A Buyer's Guide to Multi-Room Audio



Multi-room audio systems are extremely popular. Whether you’re building a new home or upgrading an older one, a multi-room audio system can provide you with music in every room of your house. But, with all the great choices in audio components out there, figuring out which components you need and how to set up your system can be confusing. That’s why we’ve put together a buyer’s guide to multi-room audio.


What is multi-room audio?


If you want to play music throughout your house, but you don’t want to buy a separate audio system for each room, multi-room audio is the solution. Multi-room audio is also known as whole house audio or multi-zone audio. It’s an audio system that allows you to play music in any room of your house. But, unlike a typical audio system, you can play the same music through every room, or different music in each room using the same system.


If you are thinking about buying a multi-room audio system, there are a few things you need to think about. The first is how many audio sources you want your system to connect to. For example, do you want your system to connect to your TV, your music streaming devices, or your Blu-ray player?


Then you need to decide how many zones you want to have in your home. A multi-room audio system allows your system to connect to more than one audio source, and send music (or other audio) to multiple zones in your house. Once you determine how many sources and zones you want to have in your system, you can decide on the best setup.


How to set up a multi-room audio system


There are a few ways to set up a multi-room audio system but some are easier than others. Deciding which option is best for you will depend on your budget, your skill level, and what you want to do with your system.


Smart speakers

If you have a small budget, smart speakers are an affordable option. Smart speakers are an easy way to create a multi-zone sound system. There are so many smart speakers on the market today, and most of them are easy to use. You just connect them to your wifi and then you can control each speaker with your voice or a smartphone app. Even though they are easy to set up, they won’t offer the same sound quality as other options.


Add speakers to your existing system

Many receivers allow you to add a second set of speakers. This allows your music to be delivered to two different rooms (or zones). This is an easy way to create two zones, but it doesn't allow you to play two sources at once.


Multi-zone/multi-source receiver In order to play 2 (or more) different audio sources in different zones, you will need a receiver that is both multi-zone and multi-source. Marantz and Denon are both fantastic brands that offer receivers that provide multi-zone capability and support multiple audio sources. This is a great option for anyone who wants to set up a multi-zone system in their home. However, if you want to have more than 3 zones, you will want to talk to an experienced professional.


Wireless multi-room audio systems

Setting up your own multi-zone audio system can be complicated. This is why some manufacturers offer a complete wireless system. There are several brands that offer wireless multi-room audio systems. These audio systems are closed systems, which means every component works together with the same brand.


If you go with a multi-room audio system, you won’t be able to combine existing speakers with their system, unless they are the same brand and compatible. Sonos is probably the best-known brand of multi-room audio systems, but there are other options as well.


A professionally installed multi-room audio system

You may be able to set up a multi-room audio system yourself. You can use smart speakers or run wires between rooms to connect your receiver to speakers in your home. But this isn't ideal. It might leave your walls a mess and you may not get the kind of system you want. A professional installer will make sure your wiring is electrical-code compliant, clean, and that your system is set up exactly the way you want it.


There are other benefits to hiring a professional. For example, would you prefer to have a speaker system that's concealed or hidden? Installing in-wall or ceiling speakers allows you to create a sound system that is practically invisible. These hidden speakers make your home more beautiful while providing amazing sound.

At SmartVolt, we are multi-room audio experts


We are audio experts. We can take the headache out of multi-room audio. We will design a system that is perfect for your needs and your budget. You don’t have to figure out which components to buy or how to hook everything up. Our team can also integrate your audio system with a home automation system like Control 4.


If you are interested in a multi-room audio system, get in touch with SmartVolt at 505-903-6911. We can take care of the installation and get everything set up for you. We’ll also make sure you know how to use your system so that when we leave you can enjoy all the great features.