The History Of The Wireless Speaker

April 14, 2015


Wireless speakers have been around for a number of years. Larry Schotz applied for a patent for a digital wireless speaker system as far back as 1994.

Wireless speaker technology is pretty simple. Simply put, a transmitter sends a radio frequency to a receiver that’s housed in a musical loudspeaker. The loudspeaker, which needs to be powered by an on board amplifier, then broadcasts the radio signal.

There were some difficulties that had to be overcome to make this concept work.  Radio frequencies can have trouble with signal errors caused by things like a low strength signal or blocked antennae. With wired speakers this is corrected by boosting the signal. The problem in a wireless signal is that the FCC limit’s the strength of the signal used in consumer electronics.

The way that the developers of wireless speakers overcame this was by using a digital signal.

The development of the wireless speaker roughly coincided with the development of Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth technology was created by the Ericsson company as a wireless alternative to data cables. Basically, Bluetooth transports data using radio signals. The difference between Bluetooth and other wireless devices that use radio waves is distance. Bluetooth broadcasts over a much smaller area than things like mobile phones and television broadcasts.

Bluetooth is a combination of hardware and software. The hardware end is that there’s a chip that contains the little radio station. The software factor is the software needed to connect to whichever device is being used.

With the burgeoning use of Bluetooth more and more items were developed to take advantage of it. One of those items was wireless speakers. Using Bluetooth with a wireless speaker is a match made in heaven. This combo yields, basically, a small radio station with a remote (within 300 ft or so) receiver.

As more smart devices were created it just made sense to make rugged waterproof versions of the wireless Bluetooth speaker. Why not take your music to the lake or on a camping trip? How about listening in the shower?

FresheTech launched their original Bluetooth shower speaker nearly three years ago with the Splash Shower Tunes. As is usually the case, cheaper knockoffs soon began to appear in the market that FresheTech had developed. With the introduction of the Splash Tunes Pro the mark has again been raised and the competition will again be racing to catch up with the industry leader.