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Thread: I Need Wireless Audio.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    rover, arkansas

    Default I Need Wireless Audio.

    I need help. Although I am very knowledgeable on MOST things computer, having built around 25 in the last few years, my weak spot has always been anything "wireless". I had fits getting my desktop finally configured to my wireless router. My laptop was easier, as it did most of the work for me, and I just had to click a few buttons. The Epson wireless printer I recently added had itself installed onto my network before I even told it to .... which made me VERY happy, although a bit concerned as to just how it did that all by itself.

    I will be going back to college this coming spring to start my Masters in Music, so I figured my sound system probably needed upgraded a bit. The sound-card is actually a pretty good one .... a couple years old SoundBlaster 5.1. But my speaker set is getting worn out, probably from me keeping the volumn too high too long too much. So my initial plans were to buy a new set of powered sorround sound spakers, much like what I already have, only NEW, & perhaps a bit newer technology. I also saw that there are a newer generation or two of sound-cards above mine available now. I might have, or might not have, replaced my current one, depending mainly upon cost. Those brand new ones seem pretty expensive.

    But then I got to noticing that wireless audio seems to be in the affordable range now, and seems that they have it mostly working well too. That was intriquing, as it would eliminate almost every wire-set running from my computer. In addition to what's mentioned above, my keyboard, mouse, & most everything else is wireless. So I'm pretty sure now that I want to skip those new wired speakers & go wireless. But there is the problem. I'm decently good at researching things, but I have NO experience or knowledge about wireless audio.

    The more I read into it, the more confused I became at the choices available. Although I may be wrong, I think I've figured out at least 4 different ways of doing this:

    1. Speakers which have a receiver already built in, and your wireless router works as the transmitter.
    2. A transmitter which plugs into either the sound-card or USB, and a receiver which plugs into ordinary speakers.
    3. A Bluetooth transmitter plugged into USB, with either Bluetooth-enabled speakers, or regular speakers plugged into a Bluetooth receiver.
    4. A ... well, I'm sure I saw a 4th way, but have brain-cramp & can't remember what it was.

    So, can anyone give me some guidance on which method is the best, which is the easiest, & which is the cheapest? Although I'm not a miser & don't mind spending money when it's necessary, keep in mind I am also soon to be a student. That means I really don't have several hundreds of dollars to sink into the latest high-tech gizmos. But I want something that gives quality sound, but not necessarily the absolute best sound possible. I would like to keep this entire rig .... transmitter, receiver, speakers .... close to $100. I can go over that a bit, but $200 is VERY close to, perhaps even more than, the point where I'd have to say it just ain't worth it.

    Also keep in mind what I mentioned near the beginning, that me & wireless just don't cohabitate well. If a certain type system requires learning a brand new trade in order to get it connected, then I'm probably not interested. The method I would LIKE to have is one which used the wireless router that I already have as the transmitter, and I would simply have to buy wireless-enabled speakers .... or a separate receiver which "regular" speakers would plug into. But even though I've seen references to that type of set-up out there, I haven't really been able to find much of this type set-up to buy. But since I really don't know what I'm looking at, I may have found the components for this type & just didn't know what it was.

    The most common method out there seems to be a separate transmitter, usually using USB, and a separate receiver that works with about any powered speakers. So my questions on that would be do these USB transmitters provide the sound quality that a good SoundBlaster 5.1 sound-card does .... or does the USB transmitter somehow work together with the sound-card? Other question is, say for a 5.1 set-up, will just ONE receiver work, or do you have to buy additional receivers for each speaker .... or each pair? I can get by with 4 good speakers & no subwoofer, although I'd like to have the whole 5-speaker set-up operating.

    The Bluetooth stuff looks good, but it also looks expensive.

    Or is there another way to do this that I haven't even mentioned yet? Just to simplify everything I have said, here's basically what I'm wanting .... 1. No wires from computer to speakers, except maybe a short wire from computer to transmitter. 2. At least 4 speakers, hopefully all hooked into just ONE receiver. 3. Decently good sound. 4. Under $200 & as close to $100 as possible.

    So, can any of you nice people who know wireless audio design me a system like I'm wanting? You don't have to tell me where to buy the stuff, unless you just want to, it'll most likely come from Amazon. But I would like for you to list the actual parts I need .... make, model, etc., as best that you can anyway.

    My computer is a decently powerful dual-core AMD running WinXP-Pro 64-bit. Router is Netgear WGT625v3. I also have another unused identical router available, and a couple of Belkin wireless network cards, if those can be of any use somewhere in the system. Any other info you need, just holler. Thanks a mil in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: I Need Wireless Audio.

    Hi AstroDav;

    I can't speak to the first three options you noted except to say that I auditioned a set of Audioengine bookshelf speakers with wireless adapters (approx. $600.00 CAD) and was not impressed at all - the fidelity just wasn't there. I think you will have a hard time finding wireless speakers at your pricepoint, that you will be satisfied with. The salesperson was trying to sell these as a full-range option but they were decent effect (surround) speakers at best. That being said, believe it or not, I found a somewhat decent set of wireless speakers at Walmart (you can stop laughing now)! They are the Morph FX model JTMA0869 - I purchased 2 sets at $50.00/set and modified one of the speakers with a 1/4 stereo jack and connected it to an old Nimble 480 PC Sub (the sub's output does not act independently of the volume controls on the Morph FXs - as the volume is increased on the FXs it is also increased on the sub). It also allows for the connection of 2 extra wired speakers on the back of the Nimble 480 sub (I only use the wireless speakers). The Nimble/Morph FX combination sounds as good as or better than the Audioengines - without the Nimble sub in the mix, the Audioengines definitely sound better. With buying 2 sets, I also got 2 transceivers. I have 1 connected to a Starchoice STB and the other we connect to a roving laptop when needed. The Transceivers connect by USB or 1/4" stereo jack with 2 RCA connectors. There has never been a problem with interference (they work at 900 mhz frequency) or drift. I set them up 2 years ago and haven't had to touch them. I use the computer's volume control as the "Master Volume" and have the FXs set at about 75%. IMHO, neither the Audioengines or the Nimble/FX combination produce good quality sound but I feel much better about spending $100.00 vs $600.00 for comparable sound. I should also mention that the Starchoice STB is on another floor approximately 40 feet from the speakers and very seldom is there any interference or loss of signal and when using the laptop there's never been a problem. Another plus, my wife thinks so anyway, is that we have the sub and both speakers hidden in the livingroom - the one with the sub connected to it is on a sofa table behind a free-standing photo frame with the sub behind the sofa - the other speaker is hidden behind a lamp on a desk. We use them mostly as ambience but I have played them loud without any noticeable degradation in quality, I'm just not sure they'd stand up to a protracted pounding. Hope this helps.

    Last edited by chuckbrown007; 09-27-2010 at 02:40 AM. Reason: I had to check accuracy of Nimble 480 sub output

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