Battery-powered Bluetooth speakers are fine if you need portability. But if you largely enjoy your smart device entertainment in one area, or plan to upgrade your TV audio, choose AC-powered bluetooth wireless speaker units. You’ll eliminate battery-charging hassles and get much better sound. Prices start at about $100 for bookshelf-size speakers and go up in price based on size, power rating and transmission technology. We’ll give you some buying advice and show you how to make Bluetooth wireless speakers work with other devices, such as your TV and old stereo equipment.
Plus, check out this Ultimate Buying Guide for Home Theater, Sound System and Wireless Speakers.
Quick primer on AC-powered wireless speakers
Wireless speakers receive sound wirelessly through Bluetooth, but they do have wires. Every pair has an “active” unit that plugs into an AC receptacle and a cable that connects the active to the passive speaker. The active unit houses the wireless receiver, amplifier, volume and tone knobs. Many active speakers also have a stereo jack and speaker terminals that allow you to connect directly to your smart device or TV using a cable. Bluetooth technology is supposed to work up to 33 ft., but don’t count on that—it’s really more like 10 to 15 ft. In fact, plan on being within line-of-sight with your Bluetooth speakers because the signal doesn’t travel well through walls. There are significant sound-quality differences among brands, so it’s best to shop for wireless speakers at a retail store where you can compare sound quality rather than blindly ordering online.
Teach old dogs new tricks with Bluetooth add-ons
You can easily retrofit your TV, computer or old stereo to work with Bluetooth. Just plug a Bluetooth transmitter (one example is the TaoTronics No. TT-BA07; $30 at taotronics.com) into the external speaker or headphone jack on your TV or computer and pair it to your speakers. To retrofit your old receiver, just add a Bluetooth receiver (such as the BrightPlay Home HD; $30 at brightechshop.com).
Uses for Bluetooth Wireless Speakers:
Play directly from your smart devices or computer using Bluetooth. What you’ll need:
- Bluetooth transmitter
- bluetooth reciever
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a wireless transmission technology that’s used for device-to-device connections, for example, between your phone, tablet or laptop and Bluetooth equipped speakers or headphones. Bluetooth can also be used to transmit data between two devices. In perfect conditions, Bluetooth can transmit up to about 100 ft. But in your home, you’ll find it’s closer to 10 to 15 ft. Bluetooth doesn’t transmit well through walls or around corners. Setting up a Bluetooth connection between two devices requires a special “pairing” procedure. Pairing has to be done only once—the devices remember each other after they’re paired.
Now go check out How to Make WiFi Faster in Your Home.