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In short, I am looking for a Bluetooth->3.5 mini stereo converter. What is this type of device called, and what are some of the best models (is there a difference in audio quality/lag)?

I wish to connect some speakers (Altec Lansing inMotion IM7), which does not support Bluetooth, to my laptop (Lenovo X301) wirelessly.

Currently, I can connect my laptop's headphone jack to the AUX jack on my speakers via a mini stereo cable. How do I replace this cable with some type of Bluetooth setup?

I am not sure what this Bluetooth device is called. I thought I found something, but it actually does the opposite of what I need (3.5 mini stereo->Bluetooth).

(My OS is Vista Enterprise, if that matters)

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3 Answers

this is what I am using now to send BT audio to my speakers in my room.

X2-N88

The Jabra BT3030 Dogtag is the rebranded, more expensive version of the same product. Have your pick, both works just as well with no issues whatsoever.

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Nextegg has deactivated the Jabra BT3030 - use Amazon instead. amazon.com/Jabra-BT3030-Bluetooth-Stereo-Headset/dp/B000XT3L7W –  caliban Sep 5 '09 at 17:41
    
With regards to power, I have a powered USB hub on the shelf where the speakers reside - and the X2-N88 draws power from that hub. It's never turned off. –  caliban Sep 5 '09 at 19:35
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I believe the Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver should do the trick.

http://www.belkin.com/iwcatproductpage.process?product_id=508754

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

What I was looking for was a Bluetooth audio (A2DP) receiver. All Bluetooth headsets qualify; some are designed with a 3.5 mini stereo jack so other wired headsets (or speakers) can be swapped in.

Unfortunately, all many Bluetooth receivers seem to suffer from audio lag. This means video ends up not sync'ing with the audio properly. This may be fixed with the upcoming 3.0 version of Bluetooth. See SHIFT: Why you don't have Bluetooth headphones yet for more info.

Update: I did some more research recently. Bluetooth does not have enough bandwidth to transmit raw audio; it must be compressed in some way. This is why there are lag/video sync issues: in many cases the audio signal is delayed by an extra encoding/decoding step.

There are a couple of ways to avoid this problem:

  1. Skip the extra encoding/decoding. If the paired Bluetooth devices both support the codec being played (like MP3 or SBC) the audio signal does not have to be re-encoded. SBC is the only codec mandated by the Bluetooth spec[PDF].
  2. Calculate how much lag encoding/decoding will cause, then delay the video signal by that much.

So if you pick your Bluetooth hardware carefully, you may be able to avoid much of that lag. The previously suggested BT3030 seems like it would pair well with the Broadcom Bluetooth chip on my Lenovo X301, but now I am having trouble finding a place to get it.

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안녕 wonsungi! the X2-N88 is a BT audio receiver that supports A2DP. It comes with a 3.5mm stereo jack by the side. With regards to lag... I can still watch videos and have the audio put out without any real sync issues. Maybe a few milliseconds, but almost undetectable. –  caliban Sep 5 '09 at 19:33
    
@wonsungi I have watched plenty of videos on my phone with my A2DP headphones - without lag. I can't believe the player software would be aware of some fixed lag for all bluetooth devices and compensate... This isn't to say lag might not be an issue, but I have serious doubts that it is directly related to the BT spec and not some specific hardware combination. –  Goyuix Apr 22 '10 at 13:41
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