By Don Lindich
Week 11, 2019
Q. My receiver is a Yamaha RX-397. In addition to listening in my living room, I would like to listen to records in the next room and do so wirelessly. Is there a way of making that connection via Bluetooth, and if so what speaker would you recommend? I also need a turntable, and think the Fluance RT81 is the best option under $300 as I value both aesthetics and sound. Do you agree?
-R.C., Minneapolis, MN
A. A Bluetooth transmitter connected to your receiver’s tape loop output will transmit whatever the receiver is playing over Bluetooth. I recommend the TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 transmitter for $39. You will need a 3.5mm-to-RCA stereo cable to connect it.
You are correct that the Fluance RT81 the best looking, best sounding turntable under $300. For the speaker, if you act fast you can get something really special at a great savings. Not long ago I wrote about the Cambridge Audio Air speakers, which were available at low prices because they were being replaced by Cambridge’s Yoyo line. This time you can get in on a product that is on its way in, rather than on its way out, and get the latest technology as well as excellent sound. Interestingly enough, it also uses “Air” in its name.
When I reviewed the AxiomAir N3 wireless speaker I pronounced it my favorite speaker of its type, but it costs $849 and is on the large side for a wireless speaker. Axiom has a new, smaller model called the AxiomAir N2 with the same great sound, even more features and a much friendlier price point.
The AxiomAir N2 has the same sound quality as the AxiomAir N3, but does not play as loudly. Connectivity options are a step up from the N3. With the AxiomAir N2 you get Wi-Fi through its built-in hotspot or your network, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay, USB, an optical digital connection, an analog auxiliary port, easy connections to Spotify and Tidal, and multi-room functionality when more than one AxiomAir is in use. Firmware is updated with the touch of a button, and Axiom says more features and functionality will be added as times goes on as all AxiomAir speakers are built around an upgradable Raspberry Pi minicomputer.
The AxiomAir N2 will sell for $529 when it starts shipping in April. Customers who preorder before March 23, 2019 get a special price of $449, and using coupon code NEWN2 saves another $50, bringing the price down to $399 with free shipping. A battery is a $59 option, and the finish can be customized to fit your decor. See the AxiomAir N2 at axiomaudio.com.
Win a TCL 55-inch 6 Series 4K TV, and almost-free earphones: TCL will be giving away a TV every week during March Madness. Register to win at http://www.tclusa.com/final-4K-madness.
While you are on their website, check out the new TCL SOCL100 wired earphones with microphone. I first heard the SOCL100 earphones at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. They are extremely comfortable, they sound very good, and they are only $9.99! The TCL SOCL100 earphones come in four colors and are available now on Amazon. If you need some extra wired earphones for kids, as backups, for travel or for your gym bag, these are the ones to get. I will have more about them next week, but if you are interested you may want to grab them now as other reviewers are singing their praises and they are going to sell fast.