The last few years I have been told by multiple clients that they would like to upgrade their systems to the new “wireless” technology because it is better and more up to date. I have also been asked ‘why are we not putting in wireless speakers’ instead of the ‘old wired technology’?

Let me first say that wireless technology has come a very long way over the last 10 years. There was a time when most of us in the Low Voltage industry were scared of wireless however we seem to be past that fear. In fact we use it in many situations as our GO TO installation. Currently I use wireless in the event it is too expensive to run wire, if it is not possible to get wire in place or, if the wire in place was cut somehow. So my saying on wireless technology goes something like this: I use wireless technology as a secondary option to wired technology only.

In the speaker world people have gotten so used to their little blue tooth carry around speakers that they think this is where the “NEW” technology has gone. The main thing I find people are missing is that there is a power issue that needs to be solved. Meaning each speaker needs to have power. For instance Sonos and Heos make great “wireless” speaker solutions however each of their speakers have to be plugged into an outlet for power. So is this really “wireless”? Not in my definition of wireless. When we install in wall or in ceiling speakers the power comes from the receiver that is installed to control them vs an outlet. 

With alarm devices they have to have batteries. Most of these batteries have long lasting lives however they still have to be changed regularly. We also have to be concerned with interference. I have installed wireless devices in five and six thousand square foot houses that continued to lose signal due to distance and interference. They make repeaters for this however it is still more ideal to have each device wired if it can be done. 

In the end as stated I am not afraid of using wireless devices I have just found that using wire when capable is still the better option.