Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver adds wireless connection for iPad music listening
This Bluetooth receiver broadcasts your your iPad / iPhone or iPod Touch music wireless through your home theatre or other music system.The results are just as good as wired speakers within the same room. There is limited multi-tasking on the iPad even without iOS4. The setup is a low cost way to keep the music flowing without connecting a cable to the iPad.
The transmitter on the iPad is rated about 15-20 feet assuming no walls and obstructions. You can move around in the same room but if your body blocks the path between the iPad and Belkin receiver, there might be momentary dropouts. I could move to another room but the reception deteriorated quickly.
I was amazed that I could listen to music and run Twitterific on the iPad including replies, re-tweets and opening up Safari links. If the web page had too many objects like interactive ads, the music would sputter or change songs. Opening Facebook stopped the music. Videos would not play when I attempted anything else. Not bad considering the iPad is not multi-tasking yet.
In use, the Belkin was handy for connecting the iPad with the Bose Sounddock that was in the kitchen. I could check Twitter and listen to music at the same time over coffee.
There were too many dropouts when I tried to connect it to the home theatre receiver in another room. That needs to be wired directly, although the Belkin included the necessary RCA cables. When I was in the TV room I wanted the iPad to have an HDMI out so the videos would play on the TV. That is not an Apple feature but is available on Android phones likes the Droid X.
Making the connection
The Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver is fairly simple. The receiver takes a power cord from a wall-wart and the cable to your sound system. Belkin includes mini-pin to RCA for connection to home receivers and mini-pin to mini-pin which works for the Bose Sounddock Portable and most other systems.
Once the Belkin is plugged in it flashes a blue light. The iPad needs to be set up to communicate with the Bluetooth device which is almost foolproof. Settings, General, Bluetooth, On. At that point the iPad will search for Bluetooth devices. Touch “Belkin E89″ and the connection will be made. If it doesn’t work, try unplugging the Belkin power supply and plugging it back in. Also try turning off Bluetooth on the iPad. It took about a minute the first time for the connection to be made but only seconds after that.
When the Bluetooth connection is made, the internal iPad speaker is cut-off. If you want to listen to the iPad itself, turn off Bluetooth. Settings, General, Bluetooth, Off.
The Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver uses the same A2DP streaming music protocol as Apple put in their iPad/iPhone 3 and iPod Touch 2G. My iPod Touch is first generation so it doesn’t have Bluetooth. Your iPod Touch OS must be upgraded to OS3 to turn on Bluetooth.
If you want to stream the music to your computer, you will need a Bluetooth A2DP USB dongle that connects with the A2DP protocol. A2DP was available in Windows 7 beta but removed from the final shipping code.
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