Wireless Subwoofer Reviews: Hype vs Reality

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The following wireless subwoofer reviews evaluate the performance of sound bar systems that nowadays will come with wireless subwoofer. Getting rid of one less wire is desirable, but what is trade off? What do you gain and what do you lose? This review discusses it all.

wireless subwoofer reviews

Love it or hate it. None of us can run away from owning multiple gadgets at home. Refuse the gadget revolution and in no time, one will find himself or herself on the brink of extinction. Such is the stunning pace of gadget innovation that in the blink of an eye, what is cool and new today will become mainstream or obsolete in few years or maybe months later. The same can be said of home theater system. DVD player that was popular just few years ago, is quickly being replaced by Bluray. In the age of CRT TV, 32-inch is considered luxury but in the age of flatscreen LCD TV, 32-inch is considered an entry-level and 46-inch is now the norm. With maturing wireless technologies, wireless home theater systems is emerging as a lucrative solution to reduce the amount of wires and cables cluttering unsightly at least near the TV area.

Wireless Subwoofer Review: Hype vs Reality

Wireless home theater system has attracted its share of the media hype but it is a technology that has so far seen lacklustre mass market adoption. However, there is one specific application in which the use of wireless audio transmitter has become mainstream and that application is none other than wireless subwoofer. There are few good reasons why wireless subwoofer is able to carve its own niche but I’ll not go into very technical discussion of each of them. Wireless subwoofer owes its success mainly to the exploding popularity of LED TVs. Bigger screen size but thinner dimension is the right catalyst for a thriving sound bar home theater market.

Sound bar and wireless subwoofer works perfectly in this case because in small room scenario, every extra inch of space is a luxury. Due to its dimension, the main sound bar unit usually fits nicely at the bottom of the TV screen but that leaves little space for the subwoofer placement. That is when wireless subwoofer is preferred over its wired counterpart because it gives one the flexibility to place it at any corner of the room, albeit minus the unpleasant sight of wire or cable running around the room. Do not underestimate the position of your subwoofer. You will be amazed by the different sound experience you can get by placing the subwoofer in different parts of the room.

Performance is definitely the #1 parameter to consider but let’s be specific about what performance we are referring to. The performance that we are talking about in our wireless subwoofer review refers to the system tolerance against interference from other wireless systems that are operating in its vicinity.

Before we dwelve into all the technical discussion, it is good to know that all TV sound bar with wireless subwoofer sold in the market today are using the license-free band or what is officially referred to as ISM band. In simple terms, it means that you are not required to apply for permit or license to operate the sound bar home theater system that you buy. Keep in mind that since the band is free to use for all, the air is not exclusive to your subwoofer.

There are many wireless systems that may operate side-by-side to the wireless subwoofer. Unfortunately, two system that stands as the biggest threat that will disrupt the surround sound performance of your sound bar home theater system are WiFi and Bluetooth. This is not something that every sound bar review will reveal because it is a subject that requires in-depth understanding and technical analysis.

“Oh no, I have WiFi at home, does it mean that I cannot buy a sound bar with wireless subwoofer?”. This is the most common question that is troubling many sound bar enthusiasts the moment they learn about WiFi’s threat. Let me assure you that WiFi may be a big threat but it is one that you can overcome with simple tricks.

First of all, even before you pick the best TV sound bar, you have to check where in the room, you will be placing the sound bar unit. The answer is usually quite straightforward and it has to be below the TV screen. The next check is very critical. Where do you usually place your WiFi router? Is your router placed near the TV console? Is your router position close (less than 0.5m) to the the position where you are going to place your sound bar? If the answer is no, good for you as it means that the chance of your WiFi and subwoofer disrupting each other is lower. If the answer is yes, you have to ask yourself if it is possible to move the WiFi router somewhere else? It is advisable to place your sound bar and WiFi router at least 0.5m apart.

If you are really tight on space and it is just not possible to place the WiFi router and sound bar 0.5m apart, fret not. It is not the end of the world yet but you just have more work or considerations to make. Check the specification of the home theater wound bar that you are considering to buy. Check the operating frequency band(s) that the sound bar system is able to operate in. There are a number of models that operate in the three bands (2.4GHz, 5.2GHz and 5.8GHz) allowed as part of the license-free ISM band. However, majority of the models are going to support only single 2.4GHz band.

Of course, you get what you pay for. Based on the wireless subwoofer review that we have conducted, sound bar models that work in single band is going to cost you less than those that work in all three bands. If you have a WiFi router placed near to your sound bar, this is not something that you want to skimp on. This is because with the extra bands to choose from, you are allowing the sound bar and WiFi to operate on different bands and hence avoid disturbing each other.

Now that this wireless subwoofer review has given you basic understanding on what to expect from your TV sound bar system, you may be interested to take a look at our wireless music streaming use and troubleshooting guide for beginners.

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