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Wireless Whole House Audio

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone

I am looking at a solution for whole house audio and I really dont think that I am going to be able to run wires as this is an existing home. I was wanting to know what all wireless home audio solutions are out there that everyone recommends???

I know and have looked into sonos, but was curious if there were others out there?
post #2 of 8
Depending on the environment you live in (interference wise), Control4 is an affordable option, make sure your installer knows his networking basics very well.
post #3 of 8
I too like the concept of SONOS but it is overkill for much of my needs and at this time, I will also wait until after CES before I commit to it.

While there are a few rooms in my house and outside that I want unique audio to, in many of my rooms I just want backgroud music. I am not looking to drive high quality audio in those areas, and I want them to all get the same audio that the other rooms are receiving.

I too cannot run wires and in fact I cannot even have speakers showing in these rooms. So I have to find very unobtrusive solutions for distribution and sound reproduction.

If SONOS had some very inexpensive devices that could be deployed in this manner I would probably put it everywhere. But at over $650 a room for a Z100 and speakers, this is a ridculous cost, plus its far from unobtrusive.

I have done searches on every wireless distribution system, wireless speakers and wireless audio systems on the net. Its like playing a rubics cube. Each one has a suite spot but they all seem to fall off in one area or another. Here are the criteria I need to evaluate a system on for generalized audio distribution:

1. Needs to be wireless
2. Cannot interfere with my wireless phone (900 mhz) or my b/g network (2.4 ghz) - its ok to coexist
3. Must be able to send one broadcast to mulitple zones with no lag between zones (ie no audio delay)
4. Must be able to be easily hidden or so small its virtually undetectable
5. Must not consume significant power
6. Must be inexpensive (i.e. fractional from the Sonos per room price above).
7. Should be able to be integrated with a SONOS system as well as my existing HT based audio system

There may be no solution to these requirements out there today. Again SONOS is very close and if they dropped their price on the Z80/Z100 to about 20% of its current price, I think it would be justified for a whole house audio system.

I have found a few devices that seem to meet my needs and have ordered enough to outfit a four room test. However I am not comfortable at this time that it will work. After various reviews and discussions with vendors, there are mixed feelings that these components will actually do what I want and work as advertised. I will have these next week and by 12/9/2007 I should know if it will work in my environment.

Here are the solution elements I will be trialing:

(4) Yamaha NX-A01 One-Box Cubic Stereo Speaker - Black

(1) Amphony L1520 Model 1520 Digital Wireless Audio Transmitter / Receiver Amplifier Pair, 5.8 GHz, Stereo amplifier with 20-Watts peak output power per channel, No audio compression, stereo class-T digital amplifier

(3) Amphony Model 1520R Digital Wireless Audio Receiver / Amplifier, 5.8 GHz, Stereo amplifier with 20-Watts peak output power per channel, No audio compression, stereo class-T digital amplifier

I only found the receivers at one site and they are not stocking them at this time but will order them for me if I can get the 1520 pairs working first.

The speakers are only about $50 each and only one is used (bi directional stereo), the trans/rec pair is about $100 and the receivers are about $55 each. So my four room setup will only cost about $450 or $125 per room. Its not SONOS by any means, but it would allow all four rooms to receive the same audio, be wireless and unobtrusive if it works.

More about this after I get the units up and test their applicabilty.
post #4 of 8
Russound has announced a system that will be available in 2008 that allows you to install their RNET systems (CAV6.6 & CAM6.6) without running wires between rooms. All the audio and data is modulated over your existing power wires.

Don't know how well it will work... more information on page 7 in the following link.

http://www.russound.com/pdf/russound...undings6_2.pdf

The Avenue system will be good for retrofits if it's reliable as the cost will likely be less than retrofitting wiring in many homes.

Cheers,
Paul
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Does anyone one have any advice on running wire in an existing home its 2 story and has no crawl space!
post #6 of 8
Crown molding
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm just going to have to start knocking holes and putting in some inceiling speakers I guess!!
post #8 of 8
My first report on the unobstrusive background music front using the Yamaha mini cube speaker and the Amphony wireless amps. Definately not high quality. The speakers are just above small radio quality and not quite to the level of computer speaker quality. Probably pass for the use as low level background speakers and they are small.

On the wireless front the Amphony is less than what I thought it would be (its only ~$100 for the pair so one cannot expect too much). The DC power supply was bigger than the receiver.

The pairs work about 50 feet line of site. Going through a few walls I was able to get ~30 feet or so (what they claimed), but at this distance I was getting interference when an object moved in front of the receiver. I will try tomorrow to mount it higher and see if I can remove any chances of something blocking the signal. Also the sound is a bit tinney too.

I will try the pair to see if I can get a reliable signal without interference in my only possible area for the transmitter. Its going to have to be inside a closet and this may be an issue since I think I was getting reflective signal with my multiroom tests when the transmitter was out in the open.

If I still like the idea the next step is to buy more receivers to get simultaneous audio in a multiroom mode. I am worried about audio delays but I doubt there will be one between the pairs.

All in all I wish there was a cheap homeplug solution. There was one in Europe but they got out of the market and only made 240 volt devices.
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