Wireless speaker systems are a real improvement from the days of twisted, fiddly wires and drilling holes through walls to cable speakers into the perfect configuration for home listening. Wireless speakers not only avoid the risk of cables cutting out, they’re also easy to repostion for better effect. But what kind of wireless speakers are best for your needs?
If you’re on the move and want quick device to device communication, Bluetooth speakers are the way to go. Many portable wireless speakers use Bluetooth; the technology works with Android, iPhone and most other mobile devices. They’re quick to set up, because no other network is involved. If your phones or players are equipped with NFC (near field communication) technology, some Bluetooth speakers have an NFC tag where you can tap the device to make a connection.
Bluetooth speakers also tend to be less expensive than Wifi options. The only catch is that, while Bluetooth works well in smaller spaces, its range is limited to around 10 metres. So to cover a whole flat or multiple floors, Wifi is a better solution.
Why not use your home Wifi network to stream audio? Bluetooth is device to device, but with Wifi, you can stream to multiple speakers over your local network at once. Wifi also has a greater range, up to 46 metres indoors.
Bandwidth can be a problem here, if you have lots of people on your network streaming films or downloading files while you’re trying to listen to audio. Also, Wifi speakers are usually not as easy to set up as Bluetooth systems, but this varies. Some, that use WPS (Wifi protected setup) connect to the home network with the press of a few buttons. More often, the setup requires downloading an app and some configuration.
Why not both?
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