The egg-shaped Bard USB from Sonneteer is one of the simplest wireless solutions going. It consists of just a USB transmitter and a receiver unit with a pair of phono leads.
Simply plug the Bard USB into your PC or Mac, hook up the receiver to your amp of powered speakers, and you’re ready to go – there’s nothing to plug it into the mains, which is pleasing, and there’s no software to install.
No compression required
The egg will simply retrieve tunes from your hard disk drive, and send them wirelessly to your connected hi-fi system or speakers. You can also, of course, play internet radio through your hi-fi, negating the need for a separate tuner or external aerial.
The BardUSB doesn’t compress the audio signal being transmitted, so it can offer superior sound as standard. This translates to excellent performance, with good levels of detail and bass, and top-end clarity.
Of course, if the tunes are compressed at source – lossy MP3s for example – then the Bard can’t upscale them. Keep to 192kbps and above and you shouldn’t go wrong.
The BardUSB is a great idea, its combination of style, simplicity of use and performance sets it apart from others. It seems expensive – especially as you’ll have to budget extra for a remote control – but on the plus side, it doesn’t need a router like many other wireless rivals.