Wired speakers have been around for a long time, Bluetooth and wifi speakers are fairly new.
This article goes over the pros and cons of Bluetooth vs wifi vs wired speakers to help you decide which is best for you.
But first let’s talk about the two types of speakers which we are going to discuss here: Wireless and Wired speakers.
Wired speakers come with a direct connection to your device via an aux cord, Bluetooth, or wifi.
Wireless speakers are Bluetooth or wifi enabled and usually have a Bluetooth or wifi signal that allows you to connect your device wirelessly.
Wireless Speakers: Bluetooth and WiFi speakers
When deciding between Bluetooth or WiFi speakers many factors come into play. Bluetooth technology has made huge advancements in recent years but wifi speakers are also becoming very popular.
Although Bluetooth connectivity is seamless it does have one obvious flaw, Bluetooth uses radio frequencies so there can be some loss of audio quality depending on how far away your speaker is from your device.
At close range, Bluetooth can sound great but as you move further away audio quality diminishes rather quickly because the audio has to travel through more radio waves with each additional speaker or Bluetooth device you add.
WiFi speakers, on the other hand, offer high-quality audio over WiFi networks which means the music never has to travel through airwaves and offers Bluetooth-like sound quality.
However, WiFi speakers require an internet connection and wireless router, Bluetooth speakers do not because they use Bluetooth technology which is a much older standard that does not rely on the internet or routers.
Some people live in houses where multiple Bluetooth devices will interfere with each other even at close range, this can create some static noise or just simply lower the volume of your music for that Bluetooth device.
Wifi speakers are less likely to have this kind of problem because they work over wifi network meaning they do not interfere with one another.
Pros of wireless speakers
- You can use it for outdoor activities
- Can be used in many different ways (speakerphone, alarm clock)
- Many choices to choose from
- Better design
Cons of wireless speakers
- Bluetooth has a limited range
- Poor sound quality when compared with wired speakers
- Short battery life
Now let’s take a look at wired speakers.
There are many benefits to traditional wired speakers. The most obvious being you do not have to worry about your speaker is interfering with another speaker, so the audio is much more clear and constant without any interference or static noise.
Wired speakers also last longer, Bluetooth devices mostly rely on battery if not plugged while wired speakers are plugged into a power socket so you don’t have to worry about recharging it.
Wired speakers offer better sound quality because the transfer of data is much faster and audio is not being lost.
Pros of wired speakers
- Greater sound quality
- Less interference
- Longer-lasting battery life
- More consistent signal without slowing down
Cons of wired speakers
- Not very portable (need power outlet)
- Cannot be used for outdoor activities like wireless speakers because they need a power source (cannot be charged)
Which one should I get?
Wireless Bluetooth speakers are great for traveling, Bluetooth speakers can be recharged from the source to provide you with hours of music.
WiFi Bluetooth speakers offer high-quality audio that Bluetooth does not because it uses wifi network to transfer data without having to go through various radio waves like Bluetooth.
Wired speakers offer better sound quality and battery life than Bluetooth devices but they are mostly stationary without an option for outdoor usage unless it is powered by batteries or solar energy which makes them less popular among portable users.
Based on your situation either Bluetooth speaker, wifi speaker, or wired speaker will work best based on the factors we discussed above. But if you want great sound quality while still maintaining portability then a wireless Bluetooth speaker might be a better choice.
If you want the best of both worlds then wifi Bluetooth speakers will work great for you since Bluetooth does not have as good sound quality as wired speakers but it is wireless and wifi Bluetooth speakers still take advantage of Bluetooth technology to provide portable usage while offering higher sound quality by using the wifi network.
Bluetooth speakers are very popular because they take advantage of Bluetooth’s ability to allow Bluetooth devices to connect wirelessly at close range without requiring an internet connection.
Bluetooth is a much older but reliable standard that has been around for many years which makes the Bluetooth range suitable for portable applications, Bluetooth can also transfer data faster than Wi-Fi but Bluetooth devices usually have short battery life and cannot stay charged for a long period.
Which is more expensive between Bluetooth speakers, WiFi speakers, and Wired speakers?
The wired speaker is generally the least expensive among the speakers because wired speakers are very common and established technology so it is not as cutting edge as Bluetooth or wifi.
Bluetooth has only been around for short time compared to wired speakers so Bluetooth devices are more likely to be well-manufactured than wired speakers and includes more modern features.
WiFi speakers tend to be the most expensive as it has only become popular in this decade so companies making WiFi Bluetooth speakers are much rarer to find than Bluetooth Bluetooth speakers.
Can I mix wired and wireless speakers?
Absolutely! You can easily mix Bluetooth and wired speakers in the same audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. There are Bluetooth receivers readily available to allow you Bluetooth connection from a wired source.
Can you turn regular speakers into Bluetooth?
Yes, you can, if your speaker has an AUX connection (3.5mm) then all you need is a Bluetooth receiver. Simply plug the Bluetooth receiver into your regular speakers using AUX input and pair it with Bluetooth capable device like a smartphone or tablet to listen wirelessly.
If I want better sound quality then should I get wired or wireless speakers?
That depends on what your situation is.
Generally, wired speakers offer better sound quality but if you’re looking for portable use then WiFi Bluetooth Speakers might be a little bit more ideal since they can provide high-quality audio while still maintaining portability because it uses wifi network rather than Bluetooth devices which rely on Bluetooth signal instead of wifi network.
As always, there are pros and cons to every choice that we make so no matter what speaker
Does Bluetooth degrade audio?
Yes, Bluetooth does degrade audio quality because Bluetooth devices send Bluetooth signal to each other which make them interfere with each other and create static noise.
However, Bluetooth in its newer form (Bluetooth v4.0 and above) supports an A2DP Bluetooth profile which allows Bluetooth devices like Bluetooth speakers to send higher fidelity audio data between one another by minimizing the interference of Bluetooth signals when they are transferring data.
So if your Bluetooth speaker is Bluetooth 4.0 or above then it will be able to provide you with high-quality sound that Bluetooth is known for without any static noise like older models had.
However, most Bluetooth speaker manufacturers have yet to upgrade their older models so there are still Bluetooth speakers that did not implement Bluetooth v4.0 which will degrade the audio quality even more than Bluetooth is known for.
In conclusion, Bluetooth is a very good wireless standard that has been around for a long time which makes Bluetooth speakers great for portable applications.
Wifi speakers will also give you the best of both worlds because Bluetooth does not have as high sound quality as wired speakers but Bluetooth speakers still use Bluetooth technology to transfer audio data instead of a wifi network as a Wifi speaker do.
Wired speakers will generally offer better sound quality than wireless speakers because there is no loss of audio data or interferences.
All in all, it all comes down to your personal preference whether you want better quality or more portability.