The Thing about Wireless Music Streaming

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This simple guide discusses two of the most important issues that are frequently encountered by sound bar enthusiasts. Many are excited by the promise of wireless music streaming but is it really a feature that is worth celebrating? The other common complain is the poor audio performance when one tries to place the subwoofer further away from the main unit. What can you do to improve the range? Read on to find out the answer.

Bluetooth Wireless Music Streaming

Bluetooth is one wireless standard that has become a commodity these days. Bluetooth capability is omnipresent in smartphones, from the cheapest to the most expensive ones. There are numerous usages to Bluetooth but music streaming is definitely the in-thing lately. With Bluetooth becoming mainstream commodity, the cost of equipping sound bar with Bluetooth has become negligible and almost all popular TV sound bar comes with it.

Look out for the Bluetooth label on the sound bar home theater box. If the sound bar home theater system comes with the Bluetooth label (such as the Samsung HW-F450 Sound Bar box set shown in the figure), it means that you can do a wireless music streaming from either your iPhone or iPod to the sound bar. It sounds cool but there are few things to keep in mind. Otherwise, you will realize that this might just be a gimmick and find yourself disappointed later on.

It is true that Bluetooth allows you to do wireless music streaming. If you do it from your iPhone, it only takes few taps. The first step is to turn on the Bluetooth on your iPhone and connect it to the sound bar. After that, you only need to go to the music player and tap on the icon shown below. That is it and with these simple steps, you will get audio streaming wirelessly from the phone to the sound bar.

The problem with this way of music streaming is it will drain out your phone battery in no time. Unless you have an iPhone charger nearby, do you think it is sensible to drain out your phone battery for this purpose? To me, this feature is good if you happen to be mingling around in a party and you want to share with your friends your favorite tunes. Otherwise, this is probably the most useless feature that has been overblown out of proportion for marketing sake.

Another problem with Bluetooth wireless music streaming from your phone to the sound bar is such transmission is going to create undesired interference that might affect the performance quality of the wireless subwoofer. After all, you have to remember that Bluetooth is operating in the license-free 2.4GHz band. If you think you are going to use this wireless music streaming often, then you have to go for the best sound bar systems that usually operate in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Otherwise, do not be surprised if you are getting poor audio quality from both your Bluetooth streaming and wireless subwoofer.

The Range Issue

As with anything wireless, the wireless subwoofer is able to deliver optimum performance only up to a certain distance that it is away from the main sound bar unit. Once you pull the subwoofer out of the range specified by the manufacturer, expect certain degree of performance degradation. Be mindful that the specification provided is only there to serve as guidelines and do not take it as 100% guarantee. If you are not getting the optimum level of performance at close range or you want to achieve better range, there are few simple things you can do that can boost the performance of your sound bar home theater system.

The first thing you can do is to make sure that there is no metallic or bulky objects that cover both the main unit unit and the remote subwoofer. This sound like a trivial thing but remember the antennagate issue faced by iPhone users when iPhone 4 was launched? The poor signal quality encountered in this case was caused by the antenna being covered by the palm. The same rationale applies here.

The other thing that you need to make sure is the absence of concrete or brick structure that comes in the way of your main unit and the remote subwoofer. I know this is a little unusual but it is not totally unheard of.

The Future

Wireless subwoofer is only one part of the whole wireless music streaming experience. There are too many restrictions that threaten to suffocate the growth of this technology. I’m sure most of you would agree with me that Blueetooth way of streaming music is illogical as it is going to drain away the phone battery in no time.

I see the future with wireless music streaming is in the cloud. Few years ago, the idea cloud music streaming sounds like an alien invasion. But today, with such providers as Last.fm and Spotify experiencing explosive growth every month, this is the future of the music industry. What I think will be super cool is when the wireless speakers are equipped with the capability to connect themselves directly to these cloud music providers.

In summary, I think wireless music streaming experience is a fantastic idea. However, I see it as an immature technology that is still evolving to position itself as a killer product. Make sure you set the record straight and do not be too overly excited about it. What do you think? Do you have a different experience or take on the matter? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

1 Comment

  1. lanny

    As much as I love wireless sound bar, streaming audio through bluetooth means that your audio is going to another compression. For casual listening this is fine, but if you want to listen a crystal clear sound, a wired solution is still better.

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