Today we are showing off this absolutely gorgeous master bedroom retreat and the technology we were able to incorporate in it. This room has a distributed audio system comprised of RBH speakers, Sonos and all controlled by Total Control.
First thing you might be asking is “What is a distributed audio system?” Since we are all about education, let’s start at the basics with that. The definition of a distributed audio system or what is sometimes referred to as whole house audio, is a music system that allows for playback and often control of music throughout an entire home or building. Many times people only think about music like this in commercial spaces like offices or restaurants, but more and more, systems like these are becoming common place in homes.
With the onset of music streaming devices like Sonos which was founded in 2002 and gained mass recognition between 2011 and 2014, distributed audio has been much easier to integrate into households. Sonos is a company that has
developed and designed many free standing speakers that allow you to stream your music services like iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify and many more (over 60 services are currently available as of this writing). In this distributed audio system however, we used some different Sonos hardware.
We used a Sonos Connect in our system with RBH in-ceiling speakers. In whole house systems like this, although we could use Sonos free-standing speakers, we were opting for a cleaner and more streamlined look. When you are working on a house from the ground up, we have the opportunity to hardwire for in-ceiling speakers. This frees up counter space that you would need for free-standing speakers, but still allows for the ease of control of your music with the simple to use Sonos streaming app.
We paired this with RBH frameless in-ceiling speakers. With these frameless speakers, it means that there are no plastic frames around the speakers that might become discolored over time. RBH allows us to order these speakers in either black, like we used here, or white and with either circle or square grills. They can also be custom painted to match any color you like.
Many times when you hear about someone having a distributed audio system in the house you might begin to look for the volume control knobs in the room….but not here…this home has a central control system. Volume control knobs used to be popular in controlling both the on/off and volume in a house or building, but since the onset of the smart phone that enables you to have a controller with you at all times, we have seen these go by the wayside. In addition to cleaning up what we like to call “wall acne”, we find that it is so much easier for our clients to use their smartphone, a table top remote, a wall mounted touch panel or a handheld remote to not only control their music, but all of the systems within their house.
The control system that we used in this house is Total Control by URC (Universal Remote Control). Introduced in 2011 with their 2.0 upgrade in 2017, Total Control has been a global leader in automation and control.
A system like this is essentially what we like to refer to as the “brain” of the house. Many devices these days, like Sonos come with their own individual app that you can use on your phone, so why would you need a control system? Well, I’ll be addressing that in a future blog post, but for now, the basic answer is that by having one central control system like Total Control in the house it allows us to tie all of these apps and therefore the function of these connected devices together. Tying these devices together allows us to create scenes or situations where these devices can work in partnership with one another.
If you are interested in learning more about distributed audio for your house or business, feel free to visit our website or find us on Facebook or Instagram. As always, I welcome any questions you might have about these or any other technology products for your home. Feel free to leave me a message or let me know of another product you’d like to learn a little more about, I’ll do my best to accommodate your request.