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uPlay Puck review

uPlay Puck
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £60
inc VAT

QED’s uPlay has better audio than most Bluetooth receivers or headphones, but it’s still not as good as using a 3.5mm stereo cable

QED’s uPlay is a good-looking Bluetooth receiver that plugs in to a stereo or pair of speakers and allows you to stream music to it from any Bluetooth-enabled phone, MP3 player or PC. It has a 3.5mm stereo jack, which you use to connect it to your audio kit, and there’s also a supplied RCA phono adaptor, which is compatible with the inputs found on many home stereos. It requires mains power, and a transformer is supplied. It has just a single button, which both powers it on and sets it listening for Bluetooth associations.

Associating a Bluetooth device with the uPlay is easy – you don’t even have to enter a pin code to authenticate your connection with the receiver, so you can just connect and play. We tested its range and found that we got a stable audio stream at distances of up to ten metres, but not much beyond and definitely not once we passed through a metal-framed doorway.

uPlay Puck

The unit uses the apt-X streaming audio codec, which is the standard for Bluetooth HD-Audio. It’s a discernable improvement on standard Bluetooth audio. However, in a side-by-side test with a wired audio connection, we still noticed compression artefacts, particularly on high-frequency sounds like cymbal and hi-hat strikes. Sadly, the bandwidth limitations of the Bluetooth standard mean that compression is inevitable.

Although it doesn’t look as good, we prefer the Lindy’s USB Wireless Audio Sender for transmitting audio from a PC to a set of speakers – it uses the same 2.4GHz frequency but doesn’t compress your audio in the same way.

Bluetooth transmission is the easiest option if you’re using a mobile phone and the uPlay is the best Bluetooth audio receiver we’ve heard. However, it’s an expensive way of listening to music when you could just directly connect your phone’s headphone output to your stereo.



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