Blog - 02-20

Planning Your Whole Home Audio System

February 27, 2020 Audio

So, you want to create a whole-home music system? It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but with a thorough plan, a concept can quickly become reality! We’ve broken it down into a few simple steps that guide you through the process, so you’ll be singing your favorite songs throughout your home in no time.
We suggest using a checklist to determine your wants, your home’s needs, and the tools to get you one step closer to your multi-room audio system.

How Many Rooms in the System?

First things first, you need to decide how many zones you want in your audio system. Bedrooms, media rooms, and maybe the kitchen too? Determining your zone number builds an idea of the total scope of installation, from equipment to costs.

  • If you decide you want music in five rooms, you’ll need five sets of speakers, but this doesn’t mean they’re all the same kind and brand.
  • Different factors, such as sound quality, room acoustics, and decor will determine the variety of speakers you’ll need to complement the space.

Take note of your current connections. Most AV receivers are already equipped with multi-space assets that control extra speakers and sources What AV receivers do you already have, and how many rooms can they control? You may already own what you need, but if your current receiver doesn’t have enough connections, it’s easy to find an affordable speaker selector to fix the issue.

  • Make sure the receiver’s connections to each speaker are strong and safe, otherwise you’ll need to upgrade.
  • It can be easy to run away with your fantasies of far-reaching connections, so create a strict budget that enables you to stay within your means while maintaining quality.

How Many Sources?

Your next priority is selecting how many audio sources are necessary. Do you prefer broadcasting the same song throughout the entire house, or have the ability to stream separate albums in different zones? While many receivers can reach through multiple rooms, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can handle more than a single source at once. Know your receiver’s limits and make plans to either adapt to your receiver or make a new purchase to fit your ideals.
Next, it’s important to consider the number of people in your home and their media habits. Perhaps your partner wants to watch a TV show while your child wants to listen to a new music album. By owning a multi-source system, you can sidestep any family tensions over audio control.

It’s your decision to choose the number of sources in your home. Remember all your devices, such as:

  • Streaming media devices
  • Streaming music services
  • Satellite radio
  • Blu-ray/DVD player
  • Cable TV
  • Turntable/CD player
  • AM/FM tuner

Don’t forget to consider the limits of both your home and budget. More sources mean more money and steps to complete your setup.

A Wireless or Wired System? Or Both?

Wireless multi-room music systems are becoming increasingly popular, forcing brands to up their sound control and quality. Wireless equipment grants you flexibility in finding the best spot for your speakers, whether you’re rearranging the room or squeezing it into the perfect nook. Furthermore, you’ll no longer have to worry about tripping over bothersome wires.

A variety of wireless speakers are already at your fingertips, and new models are coming out all the time. Here are some important things to note:

  • Look beyond Sonos for wireless brand options.
  • The kind of wireless audio technology you want and the layout of your home will help determine which speakers are compatible.

However, if you don’t plan to renovate your home in the near future, a wired system is preferable for you. Nothing beats the consistency and quality of wired equipment. Wireless audio is more likely to run into technical limitations than an ever-dependable wired system.

But don’t think a wired system means that cumbersome wires connect your speakers to the receiver. Wireless IR trigger kits simultaneously integrate and control multiple components, while modern universal remotes can fully operate any IR-enabled device. Currently, the most popular devices are Amazon Alexa and Google Home, which control your audio sources through voice command.

Bookshelf, Outdoor, Hidden Speakers?

Next, it’s important to consider how the speaker will impact interior design. We doubt you really want to see a massive monolith adjacent to your television. Consider size, shade, style, and location of each of your speakers. Here are a few options:

  • Do you want your speakers to be nearly invisible? Then in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are the perfect solution. When their color matches the rest of your room’s decor, they basically disappear. The downside is that it takes extra time and effort to install this kind of speaker, so before you begin running wires through the walls, make a final decision about your speaker’s placement.
  • A simple bookshelf or floor speaker is simple to move or replace whenever you’d like. However, their bulk can take up quite a bit of space, so you’ll determine how long the wire needs to be to reach their location.
  • Don’t skimp on sound quality! We suggest investing in a subwoofer for bass reproduction to create the strongest all-around sound.

Here at Ron Snell Audio Video, we can help you understand the specifics of your new multi-room audio system. Give us a call today to review your requirements and obtain a quote on a new audio system. And when you’re ready to put your plan into action, consider partnering with us to ensure a professional installation.