The wireless range is crucial in certain applications when setting up wireless speakers. The transmission range of wireless speakers depends on the technology used by the speakers is well as the particular make of the speakers. I will review some key technologies and also talk about wireless range.
The transmission range of wireless speakers can be as short as 20 feet in case of Bluetooth speakers or is high as 600 feet like speakers from Amphony or Sonos. But what causes the huge difference in range? In order to answer that question, I will explain the bit about technology is being used. Most modern speakers nowadays transmit audio by converting the signal into data. That data is then modulated onto a wireless carrier wave. This carrier wave is transmitted via an antenna which is located either inside the transmitter which comes with the speakers or by the device which is used to stream to speakers. The signal is then received within the speakers via an antenna and decoded by the speakers.
In order for the speakers to work, the signal which is being received by the speakers has to be strong enough in order to be decoded. If the signal gets too weak, the speakers will not be able to decode the information contained within the signal and thus not work. Usually, you will hear the speakers dropping the sound completely. This behavior is quite different from analog wireless speakers because those models typically would have lots of noise as the range was increased. Speakers which use digital technology, on the other hand, don’t exhibit any noise but have a sharp cutoff once the threshold is reached.
Obviously, the stronger the signal that is being transmitted, the higher the wireless range. Also, the speakers themselves have to be fairly sensitive in order to have good range. So both the signal strength at the transmitter as well as the receiver sensitivity within the speakers are crucial for establishing a long range. In addition, if the signal has to transmit through obstacles or walls then the range will be degraded because these obstacles will lower the signal strength. The range very much depends on how many obstacles are between the transmitter and the speakers and also on the frequency of the signal. Typically, signals working at a low-frequency such as 900 MHz will more easily pass through walls then signals working at higher frequencies such as 5.8 GHz.
There are also some technologies on the market which utilize repeater transmitters. Sonos is one of those companies which makes these repeaters. By picking up the signal and retransmitting it, the wireless range can be extended almost indefinitely. However, using this technology is usually more expensive than using traditional transmitters. Also, some more sophisticated models of wireless transmitters use directional antennae. These antennae will focus the signal into one specific direction which will help enhance the range.