Multiroom Audio vs Multizone Audio: What’s The Difference?

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy music around your home then you’ve potentially seen whole home audio systems referred to in a number of ways such as:

  • Multiroom audio
  • Multizone audio
  • Whole home audio

And maybe you’re wondering what the difference is, if any?

Most of the time, all of the above terms refer to the same type of system, however if you understand the difference between a room and a zone you can save yourself some serious money when designing your home audio system!

 

What Is A Multi Room / Zone / Home System?

A full multizone audio system means having speakers in specific rooms of your home which allow you to listen to music without limits.

You can listen to radio in the bathroom whilst another family member is listening to Spotify in the kitchen. You can play Deezer in the kitchen and the patio in perfect sync. 

These systems are flexible and are controlled by a smartphone or tablet app that lets you choose the music source, set the volume etc. in each separate room, all from one app.

To achieve this you’ll need a multiroom amplifier in each separate room which can soon add up, this is where knowing the real difference between a room and a zone can save you some hard earned cash without reducing the quality of your system.

 

Difference Between A Room And A Zone

A room is a physical room of your home, for instance the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, bathroom etc.

A zone is an area of audio, controlled by the app. If you have the kitchen as a zone and the dining room as a zone then both of these areas are separate – they can be controlled separately, play different music and will require a multiroom amplifier/speaker in both areas (2 rooms, 2 zones)

However.. If your dining room is adjacent to your kitchen are you ever likely to want to listen to different music in the dining room as to the kitchen? Probably unlikely!! So why spend another £500 on a multiroom amplifier for the dining room?

Whilst the kitchen and the dining room are two ROOMS they could be classed as one ZONE. 

Therefore you could simply use a single multiroom amplifier and four ceiling speakers to do the zone.

Both rooms will play the same music at the same time, but you’ve saved yourself £500 on an amplifier. (2 rooms, 1 Zone)

 

Further Sub-Zone Control

 

For extra control of what I like to call the “sub-zone” you can add an in wall speaker volume control or A/B selector switch.

These switches allow you to turn off a room or adjust the volume down in the sub-zone.

 

Volume controls are perfect for kitchen and dining room scenarios as you can adjust the volume down in the dining room, or turn it off.

A/B selector switches are perfect for kitchen / patio systems or bedroom / en-suite. You can choose to have either the bedroom on and the en-suite off, the en-suite on and the bedroom off or both areas playing music at the same time. All from one amplifier, not two!

 

Conclusion

Hopefully you now understand the true difference between a “room” and a “zone”.

Many people will refer to whole home audio in various ways, there is no truly right or wrong. Now with your new understanding, regardless of how it’s referred to you can see ways to plan for a better, more user friendly and cheaper multizone home audio system for your home.

We have plenty of multizone systems here from top brands such as Sonos and Denon HEOS. You’ll also find some popular sub-zone bundles allowing you to take advantage of speaker switches for expanding a couple of rooms into one audio zone. 

If you want to create your own sub-zones then take a look at our range of speaker switches and volume controls.

As usual if you need any help designing your system and want more money saving pro tips then please give one of our audio advisers a call on 02393 190955

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