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When it comes to home theatre systems, sometimes wired is wiser

Having real surround sound without needing to route long wires or mount anything in the wall is an increasingly realistic dream thanks to wireless rear speakers, but like all cord-free technology it’s not perfect. Depending on where you live, you might need to be prepared for a wired plan B.

My inner-city apartment complex has more residents than the small town I grew up in, and for the most part it’s wonderful. There’s no mowing, washing the outside of the windows is someone else’s problem, and the walk to the nearest form of public transport is a lot shorter than an hour (and involves fewer mountains).

The Bose Lifestyle 650 is a $7000 system that looks and sounds great, with wired or wireless options.

The Bose Lifestyle 650 is a $7000 system that looks and sounds great, with wired or wireless options.

If you can get past the lack of storage and outdoor space, the only consistent problem with living in an apartment building is that other people also live and own wireless devices here, and there are only so many wireless devices that can coexist peacefully at a time before you start running into issues. It’s something you probably notice when you wear Bluetooth headphones in a busy train station.

Your headphones, as well as standard Wi-Fi and most proprietary radios in things like gaming headsets, run on 2.4GHz wireless bands which provide good range and are handy for getting through the odd wall, but there’s fewer channels available and more devices using them so there’s more interference. Meanwhile 5GHz (in phones, newer wireless routers, most recent computers) is great because there are more channels and less interference, but it doesn’t travel as far and isn’t fond of walls.

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