July 17, 2017 by Mixcder
Pros - It Works!!! Easily the best Bluetooth receiver I have tried. Pairs with 2 sets of headphones or speakers as a transmitter. Great coverage range. No dropouts at all.
Cons - Tiny device and plastic build might not be super durable.
I would like to thank Mixcder for providing
me with the TR008. Mixcder was kind enough to send me the Tr008 as part of a
The TR008 is a device that is tough to categorize. I’ve had a couple small Bluetooth receivers that I bought for my kids to use their phones as source to older home gear that didn’t support Bluetooth with varying degrees of failure. Some didn’t work at all, others worked some of the time but were subject to drop outs and noise. I have not had the opportunity to tryout a box that provided Bluetooth transmit capability so was interested to see how this would work. (If not at least a bit skeptical).
The box is well laid out, has all the specs printed on the back, and contains a good mix of cables, the TR008 itself and a manual. Cables are housed in a 2nd compartment to keep the device from getting scratched up in transit. Overall, well done. I must remark about two things that struck me immediately upon looking at the packaging, First off, it was so light I thought I might have been sent an empty box. Secondly, when I opened the box I was shocked to realize the TR008 itself takes up less than ½ the overall size of the box. To say it is tiny is an understatement.
The housing is plastic and roughly 2 inches square by 1 inch thick. I suspect that the same device could be made in a larger, heavier, brushed aluminum case and sold for a good bit more money but Mixcder chose to make this as compact as possible. When you realize this has a battery in it along with all the connectivity options, it really is amazingly small. The left end of the box has the Transmit/receive switch along with the pairing button. The front of the box has the 3.5mm Jack, an Optical Jack, the USB Port, and the power button. Indicator lights are positioned over the switches
on the top of the case. Cables include a USB Charge cable, a 3.5mm male to male cable (3 foot) a 3.5mm Male to Male adapter 2 inches for direct connect, a 3 foot optical cable, and a RCA Male to 3.5mm female adapter stereo adapter. This provides a ton of connectivity options and is a huge plus as it doesn’t require secondary purchases to be ready to use.
The battery is a tiny lithium ion cell of roughly 500mAh capacity. The good news is that the system will run while charging and that if plugged in via the USB cable the system will continue to draw current from the USB side and not drain the battery. I found the battery to have limited utility as it lasted between 4 and 5 hours in transmit mode and slightly longer in receive mode.
Pairing is a fairly smooth and familiar procedure until you get to adding a 2nd device which adds a new wrinkle. Luckily, pairing the 2nd device is as simple as pairing the first and this gives the device great utility when used in transmit mode. Use with Dual Devices is great for watching TV to two sets of headphones or gaming as all controls are handled at the source (pause, mute etc) or at the endpoint (volume) so no need for controls on the transmitter. I found the Bluetooth transmitter/receiver to have good range and easily support connections up to 35 feet when the device being paired was up to the challenge. It should be noted that while this device supports AptX 4.2 that it does require the other end of the connection to support it as well and will drop back to lesser standards when both devices don't support AptX. I found that best connectivity was indeed to other devices that supported the most recent standard which should come as a surprise to no-one.
The optical connection is limited to PCM only so avoid pairing it with DTS or Dolby Digital sources. That said, I was able to connect the TR008 using the Asus Xonar optical Out to the optical in on the TR008 and enjoy listening to my MS301s while roaming around the house. Interestingly this combination even worked while I was on a different floor than the transmitter which I had not expected since cordless phones have trouble with the same task.
I connected the 3.5mm input on the TR008 to
the 3.5mm output on the Xonar and found no audible difference between that and
the optical connection.
The most fun I have had with the TR008 Bluetooth transmitter and receiver came when setting it up in receive mode. I attached it to an older Kenwood Ka-9100 amp and a pair of Yamaha outdoor speakers to use by the pool. The kids love the ability to pair a phone and play music off their phone or from Pandora or Spotify directly to the outdoor system and still have the ability to keep the phone poolside for the obligatory text messaging that most teens do. The TR008 easily allowed for switching of paired devices by simply pressing the pairing button and during the week we had it outside we paired it with no less than 5 different makes and models of phones (Iphone6+, Samsung G6, HTC M9, Google Pixel, and LG G6). None of the phones were problematic and pairing went smoothly with all the different makes.
I also tried the TR008 in receive mode to connect my laptop to my main system and found that it worked well for that purpose as streaming from my laptop was smooth and uninterrupted even with considerable distance and traffic in between the devices.
If the device had any coloration or impact to the sound profile, I was unable to detect it.
This is the first Bluetooth receiver I have used that worked and worked consistently. In over two weeks of heavy use, I have not had a single problem out of the device in either transmit mode or receive mode. It even has worked at distances at which all other receivers I have tried failed miserably. If you are in the market for a Bluetooth receiver or transmitter, the TR008 should be on your short list of models to tryout. My daughter has eyes on mine but she is going to have to buy her own. Luckily Mixcder has priced them so everyone can afford one.
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