Review Price £289.99
Manufacturer: Blue Aura
The Blue Aura X30 is a powered stereo speaker system with built-in Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless audio streaming. With a 25W amplifier on-board, these discreet, self-contained speakers make a nifty alternative to a soundbar or dock, allowing you to play music or boost TV sound in style. Although the X30 is designed primarily for music, a decent array of connections on the back allows you to hook up your TV or Blu-ray deck and give movie soundtracks a boost, or rig them up to a PC.
We’ve reviewed a couple of Blue Aura’s systems before (the Blue Aura WS80i powered speakers and v30 Blackline valve amp music system) and were hugely impressed by their stunning build quality and polished yet powerful sound. Needless to say, we’re hoping for more of the same from the X30.
The X30’s exterior design is to die for. The cabinets’ dappled faux leather finish gives them a high-quality look and feel, topped off nicely by curved corners and visible stitching running along the top panel. The X30 comes in a choice of two novel-sounding colours, Sahara (beige) and Graphite – for our money Sahara is the nicer of the two.
On the front is a black metal speaker grille, which can be removed if you want to show off the drivers. These are mounted on a firmly-bolted front baffle, which is typical of the X30’s superb overall build quality – although we’d expect nothing less at this price.
The speakers can be wall mounted, placed on stands or simple plonked on shelves or TV stands – each speaker has a large non-slip rubber pad on the bottom.
The X30 system includes one powered speaker (right) and one passive slave (left). The two are connected using Blue Aura’s supplied ‘Quick Connect’ cable, which is a standard RJ-45 lead.
The right speaker houses a healthy array of sockets that allows you to connect external sources. The optical digital input is ideal for hooking up a TV or Blu-ray deck, backed up by analogue RCA input and a subwoofer output for beefing up bass.
You can expand connectivity and signal range further by attaching Blue Aura’s optional wireless receiver dongle (WSTxR) to the X30’s USB port. The WSTxR is available as part of the WAS1 kit with the WSt transmitter (£129.99) or separately (£67.50).
This transmitter/receiver solution makes it possible to beam signals to the X30 from other devices around the home (up to 25m away).
Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility is the big draw here. You can pair a compatible Android device with the X30 using NFC technology by tapping it on the logo (stylishly stamped into the right speaker’s top panel) then stream music wirelessly. It supports the apt-X codec, which offers better sound quality than regular Bluetooth.
Each speaker features a 3.5in paper cone and ferrite magnet, with a 20mm soft dome tweeter on high-frequency duty. Quoted frequency range is 55Hz-22kHz. A Class D amplifier inside the right speaker supplies 25W of power.
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