How to Use Wireless Speakers with an Old Stereo
While digital audio and video is certainly more common these days, many audiophiles and music purists still prefer the natural sound of older, analog amplifiers and receivers. However, using older stereo amps or receivers usually means using cumbersome wires to connect speakers as well. Modern wireless speaker systems let rid yourself of the wires using an adapter that connects to the headphone jack on the receiver.
Things You'll Need
- Wireless speakers
- RCA-to-headphone audio Y-cable set
Place the wireless speakers in the areas or rooms in which you plan to listen to them. Plug the power cords for the wireless speakers into an electrical socket or install batteries in them if needed.
Power off the old stereo amplifier or receiver if you have not already done so. Connect one end of the RCA audio Y-cable set to the “Line In” or “Audio In” ports on the rear of the wireless adapter module. Plug the other end of the audio Y-cable set into the headphone jack on the face of the old stereo amplifier or receiver.
Connect the AC power adapter to the wireless adapter module, and then plug the other end into an available electrical socket.
Power on the old stereo amp or receiver and play music as you normally would. Music from the amplifier streams to and plays over the wireless speakers.
Tips & Warnings
- You do not need to place the speakers within line of sight of the stereo receiver. However, you should refer to the user manual for the wireless speakers to determine the maximum range of the wireless speaker set.
- If you want to convert older wired speakers to wireless ones, you can use a kit that offers a sending unit for the amplifier and receiving units for each wired speaker. With these types of wireless kits, you simply connect speaker wires from the receiver to the “Audio In” or “Speaker In” ports on the rear of the sending adapter just as you would a normal speaker. After connecting the sending the unit to the receiver or amplifier, use speaker wire to connect each regular speaker to its corresponding receiving unit.
- Wireless technology does compress audio slightly. Therefore, music streamed to speakers over a wireless connection may not sound as full or rich as with regular wired speakers. You may also experience short delays in audio streamed to wireless speakers. Therefore, if you connect both wired and wireless speakers to the older stereo, sound on the two sets may appear to be out of phase slightly. Simply put, you may hear sound on the wired speakers before you it plays through the wireless units. To correct this, disable the wired speakers when listening through the wireless ones.
References & Resources
- Tested: HDMI vs Optical vs Analog Audio - What's the Best Connection?
- Geeks.com – Tech Tips: Setting Up a Home or Office Wireless Sound System
- What HiFi?: Music Around the House? Or Wireless Surround? The Answer Could Be a Rocketfish…
- CNET: Wireless Speaker Systems Compared
- Rocketish: Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit – Black User Manual
- Acoustic Research: 900MHz Wireless Stereo Speakers