Wireless HiFi Audio with DAC+aptX Bluetooth Amp BTR1 is Available
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MayorSimpleton

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I just received BTR1 today. I'm still experimenting with Bluetooth so my only other experience is with the Trinity Audio Lanyard, although I backed Bluewave Get and have been looking forward to receiving that.

BTR1 sounds great with my beloved Shure SE535, much better than plugging directly in to either my iPhone 6 or Macbook Pro. Very impressive. I only ever use the Shures with my portable gear, but they are now getting close in terms of fidelity with my home rig (Senn HD600/tube amp/dedicated Dac and transport/etc). Very smooth and refined, full bass with no bloat, clear highs but with no sibilance to which I am very sensitive. Dark background - makes low level listening a pleasure. It sounds better than the Trinity Audio lanyard, although for me that particular device has far too much gain so achieving balanced listening volumes is not really possible - hard to compare.

Initially I was worried that the lack of separate controls on the BTR1 for volume and next/prev tracks would be a problem for me - but I'm already accustomed to using the toggle for both behaviours and actually it works very well. Device feels sturdy and well-made - good 'heft' for such a tiny thing. No problems (more than usual) with BT dropouts - although the real test will be on the train into work on Monday! One of the things I'm looking forward to in the Bluewave Get is the analogue volume control - I can never get the perfect listening levels with the iOS volume ladder. BTR1 doesn't have this obviously, but the gain feels about right with the SE535's so I have a goodish range of levels to listen at. As I mentioned - this is a deal-breaker with the Trinity Audio lanyard - which is just too loud.

Only thing I don't like so far is 'button A' - the on/off/sound effect/call control button. It has a soft response rather than a positive 'click'. I find fast 'double-clicking' difficult on tiny hardware buttons at the best of times - the lack of 'click' on this button makes it even harder.

BTW the mode only described as 'sound effect' in the manual sounds to me like a crossfade - albeit too strong a crossfade for my liking (I use subtle crossfade sometimes in other applications). Anyone confirm/deny this?

All-in-all - very pleased with this little thing so far.
 
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post-13768111
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FiiO

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Received today my BTR1.

Ordered on 2017-09-29 from AliExpress and arrived on 2017-10-03. Shipped via DHL, very fast for getting to Europe/Lithuania.

Photos and one video below.

First impressions.

- Physical build quality
Seems sturdy, most of it feels metal/aluminium. Bottom part, where micro-USB socket is located, is plastic. I guess you must have some plastic in order to be radio transparent for Bluetooth to work. Audio socket feels solid, when plugging in the 3.5mm jack, you feel quite satisfactory connection. No connection issues when plugged-in and wiggling/rotating the 3.5mm plug.

- User interface
* You have 3 physical buttons in total:
......... One big at the front round centre button, which acts as power on/off, play/pause, some voice call management functions and as audio effect on/off upon double-clicking when the BTR1 is on.
......... Two buttons on the side for volume up/down. Volume up buttons also functions as previous track when holding for a couple of seconds. Volume down button also functions as next track when holding down for a couple seconds. Holding both volume up/down buttons when BTR1 is on should reset the BTR1 (presumably).
* user audio interface:
you have nice melodies when the BTR1 is powering-up (kinda surround powering up melody when sound is coming at first from left channel, then right channel and then from both). You get audio feedback when connected to some Bluetooth device. You have audio feedback when pressing buttons on the BTR1 itself. Haven't yet test the low-battery audio notifications, so can't tell you if they are annoying. Also a nice melody when the unit is powering-down. Melodies are not those standard from cheap Bluetooth receivers. And not too ear-tearing loud - just right.

- Bluetooth connection
Since the device is almost all metal, the BT connection stability suffers. The range is not that great. Even having BTR1 in my front-left jeans pocket and my iPhone in back-right jeans pocket, I get an occasional BT connection packet drop. Having BTR1 and iPhone farther away without direct line of sight makes the connection even worse. BTR1 BT connection stability is quite sensitive to the orientation of BTR1 relative to the iPhone and direct line of sight.
Maybe FiiO representative could tell us the position of the internal Bluetooth antenna, i.e. at which end of the device it is located (either at the micro-USB socket side or 3.5mm socket side).
Supports simultaneous active Bluetooth connection to two devices: pausing playback on first one and starting playback playback on second one you hear sound from the second one. And vice versa. Neat!

- Charging
When the BTR1 is being charged, you can use it for playback. And the charging process does not add any additional distortions to the sound quality (at least I did not notice any).

- Sound quality
I used BTR1 connected directly to Shure SE535 (with stock Shure cable) and BTR1 connected to iPhone 7 and Spotify 320 kbps tracks.
Firstly, the volume control from BTR1 buttons controls the volume on the iPhone - there is no independent BTR1/iPhone volume controls.
Since SE535s are quite low impedance and quite sensitive, I tried the noise-floor test first. And from my first impressions I can tell that the noise-floor, when on the lowest volume setting in a completely silent room, is very very very low, almost not-noticeable. You have some high pitch noise superimposed on the playing sound - the high pitch noise follows the sound signature of the actual playback. On higher volume settings I practically cannot hear the noise. When pausing the playback you can hear for a short moment the noise-floor until the BTR1 output stage is completely turned off.
Listening to music.
I don't have much experience with other DACs/AMPs. I can only compare between the direct connection to iPhone (via the measly Lightning-3.5mm adapter) and listening via BTR1. I can tell that the sound quality is improved when listening via BTR1. The direct to iPhone connection now seems a little muffled, like somebody has placed a cover on your music. When listening via BTR1 you feel more openness and music seems more alive. To me it seems a good improvement in sound quality from such a small device.
The sound effect, when double-pressing the big button, seems to add 3D sound effect. But via IEMs it does not seem to add anything of value to listening experience (at least to me).

- Usability with iOS:
You get a battery status indicator near your clock at the top and also a battery indicator in the Widget.
Disconnecting the audio cable from BTR1 pauses the playback on the iOS device.

- Summary
I am happy with the device, especially with the low noise-floor when connected to Shure SE535.
Simultaneous Bluetooth connection to two devices tries to emulate Apple approach to their Airpods a little bit - I can have BTR1 connected to my iPhone and my iPad at the same time - which is nice.
Sadly the Bluetooth connection range and stability is not that great (probably due to all-metal construction). I hope they improve this in the next iteration of the device.

All in all a competent device to pair with quality IEMs.

Thanks FiiO for a great device.


Short video:



Thanks! Could you please share this review in this post as well(https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/fiio-bluetooth-headphone-amplifier-btr1.22690/ ) Thanks in advanced!

the Bluetooth connection range and stability is not that great? How far is the collection and maybe stutter would appear?

Best regards
 
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0x6170

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Thanks! Could you please share this review in this post as well(https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/fiio-bluetooth-headphone-amplifier-btr1.22690/)Thanks in advanced!

the Bluetooth connection range and stability is not that great? How far is the collection and maybe stutter would appear?

Best regards
The Bluetooth connection is not bad per-se, but it is not as stable and resilient as some other devices, especially if human body is blocking direct line-of-sight between BTR1 and for example iPhone.

As I said, if BTR1 is in my front-left jeans pocket and my iPhone is in back-right jeans pocket, I get occasional stutter and Bluetooth connection packet drop. Then I basically have to re-orient BTR1 in order for its antenna to face iPhone direction. I guess BTR1 Bluetooth antenna is not very omni-directional, so it is sensitive to directionality to the source of the Bluetooth transmitter.
 
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ridwan.a.wijaya

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4 years ago,..
Im really happy with my Sony MW1, Bluetooth receiver, long before Sbh series. And then broke it accidentally..
Never buy their new SBH again...

Until today I stumble upon this thread
You, guys from Fiio. make better replacement device and very tempting alternative.. Well done!
Will buy this as soon as ready in my country.

Just one question or suggestions..
Will you make "lite" version? with smaller size (so I can clip on my shirt and not pull down the shirt)
 
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0x6170

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Good review, thanks for that. Which cables are you using with your Shures? I have struggled to find a good, reasonably priced, short cable to use with my Shures and an older Sony bluetooth adapter. The new Fiio short MMCX1s cable looks interesting but it hangs straight down in the product photos and I'm not sure how well it would do wrapping around the ear with Shures, since it does not appear to have any "memory wire" reinforcement.
Yes, I also struggle to find a good short cable for Shure SE535 and BTR1.

I am thinking about biting the bullet and ordering one from here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/172789222664

Let us know if you find some alternative, because the one above is quite expensive.
 
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tworule

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I just received BTR1 today. I'm still experimenting with Bluetooth so my only other experience is with the Trinity Audio Lanyard, although I backed Bluewave Get and have been looking forward to receiving that.

BTR1 sounds great with my beloved Shure SE535, much better than plugging directly in to either my iPhone 6 or Macbook Pro. Very impressive. I only ever use the Shures with my portable gear, but they are now getting close in terms of fidelity with my home rig (Senn HD600/tube amp/dedicated Dac and transport/etc). Very smooth and refined, full bass with no bloat, clear highs but with no sibilance to which I am very sensitive. Dark background - makes low level listening a pleasure. It sounds better than the Trinity Audio lanyard, although for me that particular device has far too much gain so achieving balanced listening volumes is not really possible - hard to compare.

Initially I was worried that the lack of separate controls on the BTR1 for volume and next/prev tracks would be a problem for me - but I'm already accustomed to using the toggle for both behaviours and actually it works very well. Device feels sturdy and well-made - good 'heft' for such a tiny thing. No problems (more than usual) with BT dropouts - although the real test will be on the train into work on Monday! One of the things I'm looking forward to in the Bluewave Get is the analogue volume control - I can never get the perfect listening levels with the iOS volume ladder. BTR1 doesn't have this obviously, but the gain feels about right with the SE535's so I have a goodish range of levels to listen at. As I mentioned - this is a deal-breaker with the Trinity Audio lanyard - which is just too loud.

Only thing I don't like so far is 'button A' - the on/off/sound effect/call control button. It has a soft response rather than a positive 'click'. I find fast 'double-clicking' difficult on tiny hardware buttons at the best of times - the lack of 'click' on this button makes it even harder.

BTW the mode only described as 'sound effect' in the manual sounds to me like a crossfade - albeit too strong a crossfade for my liking (I use subtle crossfade sometimes in other applications). Anyone confirm/deny this?

All-in-all - very pleased with this little thing so far.
what is your source? (flac? or streaming? I am thinking using btr1 with tidal hifi but this reviewer says; for iphone btr1 does not connect with aac (instead SBC) which seems not very fast connection.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3T2FB0K5C07UG/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B075YD83Y9
 
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