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Overview: The Audioengine W3 is a 16-bit wireless system
that is designed to connect your audio components wirelessly. The W3 handles USB
audio, up to 16 bits/48KHz with no compression, as well as analog audio via a
3.5mm minijack. The W3 kit includes a Sender (transmitter) & Receiver; the
system is designed to deliver an audio signal wirelessly between two components.
This system will work in many different applications, including (but not limited
to) a computer sending audio to powered speakers, a computer sending audio to a
stereo or A/V receiver, an iPod or other portable player sending audio to the
Audioengine 5+ powered speakers (the A5 is specifically mentioned here
because it has a USB port to power the W3 Receiver), and an A/V receiver sending
audio to powered surround or second zone speakers.
Note: The newer chip-sets used in the W3 are not backwards
compatible with the earlier Audioengine W1 or W2 wireless systems.
Two Part System: The W3 consists of 2 parts, the Sender & Receiver.
The Sender transmits audio from your computer through USB audio or from any
product with a 3.5mm minijack or RCA audio output. The other end of the W3, the
Receiver, delivers audio to any product with minijack or RCA audio connectors.
- Sender: The W3 Sender is powered through its USB plug;
one USB AC power adapter is included with the system to power either the
Sender or Receiver. If not powered by the included adapter, the Sender can
be powered by a computer, iPod power supply, or numerous other USB power
supplies currently available. The audio input is a 3.5mm stereo minijack.
When used with a computer, the Sender acts as a sound card and receives its
audio input through the USB port, so no connection to the minijack is
- Receiver: The W3 Receiver is powered through its USB
plug; one USB AC power adapter is included with the system to power either
the Sender or Receiver. If not powered by the included adapter, the Receiver
can be powered by Audioengine A5 powered speakers, an iPod power supply, or
numerous other USB power supplies currently available. The audio output is a
3.5mm stereo minijack; no audio signal is transferred through the USB
Note: The W3 is natively compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8
and Mac OSX. There are no drivers or software to install
Pairing: The Sender & Receiver in the W3 kit are linked
together at the factory, so no pairing is necessary. If you have several W3
systems, multiple Receivers can be paired with each Sender, and vice versa, but
each can only communicate with one of the other at a time. The W3 can transmit
to up to 3 receivers (772W3R,
sold separately) simultaneously.
Proprietary Wireless Transmission: The W3 wireless kit
transmits uncompressed PCM audio (15Hz-22KHz; +/- 1.5db) in the 2.4 GHz range
(2.4-2.4835GHz) using a proprietary WiFi 802.11 protocol specifically designed
for audio (up to 100'). The system avoids interference by constantly monitoring
the entire 2.4 GHz spectrum and choosing the channel that can achieve the
cleanest transmission. The system detects deteriorating conditions on the
current channel and switches if needed in under 20 ms, without any interruption
in the audio stream. The W3 also employs dynamic transmit power control, meaning
it transmits with only as much power as required to maintain a clear audio
connection. This makes W3 coexist better with other 2.4 GHz devices, including
WLAN, Bluetooth, and other Audioengine wireless devices. The W3 incorporates a
real-time streaming transmission technology designed specifically for music. It
includes six quality protection innovations to achieve a robust wireless audio
- Error-tolerant coding that incorporates forward error correction (FEC)
coding. FEC ensures that lost bits can be completely reconstructed for
common interferers and sources of bit errors. The coding is optimized for
lossless performance against common and known interferers. FEC also enables
error detection so the system knows when and where data is corrupted. It is
analogous to techniques employed on Redbook CDs where the laser head incurs
bit-errors as a result of imperfections in the pickup of data from the
- For larger interferers, W3 employs sample interleaving and sample error
concealment (SEC). This allows W3 to compensate gradually during periods of
increasing signal degradation, thus minimizing audible discontinuities. When
encountering interference bursts (up to 6ms in duration) SEC can recover
every alternate sample, after which the hardware DSP performs linear
interpolation to recover lost samples.
- Packet error concealment (PEC) ensures there are no jump discontinuities
in the audio stream during periods of severe interference, giving the system
time to find a clean channel.
- W3 employs intelligent, Dynamic Frequency Selection. The system avoids
interference by constantly monitoring the entire 2.4 GHz spectrum, choosing
the channel that can achieve the cleanest transmission. As conditions on a
currently occupied channel deteriorate, the system detects this, and
switches channels (in under 20 ms) without any interruption in the audio
- W3 employs dynamic transmit power control. This means that W3 is
transmitting with only as much power as required to successfully maintain a
clear audio connection. This makes W3 coexist better with other 2.4 GHz
devices, including WLAN, BT, and other Audioengine wireless devices.
- W3 combats RF fading, or multi-path-induced signal-strength
fluctuations, by natively supporting antenna diversity. Support for dual
antennas allows the system to "navigate" around zones of decreased signal
strength by creating four possible antenna-to-antenna paths for the system
to choose from on a continual basis. The end-result is an overall
improvement in audio signal robustness due to an improved link margin.
Power Requirements: Power for the Sender & Receiver is provided from
either a USB computer port, from the included AC power adapter, or from any
other USB charger (such as an iPod charger). Another power source is the
Audioengine 5+ powered speakers (sold separately), which are equipped with a USB
power port on the rear panel.