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I am building a new house. I met with the low voltage guy and agreed to prewire 10 of the rooms (ceiling speakers) for audio (haven't signed off yet). A week ago, I wasn't even aware of Sonos. Before I sign off, I really need to educate myself.  I now realize Sonos isn't an option as I would have to buy 10 units at $650 each to stream each room with a different song.  It is unlikely more than 1 will ever be running but I want the flexibility that 10 different songs from Pandora or some other streaming music service could run independently in 10 different rooms simultaneously and controlled from a smart device.  

How many zones can I get from a single unit and what device should I get? How many units will I need for 10 zones? Can each room play a different song? Should I make sure each room has a volume control instead of just running it solely through a smart device? What is a great bang for buck ceiling speaker? 9 of the 10 rooms will be two individual speakers while the master bathroom will be a dual voice coil (DVC) speaker. Is there anything else I should be aware of?

I will say I have no knowledge of this area so I am pretty basic in my understanding of options (hence why I am here).  Music isn't a big deal for this build if it is going to be expensive.  There are a lot of other options if that is the case. Prewire will run ~$200/each and speakers ~$200/pair.  So already at ~$4000.  If a system is going to costs more than $1000, then I will likely just forget the whole thing.  

Also will do 5.1 surround system in two rooms...any recommendations?

Thanks!
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Hi Saxon, 

 

Since it seems no one else has taken the opportunity to reply, I'll share a bit of insight.

 

There are a number of different brands offering competitive products to Sonos and depending on how the system is designed, possibly more affordable/more ideal for your application.


There are multi-zone capable streaming units from well-known audio brands like Denon, Yamaha, Marantz as well as higher performance solutions from brands such as NAD/Bluesound, Linn, Naim, Meridian, etc.

 

There are also less-well known brands specific to the custom integration market such as Lode Audio, Audio Control, and some other niche products for multizone.

 

To answer your questions properly, it's probably best to ask a few questions in reply:

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How many zones can I get from a single unit and what device should I get?

 

 

This is a difficult question to answer on an audio forum for a number of reasons. How many zones of audio do you need? Do you have blueprints for the home? Are the zones home run (centralized) or local (each room)?

 

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How many units will I need for 10 zones?

 

The question here would be - do you need independent stream selection (from internet or local content) for each zone? Do you need independent volume control for each zone from an App on your smartphone/tablet/computer? That will help determine how many "units" (zones) you will need.

 

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Can each room play a different song?

 

If the zones are configured as independent zones, then yes, each and every room can play a different song, or the same song in any combination of the rooms, with a majority of these systems (Sonos or otherwise).

 

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Should I make sure each room has a volume control instead of just running it solely through a smart device?

 

This depends on a number of factors. Are you comfortable reaching for a phone/tablet/computer in each and every room just to be able to adjust the volume? If you're OK with that, in some cases it will be less expensive and less complicated to implement software-based volume control for each zone (less wiring involved, no junction boxes required for VCs, no expense for VCs). I might add, it's also typically better performance (all things being equal) to avoid using in-line (speaker level) volume controls with speakers because while many VCs are well enough made and overall transparent there is still inevitable signal loss when making that in-line connection. 

 

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What is a great bang for buck ceiling speaker? 

 

There are so many options and price points that it's truly a matter of buyer beware when it comes to custom installed loudspeakers. On the lower end of the well known loudspeaker brands there are plenty of great options - B&W, Paradigm, Totem, KEF, PSB, Dali, Martin Logan, etc. all make custom install (in-wall and in-ceiling) speaker options that I consider to be affordable and high performance. There are also custom-install specific speaker brands like Sonance (probably the most popular), James Loudspeaker (same parent company as Sonance), Origin Acoustics, Episode, Triad, etc. which all offer quite respectable products, and in some cases higher performance for the application. At the low end there are so many brands I would say avoid most of them except for possibly Monoprice if you're really just looking for something cheap.

 

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9 of the 10 rooms will be two individual speakers while the master bathroom will be a dual voice coil (DVC) speaker. Is there anything else I should be aware of?
 

 

Yes, plenty. Please, regardless of what someone tells you, if the speaker wire runs are longer than 15-20ft please use a minimum 14awg speaker cable (yes, even for in-ceilings for all you doubters out there). I see way too many installs with 16awg wire and the quality of the sound always suffers as a result. Also, while it's not the most important thing, a good quality 14awg cable should be specified there- there are plenty of quality, 14awg bulk run cable suppliers cheap enough out there to do this on a budget.

 

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If a system is going to costs more than $1000, then I will likely just forget the whole thing.  

 

I would guess based on the questions you asked and my subsequent responses that a true multi-room/multi-zone audio system with any level of quality and functionality will far exceed a $1000 budget. 

 

In this case you could run the whole home as a single zone (will need in-wall/in-line volume control) from a stereo preamp, driving a multichannel amplifier. If you're smart about it you could keep this under $1k by shopping used or budget.

 

Personally it's at this point when I ask - 

 

How far away is the living room and how big is the house? If you can't do a multi-room system correctly, a wiser investment is a big, capable stereo you can play loud and hear all throughout the house. Why use sub-par gear to get sub-par sound in 10 rooms, when you can have excellent sound from one?

 

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Also will do 5.1 surround system in two rooms...any recommendations?

 

I'd ask a similar question to my previous one -

 

How many times are you going to be watching a cinema/movie event with a 5.1 audio soundtrack in each of the two rooms? Why not invest in a killer 5.1 surround system for the primary room, and run 2-channel in the other one? That way you can free up more budget for a better quality 5.1 setup for when you really want to be immersed in that type of experience, and still have a quality audio solution for the other room. 

 

I only take this line of reasoning because it sounds like you are on a budget and to me it makes no sense to do two 5.1 systems of equally mediocre value when you could apply the dollars to a better solution for one area. If money is no object then you should do as many 5.1 systems as makes you happy.

 

 

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Thank you for the very detailed reply!  I will check into some of those devices you mentioned.  

To answer your questions:
 

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This is a difficult question to answer on an audio forum for a number of reasons. How many zones of audio do you need? Do you have blueprints for the home? Are the zones home run (centralized) or local (each room)?

How many zones do I need is a great question!  I have asked for 10 but a couple are guest rooms so those are not immediate.  Another one I did the game room but I am putting 5.1 in there so that is probably unnecessary.  4 downstairs and 2-3 upstairs I would say is what I need (or more specifically want).  So I don't have actual blueprints but I do have the layout.  Don't understand zone being home run or local completely but from my limited knowledge, I am moving towards both.  Centralized from a single source but now looking into the costs that someone could just plug their cell phone or other device via HDMI into the wall for each room (local).  Did I understand that correctly?

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The question here would be - do you need independent stream selection (from internet or local content) for each zone? Do you need independent volume control for each zone from an App on your smartphone/tablet/computer? That will help determine how many "units" (zones) you will need.

Need is a strong word.  Honestly, I don't need any of this.  I just want it but your point is valid.  I could be fine just going with a mobile wireless option which is portable to whatever room I want to go.  Just would be nice to do in a nice home. 
I am going to have switches in each room to control volume as well.  Honestly, I think if someone can play music off their smart device, I would be pretty happy.  I would love to do it wirelessly but the local (HDMI) option satisfies that desire.  I am looking into the extra costs now and should have it in the next week.

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This depends on a number of factors. Are you comfortable reaching for a phone/tablet/computer in each and every room just to be able to adjust the volume? If you're OK with that, in some cases it will be less expensive and less complicated to implement software-based volume control for each zone (less wiring involved, no junction boxes required for VCs, no expense for VCs). I might add, it's also typically better performance (all things being equal) to avoid using in-line (speaker level) volume controls with speakers because while many VCs are well enough made and overall transparent there is still inevitable signal loss when making that in-line connection. 

I have two young kids and my worry is that they understand only one volume.  Hence it would be nice to come in and turn it down.  Another thing to consider, while you may be a true audiophile, I am just a casual user and I don't see that changing a lot.  Hence why I could walk away from this and put that money elsewhere.  Just seems like a nice to have right now.

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There are so many options and price points that it's truly a matter of buyer beware when it comes to custom installed loudspeakers. On the lower end of the well known loudspeaker brands there are plenty of great options - B&W, Paradigm, Totem, KEF, PSB, Dali, Martin Logan, etc. all make custom install (in-wall and in-ceiling) speaker options that I consider to be affordable and high performance. There are also custom-install specific speaker brands like Sonance (probably the most popular), James Loudspeaker (same parent company as Sonance), Origin Acoustics, Episode, Triad, etc. which all offer quite respectable products, and in some cases higher performance for the application. At the low end there are so many brands I would say avoid most of them except for possibly Monoprice if you're really just looking for something cheap.

That was so blatantly helpful...thank you!!!!!!!!

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Yes, plenty. Please, regardless of what someone tells you, if the speaker wire runs are longer than 15-20ft please use a minimum 14awg speaker cable (yes, even for in-ceilings for all you doubters out there). I see way too many installs with 16awg wire and the quality of the sound always suffers as a result. Also, while it's not the most important thing, a good quality 14awg cable should be specified there- there are plenty of quality, 14awg bulk run cable suppliers cheap enough out there to do this on a budget.

Good to know. I will confirm with builder if I move forward on this.

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How far away is the living room and how big is the house? If you can't do a multi-room system correctly, a wiser investment is a big, capable stereo you can play loud and hear all throughout the house. Why use sub-par gear to get sub-par sound in 10 rooms, when you can have excellent sound from one?

4400 sqft but the living room is central edge to the house.  Honestly, I as thinking of wiring my ex father in law's room, kitchen and screened porch because he likes to listen to music on his phone (hence why a local HDMI is an option).  The other consideration is two daughters who as they get into their teens...their whole life will be music...hence their rooms.  Once again, local option makes sense.  I would have the option to add to the centralized over time if I wanted so i think initially it is to go local with the option to add zones to the centralized system over time.  Does that sound reasonable?

 

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How many times are you going to be watching a cinema/movie event with a 5.1 audio soundtrack in each of the two rooms? Why not invest in a killer 5.1 surround system for the primary room, and run 2-channel in the other one? That way you can free up more budget for a better quality 5.1 setup for when you really want to be immersed in that type of experience, and still have a quality audio solution for the other room. 

 

I only take this line of reasoning because it sounds like you are on a budget and to me it makes no sense to do two 5.1 systems of equally mediocre value when you could apply the dollars to a better solution for one area. If money is no object then you should do as many 5.1 systems as makes you happy.

Not a budget per se, just not impulsive with money.  I want to make sure I get value/use out of what I purchase.  $2000-4000 for something I will use near daily (i.e. home gym), money isn't an issue.  However for something I may use every few months, then I have to weigh costs.  House will be close to $1M and there are a lot of new expenses after it is built such as furniture, security, changing out switches, hardware such as WAP, home gym, etc.  

The 5.1 was going to go in my room, family room, and game room (girls' play area).  I don't have to have it in my BR (stereo makes more sense...should I integrate locally into ceiling or wall speakers or just have a stand alone system?) but definitely family room and game room (where we will probably watch movies on the weekend).  Now that will be over my ex-FIL's room so I don't know if that would be an issue.

Listen, I really appreciate the amount of time and detail you put into your response.  It is greatly appreciated and that advice is instrumental in my decisions!!  I liked instead of just giving opinion, you followed up with questions to better understand the needs so you could give objective advice.  Thank you again so much!!!

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Don't understand zone being home run or local completely but from my limited knowledge, I am moving towards both.  Centralized from a single source but now looking into the costs that someone could just plug their cell phone or other device via HDMI into the wall for each room (local).  Did I understand that correctly?

 

Typically distributed A/V systems are a combination of both centralized and local applications depending on the zone.

 

To explain it as simply as possible, with a centralized distributed audio system, all of the electronics (source/preamp/amp) are located in a dedicated area (like a closet, area in the garage, etc.), and all of the cables leading to speakers and/or volume controls are "home run" to this dedicated location. In industry lingo it's often referred to as an MEC (Main Equipment Center).

 

A locally based distributed audio system would consist of each zone/room having a "home run" for the speaker wires, etc. to an electronics location contained within the room specifically placed there to support that zone. In other words, each zone has an MEC of some kind. The audio can be shared between various zones using network streaming products like Sonos, BluSound, Denon Heos, etc., or through a number of other means.


It's a little tough to explain why you won't need HDMI connectors on a wall plate in any rooms for mobile phones, but suffice it to say more emphasis should be placed on ensuring a properly designed network than anything else.

 

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4400 sqft but the living room is central edge to the house.  Honestly, I as thinking of wiring my ex father in law's room, kitchen and screened porch because he likes to listen to music on his phone (hence why a local HDMI is an option).  The other consideration is two daughters who as they get into their teens...their whole life will be music...hence their rooms.  Once again, local option makes sense.  I would have the option to add to the centralized over time if I wanted so i think initially it is to go local with the option to add zones to the centralized system over time.  Does that sound reasonable?

 

Again, based on this and your other comments what I would most focus on is ensuring your network infrastructure is adequate to each zone/room, and possibly forego pre-wiring for in-ceiling/in-wall speakers except in the locations they will definitely be used (in most homes - kitchen/dining room/hallway/bathroom(s)).

 

That way you can run the wire for in-ceilings and in-walls where you will likely use them most, while also giving yourself the option to install locally integrated systems (Sonos or otherwise) in your daughters' rooms for example.

 

Paying close attention to how the local network is designed is key for distributed A/V systems.

 

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Not a budget per se, just not impulsive with money.  I want to make sure I get value/use out of what I purchase.  $2000-4000 for something I will use near daily (i.e. home gym), money isn't an issue.  However for something I may use every few months, then I have to weigh costs.  House will be close to $1M and there are a lot of new expenses after it is built such as furniture, security, changing out switches, hardware such as WAP, home gym, etc.

 

Makes total sense. I know all about the conundrum, I've experienced it many times.

 

I guess I'd re-emphasize to pay more attention to the infrastructure and making sure you have the right cabling in the walls at the locations and with the interfaces that you want. 


Most A/V stuff is pretty ubiquitous so as long as you have the wire there you have the option of taking your time to choose what you want.

 

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The 5.1 was going to go in my room, family room, and game room (girls' play area).  I don't have to have it in my BR (stereo makes more sense...should I integrate locally into ceiling or wall speakers or just have a stand alone system?) but definitely family room and game room (where we will probably watch movies on the weekend).  Now that will be over my ex-FIL's room so I don't know if that would be an issue.
 

 

I hope I'm not sounding like a broken record, but I'd say - plan for the 5.1 where you want it by installing the necessary infrastructure, then later you can slowly (or all at once) build the system(s) out.

 

One important thing to consider on this note is that if you are looking into higher end in-wall or in-ceiling speakers for a theater. based application, then your options may be limited after the fact. Many of the higher performance brands which design in-wall/in-ceiling speakers for use with surround systems, may require special back boxes or enclosures which cannot easily be installed after your sheetrock/drywall work is done. Also, how your display is oriented and installed can essentially nullify/void a proper 5.1 application, and in-wall and in-ceiling center channel speakers can be difficult to install if not planned out in advance for the room.

 

In-room speakers nearly always sound better if placed properly so I'd keep that in mind for areas you might want some more immersive sound.

 

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Listen, I really appreciate the amount of time and detail you put into your response.  It is greatly appreciated and that advice is instrumental in my decisions!!  I liked instead of just giving opinion, you followed up with questions to better understand the needs so you could give objective advice.  Thank you again so much!!!

 

 

I'm glad you appreciated the feedback and I equally appreciate your thanks! Feel free to let me know if there's something I failed to cover you'd like more clarification on.

 

Oh yea - and Merry Christmas!

 

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On 12/21/2020 at 10:40 PM, Saxon Riley said:

How many zones can I get from a single unit and what device should I get?


Roon (with a i9 Sonictransporter) would give you almost unlimited zones. And fulfill your other requirements / wishes. Subscribe to Tidal and/or Qobuz. 
 

Maybe look for active speakers that are Roon ready?

To find ceiling ones would be hard. So you may have to add a steaming amplifier or similar which wasn’t you idea I guess. Have a look at Bluesound’s products. 
 

So maybe change your philosophy to stretch AC in each room close to where speakers to be placed hight up on wall ?

 

Several streaming amplifiers of streaming DAC’s  in a technical room can be an option. (If not in each room). Ceiling speakers with build in amps may be a good option. Built in wall or ceiling speakers with RAAT (Roon) doesn’t seem to exist yet. That’s what really you need. 
 

Dali, Klipsch, B&W, may have solutions for you. (Stay away from Sonos, and Heos systems, or anything that force you into something proprietary). 
 

Please also consider fiber in addition to RJ45 to at least your living room. 
 

Here is a site that may interest you. https://www.litheaudio.com/airplay-2.html

 

 

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For @Saxon Riley, I have a completely different take, more similar along the lines of @R1200CL but in a lower price range probably.

Usually, I try to figure out what the goals of this project is and so far I've heard the following:

1) Sound in multiple rooms

2) Different sound playing in multiple rooms

3) Cost <$5000?

4) 5.1 system in some rooms

 

But what I'm really not sure about is

1) Are ceiling speakers important? 

 

The real problem is that a good system costs money. And the more demands you put on the system (like different sound playing in different rooms, 5.1 systems) will cost more money. So yes, to have different sounds playing different rooms, you probably need to buy a Sonos steamer (or something else) for hundreds of dollars per room.

 

And the real challenge is that your home installer has given you an anchor price of $4000 for 10 rooms. With the promise of aesthetically pleasing ceiling speakers (that generally sound awful, especially at $200 per speaker). 

 

I usually ask the questions in reverse. Because for most people total costs matter.

1) How important is it for you to have your 5.1 system play music? Or is it mostly going to be your home theatre system? And are you thinking soundbars when you say 5.1 or are you actually thinking of putting 5 optimally placed speakers sticking out in a room?

2) How many rooms do you really, really want to play music in? (And please don't say all 10 rooms that the installer promised because that costs way more money)

3) Where does your music currently reside? Do you own them on a hard disk drive? Or are you using Apple Music? Spotify?

4) Are you an iOS/iPhone family or an Android family?

Because many people frequenting the forums here are very sophisticated computer people (hence, the old site name is computer audiophile) so they can make anything work and DIY computer related things and care less about user interface and are willing to spend more money on sound. Whereas I find most new posters have set budgets, and are less willing to adapt to bad user interface.

 

Basically, you would want your whole home to use the same system ideally for ease of use, e.g. Sonos or BeOS (Roon is usually too expensive for most people). 

 

So usually, I would just say, get whatever you want for 5.1 that fits your budget at Best Buy. But it may not integrate that well for music (but it can work).

And the rooms you want to have music playing, just get Sonos or BeOS or Apple HomePods as speakers.

 

Except for Apple products, you can use Ethernet (RJ45) cables as @R1200CL suggested in the walls. It is very difficult to get great stable Wi-Fi in homes with lots of Wi-Fi devices so the more that's hooked up to the wall, the more stable the performance. And yes, if you have ten rooms, you should have a good Wi-Fi mesh network but also have RJ45 jacks for most rooms. This is particularly true for your 5.1 system rooms as you'll want to stream high-quality videos via Ethernet cables.

 

So in fact, the first thing I'd budget is how much it'll cost to wire Ethernet into how many rooms and the cost of a good Wi-Fi mesh network. I think you'll be surprised by how expensive that is going to be.

 

And then figure out what you really want for sound and video in which rooms

 

 

 

Roon (convolution filter using Acourate) > ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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@Saxon Riley

I don’t think this is a solution you like, but it may be the closest you get to a perfect Roon system with in ceiling or wall speakers. And it’s cheap and it will work 😀
It requires a bit DIY and Raspberry Pi with add on cards. https://www.hifiberry.com/applications/multiroom-audio/

Several AirPlay products will also get you there. (With AirPlay’s minor limitations). 

It’s cheap to pull tubes/pipes for wires, so have your installer pull enough. And with as huge diameter as possible, so you can combine Ethernet and audio signal. AC power in separate pipes. (You can pull wires later).

 

Did you plan for a mesh network also ? Latest technology should be quite good (finally).

(But you should do a wired network in addition, as it’s an cheap option).

A very high percentage of issues related to streaming is bad network and routers. 

Also are you planning for a lot of WiFi controlled lights or dimmers etc ? Make sure you use systems that doesn’t create a lot of EMI/RFI and other noise issues. (I like Hue).

Is there some sort of home automation planned ?

 

For home theater, I myself use Theta Casablanca with their Prometheus amps and ATI amps for multichannel.

It’s a challenge to combine good 2 ch HiFi with home theater. It may require its own tread.


You didn’t mention budget for your 5.1, but I think you more would prefer at least Dolby Atmos, or similar immersive sound systems. I would expect a TV will be included as well in these rooms ? Are you also looking for these multichannel systems to use hidden speakers ?

There exist quite good sound bars as well with “fake” immersive sound. Is that an option for you to get 5.1 ?

If not you probably should look at something from NAD latest creation. 

 

If you using ceiling speaker in combination with a room above, you must think about that’s soundproof 😀


@ecwl has many good questions and points. 
Looking forward to your reply on those. 

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Logitech Media Server is free and will also  do what you need. Can be run from a Raspberry Pi and from a touch screen. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Hi

 

I heard from someone that on Nuvo system u can use for an example 1 USB with music and play different music in different zones from the same USB

 

can anyone advise how this works and if I can do the same with a Russound systems if I add an integrated controller like control4  etc.

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@R1200CL
With respect to Roon being a solution for the OP, I don't necessarily disagree, however he should be aware of the following if considering 10 zones:

 

  • The Roon Core should be a competent PC/NAS with as many CPU threads and as much RAM as possible (16GB would be minimum I would think) and with SSD internal storage or a USB 3.0 connection for an external HDD/SSD. He should install ROCK and dedicate the computer to this task.
  • He may also want to consider a PC or NAS with multiple gigabit ethernet ports to enable link aggregation to a capable, managed network switch
  • He should pay very close attention to the cabling being run (fiber or CAT) to each zone, how it is terminated, and what other devices may be using the same connection (to a switch for example) in each room.
  • He should overall in general have someone properly design and spec the network for this, including possible network segmentation (i.e running Roon Core and Roon Endpoints all on the same VLAN).
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So maybe change your philosophy to stretch AC in each room close to where speakers to be placed hight up on wall ?

 

Not a good idea, for a number of reasons, not least of which is meeting potential local code requirements. There are companies already offering active in-ceiling and in-wall options using PoE. So, if he wanted to have the option to use an active CI speaker he should simply run both 14/2 and CAT6 to each desired speaker location.

 

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Built in wall or ceiling speakers with RAAT (Roon) doesn’t seem to exist yet. That’s what really you need. 
 

 
There may be competent integrators already doing this with Savant Artison products, but I'm not certain.

 

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Dali, Klipsch, B&W, may have solutions for you. (Stay away from Sonos, and Heos systems, or anything that force you into something proprietary). 

 

Bit of cognitive dissonance? While more or less ubiquitous now because manufacturers have chosen to adopt it due to consumer demand, Roon is still very much a proprietary, non-open system. The OP could easily build out for use with Roon only to find out later it's obsoleted because of newer formats and protocols (something I doubt heavily due to the absolutely unique nature of Roon, and how elegant of a solution it can be, but nevertheless still possible - I've seen many multi room/digital audio software solutions come and go).

 

What is most important for the OP as this juncture should be focusing on the infrastructure for what he wants to do and focusing less on the specifics. A properly designed network and LV infrastructure will provide OP with the flexibility to use what he wants to later down the road. Then it won't matter if he wants to use a proprietary, or open standard.

 

 

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So in fact, the first thing I'd budget is how much it'll cost to wire Ethernet into how many rooms and the cost of a good Wi-Fi mesh network. I think you'll be surprised by how expensive that is going to be.

I second this sentiment, getting the LV infrastructure right and properly designing the network should be the primary goal at this stage.

 

On this note, "Mesh" WiFi is not necessarily a better solution for the OP. I'd much rather have a couple of higher end, properly configured, dedicated WAPs for most applications. That being said, a wireless mesh network could be the right option depending on the home layout and budget.

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It’s cheap to pull tubes/pipes for wires, so have your installer pull enough. And with as huge diameter as possible, so you can combine Ethernet and audio signal. AC power in separate pipes.

 

Eh, I'd disagree, particularly on the AC side. AC requires a whole other level of planning because you need to determine how many circuits you need to run off of your panel. It can get expensive quite quickly, especially if code requires metal conduit for the application. 

 

Not to mention, if the LV installer doesn't properly route LV cable with respect to AC power, major problems can ensue. Keeping the wire in separate "pipes" does nothing to affect 60Hz/50Hz radiation fields from typical solid core 12/2 or 12/3 runs for power.

 

I'd be very careful to plan this out before spending money because parts are "cheap".

 

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Go wireless with 10 used Google Chromecast Audio dongles $45 (on Ebay) controlled by a single Roon NUC server $250 driving a $100 pair of Edifier R1280T powered speakers with remote.

 

Control everything from a tablet or mobile phone.

 

Add an annual Roon subscription and a disc for a music library and/or a streaming service like Qobuz or Tidal and you are done.

 

 

nuckleheadaudio.com

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4 hours ago, lmitche said:

Go wireless with 10 used Google Chromecast Audio dongles $45 (on Ebay) controlled by a single Roon NUC server $250 driving a $100 pair of Edifier R1280T powered speakers with remote.

 

Control everything from a tablet or mobile phone.

 

Add an annual Roon subscription and a disc for a music library and/or a streaming service like Qobuz or Tidal and you are done.

 

 

Larry,

 

One of the best suggestions I have seen on this forum.   You can branch out with this at all different levels. 

 

Rjf

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Edifier R1280T Isn’t a built in wall or ceiling speaker. The OP wanted primary built in speakers. I assume he like things hidden. 
 

@Elad Repooc

I disagree on installing AC pipes is expensive. This can be done from the closest socket output available. And you can even do it yourself. 
I can’t see regulations and codes being an issue. We’re talking very low power requirements. All amps in active speakers will be class D. (Unless he stretch speaker cables. Then “any” type of amplifier can be used). 

Unless he goes PoE, he “must” have AC available.
AC pipes (with or without wires) can be laying hidden in the ceiling, and be used the day one decides to drill holes for speakers. 


Installing ethernet cables may be more expensive, (compared to AC), as you have to pull this from the technical room to all locations. In addition, if the idea is that this ethernet should connect to a hidden system, you will need a second ethernet connection in your wall. Which you probably should add in several rooms in any case. 

Same argument can be used for stretching speaker cables from a central point. 

I think a good mesh network may be most cost effective. AirTies Air 4930 is one of the best. Or the newer one 4960 or 4970 that’s supports WiFi 6. Now the OP can plan for good location of those WiFi stations. As both ethernet and power is required. I’m quite sure latest technology in WiFi will serve the OP well. (In combination with selected RJ45 interfaces around). I would probably use hardwired ethernet where TV’s shall be placed. 


Those suggested WiFi speakers may be a very good solution https://www.litheaudio.com/airplay-2.html

The OP can start with one or two rooms. As long as he has AC ready, he can drill new holes later for equal or different speakers.
 

Google Chromecast Audio dongles is a good solution into any active speaker. 

 

The OP should plan for pulling cables (ethernet and power) at this point. Then he has the flexibility to design audio system later.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, R1200CL said:

Edifier R1280T Isn’t a built in wall or ceiling speaker. The OP wanted primary built in speakers. I assume he like things hidden. 
 

@Elad Repooc

I disagree on installing AC pipes is expensive. This can be done from the closest socket output available. And you can even do it yourself. 
I can’t see regulations and codes being an issue. We’re talking very low power requirements. All amps in active speakers will be class D. (Unless he stretch speaker cables. Then “any” type of amplifier can be used). 

Unless he goes PoE, he “must” have AC available.
AC pipes (with or without wires) can be laying hidden in the ceiling, and be used the day one decides to drill holes for speakers. 


Installing ethernet cables may be more expensive, (compared to AC), as you have to pull this from the technical room to all locations. In addition, if the idea is that this ethernet should connect to a hidden system, you will need a second ethernet connection in your wall. Which you probably should add in several rooms in any case. 

Same argument can be used for stretching speaker cables from a central point. 

I think a good mesh network may be most cost effective. AirTies Air 4930 is one of the best. Or the newer one 4960 or 4970 that’s supports WiFi 6. Now the OP can plan for good location of those WiFi stations. As both ethernet and power is required. I’m quite sure latest technology in WiFi will serve the OP well. (In combination with selected RJ45 interfaces around). I would probably use hardwired ethernet where TV’s shall be placed. 


Those suggested WiFi speakers may be a very good solution https://www.litheaudio.com/airplay-2.html

The OP can start with one or two rooms. As long as he has AC ready, he can drill new holes later for equal or different speakers.
 

Google Chromecast Audio dongles is a good solution into any active speaker. 

 

The OP should plan for pulling cables (ethernet and power) at this point. Then he has the flexibility to design audio system later.

 

 

 

The LitheAudio in ceiling speakers do look good with no need for a Chromecast audio as they support Airplay2 over wifi as does Roon. However 10 pair may blow the OPs budget.

 

Also, I'd avoid pulling cables, at least for a mid-fi audio solution.

nuckleheadaudio.com

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