Looking for a great audio system to make your Saturday nights even better?
Unsure whether to go for wired vs wireless speakers?
Well, you're in luck, because that's exactly what we'll be taking you through in our ultimate breakdown between the two.
Ever since the world has become a more connected place, people are constantly looking for new and improved ways to go mobile with technology. It all started with the origination of WiFi, the single most powerful way to browse the internet. No wires, extremely convenient, and super fast. This prompted the world to dramatically change the way people talk, network, listen to music, and watch their favorite movies.
While the strong construction of wired speakers certainly makes them the optimal choice, it’s the trend of wireless technology that’s slowly been shifting consumer preferences.
But, is wireless the ideal way to go? Or, are wired speakers still dominating the industry?
In this guide, we’ve broken down these types of questions in order to help you make your decision. So, without further ado, let's get started with a broad comparison between the two!
Wired vs Wireless Speakers: Sound Quality
It’s a generally accepted notion that wired speakers carry a better and high-quality sound definition than wireless speakers.
Why you may ask?
Wireless speakers use Bluetooth connectivity to play your music or movies. That being said, there’s always a chance of connectivity dips. Bluetooth can only handle so much information at one time. Obviously, the sound quality suffers because you really can't depend on technology to make everything bright and sunny for you. Some things are better left traditional, like the wired speakers.
Wired speakers use physical wires to transmit information from one end to another, which is a more reliable and lasting method. They aren't affected by unstable WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity dipping in and out, which makes their overall sound quality much better.
But, let’s not forget that big names like Bose and Sonos are now rolling up their sleeves to produce wireless speakers that might just take the industry by storm. Deliberate attempts have been made to move beyond the ordinary and cater to a high-quality sound model. This might just leave wired speakers behind. The gap is becoming narrower and inching closer with each passing day.
There’s also the option of combining two wireless speakers to create a surround sound effect. However, that might not be the most economical option and, again, there’s the issue of unreliable top-notch and seamless connectivity.
Wired vs Wireless Speakers: Convenience Factor
Are you someone who likes to take their music or podcasts wherever they go?
If the answer is yes, then go for those wireless speakers you've set your eyes on.
As the name suggests, wired speakers need plug and power outlets to operate. This makes them more of a hassle to carry around. They’re definitely not pocket or travel-friendly due to their significant weight, so this might be a deal-breaker for many.
Wireless speakers, on the other hand, are portable, lightweight, and extremely travel-friendly. Some can even fit right into your pocket like a dollar bill! They also don’t need any wires to support their operation, which is a definite plus. So, if you're willing to compromise sound for convenience, then go for the wireless speakers.
Wired vs Wireless Speakers: Aesthetics
If someone had told you that wireless earphones were superior in aesthetics, you probably would’ve just nodded your head and moved along. However, now it’s an entirely different story.
There’s no denying that most wireless speakers look amazing, considering that they don’t involve any cords, but wired ones aren’t far behind. Nowadays, manufacturers make speaker wires barely visible. Not to mention the wire length is long enough for you to place them in the corner of the room without undergoing the hassle of hiding the clutter. Companies are continually coming up with more innovative ways to improve the wired speaker design in order to make them more aesthetically pleasing.
For example, the Apple HomePod mini is the cutest little device to add to your home. It offers superior Bluetooth connectivity, especially if you have other Apple products, and looks beautiful when placed around light and neutral settings. However, it still needs a power outlet to operate. Similarly, the Amazon Echo and Google Home are also wired speakers that work exceedingly well.
Which One to Buy?
After addressing the most commonly asked questions, we’re now going to plunge into a deeper conversation that clearly marks the pros and the cons of each of these systems.
We’ll be comparing the audio quality, power levels, connectivity, setup time, and overall usage to help you better understand which speaker is best for you.
Let's jump in!
Wired Speaker: Pros and Cons
Speakers are more than just an audio output. They also make your TV sound better, create an ambiance at home, and, most importantly, serve as a status symbol. Generally, customers are willing to choose convenience over quality. More often than not, they’ll fall for a product that gives them less hassle, even if that means compromising on the sound quality. But, there’s always a certain percentage of people who are more concerned with sound quality when it comes to investing in a home audio device.
In that case, wired speakers work wonders. But, let’s not forget that not everything that shines is gold. Here’s a list of pros and cons of wired speakers.
Economical and Cost-effective
All batteries come with a shelf life. No matter how much you spend on a piece of audio equipment, the batteries will eventually run out and you'll end up having to pay to get it replaced. Not to mention, if your warranty has already expired, then you'll be paying double the cost.
A hardwired system eliminates the hassle of getting your batteries replaced every one or two years and will save a ton of cost in the long run.
There’s also definitely a jump in cost if you choose a wireless model. As customer preference continues leaning towards more wireless technology, prices have increased. This makes the wired speakers not only a more traditional option, but a slightly less expensive option. But, the aesthetic value of wireless speakers is far better than a wired model, as we've addressed before.
Richer Sound Quality
Wired earphones undoubtedly have better and more consistent sound quality than the wireless option. The connection between the audio output and the source is seamless and uninterrupted. You don’t need to worry about a sudden dip in connectivity or a loss of signal. The audio is also more stable, clear, and is the preferred choice when it comes to building your own home theater system. Since the flow is smooth, it also ensures that there’s no data loss while you get the amplified music effect that you've always wanted!
Simple Setup Process
Connecting with Bluetooth is no walk in the park. Sometimes the network falters while other times the software makes it difficult. Either way, it’s quite tedious to set up a wireless Bluetooth speaker.
With wired speakers, you don’t need to worry about getting a connection. You might need a bit more accessories to get the setup up and running, but it’ll all be worth it. Another thing to note here is the process of configuration. Since wired speakers aren’t affected by any connectivity hurdles, the configuration process takes relatively less time and is twice as fast. As long as you have the port and the audio jack, everything else will fall into place.
As the name suggests, wired speakers come with wires that each serve a specific purpose. While small wired speakers, such as the Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod mini, come with only one plug-in, there are bigger and heavy-duty speakers with much more complicated jacks.
While the sound quality is undeniable, one can't help but notice that mess of wires that instantly spoils the aura of the room. Moreover, the wires might get in the way while moving from one place to another or people could trip and hurt themselves.
Not the Most Convenient Choice
Wired speakers offer very limited placement options. You can only place the speakers in an area near a working plug point. Unless you’re considering getting them installed as a permanent home fixture, there’s always a chance of the wires messing around with your decor. It’s practically impossible to hide all the wires on a large audio set and, let's not forget, all the extra power consumption that accompanies wired speakers.
Wired speakers are also not a travel-friendly option. Because they’re hardwired with a more traditional build, they tend to be heavier than wireless options.
Add-ons Can Get Expensive
So, you're planning on adding a spoofer to your wired audio system? That might not be the most cost-effective choice. Wired speakers come with their own set of attachments, but if you’re looking to add a few things here and there to build the sound quality, it might become an expensive decision.
- Bose Surround Speakers: Small in size and big on value, the Bose Surround Sound Speakers are the most loved and heavily purchased model in the audio company. With a trusted name like Bose by your side, these speakers are guaranteed to be built to perfection and give you high-quality hearing bass, along with many other features.
- Sony BDV - N92000: Offering a truly immersive sound, the Sony BDV home theater speakers are an all-in-one combination of aesthetics and functionality. With the front speakers being wired and two rear wireless speakers, it really does offer you the best of both worlds.
- Klipsch RP- 502S Surround Sound Speakers: One of the highest performing speakers in town, the Klipsch RP - 502S will blow your mind with their all-encompassing sound quality. Their Hybrid Tractrix® Horns Technology ensures high-frequency, energetic sounds that reduce background noise and let you fall in love with your music.
Wireless Speaker: Pros and Cons
With popular wireless speaker companies like Sonos, the sale of wireless speakers has skyrocketed. Most people generally don't mind paying extra for a set of Bluetooth speakers if it will offer them convenience in return.
As we said, the gap is getting narrower as more and more audio giants have started trying to create Bluetooth speakers with better audio quality and power.
But, there are two sides to every coin, so let's flip ours and see what's in store!
Wireless speakers have a way of seamlessly getting transported to whichever place you want, as long as they’re well within range of a device. They can be placed in any corner of the house, depending on your mood and preference, so you get to carry your music around with you wherever you go. Whether you’re in the kitchen cooking your favourite meal or lounging at home reading a book, a wireless speaker truly gives you unmatched convenience.
With all those wires out of the way, it’s definitely easier to use a wireless speaker. With wired speakers, you get so many additional pieces of equipment that take up a lot of space. Wireless speakers are compatible, pocket friendly, and take up a lot less space. You also reduce the chances of tripping over a large setup. Enjoy a truly seamless experience at home with a good wireless speaker by your side. They’re also extremely versatile and can be switched from one room to another, without breaking a sweat!
The market these days is flooded with an array of options to choose from in the range of wireless speakers. Not only that, but they’re so many colors available to suit your home decor and interiors to perfection. You can literally spin a new theme every day with these speakers and they’ll fit right in. For instance, the Bose SoundLink is one of the most powerful portable Bluetooth speakers on the market and it comes in such great colors.
Sound Quality Issues
If you're looking at buying a set of speakers that has impeccable sound quality, then wireless speakers might not be the best bet for you. More than anything, the sound in a wireless speaker as compared to a wired one, appears to be a little broken, unclear, and low. Because wireless speakers rely on full-range connectivity to work their magic, they might not be a good choice for you if you’re a music maniac.
Costly Affair for the Specs
Wireless audio setups use state of the art technology, so that definitely puts them on a higher pedestal when it comes to their cost structure. Wireless speakers are products of innovation, not high-quality sound. Therefore, it might seem unreasonable to pay a higher price only for convenience and not better sound quality.
Also, they come with batteries that will die after a certain point. This adds to the cost because batteries are perishable and you will need to change them once every couple years or so, depending on your usage. The hassle of constantly charging the speaker is also a point of contention.
Loss in Connectivity
Wireless speakers use Bluetooth to connect with your audio devices. Although the high-end options do come with an AUX port or a basic connectivity port for your phones or audio devices, most of them need wireless technology to connect. This connection is extremely volatile and can break easily, even as the device moves from one room to another. A Bluetooth connection can perform up to 10 meters and, after that, it becomes extremely difficult for the devices to stay connected. This constant dip in connection can get annoying and become quite a hassle to handle.
- Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3: Super powerful, immersive, 360˚ surround sound, the Megaboom 3 is one of the most highly marketed and hot selling Bluetooth speakers from Ultimate Ears. Better yet, they’re very durable, dustproof, and water-resistant.
- Sonos Roam: Sonos likes to pitch these speakers by referring to them as the 'smart speakers' because of their superior connectivity, built-in voice control, incredible sound, and unbelievable battery life. They’re also waterproof, lightweight, and easy to carry around.
- Anker SoundCore: SoundCore has an astonishing battery life and comes with the latest Bluetooth software to ensure seamless connectivity.
Wired vs Wireless: Giving the Battle a Rest
Like every other investment, your decision honestly depends on your needs and preferences. If you want a more convenient set of speakers that you can carry along with you wherever you go, close your eyes and buy the wireless one. If you’re into getting a high-quality sound for your home, then there’s nothing better than wired speakers.
Along with sound quality, aesthetics and convenience are just as important. Also, pay attention to the weight of the speakers, especially if you plan on shifting it from one place to another. Of course, if you’re looking at getting an in-wall model, then you don’t need to worry much about the weight. In terms of wireless speakers, while you can always pair two similar Bluetooth devices, there’s always a slight chance of connectivity issues.
Weigh your options carefully, understand the specifics, and determine your usage. Only then can you buy the speakers without any regrets!