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Arcam miniBlink Bluetooth Streaming microDAC

Arcam just released the $149 pebble-shaped miniBlink microDAC that upgrades the audio-fidelity over standard Bluetooth music streaming. The miniBlink uses the advanced Bluetooth front-end and DAC technology from Arcam’s High-Definition Bluetooth $300 rBlink, but has been carefully re-engineered to lower the price by 50%.

The miniBlink uses a high-density moulded enclosure, with an internal aerial and a 3.5 mm output jack. It is powered by a micro-sized USB power supply from the mains or from a USB socket on a computer. Simply connect an analogue cable from the miniBlink to your Docking System, Hi-Fi or AV system, then switch on, pair your phone and enjoy!

Charlie Brennan, MD of Arcam commented “Simply put, the miniBlink sounds better than ANY other Bluetooth streamer made, apart from our own $300 rBlink. The quality is so good, that in demos, most listeners are convinced they are hearing a CD player.”

Arcam miniBlink Back

Arcam was the first manufacturer to use the new-generation high-performance Bluetooth chipset from Cambridge UK neighbours CSR and have used the technology and their own years of experience, to make a Streaming DAC that at last delivers seriously good Hi-Fi sound over Bluetooth.

The miniBlink totally restates the performance possible from Bluetooth and opens up Hi-Fi quality music streaming to millions of Android phone owners, iPhone/Pad/Pod users and even people with old Nokia and Motorola phones, not to mention most modern computers and nearly all tablets.

The miniBlink employs the latest Bluetooth technology from CSR & Arcam called Blue Core 7. Blue Core 7 offers lower noise and lower distortion levels than previous versions. Arcam have further improved performance by adding state-of-the-art jitter reduction, a serious audiophile digital to analogue converter and high-end analogue stages.

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The miniBlink Bluetooth DAC is intended for use with ANY music carrying Bluetooth device. It’s only limitation is the Bluetooth chipset of the transmitting device. All devices automatically transmit with the best possible codec as the source. They have an initial “chat” with the miniBlink and decide what is the the best both can send/receive, so if the source can do aptX, it will. Ditto for AAC on iPhones etc.

Here is the codec quality hierarchy

  • GOOD Standard Bluetooth SBC codec at 128 to 256 kbps from any device with Bluetooth audio
  • BETTER Native AAC Streaming at 256 kbps from iDevices running iOS6+ – iPad / Pod / Phone
  • BEST Bluetooth apt-X at 380 kbps from Samsung, HTC phones, MacBooks and more

Price and Availability
The Arcam miniBlink Bluetooth Streaming microDAC is available now for $149.

Specifications:

  • Audiophile-grade electronic components throughout
  • Compact & tough ABS case
  • Bluetooth streaming input
  • Stereo phono output to Hi-fi or AV system
  • High-performance internal antennae
  • DAC – 24 bit Burr-Brown/TI PCM5102
  • Frequency Response – 10Hz-20kHz, +0 -0.2dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion – 0.002%
  • Signal-to-noise ratio A – 106dB (24-bit)
  • Maximum output level – 2.15V RMS
  • Supported CODECS – SBC, AAC, aptX
  • Power requirements – 0.7W max
  • Dimensions – W 60mm x H 30mm x D 75mm
  • Weight – 40g
  • In Box – All analogue cables required, a compact global power supply

Features

  • 30db extra headroom over normal Bluetooth – a staggering improvement
  • massively lower distortion that normal Bluetooth
  • apt-X Low Latency enabled for even higher audio quality with appropriate sources
  • audiophile-grade digital and analogue technologies throughout
  • the signal is re-clocked and de-jittered, then fed into a high-end DAC
  • the unit is engineered as high-end Hi-Fi, not standard audio that is normally the case
  • a precision built micro-component designed to disappear in use
  • stream music from any Bluetooth enabled phone, laptop or tablet
  • unique new Bluetooth tech from CSR & Arcam
  • apt-X Low Latency (but the performance comes Arcam tech as much as apt-X)
  • high-end DAC and audio technology
  • no wi-fi network needed use miniBlink anywhere
  • music streaming for Android, Apple, PC, Mac, iPad, Tablet, Phone, Laptop and more
  • unique Arcam technology for THE best possible sound quality from Bluetooth
  • signal de-jittered, cleaned and using an ultra-quality internal DAC
  • high-performance internal antennae
  • Bluetooth in, Analogue Stereo out
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