Music is core to our being. Homes filled with music are filled with more laughter, more love and more family togetherness. Everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning become more enjoyable and your gatherings will never be the same! But where should you start and what should you demand from any audio solution being built into your new home?
Proper planning can save you time and money while facilitating the level of home entertainment experience you want. Good doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to be done right which means well-planned, sounds great and easy to use. So, let’s talk about how to do it right.
Why is this important to plan? Anyone can can put music into every room but unless you plan it properly, how will you play the same music in every room or broadcast the big game all over the house? Audio Insider tip: You also save a lot of money planning well in advance!
To start, you will need to decide which rooms are primary (critical) listening rooms and which are not. Typical primary spaces are the kitchen, living room, dining room and master bedroom but if you like to garden you might want music in your backyard or deck, if you like to work on your classic car you might appreciate music in the garage.
You will also need to decide which speakers to use. In order for in-ceiling speakers to do their job properly you will need to select the correct size. 6” speakers for shorter ceilings, for ceilings 9 feet and over use 8” speakers. I always recommend brand name speakers, don’t cut corners here – this has the biggest impact on your end result. Cheap speakers save you money in the short term but leave you with an end result which is neither inspiring nor immersive! Audio Insider Tip: instead of using larger speakers in the kitchen, look for speakers which match the lighting and help balance the look of the room.
You will also need an amplifier to power your speakers and a streaming source or Bluetooth. Brands like Sonos, BlueSound and Heos all excel in this space. Steer clear of speaker selectors and volume control knobs, these are ugly and significantly degrade sound quality. Audio Insider Tip: a higher gauge of speaker wire will ensure a better sound from your new speakers, pick at least 14/2 for the best sound!
The last consideration is how you will control the music in your home. While there are some expensive automation solutions out there, simple is better and using a simple app will get you the results you want. You can even add voice control to your home and start your music with the power of your voice!
It’s easy to add music to your new home. Planning ahead for a great experience will help create an awesome space full of music, laughter and memories. Whether you are using a dedicated consultant or speaking to your favourite salesperson at your local audio store, make sure you know what to look for and what to ask for. Your home should sound as good as it looks!
Mike has a face for radio but an ear for music!
- Founder of Audio Insider & Director of Business Development for Hi Fi Centre, one of North America’s premier audio companies
- One of the founding fathers of Sonos Canada and over a decade working with Sonos
- Worked for many top audio brands including Beats, Skull Candy, Polk Audio, Tannoy, PMC, Onkyo, Linn, Sennheiser, Mitsubishi, Parasound, Lab Gruppen, Monster and many others
- When not working or listening to music Mike loves boating and being on the water
- Lives in South Surrey BC, married with 3 young kids, 2 black labs and a grumpy cat