I’ve noticed that many of the new audio gadgets are now Bluetooth-capable, but what can you do about those that aren’t or are legacy products? Avantree provides a solution with their Saturn Bluetooth receiver and transmitter, a small portable device that can turn your wired audio device into a wireless device.
* Bluetooth profiles supported: apt-X, A2DP and AVRCP
* Operating Range: Class 2, 10 meters
* TX mode working time: 10 hours
* RX mode working time: 9 hours
* Standby time: up to 400 hours
* Battery: 270mAH rechargeable LI-polymer battery
* Product weight: 48.5g
* Size: 50mm(L)x37mm(W)X13mm(H)
The package comes with all the cables you’ll probably need to connect to your audio device. The USB cable is only needed for charging.
There’s really not much to it. On the front is a switch to select either transmit or receive mode. The multi-function switch in the center turns the Saturn on/off and puts it into pairing mode. On the top right is a LED that indicates what mode it’s in.
On the other side is the connector for the charging cable and the 3.5mm jack for audio input or output.
The first thing I did was charge it. The LED indicated red during the cycle until it was fully charged and then turned off. A nice feature of the unit is that it can be used while charging, so if you want to leave it attached to your sound system, for example, you can without having to worry about the battery running out.
To test out the unit, I went searching in the back of my forgotten gadget closet and came up with a couple of audio devices including an old Bluetooth headset and two prior generation MP3 players. In addition I have my LG soundbar which is Bluetooth compatible, and an iPod Touch.
Perhaps I’m losing brain cells because I had some trouble at first determining whether to put the unit into receive or transmit mode when connecting to an audio device. After some thought, it’s really not that difficult. If you’re going to be sending audio from a device to the Saturn, it should be in receive mode. If the audio is being sent from the Saturn to a Bluetooth audio device it will be in transmit mode. When in doubt, read the manual, which aside from the broken English, is helpful.
The first thing I tried is to use my Bluetooth headphones with one of our TVs so I can watch shows after the rest of the household goes to sleep. I used the double-ended 3.5mm plug to connect to the headphone output of the TV and went through the pairing process. When the Saturn is turned on for the first time, it will enter pairing mode. The procedure to pair is detailed in the instruction manual, and I had no problems. The Saturn will remember up to 8 paired devices so you only have to go through the process once.
At first when listening to the TV, I had a problem with the sound dropping out as I moved around the room. I solved this by positioning the Saturn at the front of the TV with the 3.5mm audio cable. Because the Saturn was behind the TV, the signal was apparently being attenuated, causing the dropouts.
I then connected the Saturn to one of my old MP3 players and paired it with the LG soundbar in the den. Again everything worked well, and I heard two-channel sound without any distortion or noise. I used the other old MP3 player and got the same results.
In the living room, I have another TV hooked to a Lepai amplifier and two bookshelf speakers. I use this with the TV to get better sound. The Lepai has no Bluetooth capability, so I connected the Saturn Music Adapter to the amp and streamed audio from my iPod Touch. Again, it worked well, and I appreciated the ability to stream music in the living room.
One use that I really appreciated was the ability to turn a wired pair of headphones into a Bluetooth pair. By using the double ended 3.5mm plug, you can easily adapt the headphones for use with Bluetooth audio music sources, such as an iPhone or iPod.
I tried various combinations of the Saturn with different devices and all worked well. The Saturn will reconnect with the last-connected device, which caused me some confusion. I was trying to connect to a Bluetooth speaker, but wasn’t having any success until I realized that my iPod Touch was in the same room with its Bluetooth enabled. It was the last device I had connected to. Turning off the Bluetooth on the iPod solved the problem.
If you want to connect to two audio devices that are not Bluetooth equipped, you can purchase two Saturns and set one to receive and the other to transmit, and you’ll have a wireless connection. The Avantree Saturn Bluetooth Music Adapter is a smart purchase for anyone wanting to connect audio devices wirelessly. This is especially true if you want to re-purpose devices that may be technologically out of date.