Setting Up Your Wireless Home Theater

First of all, if you haven’t already purchased a wireless home theater setup, then really think about whether getting wireless is important to you. If you’re dreaming of no wires and the ability to put speakers where you want without being hampered by those connections, think again. Even things like ceiling speakers and in wall speakers have wires—they’re simply hidden in the framework of the home. And wireless home theaters actually aren’t wireless at all, which can be a huge disappointment if you’re not expecting that.

The wireless component usually refers to the rear surround sound speakers that go behind the seating area, to the left and the right. A wireless speaker system will use radio receivers (or infrared, which is less popular) so that there’s no need to run wires from the front of the room to the back. But the speakers still use wires, most notably to allow them to be plugged into an outlet. While some speakers can be used with alkaline batteries and some have rechargeable batteries in them, it’s recommended that you use the AC option for the best performance. And even then, interference, the inability to properly put out treble sounds and other problems plague these wireless back speakers.

If you do purchase a wireless home theater system, though, you can get the best performance from it by setting it up properly. If you have a system that’s 900MHz and uses radio waves, you can be less picky about where you put the rear wireless speakers (but don’t forget that you have to plug them in). These can simply go to the right and left behind the seating area wherever is most convenient.

Infrared speakers can be placed the same way, but you’ll have to make sure that the infrared receiver, which takes the signal from the receiver and translates it into the proper format before sending it to the speakers, has a direct line of sight to the receiver. If anything gets between them, like the back of a couch, your speakers aren’t going to work properly.

The other speakers in your wireless home theater system should be placed just like any other surround system. The center speaker goes in the middle, and the left and right front channels should be place on each side, angling toward the center seating area. You can put the subwoofer in front, off to the side or experiment with placing it around the room. Once you get your wireless home theater system set up, don’t be afraid to test and move speakers as necessary to get the best sound.

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