Gadgets na39163-twenty-digital-amp_1

Published on March 5th, 2015 | by Greg


Griffin Twenty: A Gorgeous Bluetooth Amplifier

If you already have decent speakers, you probably have quite a few sources of audio as well- a turntable, perhaps, or a home theater system with a media streamer, console, Blu-ray player run through an audio/video receiver. You might use your computer occasionally too, but if you have a laptop then it can be a hassle to wire everything together. AirPlay offers a partial solution for some scenarios, but only for those with OSX or firmly in the iTunes camp. If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, or any device with Bluetooth, then you might appreciate a method for connecting sans wires.

The Griffin Twenty is a digital audio amplifier that offers 20 watts per channel, hence the name. There aren’t many buttons, nor a touchscreen- no screen of any sort, in fact. Instead, they’ve pared it down to a minimalist aesthetic that feels nicely balanced in between being a futuristic sci-fi prop and a somewhat retro feel. Part of it is the weighted aluminum volume knob that anchors the entire unit, and part of it is the glow of blue lighting that keeps the industrial design firmly in the present.

For those who want or need wired inputs, there are S/PDIF optical, TOSLINK connector and a 3.5 mm adapter. Rear outputs banana plug-style left and right channel connectors along with an RCA subwoofer connector as well. Griffin is using the Bluetooth 3.0 specification, which includes full support for the high-resolution apt-X and AAC codecs. That way, if you carry around a library songs with you like most of us, you can play them back through the Twenty with excellent quality without worrying about a single cable. Once paired, your device will automatically reconnect, and it will even allow you to have two different devices connected at the same time- though audio can only play from one at a time. If you try to play from both simultaneously, it can cause issues, but you can quickly trade off with friends if you want to take turns being the DJ. Even cooler, you can press the only button the Twenty and it will try to pair with the last-connected device and immediately start playing.

The Griffin Twenty sits nicely and low-profile and should complement just about any decor, and offers enough power to satisfy the party. If you need speakers as well, a bundle is available that adds in well-respected bookshelf models from NHT along with a subwoofer. If not, then you’re looking at a pretty reasonable investment of $150, available in stores and online now. Elegant and simple, the Griffin Twenty is a perfect way to give old speakers a new lease on life.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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