How to Transmit Music Wirelessly Without Wi-Fi


Despite its advantages, a Wi-Fi home network isn’t for everyone. If all you want to do is send audio from a CD player, boom box, TV or even a computer to speakers in another room, you can usually take advantage of a standard audio output on the player. You plug a transmitter—sometimes sold as part of a kit with a receiver and speakers—into the source component’s headphone jack or stereo output.

Such systems are also useful for transmitting music to the backyard or pool area. However, it’s prudent to choose waterproof speakers for outdoor use.

A conventional setup such as the Acoustic Research AW880 broadcasts your audio on a 900 MHz signal, at maximum ranges of 150 feet, to a pair of included indoor stereo speakers. The most flexible speakers can be powered by AC adapters or batteries. Outdoor wireless speakers are also available.

If you’re broadcasting audio from a computer, you have the option of bypassing the audio jacks and choosing a system with a transmitter that plugs into a USB port. Audioengine’s AW3 Premium Wireless Audio Adapter, for example, pairs USB adapters at both ends of a 100+ foot- (30 m) range transmission. If your power speakers or receiver don’t provide USB power, you can power the Domino-size receiver with the included USB-to-AC adapter. Then, 1/8-inch or RCA audio cables will connect the AW3 wireless receiver to your system.

The system can send audio to more than one room, so if you want an additional receiver (or a replacement receiver) you can get the Audioengine W3R Premium Wireless Audio Receiver. Audioengine also makes a sender/receiver for an iPod called the Audioengine AW2 Premium Wireless Adapter for iPod. The transmitter portion fits directly onto the docking port of your iPod and the receiver works just like the one in the AW3 system. Finally, Audioengine also offers a variety of active speakers as well as the N22 Premium Desktop Audio Amplifier for use with passive speakers.