Sometimes people flinch at the idea of “going wireless” with audio because they are afraid that the sound quality will suffer. Amphony took those worries to heart and their product will put any sound connoisseur’s mind at ease.

How to Achieve Wireless Surround Sound Using Amphony’s New 5.8 GHz Transmitter/Amplifier

Annie Abrams | Amphony

How to Achieve Wireless Surround Sound
Using Amphony's New 5.8 GHz Transmitter/Amplifier

By Annie Abrams, Senior Writer
Abrams Creative Services

Copyright 2007

Sometimes people flinch at the idea of "going wireless" with audio because they are afraid that the sound quality will suffer. Amphony took those worries to heart and their product will put any sound connoisseur's mind at ease.


You can now have Surround Sound delivered to your entertainment room's side and rear stereo speakers -- without wires -- and most importantly, without any loss of signal or audio quality.

With the new Amphony Digital Wireless 5.8 GHz Amplifier/ Transmitters there's no more pulling up the rug or trying to get speaker wires to look attractive snaked along your floor or baseboard.

Better yet, you can re-purpose all those unused stereo speakers you have stored in your closet or garage to now deliver wireless CD-quality sound up to 100 feet away to the rear or side of your den or living room.

In a nutshell, the Amphony Digital Wireless Amplifier/ Transmitter provides stellar sound production, eliminates unnecessary wires, uses stereo speakers you already own, all at an affordable price.

Let's say you've just installed a 62" HD LCD projection screen and matching entertainment center with all the newest home toys. No doubt your friends are impressed. Your family probably thinks you're pretty cool too. But before you make the popcorn and watch the planet being blown apart in HD, you should check out Amphony's latest addition to the world of stereo sound systems: the 5.8 GHz Wireless Amplifier/ Transmitter.

In Germany, Amphony is a successful startup company that specializes in high quality audio transmission technologies. Their website is www.amphony.com.

It's important to note that the primary application of this product is for rear speakers. The transmitter signal would typically originate from either the surround receiver itself or a surround amplifier (or possibly a TV with integrated amplifier). As long as you are able to connect rear speakers, you will always have an analog signal to connect to the transmitter and thus be able to use this product.

Basically, their product connects your transmitter and your speakers wirelessly, while creating a killer sound, with different models available to suit any desired sound environment.

 

We're going to focus on Amphony Models 1520 and 1550. (A Model 1500 will be coming out soon, but we'll touch on it briefly.) The basic set-up of Models 1520 and 1550 are similar. The transmitter connects to your analog sound source either by RCA jacks or you can use the speaker cable that is supplied by Amphony. (Important: Amphony does not transmit digital sound signals to rear speakers.)


Amphony Model 1520 Wireless Transmitter set-up using RCA plugs.

Amphony Model 1520 Wireless Transmitter set-up using speaker wires

In the rear of your room, the small Amphony amplifiers connect directly to the back of your speakers through their normal wire connections. You can use any regular passive speakers, like those Advent or Bose speakers you knew would come in handy some day. (You were right.)


Speaker setup using Amphony Model 1520 amplifier.

Speaker setup of left speaker using Amphony Model 1550 amplifier.

There aren't any wires stretched across the room, no need to try and hide wires, and most importantly, there are no compromises on sound quality.

(Be aware that on some of the new plasma and LCD screens, if you use an HDMI connection from your HD-compatible cable TV box to send video and audio signals to your flat screen, the two audio OUT connectors normally found on the back of the screen, (that normally send out stereo analog sound to external speakers), are often made not operable since the sound signals being used by the screen are now in digital form. It means that in this specific type of application, you may not be able to use the Amphony technology since it depends on the availability of analog sound signals to function.)

Sometimes people flinch at the idea of "going wireless" with audio because they are afraid that the sound quality will suffer. Amphony took those worries to heart and their product will put any sound connoisseur's mind at ease.

So, why is the sound so great?

First, Amphony's transmitter (in Models 1520 and 1550) operates at 5.8 GHz, which means you won't get any interference from the many home devices (including the microwave) that use the crowded 2.4 GHz frequency band. So you can pop your microwave popcorn without hearing any pops in your sound.

Second, there's no audio compression. The audio for 1520 and 1550 is transmitted at full digital quality without any degradation. There's only 0.05 % harmonic distortion in Model 1520, and only 0.02% in Model 1550.

Third, the amplifiers themselves are tricked out. Both models contain a stereo class-T digital amplifier that is extremely power-efficient, yet yields the audio performance of high-end linear amplifiers. Therefore the amplifiers produce less heat, and Amphony can keep the amps small, only 5 x 3.5 x 2 inches. And even though the amplifiers are small, they have a great operating range.

For Model 1520, the amplifiers can be a maximum of 100 feet away from the transmitter (in line of sight) and a maximum of 30 feet away through walls.

Model 1550 can be a maximum of 200 feet away from the transmitter (line of sight) and a maximum of 50 feet through walls. Multiple amplifiers can operate from the same transmitter, so you can put receivers in multiple rooms.

Model 1550 works best for multi-room purposes for a couple of reasons. The Model 1550 has a higher peak output power than Model 1520. Also, the set-up for Model 1550 favors multiple rooms and larger spaces.

The Model 1520 comes with one transmitter and one amplifier. If you have two speakers in the room, you'll connect one amplifier to both speakers. Both speakers share the one amplifier's input.

The Model 1550 gives you some more firepower. It comes with one transmitter and two amplifiers, which also give out a pure mono signal for each side of the stereo experience. You place one amplifier on each speaker. There is no need for a wire between the two speakers.

(With the soon-to-be-released Model 1500, the model will allow you to use "active speakers", those that already include an amplifier.)

The new production model 1520 has the following specs:

  • Signal to noise ratio: typ. 91 dB (transmitter / amplifier, A-weighted)
  • Dynamic range: typ. 91 dB
  • Error correction: 1/2 rate FEC
  • Audio sampling: 128 x oversampling
  • Audio inputs: Line-level, speaker
  • Data rate: >3 Mbps

The Model 1550's specs are:

  • Signal to noise ratio: typ. 93 dB
  • Dynamic range: typ. 93 dB
  • Error correction: 1/2 rate FEC
  • Audio sampling: 64 x oversampling
  • Audio inputs: Line-level, speaker
  • Data rate: >3 Mbps

Here are the two most important features shared between Models 1520 and 1550. First, there is no need for a cable connecting your flat screen or sound source to your speakers. Second, Amphony's wireless technology produces a crystal-clear sound.

And the great part is, you won't have to shell out too much dough. On Amphony's online store, you can get the Model 1520, which includes one transmitter and one amplifier, for $99. Each extra 1520 amplifier you buy for your set-up will cost $59 each. For Model 1550, you can expect to pay $199. An extra set of 1550 amps (left and right) will cost you $149.

You get free shipping and handling within the continental US. You can return a product within 10 days of your purchase minus a $20 re-stocking fee. If you go to www.amphony.com you can read about their warranty policies and tech support services.

If you don't want to use Amphony's online store, the website lists a few mail order retailers such as Etronics, RF Wireless Electronics, and ThinkGeek. If you want to hold the product in your hand before you buy it (especially if you're purchasing the product as a holiday gift,) enter a zip code, town or state in Amphony's retailer search engine, and you'll find the stores closest to you.

Abrams Creative Services provides national marketing, PR and sales consulting to manufacturers and retailers of consumer products, personal electronics, interactive games, computers, software and accessories. Contact: www.abrams-creative.com; phone: 818-343-6365.


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