The Belkin HD Bluetooth Music Receiver. Photo: AFP
A new device is the simplest and possibly cheapest way to wirelessly send music from a mobile device to a stereo system or merely a set of powered speakers.
The receiver, compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device, also supports NFC so that smartphones and tablets that contain the technology simply have to be tapped against it to make a connection and start streaming.
"The HD Bluetooth Music Receiver gives you the best of both worlds, exceptional audio quality and the convenience of accessing music stored directly on your mobile device or your favorite music service," said Nate Kraft, director of product management at Belkin. "It even stores settings for up to eight different devices, meaning the whole family can stream their favorite music seamlessly to the best sounding system in your home."
As the popularity of smartphones and tablets continues to grow, so does the market for high-quality headphones, powered speakers and devices for connecting mobile devices to more robust music systems.
The latest figures from NPD show that over 2012's Black Friday and holiday periods, headphone sales were up 15% in the US and sound bars and streaming-capable speakers were also extremely popular. Sales dollars rose in those categories by 47% and 276%, respectively.
Belkin was one of the first companies to enter this market with its original Bluetooth Music Receiver and it very quickly became a hit with technology journalists and the general public alike as one of the most inexpensive and simplest ways of connecting devices and playing music. As such it made the CNET "Best Tech Gifts for Under $50" list for 2012.
The new version, which is expected to retail for $59.99, should also prove to be popular as the demand for such devices continues to grow.