Whether it’s setting up for a club gig or setting up your home DJ system, we’ve all had those moments when we’re about to lose it if we have to deal with another stupid audio cable. These days, with consumer audio moving towards cable-free systems (or at least the iPhone 7 trying to get us all there), it’s tempting for many DJs to consider transforming their own rig into a fully wireless DJ system. But just because Apple is going in one direction, does that mean we all have to follow them? Here are the main arguments for and against setting up a wireless DJ system.
The Arguments for Going Wireless
Arguments in favor of a wireless DJ system have a lot to do with simplicity and portability. Without cables, your setup time is quicker, and you can bring your DJ rig with you anywhere you go without worrying about having to plug everything in. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with all of the different types of cables and adaptors that can be a headache to manage. With the advances made in wireless audio technology lately, you can find everything from wireless DJ controllers to wireless speakers and headphones, which means you could go 100% wireless without too much trouble. This also presents the advantage of freeing you up from behind your decks so you can move around the stage or even venture out into the audience. It also means that there are no cables for people to trip on, unplug, or otherwise meddle with.
The other advantage of running a wireless DJ system is that there are fewer opportunities for sound degradation. With audio cables, every cable and connection point presents the possibility of a reduction in sound quality, but with a wireless DJ system, there’s no chance that your audio quality will suffer due to bad cables or poor connections.
The Arguments Against Going Wireless
Despite the significant advances in wireless audio technology in recent years, opponents of the wireless DJ setup argue that the technology that exists today simply isn’t good enough for DJs to rely on yet. While wireless audio equipment may be convenient for home listeners, DJs need the security that only comes from a wired system.
The biggest issue with the current wireless audio technology is latency. For the average consumer, latency on a set of wireless headphones, for example, isn’t a big issue. But when you depend on your headphones to be perfectly synced up with what’s coming out of the speakers so you can accurately mix tracks, latency can cause major problems in your performance.
The other major issue with wireless audio technology is signal interruption. Again, while this is a minor quirk that doesn’t have a major effect on the average listener, any signal interruption during a DJ set is simply unacceptable.
Finally, wireless technology is not always as easy to deal with as it should be. As long as everything is working smoothly, the wireless option seems perfectly straightforward, but when there’s a problem, there isn’t always an obvious solution. Compared to diagnosing wireless connectivity issues, swapping out an old cable for a new one seems much easier to manage.
So which option is best for you? That all depends on your style as a DJ and your relationship to technology. Are you willing to take risks so you can remain in the cutting edge of technological innovation? Then you’re the perfect candidate for a wireless DJ system. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to play it safe and wait until the technology is on par with your demands, then you’d be better off staying away from the wireless gear for now and focusing on buying high-quality cabling instead.