Bluetooth wireless is so pervasive in our modern lives, it can be easy to forget about all the non-wireless, classic audio equipment out there. Although stereo receivers and high-end speakers are still a mainstay of many home entertainment systems, the convenience of wireless streaming tends to trump such cabled connections. While there are many gadgets that provide Bluetooth audio capability to legacy devices, the Auris bluMe does it with range and power.
Just because something can't stream audio wirelessly doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be replaced. Vintage vehicles can be in excellent running condition, needing only a Bluetooth cassette adapter to thrust its stereo into the 21st century. Many modern headphones, such as the Audio-Technica MSR7, are designed without wireless, yet adapters like the BTunes let users ditch the cables anyway. Auris, who is no stranger to adding wireless to older tech, has created such an option for home stereos and speakers.
The Auris bluMe upgrades systems, reportedly with little (if any) compromise to audio. Within the aircraft-grade aluminum exterior lies an AKM AK4396 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that is capable of handling digital streams up to 24-bit/192 kHz. AKM chipsets are often found in high-end audio players, such as the Astell & Kern AK380, and appeal to those who want full, rich sound. And to ensure a pure signal output to sound systems, the Auris bluMe features gold-plated RCA jacks and a digital optical (SPIDF) connection.
For the wireless aspect, the Auris bluMe uses Bluetooth 4.1 with AAC, SBC, and aptX Low Latency support. Not only do these codecs preserve all the musical detail (from a compatible device), but the Low Latency makes the bluMe ideal for streaming video without the lip-sync issues common with many Bluetooth receivers. The Auris bluMe also packs a high-gain antenna that extends the wireless range up to 30 m (100 ft), which is three times that of standard Bluetooth. What's more, this receiver draws power through a USB cable that can plug into laptops, TVs, or the included wall adapter.
The Auris bluMe is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 314 percent of its US$20,000 goal in 28 days, with another 16 days left to go. A pledge of $119, which saves $50 off the planned retail price, lets you choose a bluMe in a black, gold, or silver finish. If all the tooling and production goes as planned, project backers can expect shipments to start sometime this November.