Not only that even from small speakers can be long brought out a perfect sound: The satellite speakers distributed around the room are controlled by the home theater receiver in harmony with the subwoofer so that different sounds are reproduced from different directions. And all the components are not connected to each other via cable.
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FAQ: Wireless Home Theater Systems
What is a Wireless Home Theater System?
The “real” cinema has been delighting people for decades. Here, the film can be seen on a huge screen (while people had to make do with rather small screens in their own four walls for a long time), and the cinema also scores with a great sound experience.
Since the speakers are not only installed at the front of the screen, but all around the cinema hall, a surround sound is created that catapults the viewers into the middle of the scenery, so to speak.
At the latest with the “Dolby Digital” standard developed by the company Dolby, which was presented for the first time in 1992 in the movie “Batman’s Return”, cinema experienced a new boom as an audiovisual experience.
It was to take a few more years before the perfect cinema experience could also be experienced at home. However, manufacturers had already been working on the technical prerequisites for many years. With the development of flat screens, it has become possible to make screen diagonals grow ever larger.
Today, many televisions reach a visible image diagonal of 140 centimeters or more, making the visual experience already cinema-like. Another option is to beam the image onto the wall via a beamer. In this way, the image can be displayed even larger. The necessary devices have long been available at affordable prices.
How does a Wireless Home Theater System work?
In principle, a wireless home theater system is the result of numerous technical developments that have been advanced in recent years. Not only that perfect sound has long been possible even from small speakers: The satellite boxes distributed in the room, in harmonious interaction with the subwoofer, are controlled by the home theater receiver in such a way that different sounds are reproduced from different directions.
The standards responsible for this perfect surround sound are mostly developed by the Dolby company. The specification “Dolby Digital” is therefore obligatory for wireless home cinema systems.
Another advantage of wireless home theater systems is the fact that the individual components do not have to be connected via cable. This saves the user tedious installation work and is also visually much more elegant. Only the power supply of the satellite speakers has to be done via cable.
However, the speakers can be powered from different sockets in the room. In most cases, the necessary power cables can therefore be laid in such a way that they are not or barely visible.
Advantages of Wireless Home Theater Systems
The advantages of a wireless home theater system are obvious: The sound will be excellent as never before, without having to reckon with any visual restrictions.
In fact, a wireless home theater system is interesting for everyone: the love movie becomes just as much a sound experience as the horror shocker, the thriller, the rock concert or the soccer game. And even the sounds produced by a game console become even richer and clearer with a wireless home theater system.
That’s why wireless home theater systems can be found not only in living rooms, but also in numerous teenagers’ rooms or basement bars.
In many cases, people continue to enjoy home cinema as a communal experience: if you not only have a large TV, but also the right audio components, you will always enjoy having friends over. With such a system, you will hardly ever have to watch exciting international soccer matches alone.
Types of Wireless Home Theater Systems
Generally, there are two different types of wireless home theater systems. One is of course the already described system with several satellite speakers distributed around the room. A second variant consists of a so-called soundbar, i.e. a compact, elongated speaker box with tweeters and midrange speakers as well as an additional subwoofer.
The exact decision for one of the systems depends on the available budget, but also on the possibilities in the intended room.
Home theater with satellite boxes
If you have enough space and value a truly perfect sound, this wireless home theater system is perfect. As already described, the sound actually comes from all directions, which enables a cinema-like experience.
The cost of such a system is usually a few hundred dollars, with no upper limit apparent. The system consists of five technically identical speakers that are placed all around the room. The woofers are already integrated into the satellite speakers, and an additional subwoofer is not required.
However, it is important that the speakers are distributed in the room in such a way that they provide optimal surround sound at a central (or desired) location. A disadvantage therefore arises for all those who do not sit at the corresponding spot in the room.
Home theater with soundbar and subwoofer
This wireless home theater system is mostly available for less money and also requires less space in the room. Although the sound here comes from the front-placed soundbar, an astonishingly good surround sound is produced. Of course, the separately placed subwoofer is also responsible for this.
Hifi enthusiasts are usually a bit skeptical about this wireless home theater system, but they can’t deny the particularly good sound properties of some products. However, systems of this type are often completely sufficient for the “normal consumer”. This home theater system is also available with two satellite speakers and an additional subwoofer.
How are wireless home theater systems tested?
When testers look at wireless home theater systems, they naturally have to consider the type and structure of the system in question. In the case of the classic wireless home theater system, which has a home theater receiver and various satellite speakers as well as the subwoofer, very uniform test criteria can be applied. These include
You buy a wireless home theater system to enjoy the great cinema sound at home. Therefore, the demand on the sound quality of such a system is correspondingly high. The sound should be full and rich, but the high tones should not distort either.
In the product test, wireless home theater systems have to prove themselves in all frequency ranges that can be perceived by the human ear. Squeaking or booming in extreme frequency ranges is tolerated more by the product testers than discordant sounds in medium frequencies.
A good home theater system should not only have a corresponding sound quality, but also be made of high-quality material and be well manufactured. A stable finish should always be guaranteed in principle. The home theater receiver should also be easy to open:
Even if the wireless home theater system is used in a meticulously clean apartment, dust will accumulate inside the device over the years. In order to permanently enjoy the installed technology, it must be possible to remove this dust.
In most cases, the customer is responsible for setting up and installing their wireless home theater system themselves. It is therefore all the more important that the necessary steps are not too complicated. Even a layman with little technical experience should generally be able to set up and set up the wireless home theater system optimally.
It’s not just a matter of wiring the home theater receiver accordingly. The subwoofer as well as the satellite speakers must also be able to be set up in such a way that they offer a great sound experience when they work together. The distance between the individual speakers is particularly relevant here.
Under certain circumstances, the type of wireless transmission can also be important: Many wireless home theater systems work with WiFi, but some also with Bluetooth. And especially with Bluetooth, it can happen in particularly large rooms that the distances become too far and the gapless sound transmission is no longer possible.
Testers not only look at the handling itself, but also at the manufacturer’s explanation. Is it detailed and easy to understand? Then the wireless home theater is rated positively in this aspect.
What is true for the installation is also important for the operation of the wireless home theater. Of course, hifi enthusiasts were the pioneers who paved the way for wireless home cinema in private living rooms. In the meantime, however, these systems can also be found in homes occupied by technically unsophisticated laypeople. And even these should be able to operate the home theater without much thought.
Therefore, despite its sound qualities, a wireless home theater should not have too many switches, knobs and dials. Generally, it should be possible to create a pleasant sound for all eventualities with one basic setting. Only the volume must then be adjusted individually.
Admittedly, the speakers needed for watching TV and listening to music have shrunk considerably in recent years. Nevertheless, it has to be said that a wireless home theater system with all its components requires comparatively much space.
This space is of course distributed over different areas of the room, which of course has advantages and disadvantages. Because although each individual speaker only needs a small footprint, it has to be available in virtually all corners of the room. Also, with most wireless home theater systems, there has to be enough room for the speakers in terms of height. This is because the individual satellite speakers usually have a small footprint, but are designed in the shape of a tower.
Thus, a speaker location in the bookshelf is not possible with most wireless home theater systems for structural reasons. Therefore, the testers rate it positively when not too high a speaker is needed for a good sound. The larger the components of a wireless home theater system are, the better they have to fit into the ambience of a room.
In general, a rather simple, unobtrusive design of the components is therefore to be rated higher than a particularly prominent presentation. This is because the latter cannot be integrated into every interior without being visually perceived as a break in style.
As with most other technical devices, the formula high price = best quality does not automatically apply to wireless home theater systems. On the contrary, it is not uncommon for some comparatively inexpensive products to surprise with an exceptionally good sound, and they can also convince with other test criteria.
Product testers are of course incorruptible, so they are not tempted to make a test judgment solely by the purchase price or the name of the manufacturer.
Instead, the testers are guided by the mentioned test criteria in order to subsequently weigh the results determined there with the purchase price.
What should I look for when buying a wireless home theater system?
Although the product testers are quite objective when evaluating wireless home theater systems, the circumstances are different for every buyer. Therefore, various aspects have to be considered before deciding to purchase such a system.
Since a wireless home theater system is a comparatively new product, the additionally required devices must also be of recent construction. With older tube TVs, it is quite possible that no external speakers can be connected at all.
But even flat-screen TVs don’t automatically have an HDMI port, which is a prerequisite for the operation of most wireless home theater systems. It may be possible to work with additional adapters here. However, the specialist dealer will be happy to answer questions about this.
The same applies if other devices, such as CD or DVD players, record players or radios, are to be integrated into the home theater system.
A wireless home theater system needs space. However, this is not only true in terms of the footprint of the individual components, but also in terms of sound.
If the satellite speakers are too close together in a small room, the sound quality will suffer. In this case, it would be more advisable to opt for a “slimmed-down” wireless home theater system with a soundbar and additional subwoofer. But even in sufficiently large rooms, it must be ensured that the appropriate locations are available for the individual speakers.
In a room that is already quite cluttered with furniture and other interiors, the answer to the location question can definitely prove to be difficult.
Individual requirements for appearance and sound quality
This aspect is probably answered most differently by potential buyers of a wireless home theater system. Often, the only thing that matters to users is that their home theater system works reliably and delivers a decent sound.
For others, however, a wireless home theater system is an important part of the interior, which may well attract attention visually – of course positively. These buyers naturally pay particular attention to the design of their wireless home theater system. A third group attaches great importance to the sound quality.
Here it is not enough to copy the sound of any cinema: The best is just good enough, so only a concert hall can serve as a model for a wireless home theater system. Clearly, you have to reckon with quite high acquisition costs in this case.
Own technical understanding
There are wireless home theater systems that require a high level of technical understanding. Those who have this and also enjoy operating the technology can be quite happy with complicated home theater systems.
Most users of wireless home theater systems, however, are amateurs who are easily overwhelmed by technical bells and whistles. Of course, you can still get experienced help during installation, but you won’t have an expert sitting next to you all the time during daily use.
Especially if you plan to give away a wireless home theater system, this aspect is particularly relevant: Unless you know for sure that the person receiving the gift has a high level of technical understanding, you should assume the exact opposite. Then, of course, it makes sense not only to give the home theater system as a gift, but also to install and explain it.
Wireless Home Theater System Accessories
The wireless home theater systems described here are devices for sound reproduction. However, a home theater would not deserve its name if it was not also designed for picture reproduction. Therefore, the accessories to be mentioned are:
TV or Projector
To really be able to speak of a home theater, a large screen is needed here, of course. However, modern flat-screen TVs sometimes achieve a screen diagonal of more than 140 centimeters, which is comparable to cinema format given the smaller dimensions in the living room at home.
An alternative is a projector that casts the desired images onto a screen. Even in relatively bright rooms, quite good image quality can be achieved using a modern projector. The image size varies depending on the distance between the projector and the screen.
No picture without a picture source. So even a wireless home theater system only makes sense if it also receives signals. In contrast to the “real” cinema, where mainly blockbusters are played, the private home cinema is mostly about playing the normal TV program.
Whether movies, news or sports broadcasts: You can’t do it without a TV connection. However, whether the TV signals come from the cable connection, the satellite receiver or a completely different source is of course completely irrelevant for the function of the wireless home theater system.
Wireless Home Theater System Alternatives
Actually, only one real alternative to the wireless home theater system can be mentioned: The previously common wired home theater system also offers excellent sound and is comparable to the wireless variant in most respects.
However, since you have to lay the necessary audio cables here, there are no advantages in technical terms. Only the purchase price could be an argument for choosing the “wired” system.
Last product update on 2022-01-26 | Source: Amazon Affiliate