I don’t consider myself “old school” because not every piece of consumer electronics I have is the latest model. Or that wires and cables are used a lot for transmitting video and audio from one device to another (i.e., a Blu-ray player to an amplifier, for example). But I do have to admit that the convenience that Bluetooth offers when it comes to audio streaming is pretty nifty — too bad when a device doesn’t has it built in, since it can’t be updated, being a hardware-specific kind of thing.
But wouldn’t it be nifty to be able to add Bluetooth audio streaming to any device desired? Okay, let’s do just that by, to paraphrase Scarface, “saying hello to my little friend.” In this case the “little friend” IS little — it’s the Gogroove BLUESENSE TRM, a battery powered Bluetooth audio transmitter device that turns any audio device that has a mini-headphone (3.5mm) audio output socket into a full-fledged Bluetooth streamer.
The idea is pretty simple, even if the technology is sophisticated (sure Bluetooth is ho-hum now, but think about what it does…). You take the audio mini-jack plug from the Gogroove BLUESENSE TRM and insert it into the mini-headphone jack of the audio playing device. Now that can be pretty much any consumer electronics product you can think of — say your portable DVD player ;or the speakers you’ve got on your computer desk or an early iPod or whatever — there’s no configuring that has to go on. You just plug it in and continue playing the audio as you normally would do. But now you’ve the ability to transmit that audio elsewhere — say to your Bluetooth-equipped amplifier so it can be heard through a pair of real speaker. Or even to a pair of Bluetooth-equipped headphones: here’s a scenario, you want to watch TV late at night in the bedroom but not so as to bother your significant other who’s trying to sleep. Plug the Gogroove BLUESENSE TRM into the audio out of the TV, pop on the Bluetooth headphones and you’re in business. Need other instances of where it can be used — just thing about it for a minute and it’ll come to you.
Now of course you DO have to pair the Gogroove BLUESENSE TRM with the Bluetooth-receiving device (but again, not something that needs to be done with the device it’s plugged into). So first give the internal battery a charge using USB — but you’ll need to use the included USB cable that terminates at one end into a plug, not a USB socket. Let the juice flow for about two hours and you’re good to go — the internal battery pumps the power out for a couple of hours, easy.
So again, here we are with the Gogroove BLUESENSE TRM charged up and plugged into the mini-headphone output socket of a device. Go to the Bluetooth menu or section (depending on what’s there) of the device that is going to receive the audio streaming via Bluetooth (i.e., the headphones in this case). Get the device so that it is “looking” for the Bluetooth signal and then press in on the power tab on the side of the Gogroove BLUESENSE TRM. Release the tab when the LED goes all red/blue blinky. Pair the two and the light goes solid. End of story. Does it work? It works fine. What else is there to say — audio is now being streamed over the nominal distance that Bluetooth handles (about 30 feet on average).
Bottom line: Wireless audio streaming is a great convenience, and one that the Gogroove BLUESENSE TRM makes available for pretty much any device that outputs audio. For $49 retail you get a Bluetooth audio transmitter that’s easy to use. Can’t ask for more.
- 14 gram weight insignificant
- Simplified Bluetooth pairing
- Weak connection when low on power
- Specialized USB cord needed for charging
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.