How to Buy Used Wireless Home Cinema Speakers

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How to Buy Used Wireless Home Cinema Speakers

Buying used wireless home cinema speakers is a great way to save money while reducing the number of wires and cables that run from the home cinema system to the speakers. High quality used speakers can often be found for a fraction of their original retail price, with the same sound reproduction that they offered when they were brand new. It is important to note that wireless home cinema speakers are not entirely wireless: the speakers need a power source to work and have to be plugged into mains power. In addition, only rear speakers and subwoofers are available in wireless formats. However, this may be the perfect solution for some homes, especially those with open-plan seating areas.

Several factors should be considered before buying used wireless home cinema speakers. An understanding of how the speakers work allows buyers to establish whether this is the right solution for their needs. Know which features to look for, including speaker configurations. Know how to evaluate used speakers and how to do research to find the right set of speakers. Used wireless home cinema speakers are available from charity shops, auctions, car boot sales, and online from sources like eBay.

How Do Wireless Home Cinema Speakers Work?

Wireless home cinema speakers work through paired receivers and senders connected to the main home cinema system. A signal is sent from the sender to the receiver before being relayed to the speakers. Objects in the way of the sender and receiver can cause a loss of signal and interference, but this is seldom a problem in television viewing areas.

Features of Used Wireless Home Cinema Speakers

When buying used wireless speakers for home cinema systems, the technical specifications can be used to gauge their performance. The table below lists common specifications and a short description of each.




Measured in watts (W), usually 40 to 200 W

Indicates how much power the speakers can take before being damaged

More power equates to higher volume

Match power to room size

Nominal power

Displayed as root mean square (RMS)

Level at which speakers can function without interruption, or risk of damage or distortion

Peak power

Highest power level that the speaker can function at before sustaining damage


Transducer or device that changes electrical energy to sound

Driver configuration

Number of drivers in speaker unit


Describes electrical component resistance, measured in Ohms

Usually rated 4, 8, or 16 Ohms

Match impedance to the amplifier

Frequency response

Measured in Hertz (Hz)

Range of sound frequencies a speaker can reproduce

Humans can hear 20 to 20,000 Hz

Full range reproduced by high quality speakers


Measures sound pressure level (SPL) in decibels (dB)

Indicates loudness of speaker per 2.83 volts input

Higher sensitivity speaker can be driven by a weaker amplifier

Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N)

Measured in dB and relates to sound quality

Higher SNR means clearer sound

Some home cinema speakers may be listed as 200 W, but perform at lower specifications. This is the result of manufacturers branding a set of, for example, five speakers by referring to their combined output rating as 200 W. This means that each individual speaker has a far lower rating of 40 W, and translates to a substantial difference in performance. Take care when checking specifications and confirm the features with the seller in detail before buying.

Power and impedance should be matched to the rest of the home cinema system for the best performance. Connecting a speaker with a low power capacity to a high output amplifier could also lead to damage to the speakers or distortion to the sound quality. Electronic system components should always be matched to avoid damage to individual devices for the best sound production.

Wireless Home Cinema Speaker Configurations

Wireless home cinema speaker configurations are described as 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, and 7.1. These digits relate to the number of speakers in the set. The most basic arrangement, 2.1, features two main speakers and a subwoofer, and cannot reproduce surround sound. A 3.1 system includes an additional front speaker intended to enhance dialogue. 5.1 speaker systems provide true surround sound and feature three front speakers, two rear speakers, and a subwoofer. 7.1 speaker systems feature two additional rear speakers. Only rear speakers and subwoofers are available in wireless designs.

Wireless Home Cinema Speaker Frequency Bands

The wireless signal required to make wireless speakers work is sent via either the 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) or 5.8 GHz wireless band. As many wireless products send and receive signals on the 2.4 GHz band, speakers on this frequency may suffer from interference. To counteract this, some high quality wireless home cinema speakers are available that are designed for the less crowded 5.8GHz band. Not all buyers will experience interference when using wireless speakers. Those who do should consider 5.8GHz wireless speakers.

Evaluating Used Wireless Home Cinema Speakers

Before buying used wireless home cinema speakers, evaluate the items on offer. Check the condition of the exterior of the speakers, especially for scratches, dents, and other damage. Even though the look of the speakers does not affect their performance, this can be used to gauge whether the previous owner took care of them and whether they were dropped or damaged in some way.

Listening to the speakers is the easiest way to find out if they have any problems. Vibrations and distortion are clear indications of damage or faults. Where listening is not possible, ask the seller whether any of these problems exist. Check the foam or rubber around the cones for wear and damage. This tends to deteriorate over time, but can be replaced. However, having this fixed could significantly add to the price of the speakers.

Researching Used Wireless Home Cinema Speakers

In addition to checking the speakers for faults and damage, research the models and brands available before buying. Expert and customer reviews are an excellent source of practical information about speaker performance. In addition, having an idea of their cost when they were new and what a similar model costs new gives a clear indication of a fair asking price. In some cases, buying high quality used wireless home cinema speakers is preferable to buying new, inferior quality products. However, make sure that a bargain really is a bargain before buying.


Buying used wireless home cinema speakers is an excellent way to save money and can lead to finding high quality audio equipment at a bargain price. Although wireless home cinema speakers are not truly wireless, they eliminate the need to run cables from the amplifier or player to each speaker. Keep in mind that they do need a nearby power source to work. Rear speakers or subwoofers are the only types available in wireless format. As a result, these are most often found in 5.1 or 7.1 system configurations as lower configurations seldom feature rear speakers.

Before shopping for used wireless home cinema speakers, know which features to look for and what the different technical specifications mean in terms of performance. Always match speakers to the amplifier or player for the best results and to protect components from harm due to overloading or inadequate power supply. Although 2.1 and 3.1 speaker configurations can be set up to imitate surround sound, true surround sound is only available from 5.1 and upwards. 7.1 configurations add little to the performance of the system, but may be beneficial at a later date.

Before buying used wireless home cinema speakers, evaluate the items on offer. Check for obvious signs of damage, make sure that the foam around the cone is in good condition, and ask the seller whether the speakers vibrate or distort when used. Research the item's original selling price, the selling price of equivalent items, and the selling price of new wireless home cinema speakers before committing to a purchase. Doing adequate research ensures that the item is bought at a fair price. eBay sellers offer a range of wireless home cinema speakers at competitive prices.

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