Music is an important part of our lives, and that’s even more true when the holiday season is upon us. But why have portable players driven them out of the house? There’s no more natural place to be hearing music than at home — be it the living room, kitchen, den or bedroom. Or even on the patio or balcony. But how to do this?
The answer is whole house audio — whereby all the components such as speakers and amplifiers and audio content are all integrated into the home’s design. So no, that doesn’t mean placing a few boom-box type speakers in a room and plugging in an iPod — how can that compete with being able to have the music “follow” you around the house with no visible speakers staring at you? Or to be able to start listening to something playing in the kitchen and go through the hall and then hear it continuing in another room of your choosing?
Setting up a whole house audio system isn’t for the faint of heart, or even for the DIY (do-it-yourselfer). Because of all the issues relating to electricity and wiring and codes for the city, it takes a professional installer like to handle it right. Professionals such as these also have the knowledge to know what will work best in the home, not to mention being able to provide you with details as to the latest audio technologies to use. Here’s an idea as to what a professional installation consists of:
WIRING THE SPEAKERS…OR NOT?
It’s obvious that speaker wires require careful planning as to where the speakers will be. Then it’s a matter of running wires through walls and around baseboards — the goal being to keep the speakers wires from being seen. To go throughout a house, the wires will have to be placed with care and precision — something that professional installers are known for doing. This includes running wires into ceilings for speakers as well.
A recent development is to avoid wiring and use wireless signals to transmit the audio. This has the advantage of eliminating the majority of wiring (but not all), but on the down-side, interference with the audio signal can happen and speakers will require their own amplification power source in order to function efficiently. Again, this is something t so that you can be informed of what is and what isn’t possible as per your particular home’s situation.
PLACING THE SPEAKERS
For the whole house audio to function, speakers must be placed throughout. The type of speakers needed will be affected by such issues as where they are to go (for example, in a ceiling or in a wall), as well as for how “visible” they are to be — some locations in the home might look best to have the speakers visible on stands rather than invisible. These are decisions that have to be made early on so that the work of arranging them in the home can be done in a straightforward manner. And don’t forget that controls such as keypads and through phone apps and others exist for providing immediate control over the music as well. This is yet another reason not to be doing this yourself since will know what is needed and will “talk” you through the options and choices
PLAYING THE MUSIC
To have the music play in the home in the manner that you want it to, the audio systems “driving” the speakers will need to be acquired, assembled and placed into the home as well (sometimes people want the “heavy” stuff to be hidden in a closet or enclosed space rather than on a cabinet or rack-mounted furniture. Then it’s just a matter of assembling your music — digitally now in almost all cases (but not all) and making them accessible through computer-like software control in the audio devices that have been assembled.
A whole house audio system provides a compelling reason to stay at home — and there is the real ability to integrate it into the home so that it becomes a part, not something jarring and complicated and annoying to have to use. Think of the possibilities, but also think of finding out what you don’t know by seeking the services of a Both your ears and all of your home will thank you.