The best Bluetooth solution for streaming music from a smartphone or tablet to a stereo system

Use a Bluetooth receiver such as the BlueAnt Ribbon to send music from your phone or tablet to an existing stereo system

The way in which we store and listen to music has changed vastly since the advent of digital-audio-playing-smartphones and Cloud-based music streaming services. These days, we are less likely to buy a CD and pop it in a player than we are to download a digital album from the likes of Apple’s iTunes or Google’s Play Music and listen to it directly through a phone or tablet (not even a dedicated MP3 player!). But what if you want to listen to downloaded or streaming music through your existing stereo system?

Get a Bluetooth receiver

A neat answer to this question is to use Bluetooth. All new smartphones and tablets come with Bluetooth, which allows you to stream audio wirelessly from your device to your stereo system. As long as your mobile device has Bluetooth, then the only other piece of hardware that you need is a Bluetooth receiver that can be plugged in to your stereo system.

You’ll have to purchase one of these types of devices from your local retailer, but they can be a little hard to find.

BlueAnt is a great option

We managed to buy a BlueAnt Ribbon streamer from Harvey Norman. It's one of the best Bluetooth streamers we've used and it's designed primarily for mobile use. It's actually made in such a way so that it can be clipped to your shirt for convenience.

The BlueAnt Ribbon Bluetooth streamer.
The BlueAnt Ribbon Bluetooth streamer.

Nevertheless, it still works for our purposes of streaming music to a stereo system. You can plug the BlueAnt in to your stereo system's auxiliary input by using a cable that has a 3.5mm jack on one end, and left and right RCA connectors on the other. Because the BlueAnt Ribbon runs on battery, you'll have to charge it every six hours or so, unless you can get a USB power adapter for it and leave it plugged in near your stereo system (a micro-USB cable is used for charging).

To connect to the BlueAnt, simply hold down the power (middle) button for a few seconds until the white light goes a little crazy, enable Bluetooth on your phone, and pair the devices. The sound quality from this little streamer is excellent and part of this is its support for the aptX audio codec, which is meant to facilitate high quality streaming over the Bluetooth connection. Look for this codec in any Bluetooth streamer that you buy.

Pairing to a Bluetooth device through an Android phone.
Pairing to a Bluetooth device through an Android phone.

Cheap and nasty

The BlueAnt costs about $70, but you can check eBay if you want something cheaper. We picked up a little streamer called 8ware MusicToothPro. It's a small device that cost us about $22 including shipping across Australia, and it, too, has only an analogue output. It ships with the 3.5mm stereo-to-RCA cable that you need to connect it to your Hi-Fi.

Understandably, its quality is not as good as that of the BlueAnt, with noticeable background noise being heard during quieter periods in the music, but for all intents and purposes, it should be just fine for when you want to rock a party.

The cheap MusicToothPro that we picked up from eBay.
The cheap MusicToothPro that we picked up from eBay.

Next: Other devices

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags music streamingbluetoothsmartphonestabletsstreaming

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?