Whilst NFC technology has been appearing within mobile devices for a number of months now, its been a very slow adoption into the accessory markets and into devices such as the StreamPort Universal as seen here. Putting NFC aside for one moment and focussing a little more on the Bluetooth audio streaming side of the unit, I have to give it Bayan Audio, they can still bring great sound to the older generation of stereos and speaker systems with a simple solution that brings them into line with the latest generation if wireless audio solutions. Not only this but they have the wonders of NFC to lay with as well.
On the note of the NFC, it is still a relatively new feature in a number of mobile audio products that we have seen in recent months, but being able to compare this with the standard StreamPort I can appreciate more just how much more of a premium has to be added to the unit to include this technology. Priced at £59.99, the StreamPort Universal is £20 more expensive meaning that for some people this is not going to seem as worthy contender as a standard StreamPort without NFC.
What also has to be taken into conclusion for the extra price is the built in digital to analogue converter with the apt-X codec, which gives the unit the ability to output near CD quality audio that is being streamed from a device, potentially up to 10m away. Whilst the range does seem to be a bit on the low side, this factor is two sided as its a case of having a device that can broadcast to a long range as much as having one that can receive from such a distance; therefore this is something that I would not particularly worry about with this unit.
Overall I am very impressed with the StreamPort Universal, its simplicity – both in terms of design and ease of use make it a welcome addition to the modern audio setup, giving any audio system wireless capabilities with ease and flexibility. The NFC brings it right up-to-date with modern smart phones and it is therefore well worthy of our innovation award.