REVIEWED: XVIVE XP3 Bluetooth Audio Receiver
When I was asked to review a wireless audio receiver I imagined two cases the size of a small sandwich box, with a rubber duck aerial (for those who remember their CB radio days) and a couple of leads to power up and connect it all together. I could not have been more wrong. The guys at Pro Mobile handed me a box no larger than the iPhone 14 packaging, containing two receivers, charging cables and instructions.
The XP3 kit contains two P3 receivers powered by internal, rechargeable batteries boasting up to six hours of operation and a stable connectivity over 100 feet (line-of-sight) , so plenty of scope to cover weddings, celebrations and general events.
The XP3 set consists of two audio receivers capable of delivering single or dual mono, or they can be paired for stereo sound. Both units are identical with a few control buttons and indicator lights, giving the user a simple and clear view of what the selected setup is.
To power on the XP3 there is a slide switch with power and battery status indicator below. Above this is the stereo-link button and the stereo-link indicator which allows for two units to be linked in stereo when used on a pair of speakers. If used separately this button is not required and the receiver will automatically transmit audio in mono, perfect for use in ceremonies and speech-only situations.
At the top of the control panel is the all-important Bluetooth pairing button and the Bluetooth LED. The head of the unit houses the XLR male, balanced output plug, which is very sturdy with no movement from the three pins and finally on the side there is a type-C USB charging port with a charging LED indicator situated next to the power and battery status LED.
The units connect via Bluetooth so any laptop, smartphone or tablet can be connected. This was perfect for outside audio support and small event situations that were prior to or away from the main event. However, I had an opportunity to test at a gig and I was able to connect to my controller using a Bluetooth transmitter (purchased separately from a well-known online store).
The internal battery is expected to last for six hours and the useful LED battery power status indicators are great at helping to keep an eye on the battery usage throughout the gig.
The XP3 uses a simple LED display method, so whilst charging the LEDs light up solid red, solid green when fully charged and back to solid red when powered on. To help keep track of power, the battery status indicator turns solid red when charge is over 31% and when it drops to below 30% it will flash red every three seconds. Once the battery charge reaches 5% and below it will blink red continuously indicating that charging is required. This was useful for keeping tabs on the units’ power at a glance.
Pairing with the XP3 is simple. Power on the unit by sliding the power button to the ‘on’ position. The system will automatically search for Bluetooth sources when powered on, however, by holding the pair button the blue LED indicator will begin to flash indicating the unit is ready to pair. On the smartphone, tablet or laptop look for 'P3' in the devices list and connect.
When using the transmitter attached to the controller, I simply pressed the link button on the transmitter and, holding the XP3 next to the transmitter I then pressed the Bluetooth link and waited for the units to find each other by showing a solid blue LED indicator.
Different models of transmitter may set up differently so please refer to the user manual for instructions specific to that unit.
Stereo-linking two XP3 units results in the speakers behaving as if plugged directly into the left and right main outs of your output source. Press and hold the stereo-link button on the primary XP3 unit (left channel) for three seconds, then press and hold the stereo-link button on the secondary XP3 unit (right channel). Both stereo-link LEDs will flash whilst the units search for each other and when they are successfully linked, each XP3 will produce a confirmation tone and both LED indicators will show solid green.
I got to use the system at a fun day at a one of my regular venues. The event manager wanted support audio outside on the deck area as well as the usual setup in the main room inside. The DJ controller had a booth output (not all controllers have this feature) which is what the Bluetooth transmitter was connected to. This had the added advantage of allowing for separate volume control for the outside and inside audio, essential for later in the evening when outside sound had to be reduced for residential reasons.
Chilling and chatting in the garden with lower-level music and the volume inside at a higher level for dancing and keeping the room energy up, making everybody happy. Whilst on the subject of practicality, the XP3s can be charged using a regular 5V USB adapter and via a portable powerpack – brilliant!
I also had a great opportunity to try out the receivers in a more private situation whilst on holiday. I was able to set up two active battery-powered speakers outside on the patio for a BBQ with friends.
The XP3s were ideal as there were young children running and playing, so no cables to worry about. The two receivers were plugged into the XLR port of each speaker, then via the stereo link button it was easy to link them in stereo and ‘boom!’ away you go. They lasted the whole evening on varying levels of sound and performed brilliantly with no lag or drop out, that I noticed.
The specification of the XP3 makes for a small, discreet way of sending audio to any output device with an XLR input. At a compact 24 x 24 x 116.5mm and weighing only 52g, having a set in the DJ emergency bag is ideal.
For those who are technically minded the Bluetooth profile is 5.1, A2DP and AVRCP, which covers the MPEG audio streaming with a frequency band of 2402 to 2480 MHz. The unit recharges to full in two hours using a built-in lithium-ion 300 mAh battery.
I thoroughly enjoyed using the XP3 kit and will definitely keep a pair in my kit bag. You never know when you may need to transmit audio, and running cables is just not practical, although, you will need to have a transmitter if you want to send sound directly from a controller or mixer. It would be great to see a transmitter as an additional purchase or included in maybe a 'XP3x' kit.
The system was easy to use, very intuitive (even though the instructions supplied explained perfectly how to set up and operate the units) and performed well in the tests. It is great to see DJ equipment that's uncomplicated it its design, that exceeds expectations in performance, and is well made and suitable for use on the road.
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 121, Pages 86-88.