Wireless surround sound is among the latest innovations in home theatre technology, and it comes with no shortage of benefits. Most importantly, it dispenses with the birds’ nest of wires that usually accompanies AV accessories, which means a cleaner finish to your home theatre setup.
If space is at a premium in your home theatre, then cutting down on leads is especially important. But there are plenty of more subtle advantages too. Our personal favourite is mobility; if you’re streamlining the acoustics in your home theatre then wireless surround sound speakers can untether you and allow for greater versatility of placement. That means you can tailor your speaker configuration to make the most of your home theatre layout.
However, with a recent surge in popularity there are now more wireless surround sound systems on the market than ever before. So how do you pick one? Here’s what we recommend.
There are two types of wireless surround sound speakers
First, you need to know the difference between the two types of wireless surround sound speakers: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Both systems allow for seamless wireless connectivity, but they have their own drawbacks as well.
Bluetooth is popular for portable speakers given that it doesn’t require internet access to link your device to your sound system. However, it is range limited and the quality of your sound can deteriorate if the speakers are placed too far from the originating device. Wi-Fi systems, on the other hand, are less prone to interruption, provided you have a stable internet connection, but aren’t as portable and are often less affordable.
So balance your priorities before you make the call between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – you’re sure to make the right call if you do.
Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q90R
The Harman Kardon is one of Samsung’s wireless sound systems that has been turning heads lately, and for good reasons. At almost 30kg, it comes in a large box and has a large personality to match. Rather than offering a subwoofer and soundbar combo, this model stays true to surround sound with an additional two speakers on top of the soundbar and subwoofer. The sub and speakers are wireless, which means fewer cables and easy installation, and despite its size the system is sleek and good looking.
It’s also smart home compatible, and you can combine it with your Samsung smart home using the SmartThings app, which is android and iPhone compatible. That means you’ll have no trouble getting your speakers and your TV to communicate, if you’re running Samsung accessories already. Not surprisingly, though, this one doesn’t come cheap.
The Yamaha YAS isn’t a surround sound in the true sense of the term, because it doesn’t come with two auxiliary speakers. Instead, it offers a simple and user friendly wireless sound bar and subwoofer combo. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity – this unit packs a punch and by remaining compact it offers greater versatility to home theatre enthusiasts, as well as those who are simply looking to enhance their living room’s ambience. The standard kit comes with only two power cables, and one digital optical template as well, which means you can enjoy a trip-free living room without sacrificing sound.
Finally, let’s look at the HT-Z9F: a true surround sound system with two speakers, a subwoofer, and a soundbar. For those who are looking for a more living room (and budget friendly) option, this wireless unit comes in a simple sub/soundbar combo, but for a bit extra you can take your surround sound to the next level. Despite being a sleek and slender option, the HT-Z9F is capable of throwing out serious sound and it’s compatible with 4K HDR video and all surround sound audio formats.
Is wireless surround sound right for you?
Wireless surround sound is a revelation capable of transforming your home theatre from a mess of wires to a sleek entertainment space. However, it has a few drawbacks. Most notably, it’s expensive. The technology is advanced, but it’s quite new as well, and there’s a lot of innovation that’s gone into it. Second, some people consider it to produce sound of slightly lesser quality than cable connected units. In most cases, though, that’s simply a result of poor Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connection, or lesser quality units.