Is there anything worse than having to string speaker wires throughout the classroom so that you can put speakers where the kids can best hear them? Eos Wireless has a new approach to wiring a classroom or small auditorium that puts the sound where it belongs without a wire in sight.
By replacing speaker cables with a 2.4GHz wireless digital spread spectrum data link, the Eos Wireless Gigawave speaker system doesn’t use wires or cables but is not hard to set up. The base speaker plugs into a computer or other audio source, and communicates with up to four satellite speakers for the easiest surround sound system anywhere. Each of the speakers is attractive with a black and silver design that should fit into any classroom, but they each require an AC outlet to operate.
It’s the simplest audio system to set up in the computer world. All you do is plug the base speaker into a source and plug it into an outlet. Alternatively, the base has an iPod dock so that it’s perfect for playing lesson podcasts or music for a party. All told, a classroom should take no more than 10 minutes to fill with wireless audio.
As you add remote speakers, the blue LED on their antennas start to glow, indicating that a connection has been made. Each speaker has an individual volume control and there was no interference with WiFi or Bluetooth gear or cordless phones, all of which use the same frequencies.
Eos says that the system’s range is 150 feet, but I was only able to get a 100 foot range. When I turned on the system’s Range Ex range extender, it increased a little but also added in annoying echoes if the speakers are too close together. Still, it should be more than enough for most classrooms and even small auditoriums and cafeterias.
There’s no static, the sound is absolutely clear and there’s SRS WOW audio enhancement that can make the speakers sound richer although the output favors high tones and needs stronger mid-range. The speakers did emit sporadic pops and clicks.
The best part is that the speakers are light and can be moved from classroom to classroom as needed. Eos sells the set of five speakers for about $650, which is beyond the means of most districts for outfitting classrooms. But, if you shop around you’ll find them at a variety of online stores for as little as about $400. They’re still not cheap, but a good investment to make sure that every kid hears the lesson.
Eos Wireless GigaWave
+ Good, clear audio
+ No speaker wires
+ Great range for classroom
+ iPod dock
- Extended range can result in echoes
-Clicks and pops