Chordette Gem Bluetooth audio device March 2009
This device will allow you to play all the music you have saved digitally to your mobile phone, PC or laptop, through your hi-fi.
This will allow you to hear your music in high fidelity, rather than simply through your PC's speakers or your mobile phone's earphones.
This article, Chordette Gem Bluetooth audio device, was last updated on 20 March 2009 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.
Finished in a range of brushed metallic colours, and with a lens that allows you to peer into the device’s circuitry, the Chordette Gem, from Chord Electronics, is a solid and very attractive piece of kit.
However, at £400 it’s also expensive; and while the sound is arguably superior to other ways of playing music from different sources through a hi-fi, you'll need to ask yourself if the improved audio experience outweighs the extra expense.
Digital music files, such as MP3s, are rapidly challenging CDs as the most popular music format, but most digital audio files are either played through a PC’s speaker system or a pair of headphones, meaning the sound isn't exactly high fidelity. This is where the Chordette comes in.
The Chordette is easy to use, despite the instruction manual comprising of a single piece of A6 paper. All you need is a hi-fi system to connect it to, and a Bluetooth device (such as a modern mobile phone or laptop) to stream audio files from.
There are two gold-plated phono sockets (left output and right output) at the back of the Chordette, which can be easily connected to your hi-fi. Turn your stereo player to auxiliary, turn the switch on the rear of the Chordette down, then search for the Chordette Bluetooth connection on your device, for example a mobile phone.
Once you have found the connection you'll be asked for the pass code (1234), and then music can be played directly from your mobile phone through your hi-fi’s speakers. Any Bluetooth device that can store and play music should be able to work with the Chordette Gem.
If the switch on the back of the Chordette is in an upward position, the Bluetooth has been disabled, and a USB connector can be plugged in to the rear allowing music to be played directly from your PC. However, there are more direct methods of playing music from your computer through hi-fi speakers, which can easily be set up and would bypass the Chordette making it unnecessary.
iPhones, which can only be connected to hands-free headsets with their existing Bluetooth capabilities, can be paired with the Chordette through the BlueNEXT BN02 Bluetooth adaptor (about £15 from Amazon). The adaptor can also be fitted to the bottom of an iPod so you can play music stored on the iPod via Bluetooth on your hi-fi. Our first look test found that the connection is better than through the 3.5mm jack.
The resulting sound quality of playing your music through this Bluetooth transceiver, will largely depend on the quality of your hi-fi and speaker system.
Chord Electronics is a top-end audio company, so the device is likely to be dependable.
Chordette Gem distributors can be found on Chord Electronics’ website.
Pros: Easy to set up, beautifully designed, simple (if expensive) solution to playing digital audio files in high fidelity
Cons: Very expensive