Big Sound From Barely There Speakers

BIG SOUND, BARELY THERE SPEAKERSWhen cosmetics are key to the design of a home, the last thing you want is technology infringing on the fine finishes. But when you also love music, your home is going to need speakers—and lots of them. This was the conundrum the professional integrators at Hoppen Home Systems faced when engineering a sound system for Chuck and Becky’s newly remodeled 7,500-square-foot home. “We needed to find a way to let the 40 pair of speakers planned for the home be heard but not seen,” says company president Jason Hoppen. “Plus, the homeowners, who entertain large groups of people frequently, requested that the audio be loud and powerful, which meant additional hardware to hide.”

Hoppen Home Systems had plenty of concealment solutions. In some of the rooms large speakers were installed flush with the new drywall and covered in skim coat and paint. “We made sure to locate these speakers where the homeowners wouldn’t be hanging artwork,” Hoppen says. In other places speakers were mounted in the ceiling and faux painted to match the surface, which in one room included a hand-painted mural. Even the barrel ceiling in the home theater couldn’t deter Hoppen from blending in the speakers of a full surround sound system. In this case, they had the speakers custom-colored by the manufacturer to match the grain of the wood.

Even though the speakers are visually discreet, there’s no denying their presence, as Hoppen used enough amplifiers to feed 120-watts to each pair. The homeowners control the volume, as well as select from a huge library of music, by using sleek wall-mounted Control4 touchscreens and keypads. All of the gear that makes the music magic happen, of course, is hidden as well, having been installed in a special equipment closet as the house was renovated. Through careful design and thoughtful integration, Hoppen was able to let the architectural beauty of the home shine, without sacrificing an ounce of audio performance.


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