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article imageReview: Inateck BR1003 — bring Bluetooth to any device with a 3.5mm jack

By James Walker     Oct 27, 2016 in Technology
The Inateck BR1003 is a compact Bluetooth adapter that lets any device transmit and receive audio wirelessly. With mobile devices increasingly emphasising Bluetooth accessories, the BR1003 lets you bring incompatible products into the wireless ecosystem.
Bluetooth audio is on the rise, thanks in no small part to Apple's removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. Although most mobile devices can transmit Bluetooth audio, not all stereo systems are able to receive it. Inateck's BR1003 is a tiny Bluetooth audio adapter that can both receive and transmit sound.
The device measures up at just 43.8x43.8mm, a small square that’s dominated by a large status LED on the top. On the front, you'll find the power button and a switch that toggles between the Bluetooth transmitter and receiver modes. Along one of the dongle's sides, there's the 3.5mm input/output jack and the micro USB charging port.
Inateck BR1003 Bluetooth audio adapter
Inateck BR1003 Bluetooth audio adapter
Inateck
Using the BR1003 is very simple. In receiver mode, it shows up as a Bluetooth device in your smartphone, tablet or PC's wireless connection menu. Bluetooth 4.1, the latest version of the specification, is used, enabling a power efficient connection across a 10m range. Once paired, the device will receive all the audio playing on your phone, like a Bluetooth speaker.
It passes it along the 3.5mm cable to your stereo, TV, monitor or other output device, letting you stream audio wirelessly to speakers that don't have Bluetooth built-in. The BR1003 can automatically reconnect to up to eight known devices when it is turned on.
Inateck BR1003 Bluetooth audio adapter
Inateck BR1003 Bluetooth audio adapter
Inateck
Transmitter mode is similarly simple to set-up. This allows you to connect the BR1003 to a device that doesn't have Bluetooth, such as a TV, and stream its sound wirelessly to, for example, a Bluetooth speaker. The BR1003 automatically connects to Bluetooth products in its vicinity. Details of up to four devices can be saved in its storage and two connections can be retained at any time. This lets you play music from multiple sources simultaneously.
I've been using the BR1003 for a couple of weeks, primarily in receiver mode. I haven't noticed any loss of quality when playing music from my phone to some high-end speakers via the adapter. Similarly, transmitting FM radio through a stereo's headphone jack to Inateck's BP1109 speaker worked without any issues. It's a reliable way to add Bluetooth to an existing sound system.
Inateck BR1003 Bluetooth audio adapter
Inateck BR1003 Bluetooth audio adapter
Inateck
The adapter is compact, unobtrusive and easy to setup. I also found its claim of a roughly 12-hour battery life to be generally accurate. A full charge is obtained after around two hours when connected to a USB power supply.
At $29.99, the BR1003 does cost more than some of its rivals. However, most competitor products are either transmitters or receivers. The BR1003's dual operation modes, high quality sound, long battery life and extremely compact form factor earn it a recommendation, although you would do well to shop around before buying. It is available from Amazon in the U.S. and a selection of other regions worldwide.
Verdict
The Inateck BR1003 is a useful accessory to connect all your devices to wireless audio. With a long battery life and dual operation modes, the BR1003's core features offset its high price. The device is easy to use and its tiny footprint lets it fit into any room or sound setup.
Pros
- Can operate as a transmitter or receiver
- Very compact
- Long battery life
Cons
- Higher price than some rivals
- Light weight makes it difficult to place the device in a permanent position
More about inateck, Bluetooth, Audio, Wireless