It’s more than likely that a broadcast engineer or multimedia tech professional will be called on at some time to connect a smartphone into a broadcast plant or multimedia studio.
The Angry Audio Bluetooth Gadget makes that process much less stressful while providing great capabilities for the reception and transmission of audio, whether that audio is basic cellphone grade, or from a codec app like Cleanfeed, Luci Live Lite, etc.
The Bluetooth Gadget uses Bluetooth 3.0 to receive and transmit audio. The device will select from one of three codecs (AAC, aptX or SBC) to optimize the connection’s audio quality.
Connections for a mix-minus analog input and the left and right channel analog outputs are balanced +4 dBu XLR on the rear panel. There’s another XLR output on that rear panel. It’s a transformer balanced XLR male digital audio connection that can feed an AES digital device.
On the front along with the lights and switches there’s a TRRS jack wired to the CTIA standard for connecting a smartphone directly, so a hot switch between a Bluetooth paired smartphone, and a wired smartphone connection can be made without reconfiguring connections.
Audio from the TRRS jack is unbalanced, with RFI filters on each input. Angry Audio provides an adapter for phones that use the OMTP standard for wiring. The device has a small antenna to help with reception; stated range for the device was 50 feet.
Versions for North America (115 VAC) and export (230 VAC) are available along with plugs for Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The Bluetooth Gadget is AoIP-friendly. Angry Audio includes a StudioHub XLR to RJ-45 adapter pair for the left and right outputs, and an XLR-to-RJ45 adapter that can be used for the mix-minus input.
I tested the Bluetooth Gadget analog style with my Allen+Heath ZED 10 studio mixer and my Samsung Galaxy A6 smartphone. The balanced, mix-minus audio came from the ZED 10’s FX send bus’s TRS jack; the balanced audio connected to an input channel via analog XLR.
Pairing the Gadget to the phone involved flipping a switch on the front panel, and selecting the device on my smartphone. Once levels were set, making calls and recording them was simple.
Basically, if the smartphone has service, a standard cell call can be recorded or broadcast.
Angry Audio’s Michael “Catfish” Dosch said other applications besides putting calls on the air were considered when developing the Bluetooth Gadget.
“Most Bluetooth audio devices are receivers (sinks) only, useful for playback, but we thought a bidirectional interface would let you use your smartphone as a phone and put calls on the air. Plus, you could use other communications apps such as Skype, FaceTime, SIP clients, Zoom and even some social media apps like LINE and Facebook Messenger.
“Once we started development, we added some new ideas like the high-fidelity audio codecs, the split analog and digital outputs and the wired smartphone connection.”
The Bluetooth Gadget gives great flexibility, for instance, if a program is being transmitted to one source on a wired connection, and a second, studio quality feed (backup or second destination) becomes necessary. Connection through an app like Cleanfeed or Luci Live Lite, etc. makes that possible. So mission-critical audio transmission becomes less stressful.
The Bluetooth Gadget has a suggested retail price of $349. An optional rack mount is $39. Online documentation from https://angryaudio.com is straightforward and answers the questions engineers and technologists ask when installing devices.
Paul Kaminski, CBT, is host of msrpk.com’s “Radio-Road-Test,” and has been a Radio World contributor since 1997. Reach him on Twitter: msrpk_com. Facebook: PKaminski2468