Among the audio enthusiast world, Tanchjim is making waves with its dynamic driver earphones. Their single dynamic driver Oxygen have been hailed as one of the best in its price range. The mainstream world is in the process of moving to Bluetooth, but audio purists seem to be hanging onto their cables. Is this lack of movement from audio enthusiasts a result of Bluetooth sound quality, or lack of availability?
Enter the Tanchjim BTN82 Bluetooth Cable equipped with Bluetooth version 4.1, which is an aptX Bluetooth compatible cable that turns any 2-pin detachable cable earphone into a Bluetooth earphone with a MRP of $64.99. Keep reading to find out if you should make the leap to Bluetooth with the BTN82.
Available at Apos.audio, which offers price matching!
Bluetooth protocols have improved over the years, with v4.1 coming out in 2013, v4.2 in 2014, and v5.0 in 2016. The BTN82 is equipped with Bluetooth v4.1 with data speeds of up to 1mbps and has a bandwidth of 2.1mbps. So, if the bandwidth is 2.1mbps it should mean a 320kbps MP3 file will transmit flawlessly, right? It isn’t quite that easy as is explained in detail here if you want to dive in to the information.
What you need to know is, the best quality you will get is around 320kbps with A2DP in High Quality and a bit pool parameter of 53 or higher, but it also depends on the source. So, sending a lossless FLAC, WAV, or ALAC file via Bluetooth 4.1 will result in a lower than lossless bit rate. If you are looking for the highest sound quality, stick with wires, but Bluetooth can surely provide convenience, especially when on the go.
Specifications and options:
Bluetooth Version: 4.1
Bluetooth Specification: HFP / HSP / A2DP / AVRCP
Built-in Battery: 3.7 V / 185 mA
Input: DC 5 V / 0.5 A
Charging Time: 2 hours
Battery Life: 12 hours
Standby Time: 40 hours
Connectivity: 10 m
Color options: black and silver.
Accessories and Packaging:
The BTN82 uses standard packaging containing several items including the cable, a better than average micro USB charging cable, carrying pouch, and instruction manual. The carry pouch is big enough to carry the cable with a couple of other earphones and DAPs.
Look and Build Quality:
The BTN82 is a good looking cable, not as bulky as the Samsung Flex BT earphones but heftier than something like the KZ BT cables. The metallic finish to both the ends of the neck band gives it a classy look. The BTN82 feels solid to the hand unlike the KZ cable, which feels feeble in comparison.
The neck bend, which rests on the shoulders and houses the controls is slightly on the bulkier side mostly because of the size of the remote unit and the counterbalance on the other side. Despite the bulk, the suppleness of the neck bend provides ease of configuration allowing for a good amount of support. While the remote unit could be smaller, it feels good to the hand and feedback from the buttons is excellent.
The cables coming out of the neck bend are of good quality, considerably better than the KZ BT cable, but not quite as good as the TRN BT10’s serrated cables. The cables have magnetic cable sliders and once the bend is in place, the two pieces stick together and work perfectly as a single cable slider. Most of the BT cables don’t have any chin or cable sliders and wire management can become a big problem, but the BTN82’s magnetic cable slider addresses that problem.
The 2-pin jack is of good quality and fits well in most of the .75 and .78mm sockets I tried. It fits nearly every 2-pin earphone I have, but I did face some difficulty while inserting them in the Custom Art Fibae Black and Avara AV3 earphones. While I couldn’t pinpoint the issue, it is most likely due to the pin diameter as the sockets are not recessed.
Overall connectivity of the BTN82 is very good and it has all the necessary voice commands built in. Hold the power button (at the bottom) for a couple of seconds and it turns on. Keeping the button pressed for a few more seconds and the blue light starts blinking red and blue simultaneously which means the BTN82 is ready to be paired. A simple scan on the mobile phone or BT source shows “TANCHJIM-BTN82”. Click on it and it is paired within a second.
Connectivity is far better than other Bluetooth cables I have tried, taking less time to pair with newer devices and connects instantly with already paired devices. The connection remains strong once connected, even if the source is in a different room, separated by a wall. The maximum straight line distance without any lag or audio drop is 30 feet. If a wall is in between the cable and the source, the distance is at around 18-20 feet.
You can connect the BTN82 with two devices simultaneously. If you are playing music on one and you get a call on the other, the music resumes when the call is ended.
The mic sound quality is very good as the listener at the other end can hear it loud and clear. There is little to no modular noise but wind noise can be a bit bothersome when on the move. This is typical of most microphones (wired or wireless) as they do not produce voice clarity at the other end, but the BTN delivers acceptable clarity while on the move thanks to the side on mic position facing towards the mouth.
Non-noise cancelling microphones don’t withstand heavy wind, and BTN82 is no exception, covering the mic area with hand helps in this scenario.
Battery life of the BTN82 is excellent. The official figure is 12hrs and the practical figure is not far off that mark. I was constantly able to get around 10-11 hours of usage time. The volume plays a role here. If you are using it at full volume you can expect around 8 to 9hrs of voice calls and music before it starts the battery low warning. Once the warning starts you can expect 10-15 minutes of usage at best. Keep the volume at around 50-60% and you can definitely extract around 10-11 hours of continuous usage.
Another thing that will suck on the battery life is a less efficient earphone. Make sure that the earpiece you are using can get loud without dialing the volume up to 80-90%.
You can charge the BTN82 from 0-100 in around 2 hours with the micro USB provided in the box.