How to Make Wired Speakers Wireless

It's a process, but definitely doable on your own

It seems like more and more speakers are available with wireless connectivity, but still, many older devices are wired. The good news is there are several ways to convert wired speakers into wireless ones, from Bluetooth receivers to wireless conversion kits.

Turn Wired Speakers Into Bluetooth Speakers

Send music wirelessly to your wired speakers with the addition of Bluetooth adapters combined with an amplifier.

Harmon Kardon BTA-10 and Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receivers
Harman Kardon and Logitech
  • If you have an Android or iPhone, use it to send music to a Bluetooth receiver connected to a traditional amplifier, stereo, or home theater receiver, which, in turn, connects to your wired speakers.
  • Plug a TV, CD/DVD/Blu-ray player, audio cassette deck, or VCR to a Bluetooth transmitter which sends the audio signal to a Bluetooth receiver that, in turn, connects to an amplifier and your wired speakers.

You may experience AV/lip-sync issues when using Bluetooth to listen to audio from a TV or another video source (such as a TV or DVD player).

  • Instead of a Bluetooth receiver connected to an external amplifier, use an amplifier, stereo, or home theater receiver that has Bluetooth support built-in. With this setup, it can receive signals from your smartphone directly or a source connected to a Bluetooth transmitter. Connect your wired speakers to the speaker terminals provided on the Bluetooth-enabled amplifier.
RBH BT-100 Bluetooth Receiver/Amplifier
RBH

If you have an iPhone in addition to Bluetooth, you can also stream music using Airplay through an Apple Airport Express to an amplifier, stereo, or home theater receiver connected to wired speakers. Also, some home theater receivers have Airplay support built-in.

Add Wired Speakers to Chromecast For Audio and Select Echo Devices

Using an audio cable, connect a Chromecast for Audio or Echo Dot, Echo Input, Echo Link, and Echo Plus to an amplifier, stereo, or home theater receiver that may not be equipped with internet streaming capability. The Echo Link Amp can also connect directly to wired speakers.

This allows you to listen to music that is streamed wirelessly to the Google Chromecast for Audio via your smartphone or a Google Home using the wired speakers connected to an amplifier.

With compatible Echo devices, you can stream music from your smartphone or directly from Amazon Music and other select streaming apps and also listen with your wired speakers.

Echo Dot With Yamaha Home Theater Receiver

Yamaha Spain

Add Wired Speakers to an Established Wireless Audio System

Use your wired speakers with dedicated wireless audio systems, such as Sonos, Yamaha MusicCast, Denon HEOS, and DTS Play-Fi.

All four platforms offer "streaming amps" that receive audio signals wirelessly from the internet, Android or iOS devices, and a home network in addition to traditional sources connected to a compatible wireless transmitter or to the amp directly. The bonus is that they provide connection terminals for traditionally wired speakers.

Yamaha WXA-50 Streaming Amplifier
Yamaha

These platforms enable you to mix wireless and wired speakers in the same wireless multi-room audio system using Wi-Fi.

Examples of wireless streaming amplifiers compatible with specific wireless audio platforms include:

Make Wired Speakers Wireless For Traditional Sources

With sources such as a TV, CD/DVD/Blu-ray player, audio cassette deck, VCR, or compatible audio output on a stereo or home theater receiver, you can make wired speakers wireless with a wireless speaker conversion kit (also referred to as a wireless speaker kit or wireless speaker adapter). This kit includes a transmitter and receiver.

Atlantic Technology WA-60 Wireless Audio Adapter - Front View
Atlantic Technology

Connect the audio output of your source (such as the TV) to the audio inputs on the wireless transmitter. The transmitter sends the signals wirelessly from the connected source to the wireless receiver.

Here are the steps required to make your wired speakers work with a wireless speaker conversion kit. These steps apply to the sources discussed above and speakers used in Single or Mono, Stereo, Surround, or Zone 2 setups.

  1. Connect the audio outputs of a source device to the audio inputs of the wireless transmitter.

    DVD Player Connected to Velodyne Wireless Audio Transmitter

    Most wireless transmitters provide RCA or 3.5mm analog audio inputs, and some may provide speaker wire connections. Still, you may encounter one that also provides a digital optical input.

  2. Connect the wired speakers to the wireless receiver (if amplified) with standard speaker wire.

    If your wireless receiver does not have a built-in amplifier, connect the wireless receiver to an external amplifier, stereo, or home theater receiver using compatible audio connections (typically RCA analog audio connections) that, in turn, physically connect to the speakers using speaker wire.

    Velodyne Wireless Speaker Kit Receiver Connected to Amplifier
  3. Plug the wireless transmitter and wireless receiver (and any additional amp if used) into AC power and turn them, and your audio source component, on. You can now listen to music, TV, or movie sound.

Make a Subwoofer Wireless

If you have a subwoofer in your home theater setup, make it wireless with a wireless speaker conversion kit with a subwoofer input on the transmitter and a subwoofer output on the wireless receiver.

This is easy to do if you have a powered subwoofer (the most common type). Powered subwoofers have built-in amplifiers and plug into AC power.

There are two steps to add wireless connectivity to a subwoofer: First, connect the Subwoofer output of a stereo or home theater receiver to the wireless transmitter using a short RCA cable. Next, connect a short RCA cable from the wireless receiver to the subwoofer's RCA stereo or LFE inputs.

Velodyne WiConnect Wireless Subwoofer Adapter Connection Example

If you have a passive subwoofer that you wish to make wireless, place an external amplifier between the wireless receiver and the subwoofer unless the wireless receiver has a built-in amplifier with sufficient power output for the subwoofer.

The Difference Between Wired and Wireless Speakers

All speakers, whether wired or wireless, need three things to work: an audio signal, power, and amplification. Amplifiers, wires, and cables supply those requirements for traditionally wired speakers.

Wireless speakers plug into power, have built-in amplifiers, and instead of copper wire or cable, the audio signals transmit wirelessly to them via IR (infrared light), RF (radio frequency), Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. Traditionally wired speakers don't have a built-in amplifier and cannot receive audio signals wirelessly. Still, you can make them "wireless" with the use of add-on devices.

The Benefits of Making Wired Speakers Wireless

Adding wired speakers into a wireless setup provides some great benefits:

  • Use wired speakers with your smartphone and Bluetooth.
  • Use wired speakers with Chromecast for audio and Echo devices.
  • Breathe new life into wired speakers as part of an established wireless audio system.
  • Cut down on wire clutter with traditional sources.

However, regardless of the wireless audio source, signal transmission, or reception method used, you still must make a physical cable or wire connection to the speakers to make them work. You also need to provide power to your sources and wireless-to-wired conversion devices.

Wireless speaker kits and related products are made by several manufacturers and available at electronics stores and online retailers. Costs vary depending on whether the brand and model of transmitter and receiver are packaged together as a kit or sold separately and whether you need an additional amplifier to complete your setup.

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