Getting rid of the jumbled mess of cables is just one of the many benefits of going wireless with your home theater’s sound system. Still, if you are wondering how your wireless speakers and subwoofer(s) receive power, you might wonder if you need to purchase batteries.
Wireless speakers receive power through an AC power connection or through the ability to recharge before use. Wireless active subwoofers have a built-in amplifier that supplies the power for the piece of sound equipment. So, neither wireless speakers nor subwoofers will necessarily require batteries.
Also read: 8 Best Wireless Speaker Kits in 2021 (Plus a Buying Guide)
You might be caught off-guard to find out that your wireless speakers do, after all, require one cabled connection to an AC power outlet.
However, this is the only type of cabled connection that you will be required to make with wireless speakers and subwoofer considering the transmission of audio signals from the receiver takes place via WiFi, Infrared, Bluetooth, Radiofrequency, or Qualcomm aptX. Still, to receive power, your speakers or subwoofer will use another source. Let’s take a closer look.
How Do Wireless Speakers Receive Power?
Purchasing wireless speakers has many advantages for your home theater system.
Many people enjoy the portability of wireless speakers as well as the aesthetic appeal that comes with the removal of the jumbled mess of cables that used to be a part of their sound system- even having their own storage location or placement in their home theater space (although unwelcomed).
Still, it is important to note that not all wireless speakers are completely wireless. While they will not require a wired connection for audio transmission, they still need a source of power. Wireless speakers receive power through an AC power outlet or through the ability to be recharged.
When using wireless speakers that have an AC power outlet, you will then need to establish this wired connection. This can be frustrating for those of you who are looking to completely eliminate the use of a wired connection entirely in your home theater system.
For this reason, wireless speakers that can be recharged are an option- although you will need to make sure that you recharge them each time you intend to play your media for a prolonged period.
With a wireless speaker that requires an AC power outlet, you will need to plug the wireless speaker in- something that seems like a paradox.
Even so, you will only need to connect this speaker to a source of power rather than having to connect it (with cables) to the receiver and other pieces of sound equipment in your sound system.
Because of this, wireless speakers are still considered to be wireless because of the significantly fewer wired connections that you will be required to connect.
Keep in mind, though, that this does not mean that you will not be connecting the speakers to the appropriate amp/receiver still. Instead of using cables to connect these pieces of your sound system, you will be using some type of wireless connection depending on the specifications of your devices.
With this in mind, you can choose which option of wireless speaker is right for you: one that has to be recharged (but then does not require a wired connection during use at all) or one that is only connected with a wire to a power source.
If you do not mind recharging and are consistent with this habit, then a wireless rechargeable speaker might work for you (often connected with some type of recharging cord, not batteries).
Alternatively, if you want to eliminate the need for a cabled connection between the various components in your sound system and do not mind the AC power outlet source, then this option can work for you and your needs.
Either way, you should not need batteries for your wireless speakers considering they can recharge or plug into an AC power outlet instead.
How Do Wireless Subwoofers Receive Power?
When it comes to wireless subwoofers, connections are slightly different than wireless speakers, yet the concept is generally the same.
While you will still need to connect the subwoofer to the receiver (via WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.), connecting to an amp can be bypassed for an active subwoofer that has a built-in amp (power source).
With an active subwoofer, an amp is built into the equipment and the device essentially powers itself. However, with an active subwoofer, a connection is needed both to the receiver (for the audio signal transmission) as well as an amp (power source).
Thus, using a wireless subwoofer, you can assume it is an active sub that does not require the same types of connections.
This is highly beneficial and thus why so many are willing to pay for a wireless subwoofer. Wireless subwoofers not only come with the benefits of not needing the added cable for a power source or connection to a receiver, but they are also highly portable and relatively cohesive with many types of sound equipment.
Along with this, you do not have to worry about a wireless subwoofer needing batteries. While some wireless subwoofers might need to plug into an AC power source, this is not common and is not standard among this type of equipment.
Rather, because a subwoofer will either be active or passive (aka have an amp built-in or not), the power source can come from within the device itself.
In using an active wireless subwoofer, you will need to establish a connection between the receiver and the subwoofer so that the low-frequency audio signal can be transmitted to the sub and the resounding bass sent out into the room, consequently.
Still, the wireless (active) subwoofer will not need to be plugged into an amp (because it is already built into the device), and thus the device will not need batteries.
In using a passive subwoofer, you will need to connect the device to a receiver so that the low-frequency audio signal can be transmitted, and will also need to connect it to an amplifier so that the device can have power.
For this reason, wireless passive subwoofers are not something that you are likely to find when looking for a wireless bass component for your sound system.
How Do Wireless Speakers Work?
If wireless speakers are not using a cabled connection, you might wonder how they transmit the audio signals needed to be able to play at the same quality of speakers that are physically connected to a receiver.
To understand more fully why wireless speakers and wireless subwoofers do not need batteries, it can be helpful to know how wireless speakers work in a broad capacity.
Wireless speakers are powered with an AC power outlet plug or use a rechargeable port. They are connected to the receiver via WiFi, Bluetooth, Infrared, or another wireless connection. So, they are wireless in terms of the transmission of audio, yet still may require a wired connection to power.
For a wireless subwoofer, you will note the same type of connection to the receiver (in that the cable that would otherwise be used to transmit the audio signal is eliminated), yet they might have a built-in amplifier as a power source. This is the case for an active subwoofer, anyways.
Still, in using wireless speakers, you will need to ensure that each speaker has been appropriately connected to the receiver and that the specifications of each speaker in your sound system will work in cohesion with the other pieces of sound equipment.
This means that you will need to make sure your sound system is set up with sufficient speakers to support low-frequency, mid-range frequency, and high-frequency audio signals to cover the entire spectrum of sound.
Just because the cable has been eliminated from the connection process does not mean that the wireless connections will require any less “tweaking”.
Instead, it just takes one less step out of the equation (the jumbled mess of cables) and allows you to work within the cable-free capacity of a wireless sound system setup.
So, as you connect your wireless speakers to the receiver, to a power source (whatever that might look like), and make sure that your speakers (and subwoofer) work in cohesion with one another, you can rest assured that your wireless sound system will be ready to stream your favorite media with a high-quality audio experience.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.