Peripheral Matters: Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receiver 980
I am trying to settle into an upgrade cycle of two major and two minor upgrade cycles per year. I just recently did my Semiannual Minor Upgrade #1 last month. That upgrade was centered around getting some more components for audio and video production, as well as items for sheer media entertainment. I brought in a set of Logitech Z506 5.1 speakers, as my Geek Command Center is now in a room where I can let a bit of boom out without disturbing anyone in the wee hours of the night. A free gift came with the speakers; this item, the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receiver 980-000910.
A lot of times when I am managing these recapitalization and upgrade cycles, a problem I have is forcing myself to get some of these small bits that are not as sexy as other things. A BT Audio receiver is nowhere near as sexy as a new monitor, or a new flight control system for my flight sims. Still, I have to remind myself that often it is the simple things that really round out my tech ecosystem.
The Logitech 910 is an amazing piece of convenience kit. My tech lab is also where I get ready for work in the morning. And I like to have music on. These days, that music is more often than not provided by an Amazon Echo Dot or my Google Home. And while those are neat in their own right, I am sometimes frustrated with the music control limitations inherent in each. I am not a subscriber to either Amazon's or Google's premiere tiers of music service, and what you can stream and what you can't is often a cryptic, Byzantine maze of licensing and paid storage tiers. And while the speaker on the Google Home is pretty darned good, it is not the same as my 5.1 speakers..
The Logitech 910 connects to my Z506 speakers via 3.5mm Stereo plug that breaks out to 2 RCA jacks that plug into the back of the subwoofer. Once connected, attaching a mobile device to the puck over Bluetooth is easy as pie. I have four mobile devices (Nexus 6p 128GB, Apple iPhone 6s 128GB, Apple iPad Pro 12.9" 128GB, and Apple iPad Mini 4 128GB) that have my entire music collection on them. Streaming my personal mix of tunes and using the mobiles as the control interface for that content is an experience that is different from using the smart hubs, and in some ways it is more enjoyable. Audio from the speakers is not as nice as a higher end speaker set, but it is good enough to hear subtle nuances in the music tracks that I often miss or do not hear unless I am wearing a set of headphones. You can also connect multiple devices to the 910; at least two. In order for it to switch, you need to stop playback on the one device and then start your other content from the other device.
I've only used the BT Audio receiver to stream music from Amazon Prime from my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 64GB, but so far that experience has been flawless. The 910 is turning out to be a very minor upgrade that I am pleased as punch with. It extends my audio entertainment ecosystem a good deal, and I think about watching movies or TV shows on my iPads or Kindle Fire HD6 and streaming the audio to the surround speakers via the BT receiver and I am hyped in anticipation of that experience. I've also recently recommended a device like this to those interested in automating their home rather than running tons of speaker cable and bolting a Google Home or an A/V Receiver into place. The jury is still out on how well IOT devices that you semi-permanently install are going to be maintained and in terms of compatibility with the constantly evolving market of mobile operating systems. Install the speakers, sure, but maybe think about connecting it with an input that can be easily removed or that you do not have a complex interface dependency on like a smart hub.
The Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receiver 910-000910 currently sells for $21.08 on Amazon. that's about $19 less than Logitech's MSRP of $39.99. It's a nice step up and extension of capability for a pittance. Don't sleep on the small stuff. Peripherals matter.