How does a Wireless Subwoofer Work?

Coby McKinley Profile image

Written By:

Updated November 9, 2022

If you have premium speakers, you should ensure the best bass sound quality and learn how wireless subwoofer work. A top-tier subwoofer output is paramount for any home theater setup with surround sound speakers, but unsightly speaker wires can disrupt your viewing experience. Luckily, you can use a wireless speaker system to minimize messy wires. You should understand how a wireless subwoofer works for the smoothest wireless speaker setup.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Wireless subwoofers work the same as wired models but feature a built-in amplifier and wireless transmitter.
  • Bluetooth is the most common connection method for wireless subwoofers, and it provides a decent wireless range and bitrate.
  • WiFi and Infrared technologies offer superior audio quality over Bluetooth, but they are more difficult to set up.

Switching to a Bluetooth subwoofer should be simple if you know how a subwoofer works in a wired speaker setup. That said, you can ensure a solid Bluetooth connection by learning what a Bluetooth speaker is.

Insider Tip

You can make a wired subwoofer wireless with a dual RCA adapter cable and a built-in or plug-in wireless transmitter.

With a wireless connection, your subwoofer placement is up to personal preference. That said, you should learn where to place subwoofers for an ideal sound experience. Once your wireless system is connected, you can refine the audio signal of your wireless speaker setup.

Learning how to adjust a subwoofer ensures a proper low-frequency sound balance with the rest of your wireless surround speakers. For example, setting the subwoofer crossover frequency helps with mid-range performance.

How do Wireless Subwoofers Work?

Wireless subwoofers perform the same task as wired models but do not require additional connection wires other than a power cord. Wireless models often feature a built-in amplifier, wireless transmitter, and subwoofer hardware.

A wireless AV receiver delivers an audio signal to the wireless sub, producing low-pitched audio frequencies. You can use a wireless component adapter or dual-RCA connection to add wireless functionality to a standard theater receiver.

The wireless speaker technology you choose will affect your audio experience and setup. While Bluetooth-connected devices are the most common, you can use WiFi, infrared, and radio signals.

Bluetooth Subwoofers

Bluetooth is the most common connection method for wireless subs. These devices work within the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency and hop through 79 wireless frequencies, starting at 2402 MHz. While Bluetooth supports a 30 ft. wireless range, your actual subwoofer distance can be hampered by obstructions like walls and furniture.

Infrared Subwoofers

Infrared technology uses light for the audio signal transmission in your speaker system. Infrared subwoofers support higher-quality audio and aren’t vulnerable to signal interference from nearby wireless devices. The infrared sensors need a constant connection to work, and the wireless signal distance is only strong at about 20 ft.

Warning

Multiple obstructions between the wireless receiver unit and the subwoofer will limit the wireless signal distance.

RF Subwoofers

RF subwoofers work similarly to Bluetooth models, but do not offer frequency hopping like the latest Bluetooth standard. Additionally, some RF systems allow you to set a specific frequency for your wireless sub and receiver. These devices often operate within the 2.4 GHz band and are susceptible to wireless interference.

WiFi Subwoofers

WiFi subwoofers offer excellent signal stability and integrate well into smart home setups. Since WiFi can transmit more data than Bluetooth, users should expect higher audio quality on WiFi subwoofer setups. Since a WiFi audio setup requires the internet, you may experience audio lag if your internet service is slow.

STAT: Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) 2.4 GHz bands operate between 2400 and 2483.5 MHz, and Bluetooth devices hop through 79 radio frequencies in this range. (source)

How does a Wireless Subwoofer Work FAQs

Is Dolby Atmos the same as Dolby Digital?

Dolby Digital uses your existing surround sound speakers to produce multiple audio channels. In contrast, Dolby Atmos offers 3D audio with a combination of software and existing hardware.

Do Blu-Ray players have better audio quality than streaming?

The source of your audio content matters, and physical media often beats streaming options by a noticeable margin. Since Blu-Ray discs provide a higher bitrate than most streaming services since they provide uncompressed video and audio.

What causes Bluetooth signal interference on an audio system?

WiFi is the most common cause of Bluetooth signal interference on an audio system. Additionally, if you're using multiple Bluetooth devices in your theater space, they can interfere with each other. Experts recommend limiting the number of WiFi and Bluetooth devices in your media room with wireless surround speakers.
Coby McKinley Profile image