How to Set Up an Affordable Wireless Home Audio System
Buyer's Guide & Step-by-Step Tutorial
Music lovers everywhere frequently have the same problem: they cannot easily listen to music in any room at any time without dragging their equipment around.
Fortunately, it is possible to set up an inexpensive wireless home audio system with a few components that can be found in most electronics stores.
What You Need
- Computer, stereo system with audio output connections, or MP3 player: The sound system is used to access and play your music library. Using a computer will provide you with the largest number of wireless audio options.
- Transmitter: The transmitter sends the audio from your music player to other sound systems or speakers. When selecting a transmitter, pay attention to the transmission range, since this designates how far the audio signal can travel. The stated range will be shorter when the signal passes through walls, multiple floors, and other obstacles.
Transmitters come in many forms, including dedicated sound cards, such as the Creative Wireless Transmitter, and USB devices, such as the Eos Converge Transmitter. It is also possible to transmit audio over your home’s 802.11 wireless network with a compatible receiver.
- One or more receivers: The receiver receives the audio signal from the transmitter and sends it to your speakers. You will need one receiver for each room that will be receiving audio.
The receiver can be a device that connects to an external pair of speakers, such as the Creative Wireless Receiver, Roku SoundBridge, and Airport Express, or a pair of wireless speakers, like the Eos Portable Wireless Speaker. Some systems include remote controls that work with compatible music playing software on your computer.
- Cables: An RCA or stereo minijack cable will be needed to connect each receiver to your speakers.
The images above and on the left are examples Wireless Transmitter and Reciever Bundles. You can save money and hassels by purchasing a package deal. Click on any image to read about the product on Amazon.com.
Setting Up the Wireless Audio Network
1. Set up your transmitter or Wi-Fi network by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Connect the transmitter to your computer or other audio player that will be used as the source of the music library. If you are using your wireless router, make sure it is turned on and that your computer is connected to it.
3. With the appropriate cable, attach one receiver to each pair of speakers that will be receiving the audio signal and plug it into the wall. If you are using wireless speakers, simply plug them into the wall. Some receivers may require additional setup; be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. Open or turn on your music player. For software music players, you may need to tell the application to send the audio to your wireless transmitter or receiver via the appropriate menu, usually the Preferences menu.
5. Press play. If you have set up your equipment properly and turned everything on, you can sit back and enjoy the music.
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