Still comparing wired vs wireless speakers? Do you need a high quality sound system in your home? Or do you want a wireless setup? Either way, it can be a difficult decision to make. Wired speakers require much space and only connect one device at a time, while wireless setups are compact and convenient.
If you’re not sure what’s best for you, take a few minutes to find out more information before making a purchase.
Wireless Surround Speakers Set Up
Wireless surround speakers system allows you to use an audio signal wirelessly, eliminating the need to connect cables. Wireless surround speaker system isn’t always completely wireless.
To get power, you must connect each speaker to an outlet. Your speakers don’t need long, interconnecting signal cables between them and the receiver. Instead, they use a wireless receiver built into the receiver to receive their signal from it.
Use a Wireless transmission the surround transmitter transmits the digital signals to each surround speaker’s receivers. As technology evolves, wireless surround speakers will continue to be a standard in the future. The quality sound of the surround speakers will also improve.
Also, you’ll find that many inexpensive wireless surround speakers use older technology, which can interfere with Wi-Fi equipment, microwaves or cordless phones .
Wireless surround sound speakers require a transmitter and receiver. Speakers that are specifically designed for wireless use these components. Although each speaker will still require a power source, they will be smaller and more easily hidden. Wireless surround speakers require a wireless signal.
All types of speakers can be wireless, even subwoofers. Let’s look at some pros and cons below.
- Wireless speaker system is easy to use and leave no mess. They work with audio signals so there is no need for messy wires all over the place. They are much less intrusive than a cabled solution.
- Easy Installation: You don’t need to run cables from the receiver to your speakers.
- Mobile: They can be moved around the house without any cables.
- Acoustics: The best wireless speaker can be placed where they will provide the highest performance.
- Wireless surround sound speakers can be notoriously slow. Wireless data transfer can be done via a wireless connection. Wireless data transfer is possible through a wireless connection. This is why you will hear a lower sound quality. Despite manufacturers trying to solve it, this problem cannot be solved.
- Wireless connections can lead to signal loss or disconnections, which can sometimes make it difficult to hear.
- More expensive than wired.
- A wireless surround speakers system can have a prominent speaker that is connected to the power supply by a power cable. However, it can also be connected wirelessly with other speakers or subwoofers.
- Wireless surround speakers have a limited signal range, so it is important to listen to music and set up speakers in multiple rooms.
- Control: You can control Bluetooth speakers using an app. However, you cannot control their amplification and conversion. The external equipment can not be controlled by an app.
Wired Surround Speakers Set Up
It is easy to set up wired speakers. Just make sure you have the correct cables. It is essential to ensure that your speakers work well together and produce great sound.
Digital sound system, which can be streaming audio, digital files, or CDs, require two things. To convert digital 1s or 0s to an analogue signal we can hear, it requires a digital to-analogue converter. It also needs an amplifier to increase that analogue signal. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t.
Every phone has a DAC/amp built in, so you can plug in headphones and get started listening instantly.
An AV receiver and matching speaker are the basic components of wired speaker systems. You can create many configurations, and all components will be wired together. The audio signal is sent from the player to the AV receiver, which decodes the signal and sends it back to the speakers. Let’s look at some pros and cons of these speaker models
- Power: Wired speakers don’t usually require separate power supplies. Instead, the amp generates power and sends it to the speaker via its cabling.
- Reliability: A wireless speaker can be disconnected from the audio source if there is interference or a Wi-Fi outage. As the speaker is connected directly to the source, this is not an issue for wired speakers. Flipping the power switch can only interrupt it.
- Prices: Wired speakers are generally less expensive than the alternatives.
- Can ruin any space, no matter how large it is. They don’t add any visual value or limit your movement. They can be tripped on or cause damage.
- You have limited options when it comes to where wired speakers can be placed. If you install in-wall speakers, it is nearly impossible to hide all cables. They are often placed where they create the most mess.
- Being not suitable for pets, as pet owners know. If the cables are exposed, it can be difficult to stop pets from chewing or damaging them. This can lead to unexpected expenses.
Comparison Of Sound Quality Between Wireless Vs Wired Speakers
Since the first wireless surround sound speakers were made, it has been a well-known fact that wired models offer better audio fidelity.
This was simple reasoning. It was easier to send more electrical data down a wire than to do it wirelessly. Wireless surround speakers couldn’t handle more data. It was. So it was always supposed to be.
That was quite a while back. Even though wired speakers are still a convincing argument for a better quality of audio fidelity, especially with high-quality components, it would be foolish to deny that wireless surround speaker system was starting to surround sound amazing.
This gap is much smaller than it was in the past. It is becoming harder to distinguish between high-quality wireless signals and those transmitted over wires. We know that the last sentence is a ranting example for audiophiles, but it’s true for most people.
This is possible due to a few things. First, surround sound can now be transmitted over Wi-Fi. This means we can process a lot more data which will increase the quality. Bluetooth standards are improving. Bluetooth 4.1 can handle an incredible amount of data. This allows for more detail and depth to the surround sound.
The third aspect of speaker design has improved and will continue to improve. Wireless speaker manufacturers can now match wired counterparts with better driver technology and power management.
None of these answers answer the question you want to know: Which is better? Wireless speaker or wired speaker? The answer is not so simple. There are so many factors to consider, from the room acoustics and other components to the material and quality of the cables.
You don’t have to worry about it: you will have enough information by the end to make a decision. However, we need to warn you that this will not be as straightforward as you might think. Sorry!
It doesn’t mean that it is impossible to test this type of thing using closely matched speakers. Although it won’t be the complete answer, this will help us get some ideas.
It can be challenging to conduct a blind side-by-side test. This is not because it is impossible to use multiple speakers but because of the many differences in construction between wired and wireless surround sound speakers. As we were creating this guide, we realized that we needed to test our claims.
We don’t go into detail about scientific measurements (as valuable and essential as they may be, we don’t believe you need that much to purchase a speaker or headphones). Still, we did create a reasonably scientific test using products from Audioengine. They make both wired and wireless speakers.
We compared their HDP6 wired bookcase speakers to their HD6 speakers for our test. It isn’t easy to compare them under scientific conditions. We have to choose an amplifier for wired speakers. (We used an old Yamaha receiver, the HTR-2067, which doubles as a stereo amp and has a sound that we are familiar with).
We tried to control the situation, using the same sound source and positioning them in the same spot in our testing area. Blind testing was also done with the help of a friend who loaned us their HD6s. The speakers are very similar in construction.
They are approximately the same size and made from the same material. Both have 5.5 inch Kevlar subwoofers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters. They also have the same frequency response.
Although there were subtle differences in audio fidelity, it was challenging to identify which set of speakers was ‘better’ or worse. We also couldn’t distinguish which set in blind testing. The HD6 wireless pair had a slightly higher low-end presence than the passive bookshelf speakers.
Both sets of speakers produced an acceptable sound. Although we would have to test the surround sound with different speakers, we are confident that wireless audio can be as good or better than wired speaker.
General Speaker Buying Advice: Wireless Speakers Vs Wired
Just like other audio products, different speakers may have different values and prices. We’ll go into greater detail on choosing speakers.
You will need to consider certain things when purchasing multiple speakers. This advice, we think, is agnostic: whether you’re a wired junkie or flying-free-wireless, you’ll be able to make use of it.
The most crucial thing is the sound quality
As with any audio product, there will be differences between models. A speaker’s quality depends on its number of drivers, their size, the quality of their construction, the housing in which they are housed, and many other factors.
All this cost money. You will need to decide how much surround sound quality you want. You can also check out our review of bookshelf speakers and our roundup wireless ones.
The second is loudness
Loudness is measured in sound pressure level (or SPL), which indicates how loud a speaker emits at any given book. This is also called sensitivity. However, it can be confusingly called that.
The sensitivity level for Paradigm’s wireless PW600 (total reviews) is 91dB. SVS Prime Elevation wired speakers (honest review) have a sensitivity of 87dB.
Because different manufacturers use different testing methods, it can be challenging to determine the speaker’s sensitivity. They will, however, give you an indication. If the volume is equal, the PW-600 will be louder than Primes.
Next, consider how many speakers your budget allows you to buy. This is simple for wired speakers. Wired or wireless models are required for each channel.
They are often sold in pairs, so don’t be alarmed. If you want to install a home theater system, you may need five (which we will discuss below).
Wireless models aren’t as simple as saying, “I have five rooms in my house, so I need five-speaker.” What will you do with the speakers? Can you arrange your home in an open-plan style? Single speaker could serve two rooms.
How many times have you been in this position? Instead of one speaker in a particular room, it would be more convenient to have two speakers.
This is a complex question, and there is no simple answer. We have not been invited to your house yet to evaluate the situation (thank you for giving us black coffee).
It’s a brilliant idea to think about how much time you spend in each area and where it is. Let’s start with the kitchen. Most people’s kitchens are small, even your writers.
The majority of people only need one speaker to accomplish their tasks. Two speakers may be necessary if you have a large kitchen or like to use multiple blenders and casserole pans.
Two speakers might be required if you like having lots of people over. A few speakers are needed to fill a loud living room. Your wi-fi password doesn’t need to be disclosed. You might be surprised by how amazing the Creedence Clearwater revival looks to you.
It is also very easy to use. Although this is not the best advice for wireless devices, it is a good idea. You can control multiroom systems from any location.
They shouldn’t be difficult to use every day. They should be easy to set up. It should take less than 5 minutes to connect them to the internet.
It should be possible to play music in a matter of seconds. Many systems are built with buttons and screens that make it difficult to connect.
Many people can now communicate using apps. This should make communication easy in theory. It is not, however. It is worth checking the setup of any speaker system you buy.
Next, consider the design of your speakers. We are split on this topic. Although a well-designed speaker is a nice perk, we care about how they work and how easy it is to use.
Although most speakers appear utilitarian, you can disguise them as such. An additional set of main floor-standing speakers can be placed on either side of the TV and will not cause any problems.
These are often forgotten about after being seen one time. Multiroom audio is a different type of audio. This section is where speakers are placed in places you wouldn’t expect them to be. If you are a single person and don’t care about the appearance of your house, skip this section.
Color is a key element in any event. Do you want your speaker to stand out from the background or blend in? You can find speakers that match the colors of your home with minimal effort.
Consider the shape. This is because speakers are small boxes that can be configured in different ways. Consider where you will place them. Do they match the environment, or are they going to clash with it? Although this part might not be of interest to you, it is essential.
Are All Wireless Speakers the Same?
No. There are two types of wireless technology: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth speakers are near-field communication technology that allows two devices, or “pair,” to be connected over a short distance. It means that you can connect a speaker with a TV or other devices. It is usually between 10-20 meters but could be further.
First, activate Bluetooth pairing mode to pair your speaker and smartphone. Hold down the Bluetooth button to activate Bluetooth pairing mode. Next, locate the speaker and tap Bluetooth settings. This is how Bluetooth works with speakers.
- It’s often simpler to set up.
- Bluetooth is supported by many modern devices.
- Bluetooth connections can provide excellent surround sound quality, but a wi-fi connection is preferred for those who desire the best sound quality.
- Bluetooth technology is now excellent and has seen rapid improvements. This means there is less space for both wired and wireless connections.
This is the same connection you use to connect your home devices wirelessly via an internet router or hub. There are no restrictions on how close your speaker can get to an audio source.
Both must be connected to the same wi-fi network. Please link to the speaker by turning it on, then searching for it in the wi-fi settings menu.
This works in the same way as Bluetooth.
- Wireless speakers can have better audio quality than wireless speakers, although some only support wifi. Wi-fi connectivity may offer greater functionality.
- Access to music streaming services such as Spotify (some require subscriptions), and voice assistants such Google Assistant on Android or Siri on Apple are all included. Your voice can be used to control your speaker.
- To function, it needs a WiFi signal. It cannot be used while you are out and about. Although you could set up your smartphone to act as an internet hotspot on your mobile subscription, this will quickly consume your data allowance.
- Bluetooth is supported by all portable wireless speakers. Some wireless surround speakers do not support wi-fi.
NFC, also known as near-field communication (or Bluetooth), is another subset that simplifies wireless connections. This means you don’t have to search for the wireless speaker using your smartphone or another device.
You can connect by placing your smartphone or another device against the NFC symbol on your NFC-supporting speaker. All Bluetooth speakers do not support NFC. Similar technology is available on Bluetooth radios as well as wireless headphones.
Three Great Wireless Speakers You Can Buy Right Now
Our list of the year’s top wireless surround speakers can be found right here. However, we can offer three very different choices if you want to start:
SONOS PLAY 3
Sonos PLAY 3We can’t think about a better speaker for a budget-friendly, simple design. Although it will not compete with big-name speakers in audio fidelity, it can be set up quickly and offer a fantastic user experience. Although it is a few years old, this system remains one of the most popular.
We said in our review: “In the PLAY.3, SONOS has created a brilliant product that deserves all of its accolades. You’ll be amazed at how simple this wireless home audio system is to use and how well it has been assembled. It’s a fantastic experience, even if you’ve never tried it.
Paradigm PW 600
Paradigm Shift 600 The PW600 is also Play-Fi compatible, although we have had issues with their app.
Our review revealed that the PW600 excels in “…audio quality. The speaker is an excellent choice if you are looking for something that will pamper your ears. The surround sound is well worth the inconvenience.
Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200
The Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 is an excellent option from a competent brand. The Minx Air 200 is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible and offers access to Apple AirPlay and Spotify. The Minx Air 200 has its app and a few analog inputs. It produces a crisp, powerful sound.
Niko Tsonev, our reviewer, stated that “using the Cambridge Audio Air 200 for most of the time was liberating.” Once the initial setup is complete, it’s easy to forget about it. This is a hallmark of the most powerful music systems. It’s a solid system that, despite some flaws, is still a strong contender in a competitive market. We’re impressed.”
Three Great Wired Speakers You Can Buy Right Now
SVS Ultra It would be difficult to argue that these guys don’t make the best speakers (and subwoofers) on the planet.
The Ultras has serious power, looks great, and offers some of the most value for money. The Ultras are a great option if you’re looking to start your home with a decent system. They are great.
Audioengine HDP6A bit old but still impressive. It would be a shame not to test them blind, but it is possible. The passive HDP6s, which refer to the need for an external amplifier, are stunning and have a beautiful wood exterior.
Although the surround sound is not excellent, it is still perfect for the price ($500 at the time of writing). The HD6s, which are slightly more expensive, offer wireless options.
JBL Studio 590
JBL Studio 590Let us end things with a pair of floor-standing speakers for our home theater. We love the 590s’ big, bruising sound and think they are pretty priced.
They may not be available on Amazon at the moment, so it might take some effort to find them. If you’re looking for floor standers that are comparable, check out our list of the top.
All Wireless Speakers Are Compatible With Bluetooth Or Wifi?
No. Some wireless surround speakers only support Bluetooth, while others support both wifi and Bluetooth. Some will support both. Both are not necessary, but it is nice to have both.
All portable wireless models can use Bluetooth. Some models support Wi-Fi, but it is not as useful for portable speakers since you need to be within the range of a Wi-Fi signal.
Wireless speakers for your home: Many of them can connect to both Bluetooth and WiFi. Some may only have one. Although you have the option of connecting via wifi, the audio quality may not be as good.
Wi-Fi is compatible with smart speakers with voice assistants, allowing you to control them using your voice. Voice assistants require an internet connection to function.
Without wifi, voice assistants for portable models won’t function fully. More information is available in our intelligent speaker’s guide.
Are Expensive Cables Worth The Investment?
Maybe. We don’t know. We can’t kill ourselves.
This is the most contentious audio topic. We are not prepared to choose sides. Sorry.
It is possible to make costly cables less visible and more resistant to electromagnetic interference. Without enough A/B testing, it is impossible to be specific.
You don’t have to spend much money on your system. However, it is okay to spend a little more on cables. If you are looking for simple speakers, a standard 16 gauge speaker wire will suffice.
You should consider many factors when purchasing wired or wireless speakers. These include performance and design. Finding the perfect fit for your space, budget, quality, and other requirements is important. Rezence hopes you found this article useful and could help you make the right decision.