"Are the speakers wireless?"
This is the question we are asked most frequently. Here we explore what the term "Wireless speakers" can mean....
Wireless speakers - no cables at all
A true wireless speaker would be one where the music is streamed wirelessly and the speaker (actually, it's the amplifier) is battery operated. This means no cables whatsoever. Such speakers are typically used where portability is required. Gardens, picnics holidays and such like.
Batteries, however, are not the best power source for driving the best sound quality. After all sound is energy. Quality sound requires both a good speaker and a good (powerful) amplifier. (We don't drive a powerful car fast all the time, but having a powerful engine means we can accelerate to the desired speed quickly. The power equals control and in speaker language that means sound definition and quality at whatever volume you play your music at).
You can see examples of these speakers here: Libratone Zipp, Soundcast Outcast
Wireless speakers - mains power cable
This would also be typically described as a wireless speaker despite the mains power cable. This is mainly what people mean when they talk about wireless speakers - mains powered with the amplifier and speakers in an all-in-one package. Typical examples would be the SONOS "PLAY"
family of speakers, Libratone Loop
, Libratone Diva
, or Bowers and Wilkins A5
These are great for ease of set-up, convenience, rented housing, relocating, but to many people they still represent undesirable "clutter". They are on display and the visual appearance of them needs to be acceptable. Plus - size matters - aesthetically people want them to be small. But smaller means poorer when it comes to sound performance.
A neat feature of the SONOS system is that you can do something called "stero pairing". This means you can have two of the same devices (PLAY:1
) set to behave as a stereo pair. In other words one becomes entirely the left channel and the other the right channel. What this delivers is a wider "soundstage" which immerses the listener providing a more pleasurable listening experience.
And if you really want to rock the house, SONOS even provide a wireless SUB
in their range. So a stereo pair plus a SUB really does deliver outstanding performance - all wirelessly. (Well, OK, with a mains cable, is what we mean)
Wireless AMPLIFIER to wired speakers
How can you claim to be wireless if the speakers are wired?!
This is the area where we find most confusion from our customers. The answer is: The music is streamed wirelessly and the control is handled wirelessly. This means that the amplifier can be tucked away and the speakers (wired to the amplifier) can be chosen to suit the room. Wireless amplifiers include the Sonos CONNECT:AMP
To many, this is not a wireless system. To us, it's not only a wireless system, it's the BEST wireless system!
Why? Becasue it provides the opportunity to get the best of all worlds: Aesthetics, quality, performance, ease of use, integration and flexibility. The choice of speakers in this scenario is almost endless. Example are:
All the above can be augmented with subwoofers
to deliver richer bass sound.
This last category has several characteristics that outshine all the others: You can drive the best sound performance this way, you can deliver the best aesthetic appearance and the most discrete installation.
The wireless aspect provides you with exactly the same convenience of control. Cables do exist, but they are hidden. Simply Sound and Vision specialise in all of the above and will spend time to guide you through the choices.
Which is best?
For sound quality and aesthetics - without any doubt you should choose wired speakers with wireless control.
- For convenience and portability - choose the mains powered, all-in-one speakers
- For music on the go - battery operated wireless speakers