Imagine walking through your home, seamlessly enjoying your favorite music or catching every bit of dialogue from a movie, no matter which room you're in. The idea of continuous music or sound following you throughout your house might seem like a luxury, but creating this sound experience is easier than ever with a multiroom audio setup. In this guide, we’re explaining how a multiroom audio system works and offering a few tips for creating one.
What is Multiroom audio?
Multiroom audio is a system that lets you play the same music, podcasts, and other types of audio in multiple rooms of your home at the same time. That means you can go from one space to the next without the music fading away into the background.
For example, you can listen to your favorite playlist while doing chores around the house, and as you walk from room to room, the music will follow. Or maybe you're watching a movie and want to grab a bowl of popcorn from the kitchen. Instead of hitting pause, you can sync the audio from your TV to your kitchen speaker and step away without missing a word.
How Does Multiroom Audio Work?
At its core, multiroom audio works by linking various speakers across different rooms to play synchronized audio. This can be achieved through wireless or wired connections, depending on your setup and preferences.
A wireless sound system, like Sonos, is one of the easiest ways to get multiroom audio. Once you place your speakers in their desired locations and plug them into power, you can link them together over your WiFi network. A wired connection, on the other hand, requires some drilling and physically connecting your speakers to an amplifier, either through the walls or ceiling. This typically requires professional installation, but it’s great if you want your speakers to blend discreetly into your space.
Once your speakers are setup, most systems come with user-friendly controllers or apps that allow you to manage playback in different rooms using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you have a Sonos system, the Sonos app allows you to simply group rooms and speakers together. You can even create custom groups or zones that are frequently synced together. For example, you can create a custom group called “Downstairs” to enable playback across all the speakers on the same floor of your home.
Note that you can still enjoy the benefits of wireless control even if you have a wired system.
What Do You Need to Set Up Multiroom Audio?
For a multiroom audio setup, you need a speaker in every room where you want sound. These speakers can range from bookshelf speakers to sleek soundbars or discreet in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, depending on your preferences and room aesthetics.
A wireless or wired connection
Once you’ve decided on the type of speakers you’d like, they need to be connected to each other. As previously discussed, wireless connections — especially via WiFi — are most popular for their convenience and flexibility. However, certain scenarios may necessitate wired connections — like playing audio from physical media (such as CDs and vinyl) or using passive speakers like in-ceiling speakers, which will require a separate amplifier for power, such as Sonos Amp. However, for most users, WiFi is the recommended and preferred option due to its ease of use.
A way to control the audio
Controlling a multiroom audio system typically involves using a dedicated app or controller. These allow you to effortlessly manage and customize audio playback across different rooms. For instance, if you have a Sonos system, the Sonos app allows you to seamlessly group and ungroup different speakers or “rooms.”
A note on hardware
Depending on your setup, you might require additional equipment such as amplifiers or receivers, especially if you're integrating a traditional stereo setup or architectural speakers into your multiroom audio system. This typically requires you to have an AV closet, or dedicated space in your home to house all of the equipment, which could require an additional build-out if not readily available.
Example Multiroom Audio Setups
A speaker in every room
This approach involves bringing individual speakers, like Sonos Era 100, into each room where you’d like to listen. These speakers are then connected over WiFi, providing an easy-to-set-up and adaptable system that you can expand in the future.
In-wall or in-ceiling speakers
Another setup involves using built-in speakers like in-ceiling or in-wall options for a more integrated look. However, due to the complexity involved in installation, it's recommended to enlist the expertise of a professional installer.
Explore Sonos Multiroom Systems
Creating a multiroom audio setup can significantly elevate your home entertainment experience, offering convenience and a seamless flow of sound throughout your living space. Whether you opt for standalone speakers or integrated built-in systems, the world of multiroom audio is at your fingertips, ready to fill your home with all the content you love.
As the pioneers of multiroom sound, Sonos offers a variety of multiroom speaker sets to suit your audio needs. Choose the Two Room Set for an entry-level setup, or expand your system outdoors with the Indoor / Outdoor Set. Get help designing and installing your perfect sound system by contacting our team today.