You bought a stereo receiver years ago for the family room. Then graduated to a home entertainment A/V receiver. The stereo and its speakers were moved to the newly finished basement. Meanwhile you’ve accumulated blue tooth speakers and have those throughout the house. Over the course of time wire was run to the back deck for outdoor speakers and you installed a speaker selector. And so, the audio evolution goes…adding more, throwing away nothing and not able to play one piece of music on all of the speakers or for that matter playing different music sources to different speakers in different areas of the house.
What to do…? Do you try and get greater continuity with what you have? Throw some out and buy some new? Depending on the vintage and capabilities of your gear, you may be able to do some form of integration. Whether you want the same music playing on all speakers or different music sources’ music playing in various locations will determine what you may need to do.
Let’s start with uniting your speakers in different areas for the purpose of playing the same music source throughout or in locations of your choosing. Streaming audio from your smart phone or tablet to Bluetooth speakers is one speaker by speaker way to distribute your audio. Connect to the speaker in the room you’re in which doesn’t get you multi-room music. So, why not leverage your existing receiver? If your receiver isn’t Bluetooth or AirPlay capable and yet has an Aux audio input, you could use a WiFi “interface”. There are several Wireless WiFi audio receiver adaptors available. In essence they interface to your smart device to enable you to stream music to PC’s, speakers, soundbars and receivers/home theatre audio systems. A few choices include IDER, AirEnabler, AudioCast, AirPort Express and Heos Link.
What about speakers? Of course, you may have speaker cables run to different rooms now and connected to A/B outputs on your receiver or had used a multi-speaker switch connected to your receiver. If you’re not going to run additional cables you could use wireless speakers or combinations of devices. For example, add a WiFi audio receiver adaptor and WiFi speakers and control all with a smart phone app. Denon makes Heos WiFi / Bluetooth speakers which offer nice flexibility considering their multiple connectivity capability. Place Heos speakers in the rooms you’d like and use the app to play multiple sources on different zones. Your receiver / WiFI audio receiver adaptor now becomes a zone on your audio streaming setup.
If you are looking to upgrade to the latest home entertainment receiver, you may also consider the Denon line-up or Marantz which has Heos built-in. One can create a combination of hardwired and wireless speakers and zones which may serve to provide a great home audio experience.
Interesting? You bet. Complex, yet simple? Well for some. Let us help you navigate through the technology and design a solution just for you.