Planning Your Whole Home Audio System

The idea of building a multi-room or whole-home music system can seem a bit daunting to homeowners. However, with a well-thought-out plan, this seemingly intimidating venture becomes much easier to do. With the right tools and a series of steps, you’ll be dancing to your favorite tunes throughout the house in no time.

We’ll help you prepare a checklist to determine what your home needs and then plan the best way to map out your multi-room audio system.

How Many Rooms in the System?

Your top priority is deciding the number of zones you want in the whole-home system. This immediately paints a picture of the total scope of installation, including specific kinds of equipment for certain spaces.

  • If you want to enjoy music in five separate areas, then you’ll need to plan for five pairs of speakers.
  • Consider all the factors, from room acoustics to the sound quality and types of speakers that complement a space.

Check all your available connections. For example, maybe you already own an AV (audio video) receiver that controls a simple two-room system. The majority of AV receivers are equipped with multi-space assets that support extra sets of speakers and sources. Perhaps your current receiver doesn’t have enough connections, but a simple price-friendly speaker selector switch solves that problem.

  • Check that the receiver safely supplies power to each speaker; if not, it’s time to upgrade.
  • Set strict budget parameters that help you stay within your means while maintaining quality.

How Many Sources?

Next, it’s time to choose how many audio sources are necessary. Would you rather broadcast the same source throughout the house, or have the option to simultaneously stream separate sources to different zones? Although many receivers are capable of multiple zones, not all are able to support more than one source at a time. It’s very important to know the limits of your receiver when dealing with a multitude of zones and sources in one system.

How many people live in your home? Will multiple people want to stream different audio at the same time? Avoid the tension over who controls the audio by owning a multi-source system so one person can listen to music in the kitchen while another watches a movie in their bedroom.

You get to decide how many sources you want. Don’t forget to consider all your audio devices, such as:

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

It’s important to remember the limits of your house and budget. More sources generally increase the complexity and cost of your setup.

A Wireless or Wired System? Or Both?

The sound quality and control for wireless multi-room music systems are quickly catching up to wired systems. With wireless equipment, you get to be flexible in rearranging your room or moving a pair of speakers to a different space. Furthermore, you no longer have to worry about bothersome wires getting in your way.

A plethora of wireless speakers are already available, and newer models are constantly being released. Here are a few important things to note:

  • There are more wireless brand options besides Sonos.
  • Your home layout and the kind of wireless audio technology used will help you decide the type of speakers you need.

If you don’t think you’ll be renovating or redecorating anytime soon, then a wired system is ideal for you. The consistency and quality of wired equipment is the gold standard, while wireless audio is more likely to have limitations.

A wired system does not mean wired control. Wireless IR trigger kits integrate and control multiple components at once, while modern universal remotes can fully operate any IR-enabled device. Two increasingly popular devices are Amazon Alex and Google Home, which can operate your audio sources with voice command.

Bookshelf, Outdoor, Hidden Speakers?

The type of speaker you choose can really impact your interior design. You or your partner may not want to see a giant black monolith next to the TV every day. Size, style, shade, and location matter, especially considering your speakers’ functions. Consider these options:

  • In-wall and in-ceiling speakers are some of the most popular choices because they basically disappear into the background, especially when their color matches the rest of your room’s furnishings. However, these speakers require extra time and effort to install, so it’s best to be 100% certain about your speaker’s placement before you start running wires through the walls. 
  • Speakers that sit on the bookshelf or stand on the floor are easy to relocate, replace, and upgrade. However, their bulk takes up space within the room, so it’s best to decide where they’ll reside and how long the speaker wire needs to be. 
  • For the strongest all-around sound, subwoofers are vital for superior bass reproduction. 

Hoppen Home Systems can help you understand the specifics of your new multi-room audio system. Call us today to review your requirements and a get quote on a new audio system. And don’t forget to consider partnering with us to ensure a professional installation!


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Planning Your Whole Home Audio System
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