The number of wireless devices is growing rapidly. Just a few decades ago, it was unthinkable to be able to pick up a cell phone and talk to anybody in the world without being tethered by a wire. However, times have changed. Nowadays more and more consumer devices are becoming wireless. It starts with the simplest devices such as your car keys. It extends to other useful appliances such as baby monitors and garage door openers. Also, telephones have become wireless as well. More and more home-based phones have become cordless. The traditional phone has been replaced by a base station and several handsets which are connected to the base station via a wireless link. However, the trend has moved to cell phones which don’t even have a base station but can be used anywhere in the country. In this post I’m going to focus on a lesser talked-about product: wireless loudspeakers.
It is hard to say whether manufacturers have adopted the idea of wireless audio from other devices such as cordless telephones. The fact is that somebody has discovered that running speaker wires can be a hassle. As such, manufacturers have been quick to design products which eradicate the speaker wire and instead use a wireless link for transmitting the audio. The audio is to be sent from a base station also known as transmitter. The wireless signal is then picked up by the speakers and converted back to audio. The advantage of wireless speakers is obvious: no more running long speaker wires. However, many questions arise as far as the reliability. Many people don’t trust using wireless products. Let me explain some of the reasons.
Consumer products usually work in one of several frequency bands which are available for unlicensed equipment. Because these frequency bands are limited, they naturally are becoming more and more congested by the ever growing number of wireless devices. The result is that many devices are competing for the same them the frequency space. Therefore, chances are that some other device may interfere with the transmission of the loudspeaker base station. The question is: how well our speakers equipped to deal with such interference?
The answer is difficult because it depends on the type of loudspeaker. Some of the most advanced technologies use frequency hopping in order to avoid frequency channel switch occupied by other transmitters such as wireless networks. These types of wireless speakers also usually have a mechanism that can detect errors during the transmission and request a specific data packet to be resent. Using these technologies, wireless speakers have attained a fairly high degree of reliability. However, many people still don’t fully trust wireless and thus still prefer running wires. Everybody has their own preference.