The use of wireless surround sound speakers is an alternative to a wired system in which each satellite speaker requires a connection to the amplifier. While a wireless system provides obvious advantages in terms of convenience, there are also some disadvantages to take into account including transmission interference, cost and the continued need for wires with some systems. Evaluate the pros and cons of a wireless surround sound system before purchasing it.
Pro: Fewer Wires
The biggest pro to using wireless surround sound speakers is that there are far fewer wires to deal with. While you still need wiring to connect the various components of the central unit, the satellite speakers themselves operate via radio or infrared transmission. This eliminates the need of having to run a length of wire from the amplifier to each satellite speaker and then keep it out of the way. With a wired system, you can easily end up with a maze of speaker cable strewn about your floor.
Pro: Better Technology
The second pro of a wireless system is the newest wireless technology itself. Using infrared transmission, the digital signal is essentially beamed from the transmitter to the individual receivers in each speaker. It’s science fiction turned into science fact, and you don’t lose any sound quality.
Con: Older Technolgy
While some wireless speaker systems use state-of-the-art infrared technology to transmit digital signals, some less expensive models use older technology that can interfere with other signals moving through a house including cordless phones, WiFi equipment, and microwaves. This decreases the quality of the sound you ultimately hear through the wireless speakers.
The cost of the quality wireless surround sound speakers can be quite high. Some cost as much as $1,000. This is not necessarily a disadvantage, but it does price the system out of the range of many consumers.
Con: Not Fully Wireless
One final con to note is the fact that some wireless surround sound systems are not fully wireless. While the rear center speaker may be wireless in some systems, other satellite speakers require a cable. In addition, the wireless speakers may receive their transmission wirelessly, but they often require an AC power supply to function. In other words, wireless surround sound speakers may still require a number of wires to function properly.
Even the most convenient of home stereo components have their drawbacks, whether it is their price, the functionality or their half-true claims. While wireless surround sound speakers do reduce some of the wiring necessary to operate a full surround sound speaker system, there are usually still wires involved. Some of the wireless technology, too, is capable of interference and may produce a less-than-stellar surround sound. Take everything into consideration before you buy so you end up happy with your purchase.