Over the last 10 years literally everything has gone wireless. Starting with wireless computer networks, now pretty much anything including power supplies incorporate some form of wireless technology. Audio speakers are no exception. But can wireless speaker’s sound quality match those of traditional hard-wired speakers? Let’s find out for ourselves.
Hard Wired Speakers
First and foremost hardwired speakers are going to have several very important advantages. For one they are speakers and nothing else. This means that nothing was compromised in their design to incorporate space for wireless circuitry. They are not having to perform any other function than to reproduce sound. This is important as even amongst traditional speakers there are hundreds of ways to accomplish the same task and get wildly different results.
The second advantage that traditional speakers have over their wireless brethren is that they typically get their power from a separate amplifier. While some speakers can play well with very little power, the best sounding speakers generally want a great deal of amplification power.
For example Krell and Wilson audio want 250+ watts delivered at 4 ohms. This requires massive amounts of power from an amplifier. This means large power supplies, heat sinks, and more.
The last advantage that we’ll discuss here is space. Floor standing speakers in particular take up a great deal of space. This allows for them to have large air cavities that help them reproduce a large range of frequencies from treble all the way down into the bass ranges. With no size limitations, designers can ensure that their speakers are as accurate as possible.
So what are some of the advantages of wireless speakers. In speaking with Kevin M. from Twist Technology (http://www.twisttechllc.com/residential.php) there a wide range of advantages that wireless speakers have IF you are willing to compromise on sound quality.
Systems such as Sonos allow you to choose from a wide array of musical sources with everything integrated into one easy to control interface. By simply loading the Sonos App onto your phone you can quickly and easily control multiple zones of audio with the touch of a button. A traditional audio system would typically require some sort of home automation system to easily control source material and volume for your speakers. Not so with wireless.
A Sonos system can be configured with as many zones as you like. You simply need one zone player per room. Configuring the system couldn’t be any easier. The instructions included with the system are easy enough for even a complete technophobe to properly setup.
While many wireless systems do manage to produce relative good sound, it’s not going to compare with a traditional hard-wired speaker system. For one the physical size required for a mass marketed audio device limits them to something that is much smaller than a floor standing speaker.
So long as you understand these limitations when you’re choosing a wireless system you will undoubtedly enjoy the biggest benefit of wireless speakers. That is that it has no wires. This means that you can have your music in any room in your house without having to cut drywall, hide wire under carpet, or any of the many tricks that used to be required to listen to music in multiple rooms of the house. This reason on it’s own is why wireless speakers have begun to outsell traditional hard-wired speakers. And it is why this growth will most likely continue.