Wife won't let me install cabling for whole-house audio - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Wife won't let me install cabling for whole-house audio

We are having some electrical work done so that we can subsequently insulate our attic and basement in a two story house with basement (as a story -- technically, a three-story house I guess). I wanted to have network and speaker cables run to the bedrooms and the master bathroom on the second floor. I was thinking of having the cabling installed then subsequently installing a system from Home Theater Direct:

Lync

This house has an intercom system, so I would just install the keypads for the Lync system in the same spots where the current intercom system is installed.

However, my wife thinks whole-house audio is useless for the bedrooms (she's letting me do the garage and deck, though). She says that our two kids (8 and 5) will never use it, as their life will revolve around a smartphone (or something even more advanced) with earbuds. I say that the kids would still use speakers in their rooms, and I would use speakers in the masterbath. But, she's overruled me. Since the house is finished, it would probably cost several thousand more than we're currently spending to put all of the other electrical in (which adds in several bathroom fan/light combinations, a bunch of other wiring such as more outlets, different light locations, etc.).

What are your thoughts? Will a whole-house system installed today be beneficial 5-10 years from now? Or will young children today find such a system useless then?

Bob
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post
We are having some electrical work done so that we can subsequently insulate our attic and basement in a two story house with basement (as a story -- technically, a three-story house I guess). I wanted to have network and speaker cables run to the bedrooms and the master bathroom on the second floor. I was thinking of having the cabling installed then subsequently installing a system from Home Theater Direct:

Lync

This house has an intercom system, so I would just install the keypads for the Lync system in the same spots where the current intercom system is installed.

However, my wife thinks whole-house audio is useless for the bedrooms (she's letting me do the garage and deck, though). She says that our two kids (8 and 5) will never use it, as their life will revolve around a smartphone (or something even more advanced) with earbuds. I say that the kids would still use speakers in their rooms, and I would use speakers in the masterbath. But, she's overruled me. Since the house is finished, it would probably cost several thousand more than we're currently spending to put all of the other electrical in (which adds in several bathroom fan/light combinations, a bunch of other wiring such as more outlets, different light locations, etc.).

What are your thoughts? Will a whole-house system installed today be beneficial 5-10 years from now? Or will young children today find such a system useless then?
I would wire the entire place with double runs of cat5e to anyplace you might want a hardwired internet connection. I would run speakers to anyplace you might want to casually listen to background music. You can always take pictures and measure wire locations and decide later if you want to install speakers. Much easier than not having them run.

Keep in mind that if you are ceiling mounting it will not be the critical listening experience of conventional 2 channel. We never listen to whole home audio in bedrooms. Only kitchen, main living room, patio, and deck. We wired the family room but listen to a decent 2 channel system instead. I can see the bathroom idea if you like to listen to music or news while getting ready in the morning.

Speaker wire is relatively cheap and you can add speakers later.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post
What are your thoughts? Will a whole-house system installed today be beneficial 5-10 years from now? Or will young children today find such a system useless then?
Gotta agree with the wife on this one. No kid is going to use a whole home audio system.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 10:44 AM
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(1 heavy-metal-loving kid) + (2 efficient PA/MI speakers) + (1 high-power stereo amp) = whole-house audio
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SledgeHammer View Post
Gotta agree with the wife on this one. No kid is going to use a whole home audio system.
+1 we put nice Speakercraft speakers and touchpanels in all the kids bedrooms and baths.
Even with tight integration with dedicated streams from an Autonomic MMS there was little to no use.
It was only after we gave each one their own Sonos Connect that the distributed audio system saw use.
Until something better comes along that is as easy to use this my goto for Tidal. Heck even my wife even uses the system now.
If we had to do it over give each one a couple Sonos Play speakers or a Connect amp with a in-wall/ceiling speakers.

Network
As much as I'm a strong proponent of a wired network wifi is the only thing used.
Note: all streaming appliances/servers/displays/desktop pc's/AP's are wired.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you.

We have all our main computers on a wired network (I have an unraid server in the basement and we record all our TV using HD Homerun primes and watch using a computer running WMC), I have all of our music ripped to our server and we use Squeezeboxes via wi-fi to control music to our living room (where we have large speakers).

As for speaker wiring (or any other wiring) being cheap, the wire may be cheap, but the installation is not. If I wanted to wire full internet to the upstairs with speaker cables, that would easily run me 3-5 grand, and that's without any equipment. That's just installation of the wires to boxes and to the location where the current network resides. In my previous house, I installed my own wired network there (and have installed the network we currently have in my current house), but it's incredibly time consuming to do. It took me years to install in my previous house, but that also included a ton of drywall work in order to find paths to route all the wires. In my current house, if we are going to run speaker cable or network, we'll also have to take down drywall to get from the basement to the attic and then to the second story.

I'm not sure I want to spend 3-5 grand more to install speakers and hardwired connections no one uses.

Bob
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 12:44 PM
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+1 with the Mrs....
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 01:35 PM
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IF your kids would want to play music in their rooms at a level higher than what comes from a smart phone or tablet, I would consider some kind of radio that has a jack for the audio and/or Bluetooth. Will they have a TV in their rooms? Maybe an AppleTV, Roku or some other device to stream to, then play through the TV's speakers or a sound bar. If you'll have music playing in several parts of the house for entertaining, the kids' bedrooms wouldn't be part of that in most cases, so I would pass.

Define the places where distributed audio is a priority, where it would be nice and where it might be OK, but really isn't needed. For the latter, use portable amplified speakers with BT capability and for the rest, install some kind of conduit, but don't fill it until you need to. If you want to play music in more than one area and use iTunes, a computer will be needed as the source because smart phones and tablets can only stream to one device using AirPlay but a computer can use multiple speakers in iTunes.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-31-2016, 03:48 PM
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My 12 year old loves listening to music. He very often asks to change the music (that's always playing on my whole house audio system). Fortunately, we mostly enjoy the same music.

I haven't wired the kids bedrooms. They usually listen to music falling asleep, using their CD players, or son using his tablet and a Bluetooth speaker.

Wiring the kids' bedrooms would be easy (attic above), but they seem happy with the current options.

The 12 year old likes to play whatever he fancies, immediately. I haven't added the WHA app to his tablet. We almost always use KPs for WHA control.

The 10 and 8 year olds aren't as interested in music, but will tune into their preferred music when I'm not around (SXM kids' channels).

So, it depends on your kids. If it's easy to add speakers to their rooms later, I would wait and see. I could see each of my kids with a Sonos in each of their rooms, with in-ceiling speakers, separate from the WHA system, in a few years. I wouldn't need to share, though I have 3 zones to spare, and 6 total inputs to the Nuvo GC, with expander (16 zones, 11 currently used).
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