC is going to have very different runtime even on the same device. Unless these devices are tested all in relatively similar condition, spec like battery size/life and output power really don't make for good comparative reference, thus I do not include them in the list.
AAC (from an Apple device such as an iPhone or other good-AAC coding source) is enough to be “Hi-Res”, insofar as actual “SS” goes (see accuracy vs precision, eg). It is just not in the current marketing train with big flashy numbers, and Android AAC implementations are inconsistent at best. However, AAC is a very transmission-efficient codec with high use of psychoacoustics so many ‘high numbers’ can be misleading.

Also, not really sure how one can apples-to-apples “count” 24-bit over a lossy non-PCM coding (of any kind). Could also devolve into the different LDAC profiles..

As iPhone only supports AAC (ignoring SBC), and AAC is arguably still ‘on par’ with aptX HD, I recommend AAC support is also a requirement. Again, only in support of iPhone/Apple usage; Android should use a codec that is ‘better supported’ on that stack.
:shrug:
 
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Jun 26, 2019 at 10:09 PM Post #34 of 1,195

ClieOS

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AAC (from an Apple device such as an iPhone or other good-AAC coding source) is enough to be “Hi-Res”, insofar as actual SS goes. ...

Thanks for the W5 impression, I'll put a link to the 2nd post.

Unfortunately I think you have Cook & Co. to thank for their courage on not wanting to improve BT codec while removing headphone socket from iPhone. I can understand why they will want to avoid paying Qualcomm more royalty, but Sony is partically giving the licence of LDAC encoder away for free, not to mention it is way passed due time for an AAC update that we all know Apple is more than capable of. Given AAC is the most common BT codec (next to the mandatory SBC), I think it is easier to point out which adapter doesn't support it rather than making it a requirement, and perhaps also a warning to Apple users.
 
Jun 26, 2019 at 10:11 PM Post #35 of 1,195

pstickne

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Thanks for the W5 impression, I'll put a link to the 2nd post.

Unfortunately I think you have Cook & Co. to thank for their courage on not wanting to improve BT codec while removing headphone socket from iPhone. I can understand why they will want to avoid paying Qualcomm more royalty, but Sony is partically giving the licence of LDAC encoder away for free, not to mention it is way passed due time for an AAC update that we all know Apple is more than capable of. Given AAC is the most common BT codec (next to the mandatory SBC), I think it is easier to point out which adapter doesn't support it rather than making it a requirement, and perhaps also a warning to Apple users.

Regardless, and I do wish AAC was given more overall love (eg. improvements) and promotion, I guess that’s mostly a reminder to us iPhone folk: make sure to look for AAC support!
 
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Jun 29, 2019 at 3:48 AM Post #36 of 1,195

ClieOS

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For those of you who use BT headphone adapter, here is one accessory that I strongly recommend - it is called ReadeREST on Amazon but you can find similar products on Aliexpress if you search "magnetic glasses holder". Instead of clipping your BT adapter on an uncomfortable / awkward position on your shirt, this allows you to clip your BT adapter on it with far less restriction on how you position the BT adapter.

 
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Jun 29, 2019 at 4:56 PM Post #37 of 1,195

pstickne

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Alright, changing my feedback of the HiBy W5 to “hard pass” until the software issues are sorted. The BT software/firmware and “HiBy Blue” app needed more work before release - does it even support updates? (For comparison, my disliked ES100 doesn’t have any of the issues below.)

Broken feature:
- EQ in W5 “HiBy Blue” App settings appear to have no effect. I slide things, no audio difference.. also, worst ‘sliders’ in any iOS app I’ve used. (L/R gain bias and other features ‘work’ so the app is able to send configuration data.)

General bad software/BT implementation:
- Device ‘absolute volume’ can de-sync from host device. Seems to be restored after pause/play or lowering volume to zero: painfully loud if the sync occurs after raising volume unaware.
- “HiBy Blue” App usually not able to compete full connection: “please try again after restarting the device”. Hint: doesn’t solve the issue reliably. Try to unpair completely..
- “HiBy Blue” App (sometimes) tries to double-pair W5 even though it is already paired to the phone. It occasionally connects without attempting to double-pair.
- In iOS BT settings, W5 can show up as available device even when paired. The first pairing has to be forgotten and the “new” device has to be connected. (I believe this is related to above “HiBy Blue” connection issues.)
- W5 settings appear not applied correctly all the time or quick enough on startup. This can result in volume changes right after connecting the device when the volume sensitivity has been set in the app.

Also, the “short + long press” (no duration given to “long press”) to turn the device off is a very frustrating experience. Mario masters might enjoy the timing nuances required: I do not.
 
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Jun 29, 2019 at 5:28 PM Post #38 of 1,195

Cevisi

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Why is the fiio q5 or q5s not in this treath
 
Jun 29, 2019 at 8:41 PM Post #39 of 1,195

ClieOS

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Why is the fiio q5 or q5s not in this treath

They are too big and don't take call, so they are not BT adapter, but BT DAC/amp.
 
Jun 29, 2019 at 8:46 PM Post #40 of 1,195

tiamor988

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I almost bought the BTR3 (since I can't found any info regarding the BTR5) until I found this thread. Will wait on the BTR5.
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 9:02 AM Post #41 of 1,195

scook94

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Shanling UP2 is here.



Haven't got a chance to listen to it yet - will need to charge it up first, then do a firmware upgrade later.

As I have a UP2 incoming I'm curious about the firmware upgrade you mentioned, I haven't been able to find anything about that on their website (at least not on the English version) can you share any info/links?
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 2:04 PM Post #42 of 1,195

ClieOS

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As I have a UP2 incoming I'm curious about the firmware upgrade you mentioned, I haven't been able to find anything about that on their website (at least not on the English version) can you share any info/links?

First, download the UP2 fimrware 1.3 package here.

There should be 2 folder inside the zip file - one has an .exe file in it while the other has a .dfu file in it - you need to install the exe file into your PC first, it is the official upgrade program for all Qualcomm / CSR BT chipset. If you already updated your BTR3 before, it is basically the same thing (this particular exe is a newer version of what FiiO used, so it is probably best to update it as well). Then you need to use the installed program (DfuWizard) to upload the dfu file uptp the UP2 - to do that, you need to turn your UP2 into DFU firmware upgrade mode first by plugging it onto your PC, then press and hold the volume knob for 8 seconds until LED indicator light goes off. Once the LED is off, it is ready to update. The rest of the process is the same as FiiO's BTR3, which you can find detail instruction on FiiO's website.
 
Jul 15, 2019 at 3:43 PM Post #43 of 1,195

scook94

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First, download the UP2 fimrware 1.3 package here.

There should be 2 folder inside the zip file - one has an .exe file in it while the other has a .dfu file in it - you need to install the exe file into your PC first, it is the official upgrade program for all Qualcomm / CSR BT chipset. If you already updated your BTR3 before, it is basically the same thing (this particular exe is a newer version of what FiiO used, so it is probably best to update it as well). Then you need to use the installed program (DfuWizard) to upload the dfu file uptp the UP2 - to do that, you need to turn your UP2 into DFU firmware upgrade mode first by plugging it onto your PC, then press and hold the volume knob for 8 seconds until LED indicator light goes off. Once the LED is off, it is ready to update. The rest of the process is the same as FiiO's BTR3, which you can find detail instruction on FiiO's website.

Great, many thanks! :thumbsup:
 
Jul 19, 2019 at 2:30 AM Post #44 of 1,195

dfung

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@ClieOS - Would any of the BT adapters you've listed can simultaneously connect wirelessly between a phone and a BT IEM? Or a BT DAC/AMP will do that instead?
Is it possible to have an entirely wireless set up through BT between the DAC/AMP + smartphone + IEM?

I'm really new to the game. Just bought my first IEM a couple of months ago, BGVP DM6.
Sorry if this is very basic knowledge. FiiO said no and Shanling just ignored me, haha.

I mostly listen to YouTube and Audible and need my phone by my side most of the time.

I'm kind of an active guy. So keeping all wireless is very important to me.
 
Jul 19, 2019 at 5:46 AM Post #45 of 1,195

ClieOS

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@ClieOS - Would any of the BT adapters you've listed can simultaneously connect wirelessly between a phone and a BT IEM? Or a BT DAC/AMP will do that instead?
Is it possible to have an entirely wireless set up through BT between the DAC/AMP + smartphone + IEM?

I'm really new to the game. Just bought my first IEM a couple of months ago, BGVP DM6.
Sorry if this is very basic knowledge. FiiO said no and Shanling just ignored me, haha.

I mostly listen to YouTube and Audible and need my phone by my side most of the time.

I'm kind of an active guy. So keeping all wireless is very important to me.

FiiO and Shanling won't have any answer for you, mostly because what you are asking make no logical sense.

An BT adapter (or in fact any BT supporting DAC/amp) takes BT signal from a source, in this case most likely a smartphone, then convert it into an analog signal to output to the headphone of your choice. An BT IEM works just the same, except that the BT circuit inside the BT IEM only meant to drive the IEM's transducer and no other headphone. So basically a BT IEM is just a IEM and an BT adapter integrated into single unit., while a standalone BT adapter can be used with (most of) any IEM.

Therefore what you are asking for, is for a smartphone to send a BT signal to an BT adapter to output analog electrical signal, then somehow magically re-encode the signal back into BT and send it to another BT adapter circuit (that built into an IEM) and so it can be turn back into analog electrical signal again to driver the IEM's transducer - (1) the first question you must ask yourself is: what is the point of turning a perfectly fine BT signal into analog signal, just so you need to turn it back to digital BT signal to send and decode back to analog signal again? Logicality speaking, it is a cleaner and more efficient process just to send the BT signal from the smartphone to the BT IEM. (2) The 2nd question is of course, even if you can somehow do what you want it to do (smarphone -> BT adapter -> BT IEM), will it improve the sound? The answer is "no". It is the BT circuit inside your BT IEM that will do the actual decoding and driving the IEM's transducer, so it is the limiting factor of the whole setup. Not only does your BT IEM won't benefit from such a setup, it will most likely degrade the SQ on the process since every time a decoding/re-encoding takes place, the original signal always suffer a little lose of quality - again, the best way is to minimize any extra step in the process so a direct connection between the smartphone and BT IEM will provide the best possible result.

Because of the 2 reasons mentioned above, no BT chipset maker ever design a BT chipset that can receive, decode, re-encode and transmit BT signal from a smartphone to an BT headphone, as it is a waste of time and energy (not to mention the lost of quality) to do so. It will be like designing a battery for smartphone - instead of powering the smartphone by the battery itself, it will first charge a secondary battery inside the smartphone, then the 2nd battery is used to power the smartphone - it is not that you can't have such a design, just that it is gonna be a stupid and wasteful design that has no upside.

So to simplify - you should just connect your BT IEM to your smartphone. A BT adapter main purpose is to add BT ability to normal headphone, not to (nor is it possible to) improve headphone that already has BT capability.
 
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