Introduction to Multi-Room Audio

Introduction to Multi-Room Audio

November 20, 2014 Introduction to Multi-Room Audio

They say silence is golden, but a home where you can hear a pin drop just doesn’t feel as homey.

Music is the color we live our lives by, whether it’s our kids jamming out in their rooms, soft instrumentals at a dinner party, or strummy tunes for your barbecue.

If you want the ability to enjoy your favorite music in any room of your home – and want it to sound good – multi-room audio is the solution you’re looking for. Multi-room audio (also known as multi-zone audio) is a system of speakers throughout the home that are all controlled and powered by a central system, and linked to multiple music sources.

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Discreet in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are placed throughout the home and connect to a hub of equipment that powers and controls the system. A wide variety of sources – from streaming services to internet radio to the MP3s on your devices and your physical albums and stereos can all be used as sources to supply music throughout your home. The “zones” come into play in that your home is divided into zones which can play different music independently, in combination, or as one whole house system. This allows the flexibility of individual family members to enjoy their favorite music, or the same music to be played throughout the home while entertaining.

What do you need to make multi-room audio a reality in your home?

New Construction

Unsurprisingly, the easiest time to add a multi-room audio system is during the construction process. Incorporating the necessary speakers, controls and other equipment requires wiring which is much easier to complete when the house is still an open frame.

Existing Structure

If you want to add multi-room audio to an existing structure, consult a professional integrator to see if it’s a possibility. A combination of in-wall, in-ceiling and traditional speakers – like bookshelf speakers – can be used to retrofit a system into a finished home.

Other Options

If retrofitting is not possible or not practical, there are options for wireless multi-room music systems that give you the same variety and control, but don’t need any in-wall wiring.

Integrators – Yes or No?

Speaking of integrators, do you need a professional’s help? If you want to add a hardwired multi-room system to your home, absolutely. An experienced integrator can not only recommend the equipment you’ll need but can do everything from running wire in your home to installing your equipment to programming your system. Just be sure you’re selecting an experienced and reputable integrator to do the work. You want what’s behind your walls to be safe.

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If a hardwired system isn’t possible or practical for you, like if you live in an existing structure or apartment building where running new wire isn’t possible, a wireless system would work best for you. In that case, you won’t need an integrator to set up your system. You’ll want to visit a knowledgeable home electronics retailer to select a wireless audio system (like SONOS) that will work for you. A system like this can then easily be connected by yourself in your home (although you can absolutely have your integrator do it for you).

Call or visit Suess Electronics if you have questions about multi-room audio.