An increasing number of wireless audio transmitter products promise the ultimate freedom to stream music throughout the house. We will take a look at different products and techniques to find out how far these products are useful for full house audio applications and what to take care of when purchasing a wireless system.
Driving music in your house can be a daunting task. Many homes are not connected to audio in multiple rooms and getting music from the living room to your bedroom can be quite a challenge. Products that solve this problem are usually based on the following technologies: infrared wireless, RF wireless, wireless LAN or powerline.
Infrared wireless audio products are limited to synchronization applications, ie operate only within a single room, as the signal is transmitted as infrared light that can not penetrate into walls. This technology is often found in wireless speaker kit products.
RF wireless audio products send the audio signal through radio waves. These radio wave signals can easily pass through walls. The signal is sent either by FM transmission or digital transmission. FM transmitter is the cheapest option. They offer good range but the audio signal is prone to noise distortion and sound and is highly susceptible to interference from other wireless transmitters.
Digital wireless audio transmitters use a digital protocol. The audio is first converted to digital data before it is transmitted. This method ensures that the sound quality is fully preserved. Some broadcasters use some form of audio compression, such as Bluetooth transmitter, which will impair the audio to some extent. Transmitter that sends audio data uncompressed will achieve highest credibility.
Products that use wireless LAN are useful when you save audio from a computer. Their disadvantage is that they usually have some fairly high latency, i.e. The signal will be delayed to a certain amount because wireless LAN is not specifically designed for real-time audio streaming. Additionally, some products need to purchase separate wireless LAN modules that are connected to each audio receiver.
Powerline products send the sound through the mains and offer good range. They run into problems in houses where there are separate network circuits when it comes to being able to cross over to another circuit. Even these products are built for a delay of several seconds to protect against transmission errors in the event of power failures and nails that prevent their use in applications where the audio from the wireless speakers must synchronize with other non-wireless speakers or video.
Here are some tips for choosing a wireless audio system: If you plan to stream sound to multiple rooms in your house, be sure to choose a system that allows streaming to multiple recipients at the same time. That way, you do not need to buy a separate transmitter for each recipient you are streaming to. Some products have some kind of error correction built-in, which will help protect against outcomes in case of severe wireless interference. Select a digital RF audio transmitter to ensure that the sound quality is preserved. Make sure the audio delay is less than 10 ms if you have a real-time video as a video.
Select a transmitter that has all the audio inputs you need, such as speaker inputs, RCA inputs, etc. Choose a system where you can add recipients later that offer all necessary outputs, such as amplified speaker outputs, RCA outputs, etc. If you are using a digital audio transmitter, select one with an audio level control input to prevent the audio signal from being cut inside the transmitters audio converter. This ensures an optimal dynamic range regardless of the signal level of your equipment.
Make sure that the amplified wireless receivers have built-in digital amplifiers with low distortion figures. This will keep the receiver cool due to the high amplifier power amplifier for optimal sound quality. Make sure that the receivers can drive speakers with the desired Ohm rating. Pick a product where wireless receivers have a small footprint and simple mounting options help during the installation. Products operating in the 5.8 GHz frequency band have less problems with wireless interference than products that use the overflowed 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz frequency band.