How to Set Up Your Home Theater with a Wireless Audio Transmitter
The modern home theater doesn’t need (m)any stinkin’ wires. Image: California Casual Home Theater by PascalSijen via Flickr

A home theater that’s as free as possible from the clutter of cables sticking out from behind every table, chair, entertainment center, and random piece of furniture is a happy home theater. No wires, no mess, and no fuss. Seems like a noble goal, no?

A popular solution to this problem is to set up a home theater with a wireless audio transmitter, such as the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Wireless Audio Transmitter and Receiver Bundle.

Home Theater Made Simple

Creative Labs has been doing the home theater thing for a while, and this is a pretty simple, intuitive, and inexpensive setup — ideal if this is the first time you’ve ever used a wireless audio transmitter. Don’t be intimidated — this is intended to be easy for the first timer without relying on a more expensive option, such as paying a professional installer to come to your house and tweak your home theater for maximum results (and cost).

The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Wireless Audio Transmitter and Receiver Bundle comes with a USB transmitter, a wireless receiver, and a remote control (designed to work with other Creative Labs equipment, as well), and is compatible with various components common to most home theater setups, including your desktop or portable computer.

Wireless Audio Transmitter

The transmitter — fairly unobtrusive at half an inch high by about an inch and a half wide — is designed to plug right into any USB port. It contains an adjustable mini-antenna, a headphone jack, a 3.5 mm microphone or line-in jack, a connect button, and two LED lights to indicate wireless signal connection and power.

Wireless Audio Receiver

The little receiver is only around three inches wide by four inches long and about an inch tall. It has forward, back, play, pause, power, and standby buttons on the top, and the back of the unit contains a 3.5 mm line-out jack, a stereo RCA output, the DC input, and the corresponding connect button.

Remember how we were talking about no fuss? This is about as fussless as it gets! Here’s a real-life example of how a college student uses this wireless audio transmitter and receiver in his own home theater — well, more like dorm theater — setup.

As you can see, having no wires between the media hub — in this case, a laptop — and the speakers allows for the few necessary cords (between the speakers themselves and the wireless audio receiver) to be stowed out of sight and out of mind.

How to Set Up Your Home Theater with a Wireless Audio Transmitter

In his review at Amazon, Steffan Piper sums up his experience in this step-by-step, which he approximates took about 10 minutes.

  1. Unpacked the box and did away with all the plastic detritus.
  2. Installed and registered the software on my laptop.
  3. Plugged in the transmitter to a USB port in the back.
  4. Rebooted my laptop, turned on iTunes, and played a U2 album.
  5. Plugged in the receiver (using a nicer set of cables) to my Sony stereo receiver on aux 3. Was tempted to go optical.
  6. Hit the find button on the underside of the little device and walked away.
  7. 15 seconds later — music played.
  8. Stuck the batteries in the remote and turned it up.

He goes on to say that “It was that simple, with absolutely no stumbling blocks to speak of.”

Have you ever used the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Wireless Audio Transmitter and Receiver Bundle, or is there another setup that you’d recommend for someone setting up their home theater for the first time? Please feel free to leave a comment and share with the rest of us!