Wireless speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Philip Verdieck, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. Philip Verdieck

    Philip Verdieck Second Unit

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    Sorry, if this has been covered, I did a search on wireless, but didn't pick up the right hit.

    Anyways. With wireless technology, why do we still have speaker wires? Especially when it comes to placing the rears. It would be so much nicer, if someone combined IR receivers on the speakers with and array of IR transmitters.

    Is there anything like this yet?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Getting the signal from point A to point B (using RF [radio frequency], not IR) is no problem.

    The problem is amplifying the low-level signals. This of course takes amplifiers, and amplifiers powerful enough for home theater use (typically 50-100 watts) are big and heavy. Get your hands on a stereo amp and you’ll see what I’m talking about; imagine taking half of it and adding it to an existing speaker cabinet. Needless to say, it would make quite a hefty and bulky package.

    Not to mention you have to deal with getting power to them. Most people would find the prospect of power cords dangling down the wall, perhaps using an extension cord to reach an outlet, rather unattractive. It’s easier for an amateur installer to hide speaker wire than electrical cords.

    A possible alternative might be transmitting the rear channels to a local amplifier and running to the rear speakers from that point.

    Regards,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    I think Wayne was getting at this but let me just add that I would not entrust my beloved HT and music fidelity to a wireless speaker.

    It is worth the extra effort and inconvenience to run some nice quality speaker cable to ALL speakers and eliminate any possible problems associated with wireless speakers.

    In other words, my personal opinion is to STAY AWAY from wireless speaker systems if you are after high quality Home Theater sound.
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I too have always been leery of wireless speakers. IMHO, anytime you have to convert an audio signal to RF and then back again.. although I've never tested theory, it seems it might lose something in the translation.

    In short, the fewer "moving parts", the less chance for error.
     
  5. Nathan Woods

    Nathan Woods Auditioning

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    So...if one was content to sacrifce the last 5% of high end quality in order to have ANY rear speakers, what are the wireless options?

    Who makes them, where is there more info on them, and how much do they typically cost?

    Cheers,

    Nathan Woods

    Southern California
     
  6. Andrew Ng

    Andrew Ng Auditioning

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  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Nathan,

    First, welcome to the Forum!

    If good wireless speakers could be had at a mere 5% penalty very few of us would be running wires for our surrounds.

    I don’t know of anyone making worthwhile wireless speakers designed for home audio use. The best thing I’ve been able to come up with borrows from pro audio equipment, where quality wireless equipment is readily available. Since these are typically wireless guitar or mic rigs, it would require a minimum of two transmitter/receiver systems (or more if you’re talking EX/ES). The wireless transmitter/receiver rigs cost between $50-300 apiece.

    The first obstacle is making sure the system you choose has a flat frequency response and adequate signal to noise characteristics for home theater use. So I would expect you would end up with one of the higher-end (read expensive) units.

    The next problem is that all the transmitters are battery-powered. So you will either have to rig up an AC adapter for them, or spend your life replacing batteries.

    After you get the signal to the back of the room, you still have to power the speakers. So of course you have to add an amplifier to the price of admission. But considering you still have to run wires between the remote amp and rear speakers, you really haven’t bought yourself any convenience, have you?

    The question is, how much are you willing to spend? Bottom line, it would probably be cheaper to hire a professional to hardwire your rear speakers than pay for all the hardware.

    Regards,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Nathan Woods

    Nathan Woods Auditioning

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    Thanks for your fast replies gentleman, and for welcoming me into the forum. I've been reading through the impressive wealth and depth of information in some of the archives. Wow! I have a lot to learn. First though, I need a better paying job :)

    I'm going to table my decision for a while as I investigate further. That new thin wire might do the trick, though labor intensive. My timing is terrible. I JUST had the ceilings refinished (were popcorn ceilings previously). What a missed opportunity!

    Thanks again,

    Nathan Woods

    Southern California
     

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