5 important considerations when choosing a multi-room entertainment system

Aug 24, 2018
5 considerations when choosing a multi-room entertainment system
There’s nothing like walking from room to room in your home with your favourite radio show playing, or the sound of music filling the space every day. Not to mention what a multi-room home entertainment system can do for your housewarming party or when you’re entertaining. At first, it can seem daunting when it’s not something you’ve installed before, but in reality, with increasingly available and easy to use tech, it’s a straightforward process to fit in your home. To make sure you choose the right system that works for your needs, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

1. How will it fit in with your interior choices?

You may want your speakers to take pride of place in your home, or you may be after something a little subtler. In-wall or in-ceiling speakers are often preferred as they effectively merge into the background. They can be the most time-consuming to install and serious consideration will need to be given to where the wires are placed behind the wall.
Floor-standing or bookshelf speakers are much easier to install, and they offer flexibility in terms of where you position them and how often you move them. They are however more “on show” so you’ll need to ensure you’re happy with how they match the rest of your interior.

2. Do you want to go wireless or wired? 

There are advantages to each. With a wired system, you can always depend on the sound quality and consistency. On occasion with even the best wireless system, the quality can sometimes be a little patchy. Wireless systems do however offer much in the way of flexibility, and they are quickly catching up with wired in terms of sound quality and control.
If for example, you want to change the layout of your room, it’s a very simple process with a wireless system as there’s no need to worry about any of the work associated with re-installing or re-arranging the wires. A wireless system is often controlled via an app on your smartphone or tablet, meaning that if your Wi-Fi drops out, the system will be out of action (not necessarily a problem with a wired system). The most popular wireless options include Sonos and Jongo, while Systemline 7 is a great option for wired.

3. How many rooms or zones do you want to cater for?

This is a key question you’ll need to answer before you decide on your chosen equipment. For example, if you wish to have three zones consisting of the kitchen, sitting room and dining room, you’ll need to ensure you have the requisite number of speakers and choose a system that can cater to this number of rooms. If for example, you want to go down the wired route you’ll need to be set on the specific number of zones before anything is installed.
For the flexibility of easily adding zones, wireless is likely to be your best choice. A Sonos wireless system for example, has the capability to add up to 32 different zones, enabling you to continue to add zones as you see fit (you’ll just need the right number of speakers).

4. How many sources do you require?

If you want to listen to the same source in all the zones, you’ll only need to install a system that works with one source. However, in a busy family home it’s not always the case that one source will cater to all. Someone may want to listen to music in one zone, watch a DVD in another, or play games somewhere else in the home.
A multi-source system will be the way to go in this respect. Consider all your potential sources, such as your smart TV, DAB radio, or DVD player and choose a system that has the capability to cater to each.

5. Do you want it to be integrated? 

With the numerous opportunities for smart technology in the home, there comes the option to integrate them all and control with one device, such as your tablet or virtual assistant. This is possible, but it can be a complex process to get right as each of the devices may use a different communication protocol to do their job. In this instance, you may wish to enlist the help of a professional to ensure everything is installed correctly. By running through these important considerations and understanding your needs and requirements, you’ll ensure you get the right multi-room entertainment system for you and your new home.