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The technophobe’s guide to wireless home theater gadgets

CenturyLink logoIt’s 2012. Wires should be obsolete by now. If you still have cords running across your living room connecting the television to your speakers and media players, it’s time to consider some of these tools to turn your home theater system wireless. We’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to make them all work for your living room.

Wi-Fi Speakers

Most smartphones and MP3 players will come equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Apple Airplay connectivity, so help yourself to a slew of speaker systems that require no cables to hook your gadgets together.

Our picks in the $100-range include the SonyHomeShare NASSV20i which can either stream music via Airplay or dock your iOS device to simultaneously play and charge. The sleek, Wi-Fi capable device can also stream music from Internet radio stations like Pandora and Slacker. If you own any other Sony gadgets, such as its Blu-Ray player or home theater system, the SonyHomeShare will stream music wirelessly to those devices as well.

If you want a color LCD screen with that speaker set, consider the Pioneer X-SMC4-K. It’s also complete with Wi-Fi capabilities, and an Air Jam app so up to four Apple devices can link up and create a group playlist. The Philips AD7000W Fidelio SoundAvia is also a fine choice for those who want portability with their wireless stereo.

klipsch-gallery-g-17-airplay-speaker-front-right-angleGot a bigger budget to work with? Look into the Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air which boasts striking design and four drivers to deliver quality sound with sleek aesthetics. For more details, check out our review of the system, where A/V editor Caleb Denison gave the Gallery G-17 a whole 9/10 for amazing audio in a compact size.

For something a little funkier, check out the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air. It’s got two tweeters, two mid-range drivers, and an “internal subwoofer” that offer crisp sound most audiophiles won’t argue against. If you like a little more personality with your gadgets, you may enjoy the Libratone Live which comes encased in various shades of luxurious cashmere wool.

Smart Projectors

Got a blank space on your wall fit for a projector? Long gone are the days of pixelated, low quality videos. Smart projectors, such as the Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD Projector or the Cinemin Slice, both have an iOS dock so you can play movies, stream content from the Netflix or Hulu apps, and watch YouTube clips straight from your mobile device in high definition.

3m streaming projector roku stick hdmi battery operated

If you don’t want to rely on a smartphone for the apps, other smart projectors with apps built-in include the LG HW350T which has all the apps you’d find in an LG Smart TV. Alternatively, the 3M Streaming Projector with Roku has the full capacity of a Roku Streaming Player, so you can access the Amazon Instant Video app and more straight from the projector – no Airplay required. These tiny projectors pack a ton of power for its size, making it perfect to for travel or for kids who aren’t ready for their own television set just yet.

Making the most of these gadgets

The best part of these wireless home theater gadgets is the ability to use them all together. Combine the Epson MegaPlax projector with one of the Airplay speakers to get enhanced sound and beautiful picture straight from your iOS gadget. It’s a budgeted way to get a wireless home theater system without setting up your living room from scratch.

Another way to utilize Apple Airplay is via the Apple TV: Stream your content from your iOS device to the Apple TV so you can get wireless control using your current home theater system. It won’t cut your pre-existing cables and cords, but an easy solution to making life a little less wired.

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