When deciding what solution to use, we will ask you several questions, including:
– How many rooms do you want music in?
– Do you want background music or do you want it to thump?
– What sources (iPod, CD Player, Computer) do you want to listen, and where?
– Do you want music outside?
With a multi-zone system, you can have a keypad located in each room to select the music choice for that room, and also to adjust the volume, change stations or songs, or change sources (from FM to CD, for example). This can be supplemented with using a dedicated controller and/or your iPad to control, but we usually recommend a way for someone that’s not you to turn the music down if they need to!
Multi-zone preamp/amps are available for 4 or 8 rooms (zones). On some multi-zone systems, a single keypad can control more than one zone, or can display the name of the song being played. This latter feature (called meta-data display) is especially useful when navigating a source like an iPod.
Some surround receivers provide an alternative to a dedicated multi-room system. Called second (or even third) zone capability, this feature allows Total Home to assign unused “surround” channels (say a 7.1 receiver which is set up as a 5.1 system) to power and control speakers in a second (or even third) location, without the cost and complexity of additional amplification or cross-connecting sources. The Receiver becomes the switch, basically.
All of these approaches require speakers and speaker wiring to each room where music is desired. Multi-zone systems also require control wiring from each room’s keypad back to the multi-zone controller. Wireless multi-zone systems are now available which can simplify retrofit installations. These can be cost-effective for an extra zone or two. Wireless speakers also are now available, but they require a 110 v. to each speaker for power, so they are not entirely wireless. This tends to limit their utility.
• Volume control
• Keypad/Touch panel
• Dedicated Controller