Do you have an old audio system gathering dust or a set of high quality speakers that you never use anymore? Many of us, myself included, keep most of our music collection in digital format these days stored on a computer, tablet or smartphone and our old stereos go unused. The Griffin Twenty 2.0 provides a way to put those speakers back to use.
The Twenty is a digital audio amplifier that connects with a wide variety of devices including smartphones, tablets, TVs,and game consoles such as the Xbox. As the name suggests it delivers up to 20 watts per channel. It will connect to devices via Bluetooth and also comes with an optical TOSLINK cable to connect to compatible devices such as TVs and Game Consoles.
The Twenty has a white metal casing, black front grill and large aluminum volume knob; it feels very solid and well-made . It is stylish with clean curved lines and looks like quality piece of audio equipment.
I recently tested the Twenty with a pair of Acoustic Research Speakers that my husband bought 20+ years ago. Alongside the rest of his music system they have been sitting in the corner gathering dust the last few years, whilst we listen to our music collection on Bluetooth speakers streamed from our iPhones and MacBooks. As well using them to listen to our digital music collection I also wanted to use them for listening to movies. We have a nice, big Samsung Smart TV but haven’t yet invested in a Sound bar to go with it, so although we have great picture quality the sound can be rather underwhelming.
Setting the Twenty up for Bluetooth streaming is very simple. You connect your speakers to the Twenty (bare wires or banana plugs both connect in seconds). Switch on Bluetooth on your device then connect your Bluetooth device, choose a song and start playing- it’s that simple! If you set the volume control on the Twenty to mid-range you can use your phone or tablet’s volume control to change the volume from the speakers. The Twenty can remember 2 connections at once making it easy to switch back and forth between 2 people. It has a 30-foot Bluetooth range, and is a great way to listen to your digital music via speakers you already own.
It can also be used with devices with optical outputs such as TVs, Game consoles and older Apple TVs (the 4th generation Apple TV has no optical output). Set up is simple with the included optical TOSLINK cable. I’ve used this with a Samsung SmartTV, an Xbox 360 and a 3rd generation Apple TV. I usually leave it connected to the Smart TV and it will work via the TV with whatever devices I have connected to the TV such as Xbox, Apple TV, DVD, Blu-ray. I really like the ability to connect my TV to the Twenty to get real stereo sound especially when watching music videos or watching movies.
When using it with the TV you do need to use the volume knob on the Twenty to change the volume – using the remote from your TV (or Apple TV etc) only changes the volume coming through the TV’s built-in speakers not the volume through the speakers connected to the Twenty. I would like to have the ability to change volume via my iPhone (as you do when streaming music from the phone) for those times when you don’t want to get up in the middle of a movie or show to change volume.
I did find a few quirks with the system. If I connect the Twenty to my Smart TV and use the Netflix or Amazon Prime app on the TV I get bad feedback, but if I use Netflix on another device that is connected to the TV (e.g. Apple TV or streaming Blu-ray player) it works fine. This happens with a few other apps too, though most work perfectly.
Overall, I really like the Twenty, it is a great way to bring new life to old speakers and bring them into the digital age. I love how simple it is to use and the quality of the music playback. Not only does it let me stream music from my iPhone (or other Bluetooth device) but it also lets me watch movies and listen to music videos from my TV in clear high quality stereo. It also has the option to add a subwoofer, if your speakers need upgrading it is also available bundled with NHT speakers.
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.