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Not long ago if you wanted to have music throughout your home, you would have to hire a professional to wire up your entire house and set up a fancy amplifier and receiver with somewhat complicated controls. Recent improvements in wireless audio systems have changed all of that. Not only are they much simpler to set up, they are much more flexible and adaptable in how they can be used. The end result is much more variety in terms of what you can play on your system and where you can play it in your home. It is now extremely easy to enjoy audio throughout your home wirelessly.

This article will explain many of things you might consider when adding a multi-room audio system to your home.  If you prefer you can first explore the vast selection of available options for multi-room audio at Best Buy.

Table of Contents:

  1. How it works
  2. How to set it up
  3. Nine Advantages
  4. Important Considerations
  5. Comparison of Audio Options
  6. Summary of key Differences between systems
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How does a wireless Multi-room Audio System Work?

Wireless Multi-room audio systems either use your home Wi-Fi network to stream content to the various wireless speakers, or they have their own bridge that wirelessly streams to the various speakers. If the system has its own bridge, it connects to your router so the system in order to access the Internet for streaming content. Multi-room audio systems come with a free app that controls the system and lets you select the content you want to play. Some systems also have their own remote control and/or buttons on the speakers.

Content can be streamed directly to all the speakers from the Internet, or from a variety of other sources like your computer, mobile devices, and your TV. Many systems also have a  USB and 3.5mm auxiliary port so you can connect other devices and flash drives with content.

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How do I set up the typical Multi-room Audio System?

Setting up a wireless multi-room audio system is extremely easy. Before you get started make sure you have the right sized speakers for each room. If you want to use some of your existing non-wireless speakers, ensure you have the appropriate link-in units to connect them to the system. If your house is big and the speakers are quite far apart you need to consider if your wireless network is strong enough throughout your home. These systems use either your home WiFi network or have a bridge that creates their own wireless network. Boosting the signal, if necessary, is easy with a WiFi booster and bridge-based systems all have boosters available that can cover more area.

The actual setup of the wireless speaker system will require you to download the control app which will have a simple step by step guide that walks you through the process. The entire process should take less than half an hour, usually a matter of minutes. Then enjoy excellent sound throughout your home!

Nine advantages of a wireless Multi-room Audio System?

1. Flexibility:  These multi-room audio systems give you flexibility in moving your speakers around, in how which speakers pay what content, and in including your wired speakers in the system.

2. Portability: Because the speakers are wirelessly connected within your home you can move them around whenever you need to. Suddenly need music in a spare bedroom or out on the deck, no problem. Some systems even have portable speakers equipped with lithium ion batteries so you can take them anywhere.

3. Music Zones:  These wireless audio systems can play the same music throughout your home or you can play different music in each room. You can even set up different zones where three rooms play the same music while the other rooms are all independent. The even better feature is that you can easily change this with the app at any time.

sonos.jpg4. Integration: If you already have some great sounding speakers many of the systems have a link-in device that connects to those speakers so they instantly become part of the wireless system. Any investment you have made in good speakers doesn’t need to be lost.

5. Availability of Content:  Play your own music library from your computer, Smartphone, tablet or other sources, or stream hundreds of different radio stations, or play music from online music services like Spotify, Songsa, or Jango to name a few. There is an enormous amount of content from multiple sources that is instantly  available directly into your multi-room system.

6. Mobile Device Control: Controlling the speaker system couldn’t be simpler using your Smartphone or tablet. Multi-room systems come with a free app that allow you to play whatever content you want to and to configure your zones the way you want to.

7. Simplicity:  No professional installers are required at all. Setting up and using the system is so simple that you can set up your entire home within minutes, not hours—and do it yourself.

8. Speaker Variety:  Since not all rooms are the same size and shape, multi-room audio systems have different sized speakers and different configurations depending on the room. With some manufacturers you can even setup a wireless surround sound speaker setup with your home theatre.

9. Scalability:  The beauty of multi-room wireless systems is that they are fully expandable with only a few minutes effort. If your budget is limited, pick the most important rooms right now, knowing that you can easily add more rooms at any time.

What are the important factors to consider when buying a Multi-room Audio System?

When considering how to choose the best wireless system for you, the main things to think about are:

tab.jpgNumber of rooms:  Most systems have the capability of covering a large number of rooms, but just make sure the system has the capacity to cover all the rooms you eventually want sound in.

Size and type of rooms: Depending on the size and shape of room, make sure the speaker is big enough to fill the room. These systems have different sized speakers especially designed for different sized rooms so match that up properly. Also if you want a surround sound in your main theatre room only some brands have that capability.

Portability:  Although a wireless multi-room system is intended to easily fill your house with great sound, you may also want speakers that can double as portable units that you can take camping, or a picnic, or out on the deck.  Only a few multi-room systems  have battery-powered units that are truly portable.

Listening requirement:  Most speaker systems have app controls that can allow you to play an almost limitless number of Internet radio stations from around the world, as well as play your home music library from your computer or mobile device.

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What are some of the differences between the various brands to select from?

Most wireless multi-room speaker systems share a lot of common traits. They all have free downloadable apps that control the system and they all allow you to play your music library as well as a myriad of different Internet Radio stations as well as a selection of online music services.

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Sonos
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Bose Soundtouch
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Heos by Denon

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Samsung Shape
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Polk Omni

Here is a summary of some of the key differences between these systems.

Wireless System Max. # of Rooms Wireless Technology Soundbar Option Link-in Option NFC DLNA Support Additional Ports Portable Model Supported File Formats
Sonos 32 Sonos Wireless Mesh Network Yes Yes No No  3.5mm Auxiliary, Headphone Jack No MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, FLAC, WAV, AIFF.
Bose Soundtouch 6 Wi-Fi (with Airplay) Yes No No No USB, 3.5mm Auxiliary Yes MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless
Denon HEOS 32 Wi-Fi No Yes No Yes USB, 3.5mm Auxiliary No MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless
Samsung Shape™ 10 Shape Hub    (Wi-Fi) Yes Yes Yes No 3.5mm Auxiliary No MP3, WMA, Ogg, FLAC, AAC
Polk Audio Omni 16 DTS Play-Fi® Lossless wireless Yes Yes No Yes USB, 3.5mm Auxiliary Yes MP3, M4A, FLAC, and WAV files

 

Note: the link-in option allows that system to include existing speakers into the wireless system.

Having great audio in every room of your home, streaming from your computer, tablet, smartphone or from the internet, is easier than ever.

See the many options that are available for your home: Multi-room Audio at Best Buy.  

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for this informative post. Actually I feel so tired when I come at home at 7 pm from office. So I was just wondering about multi room music system to make me feel relaxed. So, I am looking for a wireless multi-room audio system.

  2. Denon’s HEOS system does have a portable model. Using Denon’s HEOS1 Go Pack, the HEOS1 model can become a truly wireless unit, with 6hrs. of higher end musical quality and it’s available in two flavours.

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