Review: Bayan Audio StreamPort Universal
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Alex Fice
Bayan’s StreamPort Universal uses Bluetooth and NFC to pair up.
Pairing up legacy audio devices might be part of your day to day working life, especially when you’re in other people’s studios or premises. You want something portable, maybe battery powered and that is quick to achieve a sound. Bayan Audio’s StreamPort Universal might be that product. Apart from the battery powered side of things, it’s only mains powered, the StreamPort ticks all the boxes. It’s well made, as little as an Apple TV box and is pretty idiot proof to pair up to your hand/mobile device.
The technology is Bluetooth with apt-x and NFC. Bluetooth is commonplace but adding the apt-x codec gives the chance for the wireless sound to be as good as wired. apt-x has CD quality specs. NFC is on some new Android devices and maybe on the iPhone soon, its advantage is that pairing is only a matter of waving the device near the StreamPort to pair, but Bluetooth isn’t much harder and doesn’t need a number entry to proceed. A trio of different sets of tones confirms the pairing and a couple of lights keeps you aware of a pairing.
Input to StreamPort is only 3.5mm or RCA phono plugs, no digital inputs are here. But many people have bought and kept very expensive speaker systems which they may have felt were left out of the wireless world. This kind of device will re-kindle your relationship with old and much loved speakers.
Very simple and some might say limited inputs of RCA phono plugs and 3.5mm cable.Performance is good but if you challenge the Bluetooth range you will get cuts and clicks. But what are you doing walking away anyway!
I can see people using this device to carry around their music for scoring ideas or sound effects ideas to bring in to an edit or scoring session. Maybe a battery option could have been useful but then the small box would have been bigger and less of a ‘chuck in your bag’ item. The Streamport also allows you to ignore Apple’s AirPlay, a technology whose licensing charges unfairly pushes speaker system’s prices up. StreamPort is a ‘connect it – forget’ type of product for your old or existing speakers which might just sound as good as new systems.
At £60 you wouldn’t want to pay anymore for it, but it’s solidly built and comes with cables of both types.