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The Difference Between Wired and Wireless Distributed Home Audio

by Pam Silvia

Whether you love to crank your music up at home or just want something to have on in the background, a distributed home audio system is a great addition to any home. Perfect for entertaining spaces, home theaters, and outdoor areas, distributed audio allows you to spread speakers around your whole home and receive the same sound throughout, or sound from different sources like TV or other sources of audio. There are many companies that make products in this category which can be wired or wireless, so which is better?

Wired speakers are connected to a central control system via speaker wires that go from the amplifier to the speakers and possibly other cabling that would go to an in-wall controller which can be installed throughout your home. Wireless speakers connect via WiFi for whole-home systems or often use Bluetooth for single room systems. The following outlines the different types of distributed audio and weighs the pros and cons of each to help you make the best decision for your space.

Wired Systems

hand of woman turning up volume of Hi-Fi amplifier in her home

Wired distributed audio systems physically connect to the source of audio and to a central control system or amplifier. Wired speakers generally have better quality and reliability overall than their wireless counterparts as there is less likelihood of interference or dropouts from wireless signals. They feature a deeper, richer sound as the audio is not compressed during the transmission of data. Wired speakers aren’t reliant on a strong network connection to properly function either, so if your home network has challenges giving you strong Internet all throughout your home, this is the optimum system for you. With wired speakers, you use a central control to determine which rooms receive audio and from what source, without ever moving the speakers. Many of these control systems can be controlled via your smartphone or another smart device. The is also the preferred setup for architectural speakers such as in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, which, once professionally installed, will blend into the environment and won’t take up counter or floor space.

Settings such as volume and bass are also controlled directly from the control system, via an in-wall keypad or touch panel which is more reliable than a wireless connection. Wired systems require an amplifier and should be professionally installed as these systems have a lot of wires that need to be hidden in your walls or ceiling, and programming to ensure the system operates the way you want it and is intuitive.

Wireless Systems

smart speaker at home allows parent to be more hands free while supervising child

Wireless speaker systems collect data from the audio source via Bluetooth or WiFi connections and then convert that data into sound. They are easy to use, set up, and can be controlled directly from your smartphone or another smart device. Wireless systems are self-contained and flexible, allowing you to move the speakers wherever you’d like throughout your home depending on your needs and the occasion. This option is also optimal for those who may not be able or want to run wiring through the walls.

It’s worth investing in the most up-to-date wireless speakers you can as some of the older systems are more susceptible to interference from large appliances or radio frequencies in the area. Obviously, this will have a detrimental effect on your sound quality and listening experience. It’s also worth investing in more premium products, as price definitely corresponds with sound quality and performance. With this being a very popular category there are a lot of “deals” out there; however, you’ll find that you get what you pay for. Some wireless speakers do need to be plugged into power even though they are still Bluetooth- or Internet-connected, but there are battery-powered and rechargeable models depending on your application.

Call or Visit Us!

While a hard-wired distributed audio system is better, knowing your space and requirements can help you choose the right fit for you and your application which is where the team at Toton’s TV can help. In reality, there are many homes that use either wired or wireless speaker systems but investing in technology always comes down to your budget, preference preferences, and application.

Distributed or whole-home audio systems are convenient and a great investment, regardless of whether you choose wired or wireless. If you’re looking for help choosing the best distributed audio system for your home, Toton’s TV has you covered for every type of environment. Call or visit us to learn more about our products and services.