Wireless computer speakers have become more ubiquitous these days as prices have dropped and performances improved. Few people (if any) like wires cluttering up their computer desk, which has perhaps increased the popularity of wireless computer speakers. The flexibility offered by a wireless system is particularly attractive as well. After all, if mice and keyboards are going wireless as well, what good would be wires in the speakers?
When buying wireless computer speakers, there are certain key points you need to take note of. These are:
1. The Speaker Setup – 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1
In speaker system terminology, a 2.0 set means just two speakers. 2.1 means two speakers and one sub-woofer. 5.1 means 5 speakers and one sub-woofer and so on.
For computers, a 2.1 system should be more than adequate, a 3.1 system highly recommended, and a 5.1 or 7.1 system something of an overkill. Unless you watch movies primarily on your computer, listen to a lot of music, or play a lot of games, investing in a 5.1 system is not recommended. A 2.1 of 3.1 system delivers all the power you will need, and will also be much easier to install, with fewer wires (wireless computer speakers too have wires for power) and greater portability.
If you do end up buying a 5.1 or 7.1 system, make sure that it is compatible with your TV as well, so that it can double up as a home theater system.
2. USB or Bluetooth?
At present, you have two options when buying wireless computer speakers – RF USB, or Bluetooth. The former works on radio frequencies (RF) and is installed via USB cables. The latter works on Bluetooth technology (the same technology is used in cell phones).
RF USB speakers have been around for some time now. Their performance is satisfactory, though some systems may experience noise or signal interference from Wi-Fi modems. Bluetooth is a newer technology which generally delivers a better performance and also has a wider range. On the downside, Bluetooth speakers tend to be more expensive.
As mentioned previously, if you are going to buy a 5.1 or 7.1 wireless computer speaker system, you should opt for something that can plug into your TV to double up as a home theater system. Most wireless systems work on USB, making compatibility an issue. Some systems offer alternative ports or adapters for connecting the speakers to a TV. Make sure that you understand all compatibility issues before making a purchase decision.