Can I Go Wireless with My AV Receiver?

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Q I am moving to a new home and plan to transfer my AV receiver and speakers to the new location but don’t want to have to run new wiring. Is there a system available that will let me attach a wireless transmitter to my AV receiver and wireless receivers to my speakers and avoid running wires?—Michael DeWaters / via e-mail

A Yes—but only if your AV receiver has line-level preamp outputs. Products such as Monoprice’s Wireless Speaker transmitter ($89) let you send wireless CD-quality audio signals over the 2.4-gigahertz band. You simply run audio cables to the transmitter’s RCA jack inputs and speaker cables from the wireless receiver’s outputs to your speakers. However, such solutions tend to have limited power output on the wireless receiver end—20 watts per channel with Monoprice’s system, for example—and they’re stereo only. And since the 2.4-GHz band is the same one used for Wi-Fi, you could also run into interference problems.

Swartwood's picture

This seems completely insufficiently researched. What about WiSA std products? WiSA technology operates in the relatively unused 5.2 to 5.8 GHz UNII radio frequency spectrum and is 24-bit 96khz on full 7.1 channels. What about line level products that let you use a simple monoblock amp of whatever power you need for the apeakers? Seriously, your best advice was some uber cheap and insufficient monoprice transmitters? I love monoprice, but they are woefully insufficient for this question.

Al Griffin's picture
@Swartwood: What WiSA certified products currently exist outside of the Bang & Olufsen BeoLab speakers? And what affordable line-level solutions? We're talking about adapting an inexpensive A/V Receiver here. Your suggestion would involve 3 or 4 wireless transmitters/receiver kits for at least $150 each plus 5 or 7 extra amp channels. I'd just as soon recommend running wires.
Swartwood's picture

OK, as of March 3rd you are right, nothing sub $100, but that is such a narrow outlook considering he hasn't moved yet and other S&V readers have the same question at different price points and timeframes. If you only mean to answer him personally send him an email, otherwise answer your readership.
Sharp has a wireless bridge for $599 that ships this spring and was fully operational at CES, should be available by the time it takes most people to move. Hansong has an even less expensive solution that functional and is being brought to market later this year.
The question as you displayed it didn't mention anything about price and a lot of people with mid to high level systems cannot run the wires to where they need speakers, specifically the rears/surrounds without it being either a huge deal involving drilling/patching drywall and fishing wires or having wires hanging out. Open floor plans are pretty predominate anymore, some poeple own classic houses they won't modify and lots of people are renting. Most people don't need the fronts and center wireless, just the surrounds so probably only 2 but maybe 4 channels total. Just thought your answer seemed very short for something that has a lot of different solutions e.g. WiSA tech (not yet,to be fair), Sonos Amps, Aperion Zona, JBL WEM-1. Russound makes inexpensive 2 channel amps perfect for surround if you can get the line level to them. There are both more options and, in the extremely short term, new things are coming out. The monoprice option is terrible and just going to clip and cook his speakers. Even you didn't like the only option you suggested while the Aperion/Russound option or the JBL option are both in the $350 total for 2 speakers and are enough power for most surrounds at 50-60 W per channel. Personally I've hear the Aperion with Russound set up and couldn't tell they were wireless.

Al Griffin's picture
Let’s start with inaccurate info. Sharp’s VR-WR100U Wireless Bridge may cost $600, but you neglect to mention that it's designed to be paired in a system with the company's $4000 WiSA certified Blu-ray player. As for the Hansong "solution" shown at CEDIA, that appears to be an OEM design for speaker manufacturers to bundle with their WiSA certified speakers. No news about what company will bring it to market, at what price, and when. Now on to the assumptions. Why shouldn't I take this reader’s question at face value and answer with specific info? How does it help him for me to generalize my response to cover different setups and a wide range of price points? His question asked about how to adapt his current speakers to make them wireless. With a system based around an A/V receiver (as opposed to a stereo one) that minimally translates to 5 channels, yet you're steering the discussion toward systems where only the surround speakers are wireless. The fact remains that there are no cost-effective solutions here. In the future there will hopefully be WiSA certified A/V receivers and surround speaker systems available at a range of price points, but there's nothing to indicate that that will happen in 2014. One good thing to come from this exchange is your Aperion/Russound suggestion for those wanting to spend $350 to make their surround speakers wireless. Thanks for that recommendation.
Swartwood's picture

I didn't know that the Sharp unit fit into a larger setup, that is a bummer and does make it unreasonably expensive.
I do think it would be appropriate to answer for a wide range of readership and not only the person who asked the question when you post it on your well read website but that's your call.
The question as wordedleaves a lot of assumptions no matter how you answer, the cheap monoprice solution was making assumptions such as he needed all the speakers wireless and that he was only interested in options that weren't expensive.
Reading back I came off preaching on WiSA and pretty jerky. Sorry about that! I really don't own WiSA stock and I get a bit overexcited about room setup.