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Buying Wireless Speakers for the Home Theater

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/30/2011

Should you purchase wireless speakers for your home theater setup? We find out here.

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    Wirelessly Connected

    Wireless is a worldwide fascination that is not showing any signs of stopping, and this trend is only starting to now trickle over into the home theater realm. Wireless speakers that operate through a Wi-Fi Power Source are quickly becoming an audiophile’s dream – after all, imagine a 5.1 surround sound system that requires no wires to hook up and can be placed anywhere in the room due to small size. That is a world I want to one day live in.

    However, currently, wireless speakers are only being offered as a part of an AIO (All in one) solution. There are one or two manufacturers that are offering premium wireless speakers, but they’re not what you would call a “smart buy” in this sort of economy. So, if you don’t have a home theater system, what should you do?

    Go Ahead! Buy the Speakers

    While the technology is still playing catch up, the idea of a wireless setup is just far too enticing an opportunity to pass up. Using radio transmission, the speaker is capable of receiving the sound through an antenna, and even now, Bluetooth technology is being talked about as the next big thing for this market of speakers.

    Putting the speakers anywhere in the room where there is a nearby wall plug is something that is incredibly game-changing for an industry that as of right now is almost entirely based on the premise of thousands of wires going from receiver to each of the speakers.

    If you have space restraints and don’t want to drill holes and pass wires through your walls, this is an excellent solution.

    Wait! No, Don’t Buy That!

    On the other hand, the cons are currently outweighing the pros. The wireless speakers still need to be hooked up to a wall plug, which means that if you want to dangle your speakers from your walls (as is the traditional position in a 5.1 setup), you’ll still need a power source somewhere nearby. This is a problem because you can’t just place the speaker WHEREVER you would like.

    Also, the fact that the speakers are mostly in AIO sets means that you’re not going to easily be able to purchase the speakers to complement your current setup. Due to the fact that the receiver must be specially made to accommodate the wireless speakers, you can’t keep your nice Onkyo system, rather you’ll need to take whatever comes in the box – which is a big con when you consider how much you’ve already spent on a good HT receiver.

    Finally, the premium systems provide more than the AIO systems, but at a significant cost. You could by a Denon system for the price of these wireless speakers that aren’t even nearly as good. Sure, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty, but as my “Building the Perfect Home Theater” Series will tell you, that’s half the fun of actually having a system like this.