adventures in electronics, infosec and life

Kenwood RFU6100 Wireless System for Surround Speakers

I had really high hopes for the Kenwood RFU6100. It was the only wireless surround unit that would allow you to use your existing speakers and since I have a nice matched set of Cambridge Soundworks speakers, that was really attractive to me.

Setup was a breeze. Connect the transmitter to the left and right surround outputs on the amp, connect the receiver to the surround speakers and provide power to both boxes. How complicated can it be?

Then came the testing and all the disappointment. I tested this device with DVDs and Playstation2 gaming as the source audio. In both circumstances, I had crackle and pop coming from the speakers every couple of minutes. Not constant, but rather an occasional bizzt or pop from the speakers. I tried moving the units such that they had a direct line of sight to each other separated by only ten feet of air in the middle of the living room, yet still I had the annoying noises.

In the end, I decided to return the unit and just hard wire my surround speakers. I’ll end up snaking wires through the walls, which will be a hassle, but it’s better than having my surround speakers sound like a bowl of rice crispies.