Stereophonic sound, more commonly known as stereo, has existed for almost 100 years. Pioneered by British audio engineer Alan Blumlein at EMI in 1931, it took a while for stereo to make its way into home entertainment systems via wired Hi-Fi setups and home surround sound systems, and even longer for stereo technology to go wireless.
As Bluetooth stereo speaker technology advances, music lovers everywhere are embracing it and building new true wireless stereo (TWS) systems in their homes. It’s safe to say that true wireless Bluetooth stereo speaker technology is going to stick around a while. If you aren’t familiar with true wireless technology or how Bluetooth stereo speakers work, we’ll walk you through it. It's key to understand Bluetooth Stereo Speakers and True Wireless Stereo.
Continue reading to learn more about Bluetooth stereo speakers and the advantages of true wireless stereo.
What is True Wireless Stereo (TWS)?
Briefly put, true wireless stereo is the next step in Bluetooth technology. What does this mean for you? TWS gives you an incredible new way to immerse yourself in music, movies, and gaming. Before you dive into the world of TWS, it helps to get a grasp of how Bluetooth works.
Bluetooth is a low-power wireless technology designed to send information between one or more devices. Bluetooth-compatible devices have special chipsets to send and receive data over a specific frequency. It’s like Wi-Fi, but requires less power and is intended for devices within shorter distances.
But how is true wireless stereo different from normal Bluetooth devices? That’s where the words “true” and “stereo” come in. Originally, a lot of Bluetooth or “wireless” products weren’t exactly 100% wireless. Regular Bluetooth stereo speakers still require a wire to connect one speaker to the other, whereas TWS speakers don’t use wires, period.
Similarly, not all Bluetooth speakers are equipped for stereo pairing. Many Bluetooth speakers leave you listening in mono, and you can’t expand your listening field. Even if you have two speakers connected, you’re just listening in dual mono. That means you’re not getting the full effect of your favorite records, movies or games. TWS-enabled Bluetooth stereo speakers are the only way to get a truly immersive audio experience without the wires.
How Does True Wireless Stereo Work?
There are two different ways that Bluetooth devices connect in a TWS system. Many TWS Bluetooth systems have two Bluetooth chipsets—one per speaker. The primary speaker receives and decodes audio from the source, then sends it to the secondary speaker.
Advantages of TWS
With the basics of Bluetooth stereo speakers and TWS in mind, let’s talk about some of the advantages of these systems.
No More Wires
TWS speakers don’t require any wires to connect to one another. Regular Bluetooth systems require a wire to send audio from the primary speaker to the secondary speaker. Without wires to worry about, you aren’t restricted by the length of the wire and can place the speakers freely. Besides, nobody likes too many wires cluttering up their space!
TWS Bluetooth speakers are optimized for sound quality. For many speaker manufacturers, delivering a good listening experience is a top priority, so you can expect well-built speakers from top to bottom. Our Get Together Mini and Get Together Duo are two great examples of high-performance Bluetooth stereo speakers that deliver a warm, crisp sound.
Tips for Setting Up Your TWS System
Follow these simple tips to get the optimal listening experience from your TWS speakers.
Find the Sweet Spot
Setting up your TWS system is pretty straightforward—power them up and you’re good to go, right? TWS Bluetooth speakers don’t require any crazy hoops to jump through, but speaker placement can make or break your listening experience. Your ears may perceive sound differently depending on the spacing and angle of your speakers.
Speakers that are placed too far apart might not deliver a good stereo experience. To get the best sound, place bookshelf speakers about four feet apart at a 60 degree angle. Floorstanding speakers need at least six feet of separation, also at a 60 degree angle.
Don’t Stress the Connection Issues
Sometimes it happens—you start to queue up a playlist, but your device won’t pair to the speakers. Fortunately, connecting Bluetooth speakers and resolving minor pairing issues are easy to handle. When you first set up your TWS system, just be sure to carefully follow the pairing instructions, and you’ll be jamming before you know it.
Stay in Range
Bluetooth devices have a range between 30 and 45 feet, which should be plenty of room to build a makeshift dance floor and bust a move. The speakers should be no more than 10 meters apart. Just be aware that you may notice connection issues if you exceed the nominal range or use other equipment operating at the same frequency. It’s a more common occurrence when you’re walking around your home with a smartphone or other mobile device.
What Are Bluetooth Audio Codecs?
AAC, SBC, aptX, LDAC—what does all of it mean? Bluetooth codecs are programs that devices use to encode and decode digital audio. Think of it as a secret handshake between your smartphone and your Bluetooth speakers. When two devices speak the same language, it’s easier for them to exchange information. But what does this mean for TWS?
Some audiophiles are very particular about which audio codec their TWS system uses because certain codecs are believed to affect sound quality. Instead of giving you an entire lesson on which codecs are the best, we’ll give you the good news—you probably won’t notice a difference in sound quality.
There’s an overwhelming amount of info about Bluetooth codecs out there. Our advice? Don’t sweat it. You’ll still be able to enjoy fantastic sound quality through any well-made Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
Wireless audio systems have never been better. That’s why more home audio enthusiasts are switching to TWS for convenience and flexibility. If you’re ready to experience exceptional TWS speakers, check out our lineup of true wireless Bluetooth speakers.