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DIY Budget Wireless Home Cinema

Skezza

Standard Member
Hello,

Be nice, I'm a massive 00b. I really don't know much about, well, anything Home AV and I just would like some advice.

I moved out of my old house and into a new one about 12 months ago. My old house, I had a reasonably old fashioned 5.1 system, I got it for a tenner off Gumtree, but you can guess, wires everywhere and all of that. Moved into the new gaffe, and the missus has said nay, that ain't happening again.

So naturally, a few months down the line, we have a problem.... The TV Speakers are.... well actually pretty okay, certainly they're not the worst compared to the many other TV's I've seen but like most people, we struggle with volume peaks and lows. Can't hear the voice, then blows your head off from the music or loud impacts. I've tried software compression in that naughty software we can't talk about anymore ;) but stuff like the BT TV box doesn't have such functions, so you can get my drift. I never suffered this at the previous house because I had a reasonably quiet but evenly distributed audio experience.

So, what I would like is to improve the audio distribution around the room, without wires and without spending a fortune. I'm not expecting perfect, so I'm kind of experimenting and to some degree willing to be a guinea pig on this.

The front room shape is kind of odd, with two doors (perhaps I'll need to do a diagram). My speaker placement will really be dictated by the plug sockets, but also, I would like some advice on this.

Now, before anyone jumps on SONOS. I have to be honest, right now, I simply can't afford SONOS. I know some people say, well buy one part, buy another part, buy another part, but I don't think I'll ever be able to justify spending over a grand on all the SONOS gear.... So I've made peace with that and I'm looking at alternatives.

Alternative 1 (Bluetooth Audio):
Bluetooth 4.0 < audio is actually pretty neat, if you get the right bits of kit and it's pretty much latency free nowadays (<10ms). I've already got part 1 of this and tested it, and I have to say it's really tight on the latency front. The transmitter uses Bluetooth 4.0, two devices/speakers can pair, and supports Digital Coaxial. The plan being I run a Digital Coaxial cable to the transmitter box from the TV, then set up two Bluetooth speakers, and place them conveniently around the room. The JBL Soundfly is a neat idea for this as it's flush with the wall and simply plugs into a wall socket. One concern is that both sides will be stereo.

PROS:
- Cheap, Transmitter was £12 shipped and two speakers can be had for as little as £20. ALDI are selling 10w speakers right now for £20 each with a 3 year warranty.
- Easy to upgrade with better quality speakers.

CONS:
- Sound quality. Doubt it's going to be much to shout about, even with the best speakers.
- Pairing issues are always a pain with Bluetooth.
- Latency is not perfect.
- Both Sides will be stereo.

Alternative 2 (Wi-Fi Audio):
I really had lost hope about Wi-Fi/Wireless audio. From everything I had read online, it seemed it was SONOS, something else super expensive or nothing.... then just by accident, I found this:
Auna Tower 70 Portable Hifi Wireless Stereo Speaker System at the Best Price!
Wireless, each speaker has it's own independent power supply, reasonably high wattage and excellent reviews on Amazon. This for me has thrown a spanner in the works. We all know it's possible to make wireless near enough 0 latency.... heck, just look at AirPlay. Bluetooth's massive overhead is part of the reason for the latency in the first place. However, at £100 and with nearly no online knowledge of this product or even the company, it becomes harder to put my money where my mouth is and try it, although I'm very tempted. There's also a cheaper version here: Marmitek Speaker Anywhere 200 wireless indoor 2-way stereo speaker: Amazon.co.uk: Hi-Fi & Speakers

PROS:
- Wireless radio protocol, potential for almost no latency
- Wall Powered Speakers
- Instant Pairing (Supposedly)
- Should Work Right Out the Box
- Switches for L/R speakers.

CONS:
- Could be an expensive gamble, although at £100 they're cheap enough.
- Again, sound quality. Will it be better or worse than Bluetooth though?
- Claims to be easy to add extra speakers but I can't see where you can buy the individual units?
 
Last edited:

citywalker

Active Member
If budget is tight, then good old wires are your friends :)
BT or wifi is very unreliable, if trying to get good sound cheap.
Why not a soundbar? Probably best option for you.
 

Skezza

Standard Member
Heh. Wires are my friends but the enemy of my gf. I quite liked my old setup but realistically, it isn't happening.

Don't soundbars still have issues with sudden volume changes.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Or just buy an AVR with front pair of speakers so run a 2.0 or 2.1 system.
 

Skezza

Standard Member
Well, I already have an AVR I guess? That's my previous surround system, although it doesn't support digital coax and my TV has no RCA outs.

Do you think a 2.0 or 2.1 system would be better?
 

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