BluHifi takes another stab at crowdfunding its BluAmp Bluetooth amplifier
By Paul Ridden
December 27, 2013
Earlier in the year, Utah's Aaron Myer launched a Kickstarter campaign to get his BluAmp Bluetooth 50-watt amplifier into the hands of wireless music lovers. Unfortunately, the campaign didn't reach its funding target, but Myer pushed on regardless. The newly revamped BluAmp 50 has been joined by a less powerful sibling, the BluAmp 20, and Myer has hit Kickstarter for a second time.
Both flavors of the BluAmp Bluetooth amplifier feature Bluetooth 4.0 with the aptX audio codec, but will support streaming from devices with earlier versions of the wireless technology. The amps can auto-detect when a paired music source is within range and are said to be compatible with any brand of Bluetooth speakers (though they can be cabled up to non-wireless speakers, too). Output volume can be controlled using the dial on the front of the BluAmps, or wirelessly via the source device.
Each unit is powered by a 120 - 240 V external supply, has a 3.5 mm line-in jack for playback from a wired source, and boasts less than 0.03 percent total harmonic distortion and noise at 10 W. The BluAmp 20 is built around a 20-watt RMS per channel Class-T amplifier, and the BluAmp 50 has been treated to a 50-watt per channel Class-D digital amplifier. The latter also gains stereo MEMS microphones for speakerphone capabilities, EQ tweaking and track control on the unit itself, and a subwoofer RCA output to cater for some extra low end thunder when hooked up to a powered subwoofer.
Pre-production prototypes of both amps have been built, and the company has again headed to Kickstarter to get the finished units into the market place. The first 100 backers to pledge US$99 will be shipped a BluAmp 20 in July next year, if all goes well. The early bird BluAmp 50 is pitched at $189.
There are also pledge levels which include BluHifi bookshelf speakers. These 6 x 10 x 7.25 in (15.2 x 25.4 x 18.4 cm) black wireless audio throwers each feature a high quality 1-inch dome tweeter and 4-inch long-throw kevlar woofer, with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and SPL of 87 dB for a claimed balanced, accurate "room filling sound, crystal clear highs and solid tight bass."
The campaign is due to end on February 23. The pitch video below shows the amps and speakers in action.