A multi-room audio system fosters a lifestyle enriched
by music. Such systems vary considerably in flexibility,
complexity, and sonic performance. The system that a
neighbor or friend loves might not be well suited for
your needs. Together we can carefully consider your home,
your lifestyle, your performance requirements and any the
needs of any family members. Then we can design a system
specifically for you.
Please consider the following questions; your answers
will help us design a system optimized for you:
- In which rooms would you like music? And in which
- Consider adding music to any room in
which you spend a lot of time. Examples:
the family room, study, master bedroom,
master bath, kitchen, informal eating
areas, athletic exercise areas,
workshops, and artist studios.
- Consider adding music to your outside
spaces such as decks, patios, gardens and
pools. We have even supplied music
underwater in several outdoor pools!
- Consider adding music to children's
rooms, guest rooms, and public spaces
such as foyers, formal dining rooms, and
- Consider adding
video to the
family room, playroom, kitchen, and
master bedroom. You may (or may not) also
want video in the children's and guests'
- What performance level do you want in each room?
- Usually the rooms that in which you spend
the most time deserve the best audio (and
- Sometimes one room has an especially good
audio system for listening to music or a
high-performance home theater system for
watching movies, sports, and television.
The other rooms in the home may have
somewhat lower, or dramatically lower
performance levels, as desired.
- Should all the rooms have the same music source
at the same time?
- If so, then choose a "single
source" system, as it will be
simpler and more convenient for your
- Or do some rooms or groups of rooms
require the flexibility of listening to
different sources? If so, then choose a
Multi-Room Audio Systems
||But Note That
||All rooms always have the same music. Turning
on the music in one room will turn it on in every
room. Adjusting the volume will adjust it in
every room. (The volume in each room, relative to
the other rooms, may be adjustable when the
system is installed, but this adjustment may not
be convenient enough to use routinely.)
||A music immersed lifestyle. As you walk from
room to room, you can follow the music without
missing a note.
||All the home's occupants should enjoy the
same music and live a similar lifestyle.
||Again, all rooms always have the same music.
However, in this case turning the music on in one
room (or zone of rooms) will not affect the rest
of the rooms. Each room (or zone) can
individually adjust the volume. Depending upon
the system, there may also be system-wide control
from each room.
||Open floorplan homes where different music
would conflict. Good for providing background
music for entertaining. Good when one of the
home's occupants might want quiet while another
||All the home's occupants should at least
tolerate the same music.
||Each room or zone of rooms can individually
turn the music on, select the source, and adjust
the volume. Depending upon the system, there may
also be system-wide control from each room.
||Homes where the occupants often enjoy
different types of music.
||Sources are still shared. For example, if the
system has 2 CD players, only 2 different CDs can
be played at once.
|Multiple independent systems
||Each room or zone of rooms has a completely
separate system. Depending upon the system, there
may also be system-wide control from each room.
||Music tastes are completely different. CD or music file collections are mutually exclusive. Often used
just for children's rooms or for an exercise
||May not be able to play the same music in
deciding which type of system would best suit your
needs, temporarily set aside any budgetary
considerations. More complex, flexible systems are
not always more expensive.
recommend that you consider having at least one room in which
to have high quality music, a room where you can
actually focus on music listening. The other
rooms might have music in the background, and
therefore not demand as high a level of quality.
If you enjoy watching movies, sports, and television,
consider a home theater with surround sound. Perhaps you
might make this your main room for entertainment. If desired, video can also be distributed to other rooms
in the home, much as audio can. (The design and
flexibility considerations are similar.)
Multi-room systems generally incorporate a control
system so that functions such as on/off, volume, and
source selection can be controlled from each room. A well
designed control system will ensure that the audio and/or
video system is easy to use. We usually place small
keypads in the walls, or we provide sensors the wall or
ceilings at which to point a hand-held remote control. We
also offer RF (radio frequency) control systems that use a portable
remote to directly control the equipment using radio
waves, without any sensor in the room!
the simplest control system that meets your needs.
Unused features will needlessly complicate the
A word about in-wall
rotary volume controls: These devices
dramatically degrade the sound from your system. They
waste audio power and they interfere with the
amplifier's ability to control the speakers. Avoid
them unless you just want low-quality background
music and energy efficiency is not a concern.
Once you have selected the components of the system (i.e.
the sources, the amplification, the speakers, and the
control system), we can work together to choose the
speaker, keypad, and equipment locations. We will then
create detailed specifications for the wiring of the
system, both low-level audio and video wiring, and any
new 120 volt AC wiring.
bring a blueprint or a drawing of your floorplan to
your first meeting with us. It will facilitate the
design process and help our understanding of your
you are constructing or renovating a home, contact us
early in the process—ideally
before any plans and room dimensions are finalized! This will prevent costly
changes later on.
In new construction projects, the in-wall wiring is
"roughed in" while the walls are open and
before the wallboard (or whatever) is applied. We also
generally mount brackets for the speakers and boxes for
the keypads at this time. Your construction project then
proceeds as the interior is finished. Later, we usually
supply grills for any in-wall speakers to the painters so
that they will perfectly match your walls. Then when the
site is clean (and the dusty jobs are complete) we return
to mount the speakers and keypads. Depending upon your
needs, we may install the rest of the electronics at this
time, or later. Last, we program the system and
demonstrate how to use it. If you have questions about
your system, or if you need some changes or additions, we
are always happy to help.
In addition to wired multi-room systems we also have wireless music
systems from manufacturers such as
if you are seeking an audiophile-grade wireless speaker solution we
Dynaudio Xeo wireless speakers.
Custom Installations discusses how your system can be best
installed in your home.