All you need to know from Bluetooth to Amazon Echo and everything in between.
It has never been a better time to upgrade your home with a multi-room audio system. Whether you want to enjoy your music in just one room of your house or in every room of your house, you'll find everything you need to know here. Our comprehensive guides include a getting started with multi room audio guide, system comparisons, frequently asked questions and much more. If you need to know something that isn't on this buying guide then please feel free to get in touch and we'll add it for you.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat Is Multi Room Audio
Multi room audio systems let you enjoy your music in your home from various music sources such as internet radio.
The key benefit to multi room audio is the ability to synchronise rooms together.
Let's say you have ceiling speakers in the kitchen and in the garden, you can use them completely independently, or you can sync both areas to play the same music at the same time.
Perfect for BBQ's and parties!
Does Wireless Mean No Wires?
When we say "wifi speaker" or "wireless speaker" etc. we are referring to the operation.
These speaker are wireless in use, they can be controlled by your smart phone, tablet or in some cases your voice via Amazon Echo or Google Home
You will however need to do a small amount of wiring, but luckily you only need to do this once.Some systems require a power supply and 2 speaker cables wired to speakers. There is also a plug and play WiFi ceiling speaker on the market which simply needs a power supply above your ceiling!
All in all wiring for a multi room audio speaker isn't hard or expensive and is well worth the effort.
What Is The Difference Between A Room And A Zone?
You can often save yourself some money if you know the difference between a room and a zone.
A room is an area where you listen to music, that could be the kitchen with just a pair of speakers or it could be the kitchen diner with four speakers.If you have two areas where you want to listen to DIFFERENT music then it will always be two separate zones.
Best example is the bedroom and en-suite, two rooms but one zone. How often will you listen to different music in the en-suite to the bedroom? Put it on one amplifier with two sets of speakers and save yourself the cost of the second amplifier!
What Can I Listen To With Multi Room Audio?
With WiFi multi room audio systems you can listen to pretty much anything out there!
Each system is different so please check the item specifics, but most multi room audio systems on the market will let you listen to internet radio via TuneIN or vTuner, most will have Spotify and Deezer music streaming services.
Some of our multi room amplifiers have built in Bluetooth for YouTube streaming and some also have AirPlay which let's you stream directly from Apple devices, no app required!Do Multi Room Audio Systems Work With Amazon Echo / Google Home?
Amazon Echo in particular is massive now and most multi room audio manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon with either direct integration or control via third party services such as IFTTT (If This Then That)
Please check the item particulars for your chosen system, but most of the systems we have are compatible.Some systems are compatible via Bluetooth rather than WiFi control.
You can also use the Amazon Echo Dot with Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers as a stand alone multi room audio system! See the guide here.How Many Rooms Can I Have On A Multi Room Audio System?
Most of our systems will offer more capacity than the average home will need
The KB Sound SoundAround has a limit of 9 rooms for multi room and the iEAST can sync up to 10 rooms together at once. You can add more rooms, you just won't be able to sync more than 10 rooms together at a time.If you need more than 10 rooms please contact us about a full wired system such as Systemline S7
Do I Need To Use An App?
For most systems you will need to use an app, that's kind of the point of multi room audio - it's a full "solution" that you can control from your smart phone or tablet.
However some of our systems also feature Bluetooth which let's you connect directly to it and playback from your smart phone. This is great for letting friends play music on your system without them having to download an app.
Some of our systems also feature AirPlay, you can stream from an Apple devices or via iTunes and control volume in each room etc. without actually using the app!What Is The Best Multi Room Audio System?
Good question! But there is no straight answer.
We don't believe that one system is "better" than the next (based on the systems that we sell). What we believe is that there is a best solution for each requirement that might sway you from one system to another.KB Sound SoundAround...
Can I Use My Existing Speakers?
If you have a favourite brand of ceiling speakers then you can use them with systems such as the iEAST StreamAMP, Sonos Connect AMP and the KB Sound SoundAround.
So yes you can use any speakers you wish, or connect to an existing HiFi with some of our systems.
Do I Need A Multi Room Amplifier For Each Room?
Yes unfortunately so. For all of our retail products you'll need an amplifier per zone.
Some of our pro systems are one-box solutions for up to four rooms from one amplifier however these are generally installation-only products.
Think of each zone as a separate system for you to enjoy your music in, then you have the ability to link these zones together to become one big "room".Should I Wire The Network Or Just Use WiFi?
Our default reply is "wire it to your router" rather than connect via WiFi.
It's much more reliable and better to have the amplifiers hard wired, if you're wiring from scratch then we always suggest you install the network point for best performance.
However if you have good, reliable WiFi then it's perfectly acceptable to connect the amplifiers via WiFi only if necessary.Some systems such as the Lithe Audio WiFi Ceiling Speaker and the iEAST AudioCast M5 are WiFi only anyway.
We just suggest that if you are going to go WiFi connection then make sure you have good, reliable WiFi, and if not, upgrade your router (we suggest Ubiquiti)
How Does WiFi Multi Room Compare To Cheaper Bluetooth Speakers?
Both are great systems and have their pros and cons. It mostly comes down to how you want to use the system.
If you want speakers in your kitchen and you're never going to add another room or sync rooms together then you would probably be better off with Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers only. They are both cheaper and more suitable for the use.
If however you want speakers in the Kitchen, Dining Room and the Garden then we'd strongly suggest you go for multi room as you can then sync these together for seamless playback!
WiFi can often be better quality than Bluetooth and you don't get range issues, if you get a phone call a WiFi speaker will continue playing where a Bluetooth speaker will pause.