Creative BT-W3 Bluetooth Transmitter Review
For all of the technological advancements that are flying towards us at an increasing rate, there are still many gaps in compatibility that are glaring when you end up on the wrong side of them. Bluetooth connectivity is one such gap. Even though more and more headsets and audio devices are Bluetooth enabled, it is wild to think that current-gen consoles do not have native Bluetooth functionality. Enter the Creative BT-W3 Bluetooth transmitter, designed to help turn (almost) any device into a Bluetooth capable one, with your choice of codecs. How does it perform? Let’s take a look!
They say good things come in small packages, and the Creative BT-W3 Bluetooth transmitter is no exception. While it might not look like much, this handy transmitter comes with both USB-C and USB-A compatibility (USB-A through the included adapter). The third component that comes in the box is an analog microphone that can be connected to your Nintendo Switch, PS4 controller or other compatible device.
These parts combine to provide an extremely flexible Bluetooth solution for your console, PC/MAC or really any other USB-C or USB-A compatible device. While there are four choices of codec, I highly recommend getting yourself a aptX LL compatible headset if you plan on using this adapter, as the low latency is very noticeable and more than welcome.
That said, the HD codec is optimal for listening to music, where a delay in sound is not noticeable and certainly of less priority than audio fidelity. While the adapter will default to the aptX LL, then HD then aptX and finally SBC, you also have the option to use the button on the adapter itself to manually switch between them. The Bluetooth connection to this transmitter is also very strong and the range is impressive, as I tested it within all 3 floors of my home and did not lose connection once.
This means that, provided your headset supports both codecs, you can seamlessly transition between low latency for gaming and HD for music with the touch of a button. As someone who has been admittedly using separate headsets for gaming and music for years, this is a solution that I was extremely glad to find.
It is quite clear that this product is at least partially geared towards the Nintendo Switch, and while there is certainly room for questioning the necessity of a Bluetooth headset for a Switch in handheld mode (the only mode where the required USB-C port is available on the console), as it will not be further than arms’ length from you at any given time, one less cable in my life is always welcome. Combine that with let’s say, a headset that offers multiple Bluetooth connections simultaneously and suddenly I have the ability to my gaming audio in my ears and then transition immediately to an incoming phone call. Beautiful.
I did not find much use for the microphone, but that is likely due to my not playing many games on my Switch or consoles that require team communication. I can absolutely see the functionality of this microphone, just not for myself. Additionally, special firmware must be installed to the adapter by first connecting it to a PC to enable the microphone to work with the Switch. This must be manually installed/uninstalled each time you want to swap the mic between Switch and another device.
Overall, the Creative BT-W3 is all about providing you with options. To this end, I would say anyone looking to fill a Bluetooth compatibility gap highly consider this product, as it does give you plenty of value for the cost and does its job extremely well, with the exception of the microphone firmware requirements for the Switch.
For more information, visit: https://us.creative.com/p/speakers/creative-bt-w3