ARYLIC B50 Bluetooth stereo amplifier review
The ARYLIC B50 Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier With Audio Transmitter is a different animal from the last device they sent us. While the BP50 and B50 share many similarities, they are different in multiple ways. As with the other ARYLIC devices, we were sent B50 for free. However, this is our honest review.
You can think of the B50 as a mix between the A50 and BP50. It has several inputs, a passive subwoofer output, and L+R speaker terminals. In addition to the analogue inputs, it works with Bluetooth.
You’ll find a remote in the box. But as we don’t live in the 1950s! You’ll be glad to know you can use an app to operate it. If you prefer control knobs on the unit, you’ll be happy to know that what looks like the volume knob, actually doubles as a source selector when pushed.
Come with us as we dive into the ARYLIC B50 Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier With Audio Transmitter.
Exploring the device’s design
Measuring 18 cm (w) by 15 cm 8(d) x 5 cm (h), the B50 is similar in size to a dictionary. It’s the same size as the BP50 and much larger than the A30+.
The black metal enclosure ARYLIC has stuck with isn’t the most exciting option, but it does mean it slots in with your existing array of home AV gear.
Minimalist front panel
With only a power switch and multi-function knob, the front panel is sleek. You can increase or decrease the volume by rotating this knob. If you push it in, you can cycle through the different input sources. So, you might not need the remote.
Connections at rear
Moving our attention to the rear, which is much busier! At each end, you’ll find an antenna. These screw in and lock into place with a few turns. Under the left antenna, you’ll find the power socket for the included adaptor.
From there, it nicely breaks down into two parts: inputs and outputs. As we’re looking at it left to right. We’ll deal with the outputs first.
We have L and R speaker terminals that feed passive speakers. The B50 works with both 4 and 8 ohm speakers. With 4 ohm speakers, it delivers 50 watts per channel and 30 watts with 8 ohm. Regardless of the speakers’ rating, it has plenty of power on tap.
Moving to the right, we have a selection of inputs starting with 2 sets of phonos, perfect for CD or record players. Somewhat confusingly, the next column has a subwoofer output for an active sub and optical input. It’s likely arranged this way due to space.
The three final inputs are a HDMI ARC, USB, and DAC. Finally, we have a reset button.
There’s a remote in the box. However, you might want to use the app with your ARYLIC B50. As you’d expect, the remote has controls to select different sources, EQ settings, volume up/down and power on/off.
You’ll prefer the app!
You can easily switch sources, try different EQ presets or play with them, change the app’s background colour, and pair up to 2 Bluetooth headphones or speakers with your B50.
What features does it offer?
Offering multiple inputs, you can use the ARYLIC B50 with HDMI ARC, phonos, USB, and Bluetooth. It also supports Bluetooth 5.2, aptX HD, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive, AAC, and SBC.
It supports decoding up to 192kHz/24bits TV Audio with PCM format, ensuring you’re listening to the highest quality sound. The input section provides a range of ports, allowing you to connect various devices.
You probably want to connect it to passive speakers and active subwoofer. However, you could pair 2 Bluetooth headphones with the device.
You could use the speakers by day and headphones by night to keep the noise down when your kids are sleeping. Another use for the headphone function is for audio as part of an outdoor cinema, as you won’t upset the neighbours!
The ARYLIC B50 compares favourably to many Hi-Fi amps on the market. Many of them only offer phono and optical inputs and are more expensive. They might have a well-known brand name, but ARYLIC offers more innovative devices.
Sadly, it doesn’t offer a streaming function, so you can’t enjoy listening to YouTube music or Spotify directly, but you can use Bluetooth from your phone or tablet to access these services.
Installing the ARYLIC B50 amplifier at home
Getting set up takes about 10 to 15 minutes. After unboxing your ARYLIC B50, you’ll want to place it on a flat surface and grab your smartphone.
Next, start downloading the Go Control app on your phone from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It’ll take a minute or two to download and install.
While the app isn’t essential to operating the B50, it’s worth having.
Connect speaker cables
While your phone is downloading and installing the app, connect the speakers. You need passive speakers, which in our case are the PYLE PCB3BK mini bookcase speakers. Also, you’ll need 2-wire speaker cable to connect between the amp and speaker.
Using scissors, strip the speaker cable at each end. Be careful not to cut them while trying to strip the outer plastic. Finish preparing the cables by twisting the wires into a single wire. You should be able to connect the bare wires to your speakers without needing banana connectors.
With the other end, unscrew the speaker terminals on the back of the B50. Next, place the wire through the two holes and tighten the terminal. You’ll need to do this 4 times, as each speaker has a positive and negative cable.
Finally, connect your devices to the inputs. You could run your TV into the B50 using the HDMI ARC port, or a CD player using the optical or phonos input. Another option is to use Bluetooth to play songs from your phone or tablet.
Now you have the speakers connected and the app installed, you can hook up the power cable. With everything connected, flip the power switch to on. You’ll see a blue LED flash.
Configuring your B50 for the first time
You can use the device without the app, but you’ll lack access to key functions, including the EQ settings, and will have to go over to the unit to adjust the volume or change the input.
To use the app with the B50, you’ll need to turn on Bluetooth on your phone/tablet. Start by creating an ARYLIC account to use the Go Control app.
When you load the app, you’ll be asked to select your device. From there, you can use your phone or tablet to control your B50. The app allows you to select between the different sources, pair headphones with it, and adjust the many settings.
Is it easy to use?
As with the majority of solid-state Hi-Fi amplifiers, the ARYLIC B50 produces a neutral sound. The speakers and the adjustable EQ curve have the biggest impact on how an amp sounds.
In our case, the PYLE speakers, while tiny, produce a fairly balanced sound across the frequency spectrum. Unlike many bookcase speakers, they have a nice low-end response. Of course, a subwoofer would take things to the next level, but they sound good.
Paring the 100 watt PYLE speakers with the B50 ensures there’s plenty of volume on tap, making it ideal for listening to music, watching TV or movies, or as entertainment for parties.
In the Go Control app, you can easily change the input source, adjust the basic 3-band EQ, crossover frequency, L+R balance, and more. You can even adjust the 8-band graphic EQ settings and shape the sound exactly as you want it.
We didn’t try the remote, as using the app felt more appropriate to us. Plus, the basic controls on the unit are enough to get things up and running without distraction. Nor did we try using Bluetooth headphones, but think this is a superb feature!
That said, we did connect our TV, a CD player, and used the Bluetooth on our phone to play different kinds of audio. Regardless of the source, the B50 sounds good and has plenty of volume.
How is the B50 different from the BP50?
While we’ve danced around the differences, it’s worth briefly explaining how they are unique units that have their own uses.
The BP50 is just a preamplifier. So, it needs an external amplifier and speakers. That said, it does offer more outputs than the B50. It’s ideal if you already have an amplifier and speaker you’re happy with but lack multiple inputs and don’t fancy moving equipment around.
You might prefer to use the B50 if you’re happy with fewer output options but require a powerful amplifier. You have 50 watts of power and a passive subwoofer output, meaning you can easily add your existing speakers to the B50 while coupling it with an array of inputs.
Hopefully, you can see they are different animals, each with a different use but equally valid as each other.
Is the ARYLIC B50 Bluetooth stereo amplifier worth buying?
Of the 3 ARYLIC devices we’ve been sent, the B50 is our favourite. It takes the best of the A30+ and BP50 and combines them into a single unit.
Not only is it a powerful preamplifier that offers several inputs, but it also has plenty of volume on tap. Plus, you can easily control the volume and source selection from the unit.
The Go Control app takes things a step further, allowing you to select between the different inputs, adjust EQ settings, turn the volume up or down, and more.
Unlike the A30+ and A50+, the B50 (and BP50, for that matter) don’t work with Wi-Fi. So, you can’t use it as part of your home automation system. Using the A30+ with Fibaro is excellent. We hope ARYLIC bring this option to their B50 and BP50 devices.
That said, as a stand alone amplifier, the ARYLIC B50 is excellent. Compared to other units on the market, the B50 offers several unique features while being more affordable. We highly recommend it.