How to Buy Wireless Audio Equipment Online

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How to Buy Wireless Audio Equipment Online

There are many benefits to buying wireless audio equipment as opposed to corded devices. Wireless systems give users the greatest flexibility modern technology can provide, and allows a range of setups to suit any personal or professional need. However, the problems that most consumers encounter when buying wireless audio equipment are born of these same advantages. With so many options and online retailers offering the best deals in town, it is easy to get lost in the process.

Buyers can overcome this initial confusion and buy wireless audio equipment online with ease. It takes just three basic steps: education, selection, and purchase. Education includes understanding what wireless audio equipment is and how it works. Selection means considering the setups available and their pros and cons. Only after these initial phases are buyers ready to buy wireless audio equipment online. However, this last step, too, is complex. Buying electronics online is a tricky matter that involves carefully assessing sellers, as well as the equipment itself.

Education: How Wireless Audio Equipment Works

The flexibility and freedom offered to users when they upgrade to wireless audio equipment is truly unmatched. However, there is more to making this change than simply doing away with an audio system’s wires. To properly select the right wireless audio equipment, users need to first understand what that means in physical, as well as electronic, terms.

Wireless Does Not Mean Zero Wires

The first mistake buyers make is to assume that wireless audio equipment contains zero wires in its setup. Although the number and complexity of the wires in a wireless system are greatly reduced, there are still hookups that need to be made. Minimally, this means plugging the system (and possibly the speakers) into a power source and connecting the system to other units.

So, there is no such thing as a 100 per cent wireless setup. Instead there are several options that cut down on cable clutter and the need to bury lines under carpets or along walls. For the most part, the wireless feature of most setups refers to the speakers and microphones.

How Sound Travels Without Wires

Considering that the bulk of wireless audio systems revolve around speakers and microphones, it is important to understand how they work in relation to their wired counterparts. In other words, without wires to send messages, how can wireless systems work? To begin, remember that sound is really just a series of vibrations. The job of microphones is to capture that sound and transmit it to the speakers. Then, the job of speakers is to use electricity to amplify those sound vibrations from the stereo and microphone so that others can hear it. Obviously, when wired into a stereo system, speakers and microphones are able to use the electricity from the main unit itself to amplify sound. However, truly wireless systems run on batteries.

Wireless microphones and speakers must accomplish the same feat of collecting, transmitting and amplifying sounds, without using wires. The ways that wireless microphones and speakers send and receive signals and generate electric currents vary, however. This is why consumers must do their research before selecting a wireless system. Generally, wireless audio equipment operates through one of two different technologies, infrared light or broadcast signals (i.e. radio waves). These are discussed in further detail in the following section.

Selection: Popular Wireless Audio Equipment Setups

Once they understand the basic physical and technical setup of wireless audio equipment, buyers are ready to learn about the selection process. In this phase, buyers must consider a few different variables common amongst wireless audio systems, comparing and contrasting the benefits and drawbacks of each choice. Only then are buyers able to consider the actual systems themselves and begin the buying process.

Therefore, let us start with the most essential question audio buyers must consider: Does the equipment operate on an infrared or radio wave system. The technology for both types of devices is advanced. However, there are clear drawbacks to each option. Let us begin by looking at how each of these technologies sends audio signals to wireless speakers.

How Infrared Systems Work

Infrared speakers work through a system of invisible (infrared) light similar to the technology used by remote controls. Within the stereo system, a transmitter takes the fluctuations of electricity needed to replicate sound and converts those changes into infrared beams, which it then sends through the air to the speakers. Infrared systems can send over one million of these pulses per second. Then, the speaker takes the pulses it receives and sends it to an amplifier that increases the signal's power so the speaker can make sound loud enough for listeners to hear.

How Radio Wave Systems Work

The other system commonly used amongst wireless audio equipment utilises radio waves. Like many other technologies people use each day (e.g. cordless telephones and baby monitors), wireless speakers that use radio waves send broken down messages through the air. Radio waves, like infrared signals, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, they are larger, and do not require a direct line of sight to transmit.

With audio equipment, radio waves use a transmitter within a stereo system to convert electrical signals into radio waves. These waves are then sent to speakers through an antenna, and are converted back to electrical signals within the speaker unit itself. Again, an amplifier is needed to make the signals powerful enough to be heard. Radio wave systems include Bluetooth.

Comparing the Two Systems

Though infrared and radio wave systems function similarly, there are some clear differences between them. The table below explains the major issues each type of wireless system presents:

Technology

Line of Sight

Interference

Power Source

Infrared

Requires a direct line of sight between the speaker and the sound source

Possible: many devices use infrared

Batteries may not be sufficient to convert infrared beams into electricity; depending on distance, all speakers may need an external power source

Radio Waves

No direct line of sight needed, but larger antennas may be necessary for crisper sound

Probable: many major communication systems rely on radio waves of similar frequencies

Batteries can be sufficient for converting radio waves into electricity but more powerful speakers need an external power source

The type of wireless audio system an individual should select depends, of course, on price, in addition to the factors outlined above. The good news is that both infrared and radio wave wireless audio systems come in a range of prices that vary by brand, quality, and individual buyers' needs.

Conclusion

Learning how to buy wireless audio equipment online is essential for buyers who wish to save time and money. However, there are specific steps to take in the pursuit of the best audio equipment deal: education, selection, and purchase. Buyers should take time to learn about the products in general (education), the choices available on the market today (selection), and the sellers offering them (purchase). These steps can save buyers a lot of time and headaches down the road.

Buying wireless audio equipment is a big step, and one that can be beneficial on both a personal and professional level. However, a purchase should be entered into lightly or without careful consideration. Hopefully, this guide has helped buyers complete this task in three, simple step, and they are now ready to go out and get the best products for their hard earned money.

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