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Re-Reviewed: BlackBerry Music Gateway With NFC


RIM’s latest addition to the BlackBerry accessory line is the BlackBerry NFC Music Gateway. The device is fairly small and lightweight which makes it convenient if you want to play your media using the Music Gateway either on your car stereo, or home media center or audio instruments equipped with auxiliary input. Taking a different form factor and design from its previous predecessor, the BlackBerry Stereo Gateway, this adds more functionality to its stylish device.

The package is similar to that of the new packaging seen on the other accessories; in a stylish paper-based box (as opposed the the plastic used previously). Included inside is the BlackBerry Music Gateway, one two-way 3.5mm audio cable, one 3.5mm to RCA cable, a micro USB cable and a USB wall charger.

Features:

  • Enjoy Wireless Freedom: Streams music from your smartphone, tablet or other devices to your stereo.
  • Your Device is the Remote Control: Track and volume control from across the room, plus access your apps simultaneously.
  • Connections Made Simple: Tap to connect with NFC2 or use standard Bluetooth1 for universal connectivity.
  • Plays music through: Any home stereo, powered speaker system, or car stereo with auxiliary input.
  • Online music services: Works with online music services and apps on your smartphone, tablet or device, such as Slacker, 7digital, and BB Music.
  • Product Dimensions: 60mm x 37.5mm x 11mm
  • Product Weight: 22.2g

Armed with a BlackBerry Curve 9360, BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Bold 9900, pairing was indeed a breeze. Besides the pairing of the device manually, the new Music Gateway comes with NFC. With one tap between the device and my BlackBerry smartphone, within 5 seconds, everything was paired and ready to stream. On my BlackBerry Bold 9780 or BlackBerry PlayBook, however, coming unarmed with NFC, I had to do a manual pairing. Still, it was simple and I had it all up and running in minutes.

Compared to the previous generation, the new Music Gateway is much more rectangular instead of the squarish shape. Similarly, it has only 2 ports, one for the power (micro-usb), one for the 3.5mm jack.

The only control you get is a button at the top, just like the old one. The new generation Music Gateway’s button, however, is physical, yes, there is a tactile response when you click on it, as opposed to the ‘touch’ concept on the previous generation. Besides controlling the power, the button also allows you to reset and/or turn on pairing mode on the device.

Now, running the latest BlackBerry OS, we are able to control the music volume as well from our BlackBerry devices, and for this device, the on-board controls on the BlackBerry screen is also different, much more nicer, refined. Sound output, on the other hand, is still indeed with quality.

Playing music stored in your devices is easy, once hooked up, click play and its all done. What made it even better is the ease of streaming music from internet radio streams and apps including Pandora, Slacker, or . This makes the whole experience even more wholesome.

Finally, with it priced at a recommended price of just $49.95, as opposed to the $99.95 for the original previous generation BlackBerry Stereo Gateway. This makes it more affordable and cheaper than similar performance devices offered by other brands, and also, very sleek and stylish. Having used at office today, many of our visitors and colleagues alike were amazed by it. It is also very compatible, even working with the Samsung Galaxy S3 without any issues!

What i think it missed out, personally, is that there is a lack of battery. This meant that I will need a power source nearby, or else, a portable battery pack to go along with it. Otherwise, this would have been close to a perfect device even on the go on the road!

Available today for less than $50 from the www.shopblackberry.com







11 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. How did it work with the S3? Was the music streamed wirelessly using bluetooth?
    In my experience, the quality of the sound is degraded when using bluetooth. Is this the case with this device?

    • Ok, nfc pairing didn’t work as well as I didn’t have a nfc format app on the device. Hence it was just trying to send a instruction (command) file. There’s a few free apps in google play that fixes this.

      But on the music side, I’m using my home theatre, cambridge sound works, altec lansing as well as my portable xmini and imaingo speakers so far, didn’t seem to have much differences, but music definitely seemed better than my old gateway.

      I will have to try using my in-ear monitors soon to see, but will need to see later.

      However, the quality seems pretty good enough already, perhaps better than other bluetooth offerings I have tried, from the china non-branded to jabra and xmini.

      This is a good job done by rim I must admit.

      I should know if it works well with iphone 5 this weeekend 😛

      • Thanks for the update
        I’ve only tested wireless bluetooth with headphones and you could definitely hear the difference when switching to a wired connection. I’m wondering if it’s a “standard” limitation or if the hardware plays a role., but good news on RIM having done a good job

        • Well, it could be due to speakers having internal amps and bla bla which could have resulted in that.

          Definitely will have to test on monitors to check.

          Nonetheless, using wireless tech (esp bluetooth) definitely I’m expecting some loss of quality, though not too much 😉

  2. Thanks for the update :)
    I’ve only tested wireless bluetooth with headphones and you could definitely hear the difference when switching to a wired connection. I’m wondering if it’s a “standard” limitation or if the hardware plays a role., but good news on RIM having done a good job :)

  3. Yo Terence –

    What no review (nor forum) has adequately answered with regard to the NFC Music Gateway is this…. Is volume control accessible when paired with Playbook running OS 2.0 or above? Seems that some Playbook owners are able to control volume via Playbook volume controls, while others receive a message that volume control is not allowed on connected device. Would love to understand what you experienced.

  4. I had a gift card for best buy and bought this last week. I like it dont use it as much as i though i would but it works well. I wonder if it could be updated on the computer in the furtre in case of new firmware needed. NFC part is cool wish i had more NFC stuff to contect to though. great review.

  5. I use mine a lot on my BB, Playbook, laptop, etc. Nice thing about using it on the laptop is if I hook my laptop to my TV through HDMI can I use the gateway to route audio to the speaker (since TV speakers suck).

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