This little gadget has transformed my music listening experience.
I have a fairly decent Hi Fi system – a Cambridge Audio amplifier, a Marantz CD player, Tannoy speakers and a Denon tuner.
Apart from the tuner (radio) however, I have made little use of it in recent years. I haven’t bought a CD since I can’t remember when and hardly ever use it to play CDs -most of my collection is in a box in the attic. The reason is the easy availability of music online – in my case I make regular use of my Spotify Premium account: a brilliant service that effectively lets you listen to practically everything ever recorded, more or less. That and the best online music radio service on the planet – Radio Paradise – plus excellent terrestrial radio shows like John Creedon’s, John Kelly’s and Lillian Smith’s on RTE.
Up until a few weeks ago my online listening was done via Bluetooth on my car radio, through headphones, or through a Vava Voom speaker – one of the best standalone Bluetooth speakers on the market.
A pity though that I couldn’t use those Tannoy speakers and the Cambridge Audio amp. The sound quality would be so much better.
And then I heard on a radio show about Bluetooth devices that would allow me to do just that. I did a search on Amazon and the Esinkin popped up. I clicked “Buy Now” immediately – the total cost including postage was €35. I figured it was worth a try for that price – even if it didn’t work, so what?
It arrived a week before Christmas. When I opened the box I found to my annoyance that it had only a two-pin continental-style plug as opposed to the three-pin type we use in Ireland and the UK. Luckily, I had a converter to hand so that solved that. (The model I purchased has since been superseded and I’d imagine it now ships with the proper plug – similar devices are also made by other manufacturers.) It was then a matter of connecting the unit via the supplied cable to the back of the amp. It was operational within 15 minutes of it being received in the post.
The sound quality is excellent. I did a blind audio test by switching between a CD track and the same one on Spotify via the Esinkin and listeners could not tell the difference. I’m sure discriminating audiophiles would be able to do so but for me at least the difference in quality is negligible.
This gadget is to audio what Chromecast is to TV. Like the latter, it is fantastically good value for the price and opens up a whole new area of listening pleasure.