Belkin SongStream HD Bluetooth Music Receiver Review

I placed my order for the Belkin SongStream Bluetooth HD Music Receiver on July 29, 2013. Set up was a breeze, and it’s been working away happily ever since.

I’ve become accustomed to the ubiquity of Bluetooth. In my search to add Bluetooth to my older A/V receivers, I found that there were an overwhelming number of options available, so I thinned out the playing field by looking for a Bluetooth receiver that had an optical output. At the time of purchase, the Belkin SongStream Bluetooth HD Music Receiver (MSRP $59.99, Amazon.com) was the only option out on the market.

I looked for a Bluetooth receiver with optical audio output because this allows us to retain an untouched signal for that much longer. Passing an untouched signal allows us to bypass whatever DAC the manufacturer of the Bluetooth receiver decided to put into their box — this work goes to a dedicated A/V receiver setup.

This little device gives Bluetooth wireless audio capabilities to any receiver, allowing for high-fidelity playback on your existing system. Total outlay at the time was $59.99 (July 29, 2013). I supplied my own optical audio cable, but the Belkin SongStream Bluetooth HD Music Receiver can also connect to your home A/V receiver through coax. Or RCA. Or 3.5mm jack.

It’s brilliant in its plug-and-play simplicity and arrives in eco-friendly packaging. Inside the box, I found a power adapter and cables for hooking up through coax or RCA. The unit itself is made of black plastic, with a glossy face, and a rubberized base. Upon plugging it in, the unit’s single blue LED lights up briefly, before going dark again.

I was able to pair my iPhone with the HD Bluetooth Music Receiver in a few seconds. Pairing with my MacBook Air was similarly fast. Audio playback has been smooth and jitter-free.

The Belkin SongStream HD Bluetooth Music Receiver also has support for near-field communication (NFC), but I don’t have any NFC-enabled devices to test it on.

I felt the Belkin SongStream HD Bluetooth Music Receiver to be a good value at $60. The landscape of consumer electronic devices is constantly changing, and the asking price of the device has gone down as similar devices have made their way to market. I’m still pleased with my purchase, and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

There’s not much else to say about this device, other than the fact that it works. You can buy it now through Amazon.com and support my website in the process.

I hope you found this review helpful. If it’s not what you’re looking for, you can read more about other options to add Bluetooth to your home A/V receiver.