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Whole Home Audio?

Lee

Guild of Calamitous Intent
Joined
May 21, 2020
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1061
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1,072
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The Natural State
What's the hot ticket for whole home audio these days?

New construction, so do I hop on Parts Express and order a pair of Dayton ceiling speakers for every room? Just pick a Bluetooth speaker that has daisy-chain capability and put one in each room?

Ideally I'd like the capability of playing from multiple sources, not just my phone, so home media center, and turn table too.

Being able to control at least volume and tracks from each room would be nice. Independent volume control for each room would be ideal, may not want music blaring in each room all the time. Independent source for each room would be awesome too.

Simple solution would be to just wear wireless headphones. :homer:
 
Following. I'm on the fence about this. Large part of me says to just use zone2 on my existing system and volume controls with impedance matching. But do I want small BT based systems in each room? Or shoud I go full nerd and run a bluetooth DAS with room antennas that you can get a signal to the amp from anywhere

Or just lazy out and put CIA listening devices err Amazon echo in every room
 
You're going to end up buying into some ecosystem, but speakers and wires don't have an expiration date like technology does. So run wires to some home location(s) and put in ceiling speakers in. Don't waste your money on shitty dayton crap, at least go buy some Klipsch or Paradigm or JBL or some other reputable brand...and skip the crap from the big box stores which usually carry a low end line up, go to an AV shop and get decent quality components.

Then you can use Denon Heos or Sonos amps or whatever to do the multi room stuff.
 
I have 3 Amazon Echo's and it fills the house. Volume 6 is LOUD and volume 10 is ridiculous. Very good bass and its voice-controlled.
 
Expensive as hell, but you could look into SONOS. The amp with in wall or in ceiling speakers look nice. I resisted going SONOS for a long time as their app was shitty and did not support AirPlay. My GF bought me the SONOS Portable recently and I like it a lot. I replaced my home theater setup in my sunroom with speaker wire exposed everywhere with the SONOS beam. The room now looks very clean and the sound quality is solid.
 
We have a 4-zone Russound system with a BT receiver. Works fine. In hindsight, I'd probably go with a slightly higher end 4-gang touch-pads, but it works fine for what we need.
 
I have a Yamaha receiver and use the Music Cast feature to send music via my router. Pandora, Sirius, spotty, NAS, etc. It's,stupid simple to set up.
 
I'm gonna sound like a dick for just a bit, so bare with me. What I'm about to tell you is concentrated honesty in it's purest form-

There is no budget out there great enough to make ceiling speakers or in-walls sound good. Bill Gates has some hand made Klipsch in-walls designed by Ted Klipsch and built by Jimmy Klipsch in his 3rd garage and the garage sale usa Sony towers from 1993 i have in my shop are leaps and bounds better.
 
I'm gonna sound like a dick for just a bit, so bare with me. What I'm about to tell you is concentrated honesty in it's purest form-

There is no budget out there great enough to make ceiling speakers or in-walls sound good. Bill Gates has some hand made Klipsch in-walls designed by Ted Klipsch and built by Jimmy Klipsch in his 3rd garage and the garage sale usa Sony towers from 1993 i have in my shop are leaps and bounds better.

A buddy has thw best Def Tech in walls including in wall subs, backed up by 4 Crown amps. It took me quite a while in the DSP of the amps to get it sounding good, not great, but good. It's seriously loud, but doesn't sound anywhere near as my Tannoy Saturn's.


Hard to get around the baffle effect of a driver flush in a wall.
 
I'd stick with conventional hard wired multizone receivers. I run a pair of Onkyo RZ-830s that take care the patio, master, living and kitchen.
 
As much as I'd like to pretend I'm an audiophile, I spent my youth shooting guns with no ear protection, was on an open station tractor by the age of 7 or 8 with no hearing protection, was frequent "child labor" in my grandpa's machine shop, and as a teenager I spent entirely too much time and money turning my Jeep into a rolling jukebox, with enough bass excursion that the soft top swelled with each beat and you could feel me coming 1/2 a mile away.

What? EEEeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeeEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEeeeee, I'm sorry did you say something?

I'm aware ceiling speakers aren't great, but they're better than nothing, I've heard some that are good enough for me.

Regardless of all of the above, SWMBO has an unreasonable opposition to floor speakers, and most bookshelf speakers, because they "look tacky." I learned a long time ago to pick my battles, ceiling speakers get me good enough sound and a happy lady.
 
A buddy has thw best Def Tech in walls including in wall subs, backed up by 4 Crown amps. It took me quite a while in the DSP of the amps to get it sounding good, not great, but good. It's seriously loud, but doesn't sound anywhere near as my Tannoy Saturn's.


Hard to get around the baffle effect of a driver flush in a wall.

Yerp. It sucks, but its the truth inwall/ceiling people need to hear. No amount of money can overcome physics, and don't be disappointed when you spend 2 months salary on speakers that don't even sound as good as uncle Ronnie's old $700 entry level Best Buy specials.

Me personally.... id get Parts Express best Dayton whatevers and rock on. Wall or ceiling there's very little difference between good enough and great.
 
As much as I'd like to pretend I'm an audiophile, I spent my youth shooting guns with no ear protection, was on an open station tractor by the age of 7 or 8 with no hearing protection, was frequent "child labor" in my grandpa's machine shop, and as a teenager I spent entirely too much time and money turning my Jeep into a rolling jukebox, with enough bass excursion that the soft top swelled with each beat and you could feel me coming 1/2 a mile away.

What? EEEeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeeEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEeeeee, I'm sorry did you say something?

I'm aware ceiling speakers aren't great, but they're better than nothing, I've heard some that are good enough for me.

Regardless of all of the above, SWMBO has an unreasonable opposition to floor speakers, and most bookshelf speakers, because they "look tacky." I learned a long time ago to pick my battles, ceiling speakers get me good enough sound and a happy lady.

Get the parts express. You'll be happy.
 
We have an array of Amazon Echos, Amazon Subs and a Dot that is BT paired to an older Bose speaker. They are around the house, by the pool and in the shop. They can play individually or use the app to synchronize a station/playlist/whatever across all devices. Its fun to watch people discovery the same music is everywhere when we have a party. It\\\'s stupid easy.\\n\\nA single Echo and sub-pair rock..they hit pretty damn well and are more than enough for a 30x60 shop.
 
I have 3 Amazon Echo's and it fills the house. Volume 6 is LOUD and volume 10 is ridiculous. Very good bass and its voice-controlled.

What do you do about the microphones listening in on your stupid? I thought you didn't like the top 1% having all of the wealth...Bezos is THE richest man on the planet, yet here you are giving him your $$$ :homer:
 
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I was looking at that 6 zone distribution system earlier today, but was looking at this amp instead.

https://www.parts-express.com/refur...a-multi-zone-12-channel-amplifier--88-300-815

I don't think that'll let me play different sources to different rooms though.

This is only 4 zones, and discontinued of course, but this would have allowed different sources to different zones, with an app on my phone.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-wfa400-4-zone-wi-fi-audio-receiver-system--300-570

That's a perfect example of why I'm hesitant to go with an app/web based option, once it's discontinued who's going to maintain the app, and continue its development to ensure compatibility with future Android versions?

While that Arylic stuff I linked earlier is app based, it's cheap enough that it still has my attention. As others have pointed out, I can go ahead and install the speakers, run wire to the A/V closet, and upgrade amps/sources as needed.

I'm trying to think out the best way to handle the audio sources though. I use streaming on my phone, I've got a Plex Server (FreeNAS), HTPC, Xbox, and turntable. Right now everything in in the living room on the entertainment center, running through an ancient Sony 5.1 receiver, with 3 tiny satellites (front L, R, & C) and a powered 8" sub. Chinesium Bluetooth adapter from Amazon allows me to stream my phone to the receiver.
 
I was mistaken earlier, the Parts Express & Monoprice 6 zone amps will let you independently play any combo of 6 sources in any of the 6 zones. Plus you can daisy-chain 3x of them for up to 18 zones. They come with wall mounted controls, wiring via Ethernet cable.

So I can get 6 zones for the price of a single zone from a Sonos Amp.

There's a app for remote control via local network for the 6 zone amps on Android & Apple. The app is kind of homebrew and requires a $90 RJ45 to RS232 adapter thing (there's a Raspberry Pi option too) to give the amp an IP address on your network. So the Sonos sure wins in that category.

Add a Chromecast, Raspberry Pi, Doodad with AirPlay, maybe one of those Arylic things, or a Bluetooth adapter as one of the sources, and I should be in business.



 
I was mistaken earlier, the Parts Express & Monoprice 6 zone amps will let you independently play any combo of 6 sources in any of the 6 zones. Plus you can daisy-chain 3x of them for up to 18 zones. They come with wall mounted controls, wiring via Ethernet cable.

So I can get 6 zones for the price of a single zone from a Sonos Amp.

There's a app for remote control via local network for the 6 zone amps on Android & Apple. The app is kind of homebrew and requires a $90 RJ45 to RS232 adapter thing (there's a Raspberry Pi option too) to give the amp an IP address on your network. So the Sonos sure wins in that category.

Add a Chromecast, Raspberry Pi, Doodad with AirPlay, maybe one of those Arylic things, or a Bluetooth adapter as one of the sources, and I should be in business.







I bought and set up a similar system when we bought our current home around 8-9yrs ago and it's basically the same set up as you've linked (speakers, inputs, controls, amp, all of the cabling, etc). I can't remember the name of the company but they are based out of Texas. Here's an Amazon link to what I have https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00067OEQI...ellphonpric-20
I was able to add in iPod input stations around the house so I can plug in the ipod pretty much anywhere in the house. If I ever get around to it, I'm thinking of connecting the amp to an older computer and have a music server that I can then control via the web. In the living room, I splurged and got the sub-woofer for a more complete set up. Overall it was easy to set up but the only painful thing was running the cables throughout the house.

EDIT:** Found the name of the company, https://www.homecontrols.com/Audio-V...bution-Systems
 
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Are you trying to recreate music, or just put sound in?

I have not heard Ceiling speakers sound good, and zero sound stage.
If you just want sound, put a small. BT speaker the size of a soda can in each room.
 
Do you want good quality sound or just background music? I have installed hundreds of in wall/ceiling speakers for clients, either for padding the cut sheet during resale or because the wives wanted to listen to Celine Dion while they bake in the kitchen. Usually either powered by sonos or a higher end avr with wifi control. Even with expensive baffles as an "enclosure" you're still going to get vibrations from the mounting surface and an"enclosure" with the wrong amount of air space. Premade speakers will be your best bet, if you get wifi controlled you can normally control each zone individually, and most have the option of feeding an external source in as well(tv/cable box, etc) as well as any streaming services like pandora, spotify.
Hell, I still have a brand new box of 6 on ceiling Paradigm speakers sitting in my closet because I went with wifi speakers hidden behind houseplants(will sell for right price,lol)
 
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