Gone are the days of dealing with the hassle of setting up audio systems with lots of messy wires as our only option for enjoyable sound and music. With the advent of Bluetooth and Wifi, we now have the choice of convenient audio devices without the need for wires. Thus, the emergence of wireless speakers.
Wireless speakers are a great option for outdoors and people who opt for a stereo system that is lesser complicated. With these devices, all you have to do is connect, plug and play, or perhaps download an appropriate app.
When choosing wireless speakers, there are two available options: the Bluetooth speaker and the WiFi speaker. Your taste, needs, and budget will determine which among the two will suit you the best.
Bluetooth Vs. WiFi Speakers
Before we delve deeper into deciding which is better between the two wireless audio devices, we must know first their basic components and features.
A Bluetooth speaker is a type of wireless speaker that can play audio by connecting from the Bluetooth wireless protocol to any device such as a smartphone, mobile phone, tablet, laptop, computer, music player, and any other music source provided that these devices have also the Bluetooth signal.
Bluetooth speakers are very easy and simple to use given that for so many years now, most gadgets and devices have the Bluetooth wireless protocol built into their system. Find out how Bluetooth speakers work.
This Bluetooth signal allows certain devices to connect or communicate with each other wirelessly to be able to perform some actions such as working together (like laptop and wireless keyboard), exchanging files (like documents from one phone to another), and streaming (like songs from laptop to a speaker system) over the same signal.
On the other hand, a WiFi speaker is a type of wireless speaker which relies on the strength of a WiFi signal. WiFi speakers can be controlled by various smart devices connecting to the same network.
Also, this speaker enables you to pair up with multiple WiFi speakers around the house or a certain location to be able to produce a better home theater sound.
Check out our favorite high-end wireless speakers in the marketplace.
Bluetooth Speaker vs. WiFi Speaker: Which is the best option?
The Bluetooth and WiFi speakers have different features that cater to the needs and intent of their users.
When it comes to portability and price, the Bluetooth speaker is a popular choice. Looking at online shopping apps and websites, Bluetooth speakers come in various shapes, colors, designs, and sizes.
Some also allow you to enjoy it anytime and anywhere even in activities that involve water because of its waterproof and compact feature. These wireless audio devices also offer reasonable prices that wouldn’t hurt a lot on the pocket.
However, one cannot argue that WiFi speaker is winning in terms of sound quality and range. Sound quality is at par among WiFi speakers mainly because of its bandwidth.
Since WiFi is the main system allowing this audio device to be connected to other gadgets and devices, this also allows the device to play uncompressed high-quality audio even at a further distance and range compares to a Bluetooth speaker.
For one to decide and differentiate which of the two wireless speakers are the best, the main differences said above will be comprehensively discussed.
The size of the space and the position of the device contributes a lot to the sound made by the wireless speakers. The bigger and the more crowded the space, the more powerful sound is needed to produce high-quality audio.
Bluetooth speakers are designed to receive audio signals within a short-range. A maximum of 30 feet away is the limit while 15 feet away is the realistic range for these devices.
Anything beyond that will make the audio quality suffer. This is because a distance longer than the mentioned ideal range will compress the audio data causing the sound to be muffled or low quality.
Another contributing factor to this is the audio source of this device. Bluetooth speakers require connected devices like phones and other gadgets for them to function. Thus, Bluetooth speakers are best used in small spaces.
WiFi speakers, on the other hand, perform well in large spaces. Since this device has a better range due to WiFi connection as its audio source, clear and crisp sound is produced even at a greater distance of beyond 30 feet away. This is due to the fact that WiFi does not have the ability to compress audio data during the transmission process. Thus, better sound quality is produced.
In this case, we can conclude that a Bluetooth speaker is ideal for situations wherein you want to use it near your phone or any gadget. For instance, while traveling or in outdoors.
On the contrary, WiFi speaker is ideal for indoors such as at home or event venues wherein you can connect multiple speakers in one audio source to be able to make an enjoyable home theater kind of sound.
One advantage of the Bluetooth speaker is its simple and easy-to-use feature. You can literally take it anywhere and anytime. Isn’t that great?
This is because this device doesn’t need a power source for it to function. It has a built-in rechargeable battery so you can just charge it fully and use it whenever and wherever you like. Compact designs of Bluetooth speakers are also available in the market.
You can choose from a wide variety of shapes, weights, sizes, and colors. For this reason, people usually bring and use this device for travel or any outdoor activities.
WiFi speaker like a Bluetooth speaker is also portable but in a different way. This wireless audio device is not something that you can use practically anytime and anywhere. This is because WiFi speaker requires a source like WiFi signal for it to be used.
Also, you need to plug it into an external electrical outlet for it to have power. This can be very hard especially if you are in places where there are poor or no WiFi signal and electricity.
However, as previously mentioned, WiFi speaker is portable in another way. Since this device is wireless, this is very convenient for people who want to establish great sound quality within their homes.
This also solves the problems of positioning the speaker system in awkward places such as walls, ceilings, etc, and produces a bright and aesthetic design due to its wireless feature.
When it comes to deciding what kind of speakers to use, sound quality is the most important thing to consider. Of course, you wouldn’t want to purchase an audio device that doesn’t deliver its main function very well. In Bluetooth speakers, compression of audio data is more evident.
Data compression refers to modifying data to reduce its size. This is necessary for files to make sure that bandwidth and storage limits aren’t exceeded. Due to this process, the quality of the sound the Bluetooth produces is affected. Though Bluetooth now has a high definition (HD) version, only certain devices support this innovation. Also, since the device requires to be paired up with other devices to be able to control the speaker, the user’s listening experience can be interrupted by notifications, calls, etc.
Contrary to Bluetooth speakers, WiFi speakers has the ability to give a more stable and high-quality sound. This device has a way of compressing audio files that do not let the quality of the audio suffers.
This allows WiFi speakers to play high-quality audio from large audio files. Moreover, since this device only needs a WiFi as an audio source, certain distractions for the listening experience of the user rarely or never happen.
The budget comes as a big factor in deciding which to purchase among these two wireless speakers. Both speakers have models that would not hurt a lot on the pocket. Just remember this adage that can never go wrong when it comes to anything that you purchase, it is always “You get what you pay for”.
When it comes to an affordable and reasonable price, the Bluetooth speaker is the best option because of its lesser complicated features. You can practically find this device anywhere and you have a wide variety of designs to choose from.
Compared to Bluetooth speakers, WiFi speakers can be costly especially since the main intention of these wireless audio devices is to be used with multiple components. Moreover, the audio quality this device produces can be comparable to wired speakers making it a popular choice for people who wanted to achieve complete surround sound within their homes.
WiFi speakers can also be expensive because of their bandwidth connection being the WiFi which also determines the quality of the sound the device can make. WiFi connection is expensive especially since that connection determines the seamless quality of sound the device can produce. Having a poor connection can make the sound of the speaker not appealing.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Bluetooth Speaker?
The following are some of the advantages of having a Bluetooth speaker:
- It is very convenient and portable making it the better option for people who like traveling or doing outdoor activities. You can bring and use it anywhere because of its simple features and compact design.
- Since most devices now has the Bluetooth signal feature, this device is very easy to set up just by turning on the Bluetooth signal, and voila! You can already enjoy music and sound with your laptops, smartphones, phones, tablets, etc.
- This device is very versatile. Because wires and external power sources are not that necessary for it to function, you can just place it literally anywhere. Just be reminded that you have to first charge its battery full.
Of course, a Bluetooth speaker is not a perfect device so here are the disadvantages:
- Bluetooth speaker needs another device to control it. Due to this, sound quality can be affected by the conversion or transfer of audio files. Also, distractions from the device that is controlling the speaker such as calls, notifications, social media videos, etc can make your listening experience not that smooth and enjoyable.
- Limited range is also a con of this device. Since the maximum distance you can go with a Bluetooth speaker is 15-30 feet away, anything beyond that will interrupt the device and its sound quality.
- Also, the volume of this device is limited compared to its counterpart. This is because of its audio source being the other device controlling its function. And since most smartphones, laptops, etc. have limited volume, this makes the Bluetooth speaker quieter than the WiFi speaker.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a WiFi Speaker?
The following are some of the advantages of a WiFi speaker:
- WiFi speakers have a greater range that can go up to 200 feet away and it doesn’t need to compress large audio files because of WiFi as its bandwidth connection. With this, you can enjoy high-quality sound even at a distance.
- This device is very easy to set up with multiple WiFi speakers, making it the ideal preference for people who want to establish a surround sound system in their homes.
- WiFi speakers are also very versatile when it comes to placement because of their wireless feature so you can just place them anywhere you want and eliminate unappealing positions.
- If you want to establish a Smart System inside your home, WiFi speakers are your best allies. Since most WiFi Speakers have AI built-in such as Alexa and Google Home, you can control the speakers with your voice and connect this to other systems in your home.
Though WiFi speaker has all the good features, this device has also some cons that come with it:
- You still need an external electrical source in order to use it. Unlike Bluetooth speakers wherein you can literally bring it anywhere, WiFi speaker doesn’t have any built-in rechargeable batteries.
- It can be very expensive and not that portable. WiFi speaker needs a WiFi connection for it to function so you cannot use it in areas where there is a poor or no WiFi signal. Poor WiFi can also affect its sound quality making some of the users upgrade their WiFii plan.
Wireless speakers are a great innovation in terms of our fascination with music and sound. It has brought convenience to a whole new level. Choosing which wireless speaker is the best will solely rely on your needs, intent, and budget. If you’re the type who just wants an audio device you can put inside your bag or pocket and enjoy music at the beach, then a Bluetooth speaker is the best for you. But if you are the type who wants sound that can blow your homes away with its quality and volume, WiFi speakers are the ideal way to do this.
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