Wired speakers can easily be converted to wireless speakers by making a few basic hardware additions to your audio setup. The best wireless speakers Make music streaming incredibly easy by having this feature already built-in. That’s why models like that Sonos One And Apple HomePod have become such popular speaker options – you simply connect them to your home network’s Wi-Fi network, download an app or two, and start streaming from the best music streaming services.
But what if you already have a pair of perfect speakers and want to keep using them? There are two scenarios here for adding streaming capabilities to speakers. The first requires you to connect an external wireless music streamer to an existing amplifier or receiver. Two of the cheaper options here are the Sonos Port ($449) and WiiM Pro ($149), both of which connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and connect to your amplifier via an analog stereo or coaxial or optical digital audio connection.
In the second case, the speakers are connected to an amplifier with an integrated streaming function. amplifiers such as Sonos amplifier and SVS Prime Wireless Pro SoundBase (both $699) connect to your home’s wireless network and allow you to wirelessly stream lossless quality music from a variety of services. They also provide outputs for connecting cables between the amplifier and your speakers.
Both scenarios can be easily tackled without much technical knowledge, and the upgrades you need to make aren’t necessarily that costly. We explain exactly what you need to buy and how to connect everything below.
Table of Contents
Steps to make wired speakers wireless
- Connect your amplifier with stereo phono, optical digital or coaxial digital cables (wireless streamer)
- Connect to your stereo speakers with speaker wires (streaming amplifier)
- Download the wireless streamer or streaming booster control app to your phone
- Follow the in-app instructions to connect the wireless streamer or streaming booster to yours Wi-Fi network
tools and requirements
- Wi-Fi network
- phone or tablet
- Analog Stereo RCA Cables (for wireless streamer)
- speaker cable (for streaming amplifiers)
Step-by-step guide to connecting a wireless streamer to an amplifier
1. Connect the cables between streamer and amplifier
To make an analog connection from the wireless streamer to an amplifier or receiver, use stereo RCA cables to connect the streamer’s RCA audio outputs to its RCA audio inputs. Be sure to follow the left and right connectors properly and also make sure the cables are fully inserted to ensure a proper connection.
To create a digital connection between the wireless streamer and the amplifier or receiver, use an optical or coaxial cable (white cable pictured above) to connect the two units.
3. Download and configure the controller app
After downloading the manufacturer’s control app (see instructions included with the product) to your phone or tablet, use the app’s Settings tab to select your home Wi-Fi network and enter your password.
Once the app has confirmed a network connection, configure available music service choices by entering your credentials for each. Many streamers also support AirPlay and/or Chromecast, giving you another streaming option with these protocols, allowing you to play music directly from a service’s app.
4. Play music
You are done. play away!
Step-by-step guide to connecting a streaming amplifier to speakers
1. Connect the amplifier to the speakers
Connect the streaming amplifier to your stereo speakers using speaker cables. Be sure to match the positive and negative terminals to ensure correct polarity, otherwise sound quality will suffer.
2. Download and configure the control app
Follow the instructions in Step 2 above to connect the amplifier to your Wi-Fi network and configure music apps.
3. Play music
You are done. play away!
We’ve tried to keep this guide general, but you may find that different wireless streamers and streaming boosters have different setup steps for connecting to your home Wi-Fi network. This can be the trickiest part of the installation process and in some cases it may require temporarily placing the streamer near your wireless router (I see you DTS Play-Fi) for the initial setup.
In addition to streaming over Wi-Fi, many streamers and streaming amps also allow you to use Bluetooth, which can be a handy if low-quality option for fast streaming without having to use a control app. You can also often stream music files stored on your phone or from a networked computer using protocols such as DLNA and SMB.
When using a wireless streamer like WiiM Pro that offers both digital and analogue connections, you’ll need to use your ears to determine which connection offers the best sound quality – a factor that depends on which device has the better digital to analog converter (DAC), the streamer or your amplifier. Also note that an optical digital audio connection has limited bandwidth compared to a coaxial connection, making a coaxial connection a better choice for high-resolution audio streaming from services like Tidal and Amazon Music Unlimited.