It is tempting to think about the freedom which wireless speakers promise and the convenience of adding music anywhere in your home. Wireless speakers require power to drive the speaker elements and typically come with a power cord that has to be plugged into an outlet. To eliminate the power cord, some cordless speakers come with rechargeable batteries to power the internal amplifier which allows them to be placed virtually anywhere. However, recharging batteries can be a hassle as well as replacing these since batteries age.

Be sure to select a speaker to offers adequate audio power for your application. If you are planning to set up your speakers in your kitchen or bedroom, you can choose a fairly low-powered speaker On the other hand, if you are planning to set up wireless speakers outdoors or in your home theater, you may want to have a look at moderate to high output power speakers. It is also important to contemplate the type of material of the speaker enclosure. If you are planning to use the speakers outdoors, make sure you pick speakers with a waterproof enclosure. The material would in most cases by some type of plastic. Make sure to consult the manufacturer to make sure the speaker which you are planning to buy is suitable for outdoor use.

Also, make sure the transmitter has the audio inputs that your audio equipment offers, the more inputs the better. Some transmitters offer a speaker level audio input. This type of input is often required when connecting the transmitter to the rear speaker audio outputs of a surround receiver to be used for wireless rear speakers. Most surround receivers do not offer dedicated line level audio outputs for rear speakers. While almost every transmitter has a standard line-level audio input, some also have an iPod cradle which also allow an iPhone to be plugged into. Every audio device will output audio at different audio levels. To accommodate all devices, the transmitter should be able to adjust its audio input level. This will avoid clipping of the audio and maximize the audio fidelity of the wireless transmission.

While traditionally wireless speakers would employ analog audio transmission, typically at 900 MHz, the latest generation uses digital audio transmission at 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz and eliminate audio distortion and static. Nowadays there are more and more wireless gadgets out there. Therefore it is important to pick a set of speakers that is robust against interference from other wireless devices.

Looking at some of the technical specs of today’s wireless speakers, one cannot help but be at a loss in trying to compare different models. I will give a short overview of the output power spec in order to help you better understand the meaning of this term and how they relate to the performance of an speaker.

Some of the terms which speaker manufacturers publish often are misleading and do not necessarily give a good indication of the actual performance of the speaker. Now I will give some details about “speaker wattage”. This spec is often misunderstood. It is important to look fairly closely at how the manufacturer shows this parameter.

“Wattage” shows how loud your loudspeaker can sound. You want to pick the speaker wattage based on how large your listening environment is. For best audio quality, you may want to go with a speaker that has higher power than you need since many speakers will show increasing distortion as the audio power goes up.

There are two common ways to display loudspeaker wattage. These are “peak power” and “rms power”. “Peak power” describes how much power the speaker can tolerate for a short burst. On the other hand, “rms power” describes how much power the speaker can tolerate for a prolonged amount of time without being damaged. The peak power rating in the past often led to manufacturers showing large wattage ratings for small speakers. However, in reality those speakers would not be able to endure larger amounts of output power for larger amounts of time.

Today most speakers will specify rms power which gives a better indication of the speakers’ true performance. However, please ensure that your speaker has enough headroom to avoid clipping of the audio. This is because at certain points in time the signal will have bursts of power which by far exceed the average power of the signal.

Usually the impedance of the speakers which you connect to your amp will determine how much power your amp can deliver. Speaker impedance is measured in Ohms. Typically speakers have an impedance between 4 and 8 Ohms. An audio amplifier which has a fixed internal supply voltage will have a maximum output signal swing that is limited by that supply voltage. If you are driving an 8-Ohm speaker then your amplifier must deliver twice the output voltage than when driving a 4-Ohm speaker in order to deliver the same amount of power to your speaker. Usually maximum power is specified for a 4-Ohm speaker impedance. However, ideally the manufacturer of your amplifier will tell which speaker impedance the amplifier can drive. Please note that some amplifiers cannot drive speakers with very low speaker impedance.

By awais

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