Wireless Computer Speakers

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

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Wireless computer speakers are another technological advancement conceived to give consumers of electronics one more option in the whole computer peripheral buying experience. Many techno-savvy Americans are addicted to getting the newest, fastest, and in some cases the most colorful electronic equipment, and the more wireless and cordless the devices are, the more they are appreciated by gadget hungry buyers. In most homes where a plethora of appliances, entertainment systems and computer devices are all very much corded and the electrical cords very much visible, wireless devices of any kind have almost become a necessity for safety and aesthetic reasons. As with every other electronic device, multimedia computer speakers come in a wide array of prices, designs and capabilities. While many consumers may think that the more expensive mean differences that can always be heard, the reality is that many consumers, unless they are pure audiophiles, may not be able to tell the difference between mid priced and high priced audio makes and models.

Many issues go into the end result of how pleasing wireless computer speakers can sound. Getting an audio device to just produce low-frequency bass sounds without bass roll off may honestly be the only demand some users may have for buying certain audio devices. Bass roll off is a technical term for capacitors that limit the frequency of the bass to remove the heavy “boom” in the sound. If enough low end is present in the speaker, as judged by the windows rattling, the consumer makes the sale and hurries home to try out the mutimedia computer speakers. There are some advantages to having non corded audio output unites besides the aesthetic appearance of no visible wires with the most obvious being the ability to place the speaker(s) in any configuration that pleases the ear of the user. For example, place the right one on the bookshelf and hide it behind the medical books and the other one on top of the awful looking planter that an aunt gave two years before. The speaker can be hidden from view without any clue where the location is because of the lack of wires and cords, and the freedom to place without drilling and crawling up in the attic just enhances the wireless appeal.

Like so many other computer peripherals, many cordless multimedia computer speakers work on IF technology, just like cordless keyboards, mice, microphones, wireless phones and other examples with an IF interface. IF stands for Intermediate Frequency which the FCC allows for the kinds of applications just mentioned. A particular model of IF speaker system that has Bluetooth technology is good for up to five meters from the source. Bluetooth circuitry offers quality sound reproduction and these run on three AAA type batteries each and cost from seventy to one hundred and fifty dollars per device. Not only can these audio devices be hooked up to a computer, but also an mp3 player and cell phone with Bluetooth capability. “No man can come unto me except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44)


Read more about wireless computer speakers on www.wireless-speakers.org

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PA Speaker: Buying Guide

December 5, 2010 Leave a comment

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Powered Speakers – So, What’s The Big Deal?

The “Big Deal” with Powered PA speakers comes down to convenience and sound quality. Before the affordable active speaker, sound engineers and gigging musicians had to haul around heavy, bulky amplifiers and accompanying cables and speakers – all of which have been replaced with the active speaker! If you’re not familiar with active PA speakers, the idea is that the power and all connections are simply built into the same cabinet as the speaker. This all-in-one design also takes the heat off of those of us who don’t really know how to marry the right power amp with the right speaker, which can lead to degraded sound quality at best and damaged gear at worst.

Bi-amplification Explained

Bi-amplification is the process of dividing a single audio signal into two frequency ranges, which are then sent to two separate amplifiers that in turn drive separate loudspeakers. An active crossover network is used to divide the audio into frequency ranges that are more suitable for the drivers that will be used to reproduce them. Bi-amping also allows the amplifier(s) to be chosen or designed specifically to match the speakers and enclosures. Bi-amping, tri-amping, and beyond have been used in sound reinforcement systems for years and have become quite common in active studio monitors as well.

 

 

Understanding Crossovers

A crossover is a device that divides an audio signal into separate frequency ranges to route to different transducers (speakers, tweeters, horns, etc.) in an audio reproduction system. This is accomplished by running the audio through a set of filters. For example, a 2-way crossover may comprise a lowpass filter that passes a signal with low frequencies to a woofer and a highpass filter to pass frequencies appropriate for the tweeter.

Crossovers can be “passive” or “active” designs. Passive crossovers are usually found inside speaker cabinets along with the speaker components, but can be purchased as outboard equipment also. These often connect to the outside world via a single jack, but sometimes each speaker component also has its own jack in case you want to bypass the passive crossover. Active crossovers are placed before the power stage and route each frequency range to its own power amp and its own transducers. This is where the terms “bi-amp” and “tri-amp” come from.

There are a number of different types of filter configurations used in crossovers and they each produce subtly different results. One of the big variables is how steep the roll-off – or the rate of attenuation – is at the cutoff frequency. Common configurations are 12, 18, or 24dB per octave. Each design has its own strengths and weaknesses, but in general steeper roll-offs are considered better in modern applications.

 

Read more about speakers buying guide on www.wireless-speakers.org

 

 

 

 

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Top Computer Speaker Brands

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

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For computer gamers, audiophiles, musicians and filmmakers, the importance of a top-of-the-line computer speaker cannot be overstated. Several high-quality brands offer speakers that are as good as one would find in a home entertainment system. Such speakers available for a variety of prices to fit just about any budget.  

Bose

  • Since its inception in 1964, Bose has been known for producing some of the best speakers in the business, offering audiophiles without budgetary constraints top-of-the-line equipment for all of their listening needs. In 1994, Bose offered its first computer speaker, the Mediamate. Designed to give the best sound while taking up a minimal amount of space, the speaker was a success until it was replaced in 2005 by the Companion 2 Series. Today, Bose offers the Companion 5 speaker series, which utilizes your computer’s USB drive to produce state-of-the-art 5.1 surround sound.

  • Altec Lansing

  • Altec Lansing has been a car and office stereo manufacturer since 1948, but it is best known for its computer-based products. Through partnerships with the Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway computer brands, Altec Lansing has managed to garner an advantage in the computer speaker market, becoming the de facto choice for many consumers. Its speakers are known for their compact size and large sound, and are often sold with prepackaged software that allows you to customize the way your speakers sound on your computer. Today, Altec Lansing provides speakers for computers as well as for devices that are compatible with Apple’s iPod line.
  • Read more wireless speakers brands on www.wireless-speakers.org

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    Wireless Outdoor Speakers

    December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

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    Hi Tech Wireless Audio Goes Garden

    Wireless outdoor speakers are somewhat of a new item to the hi-tech garden landscape. For years theme parks have had outdoor audio and music piped around the park using” outdoor rock speakers” or speakers looking like a small pot with a cover. They understand everyone seems to love music in the home and in the car. Why not surround yourself with music outdoors as well?

    Wireless speakers have come into their own in the last few years. For the homeowner, they made their debut on the patio – protected, but without the need for special wires. Now just like solar garden lights which are wireless, audio has moved to the outdoors and into the garden following the no-wire trend. Who wants the extra work of digging a trench to put in wire for speakers when wireless is the best option? Plus, even for the non-techie, setting up a wireless speakers system made for outdoor use is fairly easy.

    Two Categories of Wireless Speakers

    The wireless technology currently used by outdoor garden speakers come in two categories: RF (Radio Frequency) and IR (Infrared). Infrared technology speakers require what is called – line-of-sight – where a clear clean line of sight runs from the wireless receiver to the speaker out in the garden.

    Radio Frequency technology transmits “waves” to send a signal from a receiver to the speaker. IR works fine in small areas but RF is probably the best as it eliminates the dependence on a clear line of sight signal. As with all wireless technology RF does some drawbacks as some frequencies many interference or disrupt the sound from the wireless speakers.

    If you have a very big yard take into account the maximum distance of the speakers to the receiver when shopping for wireless outdoor speakers.

    Small in Size – Big in Sound – Weather Resistant

    Many outdoor speakers are small in size – about the size of a bathroom trashcan and sound quality has improved greatly over the years. These compact units like the Audiovox Acoustic Research AW825 Mission Style Wireless Speaker with their high-performance weather-resistant drivers can deliver crystal-clear reception up to 150 feet away. These “designed for outdoor use” speakers can handle most weather conditions.

    Look for companies like Bose, Audiovox Acoustic Research, Audio Unlimited, Brookstone and others. Check out Amazon as they are an excellent source for Wireless Outdoor Speakers and products- for example:

    Audiovox Acoustic Research AW825 Mission Style Wireless Speaker (Bronze) by Acoustic Research

    Crisp-clear sound from your mp3 player, iPhone, iPod computer and yes your stereo too so you control the audio source. The weather-resistant wireless indoor/outdoor speakers deliver audio with amazing clarity outdoors on the patio and beyond. They are even expandable. The portable speaker design allows them to hang or stand making wireless installation a snap. The speaker housing is designed to handle a variety of weather conditions and elements.

     

    Read more about wireless ooutdoor speakers on www.wireless-speakers.org

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    RCA Main/Stereo 900Mhz Wireless Speaker System Review

    December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

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    How many times have you tried setting up your home stereo system, only to become entangled in endless wires? While one may think that this is how it has to be, there are many wireless stereo systems that you can choose from. But this is just the problem, how do you know you are purchasing a wireless stereo system that is worth your time and money? There are several features that you need to ensure of before you purchase a wireless stereo system. The most important of these is to ensure that the wireless signal is broad enough to fit the room your planning on putting your speakers in. The RCA Main/Stereo 900 MHz Wireless Speaker System, Model: WSP150 will provide you with the necessary features and technology to fill your entire home with high-quality sound, no matter where you place the speakers.

    Main Product Features:

    The main feature of this wireless speaker system from RCA is the versatility this product will provide you. With the ability to place these speakers either inside or outside, you will be able to entertain your guests with high-quality music inside on cold, winter days and during the summer you can move the party outside, complete with a soundtrack.

    How this wireless stereo system works is you connect your main base to your stereo, or your television. After you have done this, you are able to place the speakers throughout the room or outside within a transmitting distance of 125-feet. The signal is able to travel through walls and floors, so you are literally able to place the speakers anywhere in your home as long as you are within the transmit area.

     

    Read more about RCA wireless speakers on www.wireless-speakers.org

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    How to Set up Surround Sound Speakers

    November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

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    So you’ve bought that brand new home theatre surround sound system and taken it home in eager anticipation of sitting right down and watching the complementary Iron Man blu-ray they gave you at the shop. Boy, those sound effects are sure going to be awesome in full 5.1 sound!

    But wait a minute, there’s an awful lot of speakers and wires here, an awful lot of connecting and setting up to do. Bummer! Iron Man’s going to have to wait a while.

    While it’s true that a surround sound system takes a little effort and time to set up, it’s not really as bad as that mess of wires makes it look. There are essentially three areas you need to address: connection, speaker placement and volume level. Take them one at a time and you’ll be battling the baddies with Robert Downey Jr. in no time.

    5.1 Layout

    In a 5.1 surround sound system there are five speakers (front left, front right, centre, rear left and rear right) and one subwoofer. Each of the speakers must be connected to your receiver. The receiver is the box that decodes the sound signal and sends it to the appropriate speakers – often it will be built into your DVD player.

    Connection

    As movies have their sound separated into a number of different channels, and as each of these channels exits from its appropriate output on the receiver, it is essential that you connect the correct speaker to the correct output on the back of your receiver. Connecting the left rear speaker, say, to the centre output will result in the actors constantly talking behind your back (as the dialogue channel is always routed by the receiver to the centre output).

    As you connect each speaker, label it with its designation (LR, RR, C etc.) – post-it notes are great for this. Labelling speakers at this point in the process will save you a lot of time when you begin to place them around the room.

    Speaker Placement

    Once you’ve connected all your speakers, you need to place them appropriately. Speaker placement will vary according to the size of the room, its acoustics and your personal preferences. However, there are certain general rules you can follow to get a good starting point.

     

    Read more about speakers placement connectivity on www.wireless-speakers.org

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    Better Wireless Stereo

    November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

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    Forget Bluetooth audio, these cool wireless music products offer a better wireless way to get your music around your home.

    More and more companies are hopping on the stereo Bluetooth bandwagon, despite the inherent limitations of using this wireless technology for transmitting audio. Of course you don’t have to go the Bluetooth route at all. There are many other examples of innovations in the wireless audio arena. Intellitouch, for instance, has just released the Eos Wireless speaker system, a much cheaper alternative to Sonos, the $1000 wireless home audio system (that price doesn’t even get you speakers!). Eos is less sleek and more barebones—no Rhapsody tie-in, for instance, but it works and a starter set goes for $300—speakers included. The sound won’t knock your socks off either, but the price won’t leave you with buyer’s remorse.

    Creative’s X-Dock and X-Fi Receiver combo works as well, and also starts at $300. Both systems have unimpressive remotes (you’ll have only limited iPod navigation with no screen on the remote itself). The Creative docks lack speakers too, so you’ll need an extra pair—that’s the main difference between the X-Fi receiver and the Eos receiver…but some may view this as an advantage, as the Eos system has underwhelming bass.

    Chestnut Hill Sound makes another wireless option of sorts, the George iPod dock. While George doesn’t wirelessly transmit audio to remote speakers, it does have an amazing wireless remote with good range. The screen on the remote completely recreates your iPod’s menu and navigation is easy. Want to change the EQ or listen to the radio? It’s got that, too—all on the remote. Sure, it’s not wireless audio transmission, but it is wireless control of your music, and depending on your set-up, that could be just as useful. Also, the George also sounds simply amazing—it had better for $549.

     

    Read more about wireless stereo speakers on www.wireless-speakers.org

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