Technology which is being used in contemporary wireless speakers has evolved in leaps and bounds. In particular, digital audio transmission has introduced a method for transmitting music without any audio degradation. The key method which is being used in these wireless protocols is called error correction. Using these protocols, performance of wireless speakers has improved a great deal over traditional speakers. I’m going to look at some models which are available nowadays and find out and how far the speakers are able to address the challenges that have plagued traditional wireless speakers.
The first product I’m going to look at are wireless speakers from Amphony. This startup company makes speakers which can be paired to a transmitter base. The company says that a maximum of four speakers can be paired the transmitter. That means if you want to stream music into four rooms you can have four speakers located in different rooms of your house. Alternatively, you could put in two speakers into two rooms each. The last configuration seems more logical because that way you get stereo sound versus only having mono sound. The company further states that the speakers can be up to 600 feet away from the transmitter. However, keep in mind that walls and obstacles will actually decrease the effective range. I have tested this product and found the effective range to be about 150 feet in my house.
Sonos is another company that makes wireless speakers. The wireless range of the Sonos speakers is not directly specified by the company. Also, then contrast to Amphony speakers, there is no specification for the wattage of the speakers. Both Amphony and Sonos use Class-D power amplifiers. Amphony speakers are designed to be weather resistant where is the Sonos speakers are mostly used indoors. I found the sound quality of both the Amphony and the Sonos speakers to be quite similar when comparing their play:3 speaker from Sonos with the Amphony speakers.
Logitech is another company that makes wireless speakers. This company specializes in computer peripherals mostly. As such, there wireless speakers are mostly tailored towards the computer market. That also translates into the price tag which is traditionally lower the computer market than the audio market. The Logitech speakers are designed for watching movies on the computer. They are bundled as a kit. Overall I found the quality of the Logitech speakers to be lacking behind the quality of both the Amphony and the Sonos speakers. However, all of these three speakers worked fine in a typical home environment which includes wireless LANs and cordless telephones. I also test these at my office without any audio dropouts.