If possible, a wired connection directly to your speakers is always the preferred and the better sounding option, but there are situations when wireless (network) audio systems are the only viable way to get sound distributed in your home.
At Wired 1 we are experts in getting wires through floors and walls but sometimes we just can’t find a way so we reluctantly use wireless systems.
There are many drawbacks to wireless systems however. Most of them rely on digital storage of media. Although it is possible to store your audio media in an uncompressed format (flac, monkey audio, lossless aac etc.) most of the audio is out there in MP3 or AAC format. These are lossy compression codecs that sound OK, unless, you compare them to the original piece of music! They also rely on the integrity of your wireless computer network. In most houses there are multiple devices (cordless phones, cellular, baby monitors etc..) that compete or interfere with the wireless network. The technology for wireless data transmission is far from developed and in the next couple of years you are going to see the speed of the home wireless network increase exponentially. Most of these available wireless audio systems use wireless N transmission, with no way to update to the next wireless transmission standard without physically replacing all of the existing hardware.
You also need a BOX in every room that has to be plugged into the wall. The amplifiers and speakers that are built into these boxes are portable audio quality – definitely not anywhere approaching audiophile quality.
With a wired audio distribution system you can use esoteric audio components that are centrally located, no boxes in the room, if you wish the speaker systems can be either inserted flush in walls or in ceilings the options are endless – nothing to collect dust, no wires to trip over, nothing for the kids to knock over, dog to chew or cat to claw! But MOST importantly they sound BETTER and can be updated simply by changing your source device.
I can foresee a day when wireless audio & video will be fast enough and reliable enough to become a serious competitor to a wired system but that time is not soon coming! I will let you know when that day arrives!