Very happy to receive the Lavaudio HiFi bluetooth adapter. I am a musician by training and a filmmaker (producer and director), all of which means I spend a lot of time listening to various audio formats through a variety of playback options (headphones, computer...
Very happy to receive the Lavaudio HiFi bluetooth adapter.
I am a musician by training and a filmmaker (producer and director), all of which means I spend a lot of time listening to various audio formats through a variety of playback options (headphones, computer speakers, high end audio speakers, etc). My wife is a professional musician, and so we''re often listening to different mixes and masters together, again out of various sources in the house or a studio.
Lavaudio makes the DS200Pro, and it is a subcompany of 1Mii. I also own the 1Mii BO3 Pro, which is a decent bluetooth receiver/transmitter combination. When watching films with a projector, I use the 1Mii BO3 Pro to wirelessly receive audio from my iMac computer (it''s automatically split off from the HDMI out that runs video to the projector). Living in a NYC apt, this is great, b/c I always have to compromise on space and setup, and this allows good flexibility. In terms of latency issues, there''s never been a problem using the 1Mii BO3 Pro to watch films, and it works well as a transmitter when I need to wear headphones and watch a film.
But there''s always been some minor, yet noticeable sound quality issues from the 1Mii, especially when sending higher quality, but also with everyday audio and video applications. With the BO3 Pro playing lossless files, there''s latency issues, some dropping that manifests as slight pops and latency delays, and a loss of clarity as well.
The Lavaudio DS200 Pro solves all of these with ease. Clarity and dynamic range are noticeably evident, a lovely sound. I am impressed!
Music: I tested the DS200 Pro next to the BO3 Pro playing the same four pieces by Johan Johannsson that have a good amount of range, dynamics and acoustic and electronic instrumentation to hear. I used FLAC files streamed from a VLC player from my iMac, into either bluetooth receiver, and into a simple old Yamaha CR-450 (nothin'' special!) and out of two Paradigm Monitor SE Atom speakers. I haven''t spent a ton of money on this setup.
I also streamed some music from Bandcamp with my Google Pixel 4a (which doesn''t support 96k sample rates, but anyways, gave it a listen. Still, you''re advised to switch OFF LDAC in the bluetooth menu if you''re phone doesn''t support 96k rates.) All was well with that setup. I don''t think I''ll use it too much, so I moved on fairly quickly here.
Streaming Video: Again I tested both the DS200 Pro and the BO3 Pro next to each other. I streamed Boyhood from the Criterion Collection. It has a quick intro music by Coldplay, some dialogue over the music, then straight into a dialogue scene in a car. I wanted to check on any latency issues and see what else I noticed. First off, the DS200 Pro has the volume I intend to hear the first time, whereas the BO3 Pro I''ve always had to mess around with volume on my computer, the BO3 device itself, AND my amplifier, and for some reason it never stayed steady. I don''t know why and I don''t care why, I just know that''s something with the BO3 Pro that''s always annoyed me to have to dial in every time. Not so with the DS200 Pro -- no problems with volume settings. No problems with latency with either device.
Again, though, the DS200 Pro provides noticeably better sound, even when not streaming a lossless file. In this case it wasn''t the music itself in the film, nor the dialogue, but rather I felt like I was hearing the mix of the film''s audio better. For example in the car when the characters are conversing, some audio mixer spent a lot of time mixing in the sounds of the car, the occasional bird in a tree when they''re at a stop sign, etc. It was there and delivered evenly.
Finally, I tested the two devices against a DVD of Bladerunner to see how they handled the booms and electronics of Vangelis'' soundtrack with the explosions and sound effects. Just the opening sequence and fading down into the first scene with dialogue. Again, the DS200 Pro delivers all of this with out me having to mess with the volume controls -- it just seems more even than the BO3 Pro when it comes to this. With the BO3 Pro I really was always going up and down with the volume a lot, and so far that doesn''t seem to be an issue with the DS200 Pro. Great! Of course neither had latency sync issues.
Other Positive Things about the DS200 Pro:
-Startup: When you turn the DS200 Pro on, it''s just on. You don''t have to hear that annoying startup jingle that a lot of bluetooth devices play, and there''s no connectivity beep either -- those drive me nuts for some reason, and they''re often at much high volumes than what I intend to playback.
-Size/Features: The DS200 Pro is 50% smaller than the BO3 Pro, and has only one antenna. Less lights and features to look at -- for what it''s worth, the BO3 Pro likes to tell you if you''re streaming SBC, AptX, etc -- just one single blue light on the front of the DS200 Pro.
-Comes with a variety of RCAs, digital output and 5V power adapter. Cord is a little short for the power adapter.
-RCA connections on the back of the DS200 Pro are gold plated, nice touch.
-There''s not much in terms of instructions, just enough to get you connected. If you''re using a phone to stream and it can''t do 96k sample rate, you''re advised to open the bluetooth menu and turn OFF LDAC. I have a Google Pixel 4a, and it does not support the 96k sample rate, so i did this. I streamed some music from bandcamp, no problem.
One final note comparing with the BO3 Pro...if you leave the BO3 Pro on, there''s often some faint high-pitched squel that comes through the speakers. It always worried me, no need to damage speakers! But I certainly do not hear that from the DS200 Pro. So, overall, all the things that annoyed me about the BO3 Pro are not manifesting themselves in the DS200 Pro -- which is great!!
These are my initials thoughts on the DS200 Pro. Over the next couple weeks I plan on using it quite a bit -- I''m excited to go through my lossless audio files again and enjoy some music! But I also plan on keeping my BO3 Pro in case I need a bluetooth transmitter. And I may update this review with more.
Check out the specs for the Lavaudio DS200Pro -- it''s a great little device and worth the cost, which is minor for the quality it delivers.
Note to the company: not seeing the DS200Pro on your website yet. It would be nice to get it up there with some information and specs.