Receivers, also called amplifiers, are the most flexible way to get a high-end multiroom set-up in terms of how you can control it. There are three speakers in three rooms, and each one can be controlled or play a different kind of music. You don’t have to play the same music in every room. This is the same for a multi-room amplifier.
This device lets you control each zone and its volume with keypads or other switches that work with it. This is most needed if you are sharing your home with someone else and need different content at different volumes for each person who comes over to watch. It might be hard to set up these devices if you are a beginner.
Easy ways to make the best wired multi-room audio system are to use a Sonos amp or the Speaker B of any receiver. People who only want wired whole-home audio to play the same song in the kitchen, living room, and dining room should also check this out. Let’s take a look at the best wired multiroom audio system review. There, we give you information about how to set up and use the product.
What are the ways to have the best multi room audio?
Multiroom audio system can be divided into three:
- Hybrid system
While the wired and wireless multiroom audio are self-explanatory, the hybrid system will consist of a wireless component such as Sonos amp connecting ceiling speakers. You can use an in-wall multiroom controller if you want to use wired speakers. If you don’t want to trip over wires all over your house, a wireless multiroom audio system is the best way to go.
When you want to use Bluetooth in more than one room at home, one of the best is Sonos One. As an option, you can buy multiple Sonos speaker and place them in different rooms. Then, with the Sonos app, you can link all of them together so that they play music through your whole house.
Other best multi room wireless speakers are Audio Pro Addon C5 multiroom speaker . You can play audio from:
- Another device connected to it
Controlling the multiroom audio system can be performed in the following ways
- App in smartphone or tab
- multiroom audio controller
How to build whole house wired speaker system?
This section includes all necessary devices, cable suggestion, port names and everything you need to know for a DIY home audio system multi-room.
Since we want a wired multiroom audio setup, we are going to take some of the best wired speakers to build this system.
Best multi room wired audio system
While setting up the best multi zone audio system, you can choose any set of speakers, that is, any wired speakers can be used in multiple rooms. Klipsch, SVS, Polk are some of the famous brands manufacturing bookshelf speakers, floorstanding speakers and subwoofers. For this best wired multiroom audio system review, we will take SVS Prime Bookshelf speakers and
- Drivers: 1” tweeter and 6.5” woofer
- Frequency response: 48 Hz-25 kHz (±3 dB)
- Sensitivity: 87 dB
- Recommended amplifier power: 20-150 watts.
You can easily select SVS Prime Bookshelf speaker as a part of your multi-room audio system. The cost is average, and the performance is outstanding. You can listen to them for hours; the bass is decent and quick to ensure movies or music become engaging. The mid-range is airy and the highs are accurate. Enclosures are made of MDF and it ensures there is no additional vibration.
You can easily place them with your TV or simply use them to listen to music for medium-sized rooms. You can connect subwoofer and SVS makes some of the best subwoofers.
Klipsch R-820F floorstanding speakers
- 1” tweeter, 8” woofer
- Frequency response: 35-21k Hz
- Sensitivity: 97dB
Floorstanding speakers are often said to sound better than bookshelf speakers. These are best for large rooms and Klipsch R-820F is worth a try. Along with a Tractrix horn on the front, you will also notice a Tractrix horn shaped opening on the back. The enclosure is made of MDF, which is also scratch-resistant. It has rubber feet so that you can safely place them on hardwood, tile, laminate, or vinyl flooring.
This Klipsch Floorstanding speaker has excellent dynamics and precision. As you watch any movie or listen to music, you will realize the clarity, details and openness of audio. The bass is clean and tight. In case you are using them for home theater applications, we recommend using center speaker as well.
Herdio 4 ” HCS418 Bluetooth Ceiling Speakers
- Output power: 160W max. (1 pair)
- Sensitivity: 89 dB
- Impedance: 8 ohms.
- Frequency response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz.
You can create multi-zone ceiling speaker system with Herdio 4” ceiling speakers. These speakers are covered by magnetic grille that are easy to remove or attach. They are easy to install and paintable to match any room décor. Use them in kitchen, bathroom and living room for multiroom audio system.
By ‘medium’ we mean the device that will help you to connect multiple speakers throughout the house. It can be a number of different devices that we are going to discuss here.
Speaker Selector for Multi-Room Audio
Speaker selector is a basic way to a DIY multi room audio system. A speaker selector can be used for 4 to 6 zones in different places of the house. It needs to be connected to a receiver or amplifier, then connect speakers to the speaker selector. If the device has volume knob for each zone, it will be easier for you to control them.
Niles SSVC-6 Speaker Selector
The Niles SSVC-6 acts both as speaker selector and volume controller. For this model, you can connect a total of 6 speakers. Run all 6 speakers together or choose the specific set. While all 6 speaker pairs are running, your amplifier or receiver will be safe from overloading because the device uses impedance magnification. This model is rated at 100W RMS into 8 ohms.
There are six different volume knobs through switch. You can adjust volume of each speaker in different room individually. The volume knob on the amp/receiver act as a master volume for all speakers. It has a frequency response of 20-20kHz +/-1.2 dB and total attenuation of 54dB. The connectivity and installation are very easy and simple.
You can connect a Yamaha, Sony or any other receiver. It is one of the easiest and best solution for an entire house wired audio system. In case you want a smaller setup, see the Pyle PSLSW4 4-ch speaker selector switch.
- Turn off the amp/receiver. Set volume to minimum but for speakers, set it to maximum
- Figure out the corresponding on/off switch for the speaker pair.
- Switch on amp/receiver, set volume at desired level but avoid clipping.
- Set volume on speaker selector as per need
- Use 16- or 18-gauge stranded copper speaker wire
- Check your receiver or amp, if it has both speaker A and B output, connect the SSVC to A
- See the wiring diagram below to have a clear understanding.
Let’s have a look on how we can use different amplifiers to build a wired whole house audio system.
Niles MRC6430 Multi – Room amplifier
This Niles MRC640 is a multi-zone speaker controller that you can use to connect up to 6 zones. It will deliver 30 watts/ch @ 8Ω and 45W/ch for 4 ohms. It uses Auriel Ecosystem that has remote, pre-programmed keypad, touch panel and mobile apps to control the device. It has features like Whole House mode, All Zone off and Paging.
- Use a CAT5 cable to connect between the Ethernet of the amp and the PoE
- Connect all other devices like keypad, touch panel into the PoE
- Again, use CAT5 to connect between PoE and keypad and touch panel devices
- Use speaker cable for speaker connection
If you are wondering why there are only 4 speaker sets in a 6-zone amplifier, bear with me. To complete the 2 other speaker set connections, you need a Nile SI-1230 amplifier Nile SI-1230 amplifier . The next image shows a setup for connecting different audio sources.
The diagram above shows how to connect speaker 5 and 6 via Nile amplifier.
- Use stereo RCA cable to connect Zone 5 pre-out of MRC-6430 to audio input 11 and 12 of SI-1230.
- Use stereo RCA again to connect Zone 6 pre-out to Bus input
- Take speaker cables to connect between SI-1230 amp out to speaker 5 and 6.
You can use two MRC-6430 and a SI-1230 to create a large 12 zone speaker system. Cable and speaker configuration are illustrated in the user manual.
Receivers can be used in two ways. The latest receiver models have Speaker B switch that can be used to connect 2nd pair of speakers in a different room. Or, use a multi-zone receiver that has Zone 2 and Zone 3 options. In these cases, you need to ensure and understand the playback and audio source compatibility of the other zones.
Some receiver allows playing different content to the other speaker zone while others will only allow playing the same source in main zone and zone 2.
Speaker B switch
Check for a Speaker B in your receiver, like the Sony STR-DH750 or other brands. This model doesn’t have multiple zones. You can play speaker B only or play it simultaneously with speaker A. The volume and audio input of B will be similar to that of A. Since you can’t control the speaker B volume independently, the options are pretty limited.
Then follow these steps:
- Connect speakers to the Speaker B switch
- Use the remote control and press on Menu, then go to Speaker Settings
- Select 3/2.1
- Then choose SB Assign> Speaker B
- Look for the speaker button on the receiver press so that the front side shows SP B
Denon and Marantz manufacture some of the best multi zone receivers. The Denon AVR-X4700H receiver has three zones: main zone, zone 2 and zone 3. If you connect 5.1 speaker in main zone, then stereo playback in Zone 2 and 3. Or, you can have a 7.1 ch for main zone, then setup mono speaker in zone 2 and 3. The images below show these two types of setup. It can be used as a multi zone amplifier for ceiling speakers as well.
This receiver allows playing video and audio in Zone 2 and 3 via line-level output, speaker-level output, or composite or component video. So you can watch TV in Zone 2. You can play TV in Zone 2 while connecting a pair of speakers in Zone 3. Separate amplifiers can be used on Zone 2 and 3, then connect it to the receiver in main zone. After this, connect speakers to those amplifiers.
- Set input as ‘Source’ in Zone 2 and 3 to allow any type of input playback
- Set input to CBL/SAT or 2-ch PCM to specific audio playback.
- In case the main zone and Zone 2 has same input, the main zone may change its audio to 2-ch PCM.
- Zone 3 supports analog audio signal and 2-ch PCM playback.
- To select zone 2 and 3, press Z2 or Z3 on the remote.
- The Multizone indicator will light up when Zone 2 or 3 is powered on
- Use power button to turn on/off, input button to select input
- After selecting Zone 2 or 3, use the master volume to control the volume of the speakers.
- Select All Zone Stereo option to play the same audio in three different zones.
Supported files for Zone 2:
- Compatible Sources:
- HDMI audio: 2ch PCM
- Optical/Coaxial digital inputs: 2ch PCM
- Analog audio/video: Composite, Component, Phono
- AM/FM Tuner: same station for all zone
- USB & Bluetooth Audio: need to choose same option for all zone
- HEOS Music Apps: choose same music app in all zone
- Network Sources: same for zone 1 and 2
Not supported by Zone 2:
- HDMI video
- DSD audio files
Supported files for Zone 3:
- Optical/Coaxial digital inputs: 2ch PCM
- Analog Audio In
- AM/FM Tuner
- USB & Bluetooth
- HEOS Music Apps
- TuneIn Internet Radio, Spotify Connect, AirPlay, & DLNA
Not supported by Zone 2:
- HDMI Audio/Video
- Analog Video
- DSD audio files
Along with amplifiers, receivers, Speaker B in receivers, there are several other devices like controllers, amps or ports. Let’s see these in details.
Russound MCA-88 Controller
This Russound multi-zone controller can be used for 8 zones. It will be ideal for large houses or commercial use as well. It has 8 RCA inputs, 3 coax and 1 optical in, Bluetooth port for connecting Russound BTC-1X Bluetooth module and you can also use input for paging.
Russound multi-zone amplifier or controller deliver 40W/ch for 6 zones. Control the controller with MDK-C6 keypad, SLK1 keypad, XTS wall-mounted touchscreen, and MyRussound App. Amazon Alexa can be used as voice assistant. This device is scalable up to 48 zones. It has programming feature known as WebConfig. With this, you can configure different programs in the controller and run it from the smartphone.
There are several advanced configuration options that you can choose or adjust. You can play different audio source in different rooms or same one in all. 8 zones or scalable option isn’t much needed for home use, so you can check the Russound CA4KT1 multiroom driver amplificador . This controller can connect up to 4 zones and comes with 4 keypads.
- As you install keypad or any other control option, use CAT-5e cable to connect the keypad locations and controller.
- Use RJ-45 connector using the T568A wiring along with a UL/CSA electrical box
- Once keypad is installed, press certain keypad to activate that specific zone
- Use standard 4 conductor speaker wire in each speaker location
- Speaker impedance should be at least 8 ohms
- Use standard 16-gauge, 4-conductor stranded speaker wire or 14-gauge wire if you need to run longer distance of 250 feet.
In case you have wired speakers but want to expand with wireless Sonos speakers, you can do so as well. Use the Sonos Amp and connect the wired speakers to it. Then connect the Sonos Amp to the Sonos wireless speakers. This device uses a Class D amplifier and can deliver 125 W/Ch at 8 ohms. It supports Apple AirPlay 2 and Wi-Fi but not Bluetooth.
While connecting speakers make sure they have similar impedance. This amp can give connection to two pair of speakers with 8-ohm impedance when connected in parallel. But, if you use Sonos Architectural by Sonance, you can connect three pair of speakers in parallel. This includes in-wall ceiling speakers, on-wall speakers and outdoor speakers. The speakers indoors will become invisible saving space and giving a clean look.
If you a new to this, Sonos recommends you professional help. In case you connect two speakers in two places, the amp will play the same audio source with the same volume. You can easily connect multi-room ceiling speaker system, or any other type of speaker like bookshelf or floorstanding. You can use Sonos app or Airplay to stream audio. Turntable or phone can be paired with it as well. The rear side has analog audio in, speaker terminals, sub out, HDMI ARC, etc.
In case you have multiple Sonos speakers in the house, take advantage of the Sonos port to connect them wirelessly. It has port to connect TV as well. It is a non-powered module. With stereo analog RCA output and digital coaxial (RCA) output, you can pair amplifier, receiver, or powered speakers.
- Make sure the speakers have minimum rating of 125W for 8-ohm speakers and for 4 ohms, 200W
- Make sure to connect them in parallel
- Take out the cap and look for the connection hole in banana
- Use speaker wire and allow it to enter the end of it to the connection hole
- Put on the cap and tighten it
- Match the red (+) and black (-) terminals of speaker with banana plug of the Amp
- Connect the banana plug into the specific speaker terminal of the Amp.
We recommend going with a multizone receiver to create wired whole home audio system. Denon, Sony or Yamaha has some of the best multi-room receivers. Multi-room audio controllers are also quite convenient as they have independent volume controls. However, if you want an advanced setup, you can create in-wall, in-ceiling speakers along with wall mounted controls in different rooms.
In that case it won’t be a DIY multi-room speaker system and you will need professional help. To find the best suitable method for building a multi-room system, you need to figure out your requirements. This includes number of zones, type of content for other zone, control option and many more. Receiver allows up to 3 zones but some has ports to connect additional amplifier in Zone 2 or 3, then from that amp you can connect more speakers.
Multi-room audio is the best way to enjoy seamless sound regardless of your location in your house. Along with indoors, you can also connect outdoor speakers and place them in garden or patio. If you want clean look, in-ceiling and speakers are the best way.
This FAQ is here to solve some of your problems regarding this multi room speaker
Wired or wireless multi-room, which is better?
Wireless multi-room system is the best in terms of ease of setup. You can include several Sonos speakers and use Sonos port to create such a system. This is best because you won’t have messy wires running from one room to another. The setup and installation will also take shorter time.
However, you will often see consumers seeking a wired whole house audio system. This is because they believe a wired music system will deliver precise and accurate audio. it also gives you freedom to tweak or increase the number of speakers in a system. In a wired system, you can make the main speakers wired, then connect wireless speakers as well.
Is a DIY multiroom audio system possible?
Well, this entirely depends on user. If you are familiar with setting up a home theater by yourself, installing your own multi-room system will be very easy. However, if you are just starting your journey into audio world and are using receivers to create up to Zone 3, you need stumble several times.