Help with Wireless Surround Speakers
Installing rear surround speakers when there’s no rear wall.
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KEF Wireless System
December 08, 2010 by Grant Clauser

Question:
Currently I have a 5.1 set-up with my Denon AVR-2310CI receiver. I want to add 2 more surround speakers to it to make it 7.1. The problem I have is, there is no place to run the speaker wires inside the wall because of the opening to kitchen. Could you suggest any good Wireless surround sound speakers that I can attach to this receiver.

Electronic House says:
If you’re looking for a solution that shows absolutely no wires, then then answer is no, because all wireless speakers will still require power—which in most cases means plugging them into an AC outlet. Then you’ll need to run speaker wire from the wireless receiver to your speakers—if you have them mounted on pedestals then that won’t be an aesthetic problem. If you’re just trying to save yourself the trouble of running speaker wire to the back of the room, then there are several options that will include a transmitter that gets plugged into your Denon, and wireless amplified receivers that connect to your speakers.

If your back wall isn’t a wall, but an open space to the kitchen, then you may have trouble finding an AC outlet to plug in the transceiver. Also, you’ll still need to run speaker wire across the floor from the wireless receiver to the individual speakers unless you decide to go under the floor.

Several companies make wireless transceiver/receiver packages. Most rely on 2.4GHz transmission. The receiver portion of each system will include an amplifier for one or two speakers. The amplifiers in wireless systems won’t be nearly as powerful as the amps in your Denon receiver. The KEF Wireless System is one I’ve used in the past, and it sounds pretty good. It includes a frequency hopping technology that helps keep the signal stable against interference. 

Polk’s F/X is a single speaker box that includes four full-range drivers and a 5.25-inch woofer. This unit is mostly designed to replace surround speakers, not the back wall channels (it reflects the sound off the side walls).

Soundcast’s Surroundcast kit includes the transmitter and an amplified receiver (25 watts x2). Again, you’ll need an outlet and will need to run speaker wire to both speakers from the wireless receiver.

JBL’s WEB-1 Wireless Speaker kit works much the same as the Soundcast, but with 50 watts x2. JBL also sells a kit with a transmitter and a pair of speakers with built-in receivers, but at 15 watts per channel, that may be underpowered for your needs.

Another option I’d consider instead of going wireless is in-ceiling speakers. With these you can keep them wired, and you won’t have anything blocking the opening between your media room and kitchen. They may take more work installing, but that’s what pros are for. You can find one here.

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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