MICROSTATION BT: THE NEARFIELDS BECOME WIRELESS (ENG REVIEW)

The Presonus’s device allows you to centralize speakers level control in small music production studios, but also to convey digital sources directly to the monitors via smartphones, tablets and other devices with Bluetooth connectivity.

by Luca Barbieri

Among the numerous accessories that can optimize the operation of a computer-based music workstation, the monitor controllers stand out, small devices that allow you to always have at hand the adjustment of speakers level within the home and project studio. In the sea magnum of devices currently on the market, the MicroStation BT by Presonus stands out for its innovation, a control station for audio monitors that boasts a unique prerogative of its kind, that is to integrate a Bluetooth chip that allows input to the speaker audio sources in digital format from devices with the same connectivity, such as tablets and smartphones. Let’s take a closer look at what it is and how it works.

Presonus MicroStation BT

DESIGN & MATERIALS

Presonus MicroStation BT is ultra compact and aesthetically refined. In the hand it returns a pleasant sensation of strength. The chassis is made of plastic while the base is made of metal. Inside the package we find the essential: a USB-C/USB-A cable and a quick installation guide. The device does not require an electric adapter because it draws its power source from the USB connection of the computer it is connected to. At the center of the upper panel stands a generously sized knob (Volume) for adjusting the output level, while a little further down a series of switches allows you to quickly manage the main functions of the device. More in detail, continuing from left to right, we find a Bluetooth button that allows you to activate/deactivate wireless connectivity, a button to mute the outputs (Mute), a Sub Bypass switch to mute any subwoofer connected to the system and finally the Pair button, useful in the configuration phase to pair MicroStation BT to a compatible Bluetooth device.

MicroStation BT is powered by a USB-type connection

CONNECTIVITY

On the rear panel, MicroStation BT houses all connection terminations. Proceeding from left to right we find the USB-C socket for power supply, and just above an on/off switch that activates/deactivates the main outputs and the Subwoofer output. To the side the inputs section, which provides balanced inputs on 1/4″ TRS Jack and a stereo Aux In on 1/8″ TRS minijack. A little further to the right, however, we find the output terminations: the Main Outputs balanced on 1/4 “TRS Jack, the output for the subwoofer, both on the 1/4” jack and RCA, and an auxiliary stereo output (Aux/Phones) on a 1/8” TRS minijack, which can also be connected to a pair of headphones if needed.

MicroStation BT features a SubWoofer output on Jack and RCA sockets

INSTALLATION

MicroStation BT installation is very simple. Once you have properly connected the inputs to the audio source and the outputs (Main) to the system speakers, and after connecting the device to the power supply via the USB cable supplied, simply turn it on and proceed with the Bluetooth configuration, quick and easy operation. In this regard, you must first enable Bluetooth on the mobile device to be used as an audio source, for example, the smartphone, then press the Pair button on MicroStation BT until the Pair led flashes, then select MicroStation BT from the Bluetooth devices detected on the smartphone, authorize pairing between devices and enable wireless connectivity on MicroStation BT by pressing the Bluetooth switch on the control panel. And that’s it!

ON THE ROAD

Once everything is configured, using MicroStation BT is very easy. The knob for adjusting the output level of the Main Outputs is precise and particularly fluid while opposing the right resistance. The device does not add significant colors to the signal, returning a neutral, silent, and faithful audio to the original. Convenient and practical, the Mute and Sub Bypass buttons allow you to mute, as needed, the speakers or the subwoofer connected to the system. The Bluetooth connection works smoothly, is stable and uninterrupted even when moving a few meters from the workstation.

MicroStation BT allows you to set up audio systems up to 2.1 channels

CONCLUSIONS

MicroStation BT works properly and allows you to optimize the management of nearfields within small music production studios, improving productivity and also offering the ability to convey digital audio to the main monitors using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The operation is intuitive, the audio quality is good. The cost, around 125 euros, is consistent with the functional equipment, which in a single device features enough for speakers management and for transforming the nearfields into audio monitors with wireless connectivity.

PRO

  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • USB bus powered
  • Construction
  • Volume Knob

CONTRO

  • Lack of power on/off switch
  • Power adapter not included

FEATURES

  • Connettivity: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Outputs: balanced on 1/4″ TRS jack (Main), SubWoofer output on 1/4” TS jack and RCA, Aux Out/Phones on 1/8” minijack
  • Inputs: balanced on 1/4” TRS jack, Aux In on 1/8” minijack
  • Power: via USB-C
  • Audio Configurations: up to 2.1
  • Main Input: 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response, 108dB dynamic range, THD+N 0,001%, S/N Ratio >102dB
  • Main Output: 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response, THD+N 0,02%, S/N Ratio >98dB

Info: PRESONUS – For Italian Customers: MIDIMUSIC