Home Theater Review

 

JBL WEM-1 Wireless Expansion Module

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HTR Product Rating

Performance
3 Stars
Value
3 Stars
Overall
3 Stars

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High Points
• The JBL WEM-1 eliminates the need to run speaker wires from the main audio system to the surround speakers.
• The system's compact components are easy to place and install.
• The WEM-1 comes with a Y-adapter for use with an iPod or computer, a number of 120- and 230-volt power adapters, a wall-mount bracket for the transmitter, a stand for vertically mounting the receiver/amplifier, and other accessories.
• Though small, the built-in amplifier is surprisingly powerful.

Low Points
• The WEM-1 isn't completely wireless or connection-free - you still have to connect the transmitter and receiver/amplifier to AC outlets and connect them to a signal source and speakers.
• The stated 70-foot transmission range might be less, depending on the construction of the walls, floors and ceilings in the home.
• The sound quality is good, but not audiophile-amplifier good.

Conclusion
The JBL WEM-1 Wireless Expansion Module is a clever product that eliminates the need to run wires between an A/V receiver and surround speakers in a home entertainment system. For many people, it's simply not possible, or a major pain in the neck, to run wires through walls or ceilings or under the floor, and the WEM-1 solves this problem while enabling users to enjoy whatever surround speakers they choose. Be aware that you still need to make a number of connections to the transmitter and receiver/amplifier. The compact 50-watt-per-channel amplifier is surprisingly powerful and clean, although it's not going to give owners of Krell, Mark Levinson, Pass Labs amplifiers, et al, any buyer's remorse.

Additional Resources
• See a host of subwoofers that you can use the JBL WEM-1 on from Revel, JBL and others.
• Learn about JBL's rich brand history here.

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