Multi-room audio wireless speaker

For years, multi-room audio was limited to commercial spaces like malls and restaurants. With today’s home audio, speakers in different rooms in a home can play the same music at the exact same time. As you move from one room to another, music is there. Smart homes make that dream a reality.    

If you want to create the ultimate multi-room audio experience in your home, this guide will help. We’ll discuss all the different types of ways you can connect speakers together. Then we’ll talk about speaker placement between the different types of speakers. Finally, we’ll end by mentioning some accessories you might need to complete the setup. 

Let’s start with the simplest way to create a multi-room audio setup.

How to use smart speakers for multi-room audio 

Multi-room audio using Smart speakerThe easiest way to create multi-room audio is with smart speakers. These speakers connect to your Wi-Fi network and the setup is done via an app. From there, they feature built-in mics that listen for wake words for voice commands. With just your voice, you can ask a smart speaker to play a certain song or podcast. This is a great way to listen to music while cooking or during a house party. 

The most popular smart speaker brands are Google, Amazon, and Apple Home Pod. They each offer a variety of speakers in different sizes and price points. 

To achieve multi-room audio, it’s important to get multiple speakers from the same brand. Inside an app, two or more smart speakers can be connected as a group. Users can also create multiple groups with different speakers. 

For example, you could have a morning group consisting of smart speakers in your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. As you get ready in the morning, you can listen to your favourite podcast as you shower, dress, and cook breakfast. 

How to use smart displays for audio in every room

Multi-room audio - Smart DisplaySmart displays can also be added to smart speakers for multi-room audio. Essentially, they are smart speakers with a touchscreen display. This offers another way to select music and other types of content. 

While smart speakers work great in bedrooms and bathrooms, smart displays work better in public settings like kitchens and living rooms. They also work great bedside as alarm clocks. Just remember, smart displays can be added with smart speakers to create wireless, multi-room audio.

Using wireless multi-room speakers for home audio

Multi-room audio - Wireless multi-room speakerOutside of smart speakers, there are also dedicated wireless multi-room speakers. These are typically high-end speakers packed with premium features, cutting-edge technology, and contemporary aesthetic design. Therefore, they appeal to audiophiles or anyone that seeks crystal clear audio. 

The leading brands for wireless multi-room speakers are Sonos, Bose, and Devialet.

Should you choose wired or wireless multi-room speakers?

Multi-room audio - Wired speakersIn some cases, people may already have existing speakers they would like to connect together for multi-room audio. This can range from home theatre systems to all-weather speakers, and wall/ceiling speakers

As for wired speakers, they each need to connect to a single receiver for multi-room audio. This means the wiring has to travel through multiple rooms to reach a receiver. 

Multi-room audio - Smart receiver There are both Stereo Receivers and Home Theatre Receivers available. Each accommodates multiple speaker connections. To create a wired, multi-room setup with voice commands, wired speakers need to connect to a receiver with built-in voice assistants. These offer the ability to play music from popular streaming services via voice to wired speakers across the home.  

Wired vs wireless speaker placement

Speaker placement is another important consideration with multi-room setups. Wired and wireless speakers have different requirements.

With wired speakers, the wire will either run between the walls or along a wall. Thus, the speakers can be inserted directly into a wall or ceiling. Since they connect to the receiver, most wired speakers do not require an additional power source. 

In contrast, wireless speakers by definition are not truly wireless. They must still connect to a standard wall outlet for power. However, they can be moved around at any time. Therefore, wireless multi-room speakers provide more flexibility. Speakers can be moved around on an as-needed basis

How to choose accessories for multi-room audio

No matter which type of speaker you use, additional accessories can help you build the perfect multi-room audio experience. 

Wired setups will require a host of audio cables. These can range from standard speaker cable and wire connectors. It’s a good idea to measure the amount of wire you need beforehand so you get enough. A good tip is to follow the signal flow from the receiver. Then you’ll know exactly what accessories and adapters you need to send the signal to the speakers. 

Multi-room audio - Smart speaker mountSmart speakers have a wide variety of accessories. Wall mounts can help mount a speaker to the wall or onto a wall outlet. This is a great way to hide or eliminate the need for a power cable. Protective sleeves come in a variety of designs and colours. This allows you to personalize and protect each speaker in the home. 

If you have limited power sources, adding A/V surge protection can safely add additional outlets. This ensures you have outlets available for other devices as well. It can also provide additional flexibility in speaker placement.

Creating a multi-room audio experience

Multi-room audio is an absolute game-changer. Imagine cleaning the house and listening to the same podcast playing in every room or having a house party and the same music playing in the kitchen is playing in the bathroom. Best of all, setting up a multi-room audio experience is easy.

First, decide what type of speakers you plan on using. This can be either smart speakers, dedicated wireless multi-room speakers, or traditional wired speakers. If you choose smart speakers, consider adding a smart display in the main room. This will provide an additional way to find and play content. 

Finally, don’t forget to make a list of the accessories you’ll need for the setup. This can range from traditional speaker wire to A/V surge protection. 

Creating a multi-room audio experience is easy. You can do it. Best Buy has everything you need to make it happen.  

Andy Baryer
Andy Baryer aka “Handy Andy” is a technology journalist, gadget reviewer, and DIY/how-to content creator. Known as the handyman of tech, Andy enjoys fixing poor wireless networks, building smart homes, and cooking with the latest kitchen gadgets. He’s a competitive whistler, a budding woodworker, and loves gardening in his home-built smart garden.