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The future is here? Wired vs Wireless

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
Was very curious of public opinion as to whether wireless can or would replace the cables for high end sounds. What better place to get the experts opinion other than Head=Fi. 
And should someone take the time to give a technical response justifying their position......talk slowly. I am a novice. 

Thanks
Larry
post #2 of 7

not sure you're in the right section.

 

wireless has 2 "weaknesses" :

-the speed and quality of the transmission. it's getting better with time and starts being interesting.

-you need to have all the power inside the speaker or phone. so power source and space usually force the manufacturer to make sacrifices.

 

so IMO, wireless will be the future, but like mp3 replacing wave, it will be for convenience, not for quality.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

not sure you're in the right section.

 

wireless has 2 "weaknesses" :

-the speed and quality of the transmission. it's getting better with time and starts being interesting.

-you need to have all the power inside the speaker or phone. so power source and space usually force the manufacturer to make sacrifices.

 

so IMO, wireless will be the future, but like mp3 replacing wave, it will be for convenience, not for quality.

You also need to consider where the digital to analogue conversion takes place, with a high quality set up you might have something like:

 

computer > DAC > Amplifier > Headphones

 

So people tend to invest in each part of the chain according to their preference/budget.

 

Currently, the way I read it, wireless effectively puts the last three stages into a single unit. This is currently a big compromise. 

 

I have a pair of Bose AE2w that I use sometimes when out and about, direct from my phone and the sound quality is fine, but well short of great, When I use this, it's for convenience and there is a lot to be said for no wires when out and about.

 

My home listening is almost always when in front of my computer and moving is not an issue so wires don't worry me much...

 

Finally there's the issue of interference, which can certainly affect some wireless transmission...

post #4 of 7

I just purchased an Airport Express for its Airport feature, to get  iTunes on my computer to control amp via WI-FI. My concern was most of my music is at 24/96, which the AE  downsamples to I believe 16/44. At any rate, this signal can be sent to my control amp's DAC via Toslink from AE, or I can use the AE DAC and send signal to control amp using RCA, which is what I am indeed doing. The sound is in a word AWESOME. I am hearing more detail than I had ever heard before. And, in comparison to SACD direct I cannot distinguish between same material played from iTunes library on computer. I am quite satisfied with the WI-FI experience. I was not expecting to hear better sound, I was only expecting more convenience and less cables to and from my laptop.  My impression is that I am hearing music better than ever with the Airport Express. I conclude its DAC is making the difference. It appears to be better than my Sony TA-E9000ES DAC, which is really hard to believe, but seems to be the case. More listening will confirm if the

AE DAC is distinguishing itself, or perhaps if my earlier transmission of iTunes to control amp via X-FI HD USB to S/PDIF was my cause for not hearing the detail I am hearing now.


Edited by sterling1 - 1/26/14 at 5:05am
post #5 of 7

I hooked up a Toslink cable between AE and pre/pro to see if I could discern a different sound than when using the AE DAC to send RCA to pre/pro. I cannot discern any difference except volume level. So, it appears, the X-FI HD which I had earlier used to interface computer with HT was a weaker link although it still expedited computer audio to HT without issue. That's to say, I was very satisfied with the sound, which I thought at the time could not have sounded better.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses......

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by WEST91436 View Post
 

Thanks for the responses......

It's a good question and, as you imply, the differences can only shrink as the technology improves. Although I think there are clear sound quality advantages in wires at the moment, it would be foolish bordering on reckless to suggest it will always be thus...

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