Having big, bulky hardware and wires creating a mess looks unprofessional and outdated. Having wires laying around could also be dangerous either from tripping or a fire hazard.
Hearing vibrant, moving sounds without seeing the old-style boxy speakers they come from can make home theater use infinitely more enjoyable.
Types of multiroom sound
Find the best option for your home or family needs. Here’s the rundown of what you can choose from:
- Simple / multi-room music systems using a reciever – this utilizes the speaker B switch built into your stereo of home theater receiver. Speaker B output can be used to power an additional pair of speakers by running wires from one set of speakers to another. It’s possible to conceal wires through walls that are adjoining both rooms.
- Many home theater receivers available in the New York and Northeast markets have built-in multi-zone or multi-source features. Each room of your house can listen to a different source and some receivers come with powered multi-room outputs for stereo music (sometimes video too) for up to three zones. Other models have line-leveled outputs, which would require a stereo amp in each room.
- Check to see if your home has computer network wiring installed, because this can be an advantage. Network wiring through CAT-5e or CAT-6 can be used to interconnect a computer network will distribute digital audio to remote zones (rooms) via multizone audio systems, which are available from several manufacturers. The process would be quick and simple to enjoying sound all around.
Installing multi-room sound can greatly improve your comfort and convenience.
Safety & Space
Opting to install sound systems in walls and ceilings to compliment your home theater’s audio and video presentation will not only be a sure way to stand out as the most sleek, modernized atmosphere anyone has at home – it’s also a great way to reduce risks and create a safer, cleaner environment. Aesthetic reasons aside, visible wiring creates a fire hazard and greatly impacts the potential for slip-and-fall accidents that could damage the home theater units and more importantly, people.
Get those wires out of sight and reduce clutter from “cable jungles” and outlet plugs. Saving the space will allow you some more room to store your belongings, decorate a room better, and fit that extra piece of furniture. Your home will not only look more efficient, it will be more efficient.
As with any home modifications, safety precautions should be considered up front. The first aspect of installing audio systems is knowledge of your local building and fire codes.
Check with counties or municipalities within New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or the Washington, D.C area. Installers can also check into this for you, but if you are in a new construction house or unit, make sure to follow the builder’s set of safety procedures, including guidelines for use and storage of extension cords and power tools.
New or Old, Most Homes are Ready for Multi-Room Sound
Most new construction homes are eqipped with all the wiring necessary for multi-room audio. New homes have the advantage of doing work during original construction and not interrupting walls that have been in place for decades. You can choose how to design the rooms you want music in the most and the kind of speakers that you want. With existing homes most systems are adaptable and some can integrate your existing electrical. In either case wiring is the key to the process, and here are the details:
For new construction pre-wiring work is the best choice. This may the fifth stage of building the home after the foundation, framing and roof, plumbing, and electrical. All A/V wires should be installed once the electrician finishes pulling AC wires. This can be a critical step because it is important to avoid electrical wiring as much as possible when installing sound cables.
Installers should use wire that meets local building and fire regulations, such as UL-rated (for Underwriter’s Laboratory) wires such as CL2 or CL3 for in-wall installations.
For multi-room sound set ups with volume controls, four-conductor wire is the choice.
The gauge (thickness) of your speaker wires should depend on how far the wire has to travel from the receiver to the speaker. Significant power losses can occur if the distance is greater, so take this into account when planning locations for a home theater and how the sound carries throughout the house .
A Smart Addition
Finally, installing a multi-room surround sound system is a good investment as technology continues to influence daily life. Homeowners can undoubtedly enjoy the conveniences and sensory effects of having sound all around them, but they will also be modernizing their homes and increasing the potential property value when they decide to put it on the market in the competitive New York, New Jersey or Connecticut markets, where people have so many attractive home locations to choose from. Imagine how marketable a home with a modernized touch will be to potential buyers, who will certainly walk away impressed from an open house.
Who would think — enjoying the thrills of surround sound translates to a great investment in your home!