Designing a Whole House Audio System

Whole house audio is, you guessed it, acim podcast for your whole house! And while that may seem like a “no brainer” answer, when it comes to planning and implementing whole house audio it is anything but a “no-brainer”.

There are more than a few variables to consider when planning your whole house audio system. This guide will provide you with a useful overview of the things you need to consider and outlines the process; however, it is no substitute for an experienced (and FREE!) system designer. But with this whole house audio guide and a system designers to assist you, you’ll be rewarded with premium sound exactly where, when and how you like it. Soon you’ll close your eyes and be unable to discern if you’re in your surround sound living room, orchestra level at Lincoln Center… or your kitchen!

Whole House Audio Systems? Multi Room Audio? Multi Zone Audio? Multi Source Audio? Multi Control? What’s the difference?

Whole house audio systems are frequently and synonymously referred to as multi room audio or multi zone audio. These terms are used interchangeably and while whole house audio usually includes one or more “primary zones” like a home theater or surround sound living room; it is, by definition, a multi zone system that includes “secondary zones” like hallways, bedrooms and other spaces that aren’t a priority for the very best sound experience.

Multi source home audios systems can comprise any number of rooms or “zones” but these zones will have more than one source of audio input. You may find yourself tying in multiple audio sources to this whole house audio system; TV, DVDs, iPods, Stereos, In-house intercoms, even door bell to your home may be input considerations.

Multi Control refers how you control input for your sources and zones. Controlling zones independently for volume becomes a priority when dealing with multiple zones whole house audio distribution. (Do you really want to have to leave the room to control the volume for that room?). Similarly, multi controls are virtually a requirement for multi room, multi source home audio environments (Do you really want to leave the room to forward the song on the CD player?)

As for controls themselves, there is an assortment of options, largely dependent on the controls that are available from the manufacturers of the systems you’re buying. They can either be wall mounted, wired keypad controls, IR (infra-red), or Wireless (radio signal). Each has their own benefits.

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