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Trends in Home Audio Systems

October 2, 2012 | Comments

While the basic elements of whole-house audio systems - speakers, sources, control and amplification - still remain commonplace, technology advancements have produced some exciting new trends in multi-room audio systems. Having music in every room of the home is no longer reserved for the rich and famous, and with these five new trends, you can enjoy more music in more ways than ever before!

Wireless

Whole-house audio systems typically require running lots of speaker and control wiring. While this is often not a problem during a home's construction, it can add a lot of time and cost when retrofitting a system into an existing home.

However, with advances in WiFi technology and streaming music services, more wireless systems are hitting the market. Wireless systems still need to be connected to power, and some require wiring from amplifier to the speakers while others feature the amplifier and speaker in one component.

Metadata

Metadata is the information like artist, album, song title and album artwork that is embedded into digital music files like MP3s. Beyond being informative, it is crucial for successfully browsing the music library stored on your iPod or networked computer.

Most modern whole-house audio systems display this metadata on either an in-wall keypad or touchpanel controller, allowing you to not only see what is playing, but also to make an intelligent selection when browsing.

Streaming

Why be limited to your personal library of compact discs when you can have access to virtually every song in the world? By streaming content from the Internet - i.e., playing content from a continuous "stream" without storing it locally on a hard drive - you can enjoy paid services like Rhapsody or Sirius/XM, free services like Pandora and Spotify, or any of the thousands of free Internet Radio stations and podcasts. Streaming gives you a truly limitless amount of music to listen to and is one of the hottest trends in home audio systems.

Mobile Devices

Smart phones and tablets are becoming more commonplace, and many manufacturers are embracing these new devices as full-fledged controllers for whole-house audio systems. Some manufacturers supply the control app for free, while others charge a fee for use. Either way, this allows you to utilize a device you already own and are familiar with. And by having a full-fledged controller on your phone or tablet, you can roam around the house while maintaining full control of your audio, and have access to countless tunes right at your fingertips.

To learn more about having whole-house audio with the latest features designed and installed in your home, search for a local qualified CEDIA member near you.