How to Troubleshoot Wireless Speaker Issues
Wireless speakers give you flexibility in arranging your sound system, but they have weaknesses. Whether yours are connected to the transmitter by infrared beams, radio waves or Bluetooth -- which requires "pairing" them with a Bluetooth-enabled device such as an iPhone or a computer -- the signal may become bad or completely nonexistent. Some problems, such as a bad power source or incorrect settings, are common to any sound system, but wireless systems also present a unique set of challenges that's different from the one presented by wired speakers.
Follow the power cord to an outlet if the speakers aren't producing any sound, and confirm that they're plugged in. If they are, check that the cord is securely fitted into its socket in the speaker. Switch the plug to a different outlet to see if that solves the problem.
Look at the other parts of the system, such as the transmitter, to confirm they're also connected to a power source. If the power is on, switch out cables between the transmitter and the receiver, or connect the transmitter to a different sound source. If you're controlling the setting with a remote, replace the batteries with fresh ones to see if that makes a difference.
Adjust the settings on your sound system. The receiver may be set on mute or the sound may be turned down too low to hear. If only one speaker is silent, check that your balance control is set to provide sound to both speakers equally.
Change the position of your speakers. If your speakers operate in the 5.8-GHz band or use infrared technology to receive signals, they have to stay closer to the transmitter than a 2.4-GHz speaker. Infrared speakers also require line-of-sight positions to operate properly.
Adjust the frequency controls on your system to a new setting, then tune the speakers to find a setting that provides a clear, strong signal.
Walk through your house and identify other radio sources in the 2.4-GHz range, if your wireless speakers work at that frequency. This is a standard range for devices such as cordless phones, cell phones and baby monitors, all of which can interfere with your signal, as can your microwave oven. See if turning the devices off while you're listening eliminates the interference.
Move the speakers closer to the transmitter. With less distance to travel, the signal degrades less. Less distance also reduces the chance of a barrier, such as a heavy metal appliance or a concrete wall, interfering with or distorting the signal.
Reconnect your Bluetooth device to the speaker adapter if you've recently deactivated Bluetooth on the device, because after Bluetooth is enabled, it won't reconnect with the speaker automatically. Go over the settings on your device and confirm they're set up to stream over Bluetooth. If your computer's Bluetooth is turned off, for example, nothing's going to happen.
Move your speakers closer to your device. Bluetooth's range is roughly 30 feet. If you have solid obstructions between the device and the speakers, remove them or reposition the system so that there are no obstacles in the signal's path.
Use the manufacturers' instructions to clear out the list of Bluetooth pairings on your device and speakers, then start over with the pairing process, repeating the steps you originally took to set up the wireless connection.
References & Resources
- Practical-Home-Theater-Guide.com: A Guide to Wireless Speakers Systems
- Wired: Why Things Suck: Wireless Speakers
- TIC Corp: Troubleshooting Wireless Speakers
- Vox Right Now: Operating and Troubleshooting the RCA WSP150 Wireless Speakers
- Tech-FAQ: How Wireless Speakers Work
- Logitech: Troubleshooting Audio Issues With the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth Audio Devices
- Bose: Bluetooth® troubleshooting
- Wired: Roundup: Wireless Streaming Speakers Tested and Rated