February 25, 2008 by Dan Fulmer
Q. Are there any wireless speaker solutions on the market that work reliably and have the fidelity to provide good audio for home theater and music? - Bobby, Tallahassee, FL
A. As far as I know, there is nothing out there really designed for a “home theater” application. There are actually several wireless stereo (2 speakers) solutions mainly for music and some designed to go outside the house (weatherproof). What we find is most wireless technology that is applied to A/V these days, is to fix a specific concern or problem that affects a large population. Wireless speakers were developed mainly for distributing sound to one additional area or zone, and the house doesn’t have the necessary wiring. I know of none which are designed for several pairs in a single home, ie. multi-zone.
The wireless speaker systems available vary in price from around $99 up to about $250 per pair. There is a set designated as rear speakers, meaning they are designed to be the rear surround sound pair of speakers in a true surround application (5 speakers; 1 center front, 1 left and 1 right front, and 2 rear speakers), where wires are not available or are not wanted to be seen from the TV to behind the couch.
As far as reliability, that is almost untestable since wireless technologies are susceptible to various interferences and such. The thickness of walls, distance from transmitter, other wireless technologies in the house, etc. Wireless is usually a last resort for speakers or anything A/V, meant to address a specific need or problem that cannot otherwise be remedied.
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