Have you ever been to a party where the same music is playing in every room of the house and wished you could do the same thing at your house?
You can, and it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think. There are two main ways to accomplish whole house audio: wired and wireless. Let’s take a look at both options.
Wired Whole House Audio
Many new homes come pre-wired for audio. If you have an older home that was not pre-wired, you can retrofit fairly easily, especially if you have adequate attic or crawl space adjacent to each room where you want to run wires. Retrofitting is possible in any home, but in those without good attic or crawl space access, you should anticipate going through the walls themselves. You’ll have to make some repairs to the drywall and repaint in areas where you run wires, but all of that is easily accomplished with the right professionals.
If you are one of the fortunate ones, and your whole house is already wired, then adding audio to more rooms can be as simple as hooking up additional speakers to your AV receiver. This option, while giving you sound in an additional room, will not allow you much control. You will have to change the music selection and the volume at the source (where your main system is located).
A better option that is just as simple? New, high end receivers typically come standard with a second built-in discrete amplifier. That second amplifier will give you two zones of audio, both of which you can control independently. There’s also a new option on the market that is a single receiver with four or six discrete amplifiers, and built-in volume and source distribution systems. For most homes, six zones of audio will cover all of your sound needs.
To add sound – and have control over volume and music source – in more than six zones, you need multiple receivers and amplifiers. These components are stacked and stored in a central location, and connected via your wiring to each room.
Wireless Whole House Audio
If your house was not pre-wired for whole house audio and the thought of retrofitting is not too appealing, you’re in luck. Wireless audio is a viable option now, giving you hi-fi sound on a wi-fi system.
Wireless systems connect to your router and offer portable, expandable whole house audio. You simply purchase a music “player” for each room where you want the ability to play music. The systems allow you to take advantage of free radio services, custom radio, music on demand and radio networks, and they’re controllable with free apps available for smart phones and tablets.