Recently we wrote in an article about ‘WiSA’. In this article we were talking about speakers that are equipped with this technology. In that article we mainly talked about the combination between speakers and WiSA. Because there is a lot of uncertainty about the operation, we have decided to dedicate another article to this. In this article we dive deeper into the different situations you may encounter at home and which equipment you all need for a WiSA Ready setup.
WHAT IS WISA AGAIN?
WiSA is a wireless technology that was already announced at the CES fair in 2013. After it has remained relatively quiet for a long time, this technology has become increasingly popular in recent years. More than 60 companies are now affiliated with the WiSA Association. The goal of these companies, according to the WiSA website, is to “work together to define and implement global standards for high-definition, multi-channel, low-latency audio for TV, movies, gaming and music.
REPLACEMENT OF BLUETOOTH OR WIFI?
The operation is comparable to other wireless technologies such as Bluetooth or WiFi. The big difference, however, lies in the output. The transmitter can be a preamp, game console or other source. However, the receiver is always a loudspeaker. This technology is only intended for audio.
Where there is a Bluetooth or WiFi connection between two devices, it is possible with WiSA to connect up to eight powered speakers within the same room. This is done with a high degree of reliability, using 24-bit 48kHz or 96kHz signals, and supported up to eight channels. In theory, this WiSA systems will offer 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, but at the moment it is limited to 5.1 or 7.1 Dolby Digital. Another advantage of WiSA is that speakers can be placed anywhere, as long as they have access to a socket. This means it is no longer necessary to lay speaker cables between the different speakers.
WHY SHOULD I WANT WISA?
The big advantage for you as a consumer is that you no longer have to think about installing or laying audio cables. For example, have you always wanted to have a 5.1 or 7.1 setup, but do these cables prevent you from doing this? In this case, WiSA is perfect for you. Another big advantage is that WiSA works with powered speakers. We recently explained the differences between powered and passive speakers. In short: with powered speakers, the amplifier is built into the speaker. This has been chosen by the manufacturer and therefore matches perfectly with your speakers.
Despite the many similarities with wireless multi-room speakers, it is not intended for this. WiSA is really intended as a standalone wireless audio technology and not to be part of other wireless audio ecosystems.
WHEN AM I WISA READY?
There are a few options for creating a WiSA Ready setup without too many drastic changes. To understand the differences between these options, it is good to know that to use WiSA you need software and a receiver. To clarify this, we have made the illustrations below.
Your TV is not WiSA Ready
In the first situation we assume a normal TV. Both the software and the receiver are missing. In this case you can connect a WiSA transmitter such as the Axiim Q UHD, which has both the software and the receiver built in.
Your TV is WiSA Ready
Do you already have a TV that is WiSA Ready? That is very nice, in this case you are almost there. However, two different types can be distinguished. Some of the latest TVs are already WiSA Ready. This means that the software is built-in, but that your TV cannot yet recognize speakers. To solve this you again need a WiSA transmitter. Because your TV is already WiSA Ready, in this case the cheaper WiSA transmitter will suffice. You simply plug it into one of the USB ports on your TV.
Your TV is WiSA Certified
The last possibility is that your TV is already WiSA Certified. In concrete terms, this means that in addition to the software, a receiver is also built in. In this case, you do not have to purchase additional devices and you can pair your speakers directly. Good to know is that all WiSA Certified powered speakers work together. It is therefore possible that you combine your Origin speakers with another brand.
DON’T I NEED AN A/V RECEIVER?
If you have a WiSA Ready TV with a transmitter or a WiSA Certified TV, this is in principle not necessary. These two WiSA sources are enough to send your audio wirelessly to your WiSA Certified speakers. However, this does not mean that adding an A / V receiver has no added value at all, on the contrary. The receivers also distinguish between WiSA Ready and Certified. There are many WiSA Ready receivers available on the market today. In this case you only need to add a transmitter.
- The biggest advantage of using a WiSA A / V receiver is the fact that you can often link more sources. Think of your Blue-Ray player, satellite box or game console.
- It is also possible to combine powered and passive speakers when using an A / V receiver. WiSA is limited to eight channels. Some surround setups, such as Dolby Atmos or DTS: X require more channels than this. This can also be useful if not all places in your listening room are easy to reach with your audio cables.
- When using a receiver you get more control over certain settings, such as adjustable crossover frequencies, scenes, effects, etc.
So WiSA can really be seen as a digital audio cable, it creates the connection between the different devices. But it is still these devices that determine what features and quality you have. In a traditional, wired home theater, the sound quality is determined by a combination of the source media, the playback device, the amplifier, EQ device (for example, an A / V receiver) and which speakers you have.
WiSA is made for powered speakers. As we wrote earlier, the amplifier is already built-in with these speakers. Theoretically, you could achieve better performance with this. However, this makes the choice for your speakers even more important: they determine both the sound quality and the overall loud skin. So you can not just replace the receiver or amplifier. This makes it important to think carefully about what wishes you have as a listener, and then carefully investigate which equipment matches this.