Both AirPlay and Bluetooth are slap simple to use with the Bridge. In your phone’s setting you connect to the Bridge as you would any other wireless device, then when you start a music track or a music app, just tap the AirPlay/Bluetooth connection icon and your music starts coming from your system speakers. DLNA is a little wonkier (in my Samsung Galaxy tablet I need to open the AllShare app and find the WMB).
The WMB’s Bluetooth functionality is actually easier than any other Bluetooth device I’ve used, and that’s because it requires no pairing mode or passcode, unlike most Bluetooth speakers. In your phone’s settings (in my case, an iPhone 4S) you just tap on the name of the Bridge and the connection is made—no waiting for the code to be transmitted, no pairing mode, just simple. If someone else in the house wants to play something from their phone, they just locate the Bridge in their Bluetooth menu and Voila, it’s done. Why can’t everything work this way?
I’ve been using it for a few days now, mostly for listening to Pandora or music from my iTunes library. Previously, in order to listen to Pandora I had to turn on the entire theater, which meant powering up the projector, waiting for it to come to full brightness, and then selecting Pandora from my Roku apps. The process worked fine and sounded great, but it took too long and I don’t like turning on the projector just to listen to music. Using the Bridge I can listen to Pandora on my full system without even picking up a remote.
You music isn’t limited to the room you’re in or the room the Bridge is in. You can play music in any room in the house via the Bridge, or you can have separate Bridges for each family member.
Wait, you say, doesn’t Control4 already have an iPhone dock? Well, yes, but that iPhone dock limits the audio output only to the iTunes library—so no app music. Plus this works with your iPad, Kindle HD or Samsung Galaxy phone. Also, with the Bridge you’re not limited to what services are built into the component, because there are none. Anything on your phone can play on your music system. You can even play the audio from Youtube videos over the bridge this way. I like using the Bridge for listening to Ted Talk Youtube videos.
While the Wireless Music Bridge does essentially a simple thing—connecting your smartphone media to your large A/V system, and a lot of other devices are available to do this in more basic applications, this is a first for an integrated system. More than that, it operates with the ease that owners of a professionally-programmed home automation system expect. If you’re a Control4 owner, get this. You’ll use it every day.
Control4 Wireless Music Bridge
• Full integration with Control4 touch screens and on-screen displays
• Ability to automatically turn on one or more audio zones
• Multiple units can be added to a single system allowing every family member to have their own assigned Wireless Music Bridge
• AirPlay for all iOS and Mac OSX devices
• Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
• DLNA support for Android and Windows based devices
• Stereo analog and Digital Coax outputs
• 10/100 Wired Ethernet or 802.11 Wireless Ethernet options
Also Check Out:
Control4 Launches Wireless Media Streamer and New Lighting Solutions.
Bachelor Pad Outfitted with Control4 and A/V
Review: Sony STA-DA2800ES Receiver with Control4
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.