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Wireless speaker transmitter system for surround sound?
June 21, 2005 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Does a wireless speaker transmitter/amplifier system for surround sound exist?

I have the speakers already, and they will be near a power outlet. Ideally there'd be a tranmitter that sat behind my stereo receiver, wired to the left and right rear speakers, and a small base that the speakers themselves sat on and attached to that plugged into the wall. The signal could travel via radio or through the wall (riding along the AC), but no matter how it goes the device(s) that attach to the rear speaker should be as small as possible.

I've seen the 2 Radio Shack options, both of which provide far more than I want (volume control, large size, comes with speakers), and found this x-10 model that does largely the same thing as the Raido Shack models, with the same problem (too big, provides more than I need).

Surely a very simple implementation of this exists as a consumer product? I'm very close to buying 2 small transistor radios and 2 of those little FM transmitters that are designed for short-range broadcasts, or overpaying for the Radio Shack option.
posted by Four Flavors to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
 
Will this work for you? (Amazon link)
posted by pmbuko at 5:05 PM on June 21, 2005


In my experience, no.

I haven't looked for this in a couple of years but I've looked several times and never found anything worth while. I've bought and returned a couple of different pairs because the results were terrible. It's always seemed to me that this would be a huge money maker for the enterprising company that makes exactly what you are asking for.

Good luck. I'd be curious if you find anything that works well.
posted by aaronh at 6:53 PM on June 21, 2005


I think aaronh is right. Surprisingly, there aren't any great options for wireless speaker hookups. The options that I have seen suffer from problems of interference, bulk, lack of power, and other issues (such as the continued need for wires in the Kenwood system linked above).

Here's an article on the topic that suggests viable options may be around the corner, but are not quite here yet.

Also, here's a NYT article that does a survey of wireless speakers without mentioning options for use with speakers one has already selected.

Hope you come up with something that works for you!
posted by brain_drain at 8:00 PM on June 21, 2005


Wireless transmitters/ speakers aren't worth the gunpowder to blow them up. They require a power source which usually contradicts the very intent of being wireless in the first place. Their fidelity is always disctinctly lo-fi as well.

Most work on radio frequencies which are subject to interference. Planes flying overhead, taxis going by your house, the next-door neighbor turning on the blender, cell and cordless phones will all interfere with reception.

I carry the Kenwood system. In the two cases where I was unable to convince the customer that they were worthless, they ended up returning them after a week or so; sheepishly admitting that I was correct in telling them how horrible they were.

Run some wire.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:30 PM on June 21, 2005


You could always get one of those little systems from Niro Nakamichi. They're not only wireless, they're speakerless too! Reviews (e.g.) tend to like them movies but dislike them for stereo music; also, their connection options aren't great. But they're inexpensive and come with a moneyback guarantee. I wouldn't call this the perfect solution, but it might be your best "wireless" option now and for a while longer.
posted by coelecanth at 5:44 AM on June 22, 2005


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