Skip Navigation

Arcam rBlink

Wireless Bluetooth® digital-to-analog converter

8 Reviews | 3 questions - 12 answers

Item #: 776RBLINK

This item is no longer available.

Shop all DACs

249.99

Overview

Our take on the Arcam rBlink

With Arcam's rBlink, you can enjoy all the music from your Bluetooth-enabled iPhone®, Android™ smartphone, iPad®, tablet, laptop or any device that supports Bluetooth audio through your home hi-fi system — with wireless ease and convenience. And it will sound fantastic. That's because this high-quality digital-to-analog converter does a much better job than your player's internal DAC and audio circuitry. Best of all, if your player supports high-end CSR aptX® Bluetooth audio, you can stream near-CD-quality music from your device to the rBlink.

Great sound and wireless Bluetooth® convenience

With Arcam's rBlink, you can enjoy all the music from your Bluetooth-enabled iPhone®, Android™ smartphone, iPad®, tablet, laptop or any device that supports Bluetooth audio through your home hi-fi system — with wireless ease and convenience. And it will sound fantastic. That's because this high-quality digital-to-analog converter does a much better job than your player's internal DAC and audio circuitry. Best of all, if your player supports high-end CSR aptX® Bluetooth audio, you can stream near-CD-quality music from your device to the rBlink.

Praise for the Arcam rBlink from Stereophile

"I love this thing! Highly recommended."

— From Sam Telligs's review in Stereophile, February 14, 2014
Read the full review

Nice product, cost effective for my needs in connecting my classic Stereo system and receiver while preserving sound quality. Plan to buy another. good sound quality to obtain remote bluetooth capability.

Tom, Portland Oregon

What's in the Box:

  • Bluetooth DAC
  • AC power adapter (w/ attached 47" DC cord)
  • 3 AC power plugs (US/UK/EU)
  • Antenna
  • 42" Coaxial digital cable
  • 42" Stereo RCA cable
  • Connections/Quickstart Guide
  • "Thank You/Product Registration" Letter

Product Highlights:

  • TI PCM5102 digital-to-analog converter for high-fidelity stereo sound
  • wireless audio streaming from any compatible Bluetooth device to an audio system
  • aptX® audio coding technology for near-CD-quality sound with compatible Bluetooth devices
  • compact design takes up little space
  • rugged cast aluminum case for durability
  • 1 pair of RCA audio outputs
  • coaxial digital (S/PDIF) audio output
  • frequency response: 10 to 20kHz (±0.1 dB)
  • THD: 0.002%
  • signal to noise ratio: 106 dB
  • 3"W x 1-1/16"H x 4"D
  • weight: 12.4 ounces
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

Arcam rBlink

Average Customer Review(s):

(8 Reviews)

Excellent Product

Tom from Portland Oregon on 10/24/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nice product, cost effective for my needs in connecting my classic Stereo system and receiver while preserving sound quality. Plan to buy another. good sound quality to obtain remote bluetooth capability.

Pros: Built in DAC capability, simple , and compact

Cons:

A big difference

Steve from Nyc on 10/13/2014

I had a mini RCA plugs into my phone out to my system I thought the sound was okay. Put this baby in it is totally amazing the hissing sound stopped vocals became crystal clear & alive the base became very smooth and well define highs are very crystal clear highly recommend this product you can connected to higher end dac and basically make that one Bluetooth as well

Pros: sound quality build quality flexibility

Cons: None

Outstanding

Nick from Santa Cruz, CA on 5/2/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm using this to stream from Google Play and Spotify using a $200 Acer C720 Chromebook and it works flawlessly and sounds amazing, especially with 320 kbps files from Google Play. I had an AQ Dragonfly 1.0, which I also liked, but it didn't work with Chromebook (at least not yet), plus I didn't want to be tethered by a cable to my system. The rBlink sounds every bit as good, if not better. I don't know if I'm streaming over apt-X or not (probably just BT 4.0 based on the specs of my Chromebook) and I'm not sure I care. It sounds that good. The build quality is excellent. I couldn't believe how heavy it is, especially for such a compact component - feels like it's milled out of a solid block of aluminum. The front and back cable configuration turned out to be an advantage, as I was able to position the rBlink sideways behind my turntable on the top shelf, where it stays out of sight (almost wish I could see it, since it's such a nice piece of gear). Other components include a Parasound Classic 2100 preamp and 4 Marantz MA500 monoblock amps driving a pair of Polk RT7s and self-built subwoofers. I couldn't be happier with the sound and convenience of this setup. I much prefer the simplicity and ease-of-use of Google Play over iTunes or JRiver, and bluetooth is so much more flexible than Apple TV or a USB dongle, since both Apple and Android products support bluetooth. As another reviewer said, I'd like it even better for $150, but I feel like I got my money's worth

Pros: Wireless freedom Flexibility Reliability Build quality Sound quality

Cons: Cost

Surprised and pleased

SteveB from Western MT on 4/10/2014

As near CD quality as I could have hoped. Stays connected and does the job. Nice piece of kit.

Pros: Works like a charm. Decent on-board DAC. CDs ripped in Apple Lossless sound very good. Great services as usual from Crutchfield.

Cons: Odd configuration with cable attachments at either end.

Expensive but finally Wow.

Older_not_Wiser from Lancaster, PA on 3/7/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is my third Bluetooth stereo adaptor. Finally, I'm happy! My first was a NXG-BTR, about $40. Didn't sound too bad, and I thought it was a necessary compromise to run the (basic) Bluetooth compression algorithm. Eventually, this stopped pairing with my primary source although it paired with everything else just fine. Range was 25-30' including one wall. To improve range and hope for better sound, I bought Amped Wireless BTSA1 which did have about 20% more range(another 5'-10' probably due solely to the external antenna as the internal chipset was quite 'budget') but the highs were shrill and there was no bottom end at all. My subwoofer added no value to music anymore and sounded the same turned off. I proofed this inadequancy with a frequency generator through the BT digital link; this was NOT a problem with the budget NXG device. Returned! Finally I found this ARCAM. It actually listed the frequency response and it's flatness in the data sheet. It sounds SO clear and SO full with my Magnepan speakers; woofer is back! I am using the RCA-outputs, not serial digital. And that the wireless range is MORE than either of the other two units I tried is a wonderful surprise bonus; I 50' including two walls. This is a quality product and expensive, but if this is how I'm listening to a lot of my music it should complement my speaker/amp investment. Buy this.

Pros: Wireless Range was best of three I tried, even one which was marketed for extra range. Amazing. Frequency range is in the datasheet - try to find that anywhere else. Sig gen test backs that up. Implements the highest quality BT digital transmission codec: aptX. Although backwards compatible with other lesser implementations of A2DP protocol; to get the best sound check your BT audio source for atpX encoding. My Galaxy S4 has it. Or buy this now and get aptX in your next phone/PC.

Cons: Weird connector locations. Wires on the 'front' and the 'back', makes a curious design statement. Physical separation can be good for signal quality in the box, but an odd thing to position on shelf. I'd like it better at $149, but frankly I haven't found anything else of this quality. Anything less wastes my speakers and my time.

Excellent Product and Great Service (as always)

SteveT from New York on 1/23/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installs in an instant, works flawlessly. The sound, streaming from my MacBook Air, is much better than expected - pretty close to CD quality. The rBlink is compact but very solid, and I appreciate that all cables, including both RCA and optical cables, are supplied, together with multiple AC plugs. Crutchfield service was, as always, perfect - easy to order, delivery sooner than expected, and well packaged.

Pros: It just works.

Cons: None, really, although it might have been nice if all connections were on the same side of the unit. With connections on opposite sides, there's no way to hide the cables.

nice product

adrien from Alexandria, VA on 12/29/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a very nicely made and conceived little device that [puts the priority on sound quality. Streaming off the iPhone sounds much better than in the car, and below a certain level is indistinguishable from a cd source. The fact that it's wireless is very convenient. In the home, it basically means you can control all your cloud music off your iPhone, whether it's stored on the phone or not. Also great for Pandora, and Tune in Radio. Pairing is easy; just push the pairing button and then link to any Bluetooth device.

Pros: A great way to add bluetooth to an existing receiver, extending its life and adding the convenience of streaming anything from your library.

Cons: You can only pair one device at a time. It would be great if you could pair multiples, and simply have the device choose from the most recent one.

Fantastic

mke5pennies from Milwaukee, WI on 6/19/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great product. Sound quality is very important to me. Typically I buy CDs but that is increasingly difficult in the age of digital music. I relented and subscribed to a streaming music service. Problem is I want to use my phone to stream because it has a well designed interface and, let's face it, it's already in my hand. I have a good hi-fi system with highly revealing speakers (Onkyo 606 to B&W 684 speakers). Plugging in to my receiver through my phone's headphone jack sounded muddled. But the Arcam rBlink has saved the day! It is super easy to connect with your bluetooth devise sounds amazing!! I would say it's worth the price. Night and day difference when you add the rBlink's DAC and audio processing to your kit. Highly recommended!

Pros: Easy to set up and it "just works" Very solid build quality Excellent DAC and music processing Supports aptX Bluetooth

Cons: The audio and power cords are on opposite sides of the box so you pretty much can't set it up without showing a cord.

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Bluetooth Audio Converter: The Arcam rBlink Bluetooth audio converter enables wireless connection of your Bluetooth-enabled devices (such as your Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Blackberry, or laptop/computer) to your home entertainment system. Now, you will be able to listen to music files and music apps from your Bluetooth-enabled devices on your home stereo system (your home system must have a free analog stereo RCA or digital Coaxial audio input).

Bluetooth A2DP Technology: The Arcam rBlink Bluetooth audio converter features Bluetooth A2DP technology, which allows you to wirelessly stream audio from your Bluetooth-enabled device to your home entertainment system. You will continue to control your music and view song/artist information from your Bluetooth-enabled device.

Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Arcam rBlink. 

Apt-X Compatible: Apt-X audio coding, which is featured on a growing number of Android mobile devices as well as MacBooks and Apple desktop computers, allows audio to be broadcast wirelessly in significantly higher quality than over standard Bluetooth. The apt-X codec achieves a 4:1 compression ratio, allowing for near-CD quality listening  (16-bit/44.1kHz). You'll instantly notice more extensive dynamic range, deeper bass, and crystal-clear top end.

Simple Pairing & Auto Reconnection: The Arcam rBlink pairs with your Bluetooth-enabled device with a single press of a button. The rBlink will reconnect automatically to a paired device within range (33') when powered up. If the rBlink is already powered up, to reconnect a previously paired device either select the rBlink in the Bluetooth menu of your device or briefly (less than one second) press of the pairing button on the rBlink and this will initiate a reconnection. This unit can be paired with only one device at a time.

TI PCM5102 DAC: The rBlink uses a high-end Texas Instruments PCM 5102 DAC to convert music to a line level output ready for connection to your home audio system.

Analog & Digital Outputs: The Arcam rBlink is fitted with both analog (RCA) and digital (coaxial) outputs to connect to a variety of home audio systems. Either connection sends a 2ch audio signal to your home audio component.

Compact Cast Aluminum Construction: The rBlink comes housed in a stylish yet rugged cast aluminum case and is small and discreet enough to sit next to your HiFi system.

LED Indicators: The Arcam rBlink features a single LED to indicate operation status. If the LED is not lit, the receiver is off (plug the included AC power supply into a power outlet). If the LED is Red, the receiver is powered on with no source associated to it (you can now associate a new device). If the LED is Blue, the receiver is powered on and one device is already associated to it. If the LED is Purple, the connected Bluetooth device has been paused.

AC Power Adapter: The Arcam rBlink Bluetooth audio converter operates off of standard household current using the included external AC power supply.

  • Input: 100-240V~50/60Hz, 0.15A
  • Output: 6.0V - 600mA

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

3 questions already asked

Hi I am not sure in specific to tidal service which you mention , but in general I use it with my iPhone with Amazon prime, youtube and other services . It is awesome . I use this with NAD t758 receiver and KEF speakers . This is awesome combination and I play my music over bluetooth . If tidal is a loss less service , I believe it will be much better , but I hv no experience . Use it with analog out bcos it has a DAC built in which up converts [ AYUSH  Feb 11, 2015 ]
40 feet worked for me, but not 50, though that was not direct line of sight, but down a hallway to another room, so if you're clear, you may be OK at 50. On the whole, I am satisfied, but there are periodic and regular, although brief, dropouts, which annoys me. Not sure if it's the bluetooth transmission itself or insufficient buffering by the DCA and/or the transmitting device/application, but I wish the link was more perfect, as with Sonos gear over wifi, but of course, that's a lot more $. [ Axel  Jan 16, 2015 ]
I have it inside the house to stream music to the patio out in the back yard. The distance is about 30 feet and through the wall of the house and it works fine. So I would say that it would work fine at 40 to 50 feet. [ FRANK  Jan 16, 2015 ]
My devices have been no more 30 feet apart. No problem within that range. The product is suppose to a range up to 33 feet. [ JAMES C  Jan 15, 2015 ]
Mine is in the basement and I still am able to use it outside around the pool area. [ CHARLES  Jan 15, 2015 ]
Unfortunately my system and listening location are not far apart (15-20 ft). I have outdoor speakers on my patio which is on the front of the house. However I have walked out to my mailbox with my iPhone which is 35 ft through an outside brick wall and it didn't miss a beat. Hope this helps. I have had several Bluetooth receivers and this is by far the best. Great sound. [ David Wayne  Jan 15, 2015 ]
That is a technical spec that should be answered by Arcam or Crutchfield. So I am not sure why they would defer to a customer. I can say the range must be at least 40 ft. I can change songs down the hallway from my media room where the rBlink endows. [ BRENT  Jan 15, 2015 ]
As noted in my review on Crutchfield, I am experiencing 50' including 2 wall, depending - at the limit - which way I orient my Samsung Galaxy S4 to the Arcam. Note that Bluetooth is (in many forms) specified at 30', only. Your mileage may vary, but this is a great unit. Keep the receiver and your transmitter high (to avoid furniture and bookcases and such) and imagine the line between your unit and this Arcam. Makes this as clear as possible, knowing that there might be walls. And remember that oblique angles to walls can create a lot of 'wall' for the RF signal, while perpendicular transmission through a wall is best. I haven't found anything better. [ David  Jan 15, 2015 ]
You should be fine as long as there's a clear path and you're not moving around too much. If I forget to un-pair a device, it will work badly from 100 feet away, through several walls. [ Marc  Jan 15, 2015 ]
Sorry, I have not tested this. I operate at about 10 feet. It might also be a function of the bluetooth power of the source (Macbook Pro in my case). [ RAM  Jan 15, 2015 ]
You will struggle with over 30ft [ DAVID  Jan 15, 2015 ]
It appears that Mac OS 10.6.5 (and later) have support for APT-X. This thread on the Apple site may be helpful: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2708099?start=0&tstart=0 [ Jeff  Dec 11, 2013 ]  Staff
Library