How Do Wireless Speakers Work? – A Brief Primer

How Do Wireless Speakers Work?

Magic? Harry Potter Wand Tricks? Leprechauns?

There is really no straightforward answer to this question. Wireless speakers can work on a variety of technologies, chief among them being Radio Frequency (RF), Bluetooth, and nowadays, even Wi-Fi.

The basic process, however, remains the same. A wireless transmitter is plugged into an audio system such as an iPod, a computer, a Blu-Ray player, a TV, etc. This transmitter sends a signal to the speakers which, in turn, convert it into sound. The signal can be transmitted via various different technologies, which we’ll discuss below.

Radio Frequency

Radio Frequency or RF, is the most common technology used in wireless speakers. The speakers use a particular unused band of the radio spectrum to transmit data wirelessly. A cordless phone works on the same principle.

RF is a fairly efficient technology, flexible and affordable. It has a good range, stretching over 100 feet in certain models (and over 300 feet in some outdoor speakers). There is a fair amount of data loss which can cause degradation of the audio signal, resulting in poor quality playback. Conflicting signals from other wireless devices in the house, such as wireless routers and cordless phones can cause interference, leading to data loss and disturbance. All in all, RF, despite its popularity, may be phased out in the next few years as newer technologies take its place.

Bluetooth

If you bought a new mobile phone in the past 2 years, you would definitely be familiar with Bluetooth. As a wireless data transfer standard used in virtually every mobile phone, Bluetooth is ubiquitous these days. Via this technology, two Bluetooth enabled devices can be connected wirelessly within seconds. Once a connection is established, data can be transferred wirelessly at speeds of up to 3 MB/second.

Technologically, Bluetooth works on the radio spectrum as well. Instead of using a single band, however, Bluetooth chops up the data and distributes it over 79 different bands, thereby enhancing speed and reducing data loss. These bands range from 2400 MHz to 2483.5 MHz.

Bluetooth has a smaller range than pure RF signals. On the plus side, since the entire spectrum from 2400-2483.5 MHz (79 bands, along with spare guard bands) is allocated for Bluetooth use, there is no interference from other wireless devices.

One key issue with Bluetooth is that it isn’t available in all devices. Older phones, most audio and video players, TVs, and desktop computer aren’t equipped with native Bluetooth. To use a pair of Bluetooth wireless speakers with these devices, you’ll have to invest in a Bluetooth transmitter. However, if you primarily use a Bluetooth enabled device such as an iPhone or iPod Touch to listen to your music, you’ll find Bluetooth wireless speakers to be a competent competitor to RF.

Wi-Fi

Only a select few speakers use Wi-Fi for transmitting data – such as the Sonos Play series of speakers. This is the same plain vanilla Wi-Fi used in your home. It is fast and efficient and works very well with digital, Wi-Fi enabled devices like computers and mobile phones.

However, most audio players, TVs, etc. aren’t Wi-Fi enabled. This means that a Wi-Fi wireless speaker can only play back audio from your computer or mobile phone. Obviously, this limits its functionality and is the sole reason why wireless Wi-Fi speakers haven’t been accepted by the mainstream.

Disadvantages to Cruise Ship Travel

Cruise ship travel is not for everybody. Although many enjoy cruises, some travelers prefer other types of vacations. Before going on a cruise, take time to consider whether or not this is the best method of travel for you. Be sure to research information about the specific companies you are considering as well as read reviews from other customers. Also consider talking to those you know who have traveled on cruises before and see if it sounds like something you would enjoy. It is important to get more information than just a recommendation from someone. What one person finds fun, you may not, so it is important to find out why a person did or did not enjoy a cruise ship experience.

Some do not enjoy cruises simply because of the nature of traveling on a boat. Those who are prone to motion sickness may not enjoy being on a boat because of the high likelihood of experiencing sea sickness. Severity differs for everybody, and sea sickness usually is not serious, but it can still be an unpleasant experience and can ruin a vacation. Consider whether or not this is something that concerns you. Medications and wrist bands help some who suffer from sea sickness, but they are not effective for everyone. For some people, sea sickness runs its course relatively quickly, but only you can decide whether or not this is a possibility you are willing to face.

Others are afraid to cruise because of the possibility of the boat sinking. Only you can decide whether or not you are a person who worries about this possibility. It may help to do some research. Any type of travel has inherent risks, of course. Some are terrified of airplane travel but sill travel on cruises. Others travel frequently on airplanes but would not consider going on a cruise. It is true that being on a boat is a different kind of experience than any other form of travel. Some are not so worried about the boat sinking but are afraid of being out in open water, unable to see the shoreline. Only you can decide whether or not being on the ocean bothers you.

Perhaps the most common fear of cruises in the last decade has been based on the media coverage of viral outbreaks on cruise ships. In the last couple years, this problem has improved, but most travelers are familiar with outbreaks of viruses such as the Norwalk virus. These viruses run rampant on cruise ships because of the large number of people in close proximity to one another for extended periods of time. Although general precautions can certainly decrease a persons’ chances of catching a virus on a cruise ship, it is true that illnesses are more difficult to avoid on a boat.

Along with viruses, crime on cruise ships has also been widely publicized. It is important to research each cruise line and get accurate statistics. Also, read reviews and information to learn how incidents are handled, and make sure you understand the level of security that will be present on the ship. Fortunately, most crime committed on cruise ships is property crime rather than violent crime, and this is relatively common with any type of travel.

Configuring a New Laptop

There are a lot of things to consider when you are shopping for that laptop, the two most important specifications but are going to be your processor and your RAM. Here I am going to explain some of the fundamental features of both so you can make a better choice when buying a laptop for yourself.

PROCESSOR (CPU)

Intel the world's largest semi conductor maker has initiated the process of transitioning into a quad core line of processors. Their range is branded as Core i3, i5 and i7. If you are hunting for a bargain then you could choose its older Core 2 models, but you would be better off sticking to its latest range.

You could also consider a processor from Intel rival AMD which has a qualifying range of products branded as Turion II and Athlon II. If you are a budget shopper then these processes are well worth considering and will serve the purpose for most tasks. The big difference between processors made by AMD is they are simply not as fast as those made by Intel and they tend to act as a drain on battery life.

The most important task is working out exactly how much processing power you need. In general the Core i3 or i5 are suitable for most people. If however you do a lot of video editing then you are going to need a more powerful processor. Gamers in particular believe they need a powerful processor but in practice can actually get away with a slower chip.

Quad core chips still cost a lot and also tend to drain battery life quite quickly. You can identify a quad core chip by the Q denoted next to the machine's model number. If you use your laptop as your main machine, and not taking it out on the road, or you are a gamer or video editor, the quad chip case becomes more compelling.

The decision over processor gets trickier when you are ordering a custom laptop from a manufacturer. You should as a rule avoid the most expensive chipsets on offer and go for the second or third third least costliest chips. The increase in price is usually proportional to performance. You should not spend more than $ 150 upgrading a processor. If you are simply surfing the internet or word processing, even a dual core processor is more than adequate.

MEMORY (RAM)

4GB RAM is the standard memory offered by most manufacturers even on low end laptops and that is really all you need. Starting prices for a laptop with 4GB RAM are just under $ 500. In the past manufacturers used to make consumers pay through the nose when they upgraded the memory whilst custom ordering. More recently, this practice seems to have changed, and only Apple really still does this.

If upgrading your memory to 4GB costs you less than $ 90, which is what it costs separately, then you should definitely upgrade. Upgrading beyond 4GB is going to be expensive, and the only real reason to do it is if you are video editing, and even then it's still not absolutely necessary when you compare it against the expense. For a desktop, spending an additional $ 100 is no big deal, but for a laptop where it is going to cost you an additional $ 300 for 8GB, it's simply not worth it unless your laptop is your primary video editing device.

Thinking of Getting a Wireless Router?

The introduction of internet and the advancement in the field of IT has generated the need to rise the excellence bar on all the three downloading, browsing and uploading abilities. Since time unknown, people have been making use of wires to stay connected with the globe.

It was DSL which created a revolution in the prices of internet connections when it was introduced a decade back. Right after the entry of DSL, in two years time, the market witnessed the introduction of wireless routers which are considered to be a remarkable addition to these routers.

The advantages of using wireless routers are many but the main advantage is the absence of wires which in case of wired connections would clutter your floor. By using these routers in your connection you could have more tractability in connecting with the outer world.

The usage of these wireless routers are so good compared to the regular connections since the area covered is very large and you also get to stay online without having to be in an outlet or having to use wires.

Another advantage of these routers is the ease with which you can connect two different systems without using wires which implies that any system in any floor or any office can be connected quite easily without using any wire.

In case you are planning to install wireless routers in the office or at home then you would need to set a password to access the connection in order to prevent unauthorized usage.

The affordability of these connections are another deciding factor and you can get yourself connected to people across globe for a lower cost.

Using a wireless router which is of a good quality is imperative if you are looking to have a good and reliable connection to internet.