If you’re thinking of buying a wireless speaker of your own or replacing your old one, today is your lucky day! Today we’re going to discuss the many different kinds of wireless speaker technologies available in the market for your choosing.
What do you guys say? Let’s get into it, shall we?
Much has changed since the inception of wireless speakers years ago. Due to some important technological advancement not just in wireless technology but also in audio quality, wireless speakers have evolved from being niche products to almost a necessity.
But despite (or maybe because) of the numerous choices available in the market today, the process of choosing and buying a wireless speaker can be a little bit too overwhelming for some.
So let’s start with the basics – understanding and getting to know your options.
There are a few ways you can go wireless with your speaker: Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, Airplay, DLNA, and Multiroom. Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of each available wireless technology.
Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
If portability is your number one priority, a Bluetooth speaker is probably your best bet in buying a wireless speaker. The technology is implanted in a wide range of devices – pairing up your Bluetooth speaker with any device, may it be a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone is quite easy.
The Bluetooth technology is universally accessible and isn’t tied to any network so you can use it anywhere and everywhere.
Connecting via Bluetooth is also simpler and easier – just a few seconds is what you need to connect your wireless speaker to your device.
The range, however, is still quite limited. Depending on the make and quality of the device, a Bluetooth wireless speaker can have anywhere from 33 to 50 ft range.
WiFi Wireless Speaker
WiFi speakers are pretty much new to the scene but despite this, the technology is superior in some (if not most) aspects.
With a strong WiFi connection, you can stream higher audio resolution (such as FLAC audio) than your average Bluetooth speaker. The range is also better, going as far as 200 ft with a high-end Wifi speaker.
You can even connect more than one device at a time via a shared network, so you and your friends or family can use your wireless speaker simultaneously without any hitch.
That said, you can also be limited by your network’s bandwidth capabilities. High bandwidth traffic (downloading, streaming videos, playing online games, heavy internet surfing) can greatly affect the speed and quality of your audio streaming.
Setup time is also more complicated. Usually, you will need to download a separate app (most of which are thankfully free), connect to the network, and enter the password.
Near Field Communication or NFC
NFC is another wireless protocol that has been recently making rounds. It is touted as an important feature, especially in new generation wireless speakers. It allows you to simplify your Bluetooth connections by ‘pairing’ two devices with just a touch of a button.
Is it worth your serious consideration, though? Honestly, we don’t think so. It doesn’t give much on its own and the range required to effectively connect your gadgets together is extremely limited. NFC is also currently incompatible with iOS devices.
Perhaps, in the future, the NFC can be expanded through tech advancements. But for now, it is, at best, unnecessary.
Airplay is Apple’s exclusive wireless connection that helps device owners simplify their devices’ connection through WiFi. Connecting your iPad or iPhone to your speaker is as easy as tapping the Airplay button on your device and voila! You are now connected to your wireless speaker. Assuming, of course, that you’ve already connected both your device and your speaker to your WiFi, to begin with.
Of course, this wireless speaker technology isn’t for everyone and that may be a disadvantage for most users.
While Airplay is technically free to use, Apple does charge third-party companies who opt to use it for their products.
Companies then allow consumers to foot this bill. So, indirectly, Apple may be charging you for using their exclusive wireless connection.
While not a household term like the Bluetooth connection, the DLNA is one of the most often used wireless connectivity method by numerous gadgets and apps.
It does, however, suffer from numerous setbacks. Because the technology is quite old, connections are slow and lagging. Instead, we suggest you move along with the newer, faster, and more convenient technologies available.
One of the newest, most in-demand technology for wireless speakers these days is the multiroom technology. Through an integrated mobile app, you can link multiple devices into one single wireless speaker.
Because you can connect multiple devices to one speaker, you can spread your audio among different rooms of your house (hence the term multiroom). You can also play different music on each room simultaneously.
Of course, you’ll need multiple speakers for each room and if you find purchasing more than one speaker is excessive, this technology is definitely not for you. Still, if this is something that excites you, we highly recommend that you try it!
Have you got your eyes on one (or more) of these wireless speaker technologies? In our next guide, we’ll talk about the different factors that you may want to consider before choosing and buying your next wireless speaker.
Stay tuned for that!