iClever Low Latency bluetooth transmitter IC-BTT03 review

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The iClever IC-BTT03 low latency apt-x bluetooth transmitter review

IC-BTT03 iClever Bluetooth Transmitter

An extremely compact bluetooth transmitter with a built in 3.5mm jack. The iClever IC-BTT03 features the latest apt-X low latency technology, ideal for streaming audio from a TV to wireless speakers or set of bluetooth headphones.

Specifications
  • Bluetooth with Low Latency Apt-X
  • Playtime – 12 Hours
  • Charging time – 2 hours
  • Range – 10m
  • Size – 52mm x 23mm x 10mm

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Price information last updated on the 5th of August 2016 at 11:40 GMT
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

4Intro

Having tested countless bluetooth adapters on a variety of devices, I’m starting to feel like a bit of an authority on the subject. If you are new to the concept, there’s basically 3 types to choose from:

  1. Bluetooth receiver – will receive a wireless signal from a bluetooth enabled device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
  2. Bluetooth transmitter –  sends audio from a non-wireless enabled device to bluetooth headphones or speakers.
  3. Bluetooth transceiver – A combination of the above, usually controlled by a switch to toggle between sending or receiving.

When using a bluetooth transmitter connected to a TV, or any device that requires a synchronisation between the received audio and the video, I highly recommend choosing an adapter with apt-x Low Latency technology.

aptX Low Latency for Bluetooth® offers a total end-to-end latency of approximately 40 milliseconds (ms) – far less than the standard Bluetooth latency of more than 150 ms (+/-50ms), and meeting the 40 ms recommended latency for audio/video applications.

Thankfully the iClever IC-BTT03 Low Latency bluetooth transmitter has this covered, so the majority of my testing has taken place with the aid of my TV and AV receiver.

I’m actually writing this review with a pretty severe headache due to an extensive late night product testing session. This involved the iClever bluetooth transmitter, my TV, a set bluetooth headphones, a huge playlist of Kate Bush videos and a bottle of red wine – It was totally worth it…

3Design

The iClever bluetooth transmitter is incredibly compact and weighs practically nothing.  It has a black glossy surface, which will of course attract finger prints and surface blemishes. Not really much of an issue for the consumer, but a bit of a ball-ache if you’re taking close-up product images whilst eating pickled onion flavour Monster Munch..

Despite it’s compact size, the iClever Low Latency bluetooth transmitter has managed to incorporate a wrap around flat cable and 3.5mm phono jack that fits neatly in a retainer on the side.

Integrated cables can’t be misplaced or mixed up with others and I think this is a really strong design feature on this bluetooth transmitter.

Bluetooth transmitter with a built in 3.5mm audio jack

The singular control button on the front of the device is well fitting and flush to the surface. Above the button is a small LED indicator light that will flash / illuminate in blue or red depending on the mode.

The USB port is found on the top of the iClever bluetooth transmitterThe micro USB port for recharging is found on the top of the device. It may have been a nice touch to include a little rubber dust cover over this for protection. Despite this little niggle, the overall design and build quality of this bluetooth audio transmitter is good.  The button feels responsive, the integrated cable fits securely and the USB port feel solid.

2Features and Testing

As detailed on the back on the box and inside the user manual, the iClever bluetooth transmitter takes around 2 hours to fully charge. During charging the LED indicator will glow red and go out once the charge is complete.  From a full charge you can expect to get around 12 hours of bluetooth streaming before it will need a further charge.

Over the course of the week I’ve had the iClever bluetooth transmitter streaming for the majority of the day from the headphone output of my desktop PC to the EasyAcc DP100 bluetooth speaker and can confirm that I’m getting at least 12 hours if not more.

I’ve paired this audio transmitter with two bluetooth speakers, a set of iClever bluetooth earphones, which I recently reviewed and my Ausdom M04S bluethooth headphones.  All connected quickly and without fault.  The iClever will only connect one device at a time, but will remember 6 devices and reconnect without having to pair them again.

Testing the iClever bluetooth audio transmitter with a TV I have a pretty impressive surround sound system consisting of 5 custom made Bowers & Wilkins in-wall speakers and a B&W sub, powered by a Denon AV receiver. If I lived alone in a detached property out in the country this would be all I need for my audio visual entertainment. Unfortunately I have 2 young children, a noise sensitive neighbour and an even more sensitive partner.  One solution would be to get an extra long cable to connect a set of wired headphones, but for me, I find it an annoyance. On more than one occasion it’s become a trip wire.  I’ve had headphones yanked off my head and the phono jack forced sideways while connected to the AV receiver.

With the iClever IC-BTT03 bluetooth transmitter connected to the AV receiver, I’m able to crank up the volume without the fear of an ‘event’ unfolding.

Audio quality will be largely dependant on the headphones or speakers you are transmitting to. The apt-X low latency codecs will ensure the signal is going to be as good as it can possibly get.

The iClever low latency bluetooth transmitter connected to an AV receiver

The iClever Low Latency bluetooth transmitter sent crystal clear audio at an impressive range.  The only time I had any issue with interference was while charging from my PC’s USB port as I was streaming audio.  There seemed to be slight breathing noise, which I could only hear if I had the volume low or the music off.  I connected the transmitter to the USB port of my AV receiver and could not replicate the white noise, so I’m guessing it had something to do with electrical interference from my PC.

1Verdict

The IC-BTT03 is a fantastic little device, ideal for streaming audio from a TV via bluetooth.  To make full use of the apt-X low latency feature it’s worth noting that the receiving device has to also be apt-X low latency compatible, otherwise the connection will be downscaled to regular apt-x or a standard SBC bluetooth mode.

Bluetooth headphones or speakers with apt-x low latency are typically high-end and expensive. The cost effective option to achieve the low latency connection with the iClever audio transmitter would be to also use a low-latency bluetooth receiver or transceiver. This type of set up is currently being offered by Avantree.  It would be nice to see iClever follow suit and offer a sister device for the IC-BTT03.

I did also test this transmitter with standard apt-x compatible bluetooth headphones and the audio visual sync is still pretty damn good, even without the low latency.  Unless you’re a hardcore gamer or professional DJ you’ll have no worries.

I hope you found this review useful,  if so please leave a comment below or share it socially – Thanks!

Buy Online

Price information last updated on the 5th of August 2016 at 11:40 GMT
details »

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

2 COMMENTS

    • Hi Thomas,

      The Bluetooth transmitter should pair up with your Bluetooth headphones or speakers independently from your TV, then you simply have to plug it into your headphone out jack. If your TV doesn’t have a singular 3.5mm jack (for regular headphones) then you might need a 3.5mm phono to RCA cable. They are really cheap to buy – here’s a link.

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