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What Are Digital Wireless Speakers?

Digital wireless speakers operate without cables and wires, allowing a lot more freedom in how they are arranged.
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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Digital wireless speakers help clean up the clutter associated with many home entertainment systems. These speakers operate without cables and wires, allowing a lot more freedom in how they are arranged. There are two distinct types of speakers, each with its own benefits, but no matter what type of wireless speakers are hooked up, there is always a risk of interference.

Digital wireless speakers are becoming a popular way to upgrade audio systems. The key to having a wireless sound system is the transmitting device. This sends a signal from the entertainment system, usually a stereo or television, to the antenna of the wireless speakers. The speaker accepts the signals and broadcasts the sound. Wireless audio speakers work just like a radio that receives a signal from a radio station, but the signal is sent and received within a much smaller distance.

The term "digital wireless speakers" is a little misleading. There are no wires connecting the audio source to the speakers, but many times the speakers do require wires from a power source. More powerful speakers will need to be plugged into a wall socket to function properly. There are battery-powered wireless speakers, but those tend to be much weaker and usually are suitable only for an event at an atypical location, such as a picnic.

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No matter how the digital wireless speakers get energy, they will fall into one of two categories: add-on or integrated. Add-on wireless sound systems provide the tools to convert a wired speaker system into wireless. This system allows an antenna to be plugged into the entertainment system where the speaker wire traditionally exits. An add-on system also has a receiving antenna that plugs into the speaker, eliminating the wires. This setup is popular with people who have a lot of money invested in their sound system and do not want to purchase all new equipment.

Integrated digital wireless speakers come from the factory, ready to function. These normally are purchased as part of a package with the entertainment system. This system will have a built-in transmitter, and the speakers will have built-in antennas. This eliminates having to understand how to connect the speakers and lessens the chances of malfunction, because there are fewer parts that can come unplugged.

A digital wireless speaker system can be a great way to arrange a speaker setup without the hassle of wires, but it also has its drawbacks. The biggest complaint is interference from other devices that emit radio signals, such as cell phones and microwaves. These wireless devices often operate on 2.4Ghz band and result in static in the speakers. Some speakers operate on 5.8Ghz band and provide fewer instances of static interference, because fewer wireless devices operate on this wavelength.

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