The trend toward wireless audio is evident almost everywhere. For example, Apple has abandoned the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, and others are likely to follow suit. But what if you want to use your favorite wired headphones with such a device? I found a super-cool answer to that question at CanJam SoCal 2017: the Bluewave Get Bluetooth headphone amp.
This tiny gem measures only 2.25 x 1.25 x 0.5 inches and weighs less than 1 ounce. It implements Bluetooth 4.2 and supports a variety of codecs, including aptX HD, which allows 24-bit audio at the unit’s sampling rates of 44.1 or 48 kHz. Amazingly, the amplifier is a class-AB analog design that generates 125 mW into 32 ohms (maximum headphone impedance is 600 ohms) with a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+/-1 dB) and a specified THD of 0.004%. Even the volume control is a high-quality analog potentiometer!
The Get includes a microphone with noise cancelling for phone calls as well as dedicated controls for play/pause, call answer/hang up, fast forward, and rewind. Aside from its obvious application with mobile devices, you can also connect the Get to a legacy home-audio system with a simple 3.5mm-to-dual-RCA cable. This lets you stream content from a Bluetooth device to virtually any audio system.
The 200 mAh lithium-polymer battery is conservatively rated at 6 hours (maximum usage) between charges with a real-world estimate of 8 hours. The unit operates while the battery is charging, and if it remains plugged into the wall once the battery is fully charged, the battery is automatically bypassed to prevent overcharging.
I gave the Get a listen on a pair of Fostex TH-X00 headphones while an LG mobile phone played Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” in high resolution (24 bits, 88.2 kHz downconverted to 44.1 kHz). The sound was excellent, with great bass and a well-balanced sound overall.
The Get should be shipping in late May or early June, but you can pre-order it now for $99 on Bluewave’s site. Once it starts shipping, the price will be $129, which is still a great deal in my view. I look forward to spending more time with this mighty mite.